This actually happened on 21 September 2012. The Worcester, MA Animal Rescue League called me and asked if I wanted to see if I could help. All they told me that a squirrel was stuck in a dumpster's drain pipe, no additional information was given whatsoever. And no, they weren't going to do anything about it, it was up to me.
I called my tree cutter friend Troy. He had told me before that if I ever needed help to call him and he would drop everything. He did. This rescue cost Troy a job and a lot of money...
Not knowing what we'd be faced with, I grabbed my husband's Saws'all and Troy came with several extension cords, another power saw, and a gas can. Aside heavy gloves, a carrier, blankets, and towels I had also grabbed a bottle of baby oil in case we needed to grease the squirrel.
Halfway to Worcester, which is about 35 miles south of me, I tried to program the address into my GPS and learned that the address did not exist. I dialed the Worcester Animal Rescue League but ran into their voice recording. They had left for the day already. Now getting really upset, I called Worcester police and explained the reason for my call: faulty address, squirrel stuck in dumpster. Dispatch knew about the squirrel and thankfully had the correct address for me. Then she added that the dumpster was located in "a really bad neighborhood" and did I think this was such a good idea? I said I have my friend with me, but would they maybe send an officer out as well? No, they couldn't, and no, they had no intention of trying to help us with the rescue mission. And she added that the Fire Department also would not come out, they do not go on animal rescue missions.
Troy and I looked at each other, and then we decided that people who care enough about a little animal to call that in can't be all bad. Besides, it didn't really matter, we had to help the squirrel, and that was that.
The "really bad neighborhood" turned out to be a Puerto Rican community. The people started to come out, curious, and quickly the overtone changed to empathy for the trapped animal. We soon were surrounded by a group of very caring, very nice people, and never once did I feel any uneasiness. I would trade them in for my neighbors in a heartbeat!
I was glad that Troy was with me because I would not have been able to kneel on the concrete patch, my repeat knee replacement still did not let me kneel on the incision which had not yet completely healed.
The tongue depressor actually came from one of the residents. If I ever get another call like that one I will know exactly what to pack!
Note: Due to 10 seconds of third party content YouTube restricts the video to be viewed on desktops and laptops only.
This was definitely NOT "just another day" in the life of a wildlife rehabilitator.