Animal lovers in Sequim will be happy to hear that the five domestic ducks that were left at the pond at Carrie Blake Community Park have been relocated.
New owners in April have stepped up to care for them, providing them with food and a pond.
Three are Swedish Blue Ducks, an endangered breed, and two are Pekin.
Last month, the new ducks met local photographer Sally Harris, when she stepped out of her car at Carrie Blake pond.
“They were friendly and gorgeous,” Harris said. “But I knew they didn’t belong there, and wouldn’t make it through the next winter without duck food. They vacuumed up the food I gave them, obviously hungry and used to being fed.
“They can’t fly so have no way of escaping predators. The person that dropped them off was probably trying to give them a better life.
However, domestic animals don’t adapt to nature like wild animals do, and since the Department of Fish and Wildlife can’t step in to help domestic animals, their fate is uncertain.”
Over the weeks, other people became concerned about their future, but ducks are hard to catch. In late April, Harris noticed they’d lost weight and seemed stressed. She contacted retired local bird rescuer, Jaye Moore of the NW Raptor Center, and while Moore couldn’t do the rescue she gave Harris some tips on what to do.
Along with helpful advice, Jaye Moore had a lot to say. She’s seen the best and worst in the animal/human world, and some memories still sting.
“Besides all the bird rescues, mostly caused by choices made by humans, I have pulled out complete aquariums with fish, bunnies, pet mice, and rats from dumpsters,” Moore said. “I just don’t understand how people can do that.”
Harris phoned Lilly’s Safe Haven, a new animal sanctuary in Port Angeles, and they were happy to help. She phoned others, and a rescue team formed. Two animal roundups took place, each with five people herding the ducks. The ducks were divided according to sex and mates, placed into dog crates and within minutes let loose into their new ponds. No animal was harmed in the making of this drama!
“Helping the ducks pulled us together as a community and we all made new friends,” Harris said. “There are so many kind people here.”
Lisa Hopper, code enforcement officer and animal control officer for the City of Sequim, said she attempts to capture any animal that is abandoned or released in the dog park, in city cul de sacs or any public location — or even private locations, if the property owners contact her.
“Unfortunately there have been animals dumped at different locations more often than we would like,” she said in an email this week.
That includes a rooster at the end of Keeler Road, she wrote.
“My attempts at capture (him) have been unsuccessful, as the little guy has eluded me. In this same area a few months earlier there were three domestic rabbits dumped there.”
If successfully caught, the animals are taken to the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society, held for a required time frame and then put up for adoption, Hopper said.
Harris said she’d recommend that community members who have animals they are unable to care for should or find a Clallam County Facebook page concerning animals and pets or farm animals.
“You can also contact local animal sanctuaries, and if they can’t help, they often have a network of referral sanctuaries,” she said. “Animal sanctuaries can be found with an online search.”