Rest in peace, Mr. Owl




County Line Publisher Emeritus

Lots of our readers were pulling for the great horned owl found shot in Wilton two months ago. We tracked his progress every week, and though there were some scary periods, it did appear the critter was going to make it.

But alas, raptors and gunshots are a bad mix. Kathy KasaKaitas of the Coulee Region Humane Society applied her best wildlife rehabilitation skills, but infection got the best of Mr. Owl.

Last week, Kasakaitas wrote to us:

I have sad news for you.

The owl is not doing well at all this week. I believe an infection has set in the bones. I took him to the vet earlier this week due to bad discoloration throughout his wing, and he has not eaten in three days. I took him out yesterday to put the ointment on, and his entire side was all bruised from where he has been pulling feathers. I can only guess that he was trying to get at whatever hurt. This morning, I just checked on him, and he barely opened his eyes. So at this point, humane euthanasia will be the best for him. This will be a hard thing to do after putting in two-plus months in his recovery efforts.

I want to thank everyone involved with the donations for his care. We certainly gave him the best possible chance, but in the long run, his wounds have taken over.

I wasn’t sure I wanted to send you this prior to Christmas, but I felt I needed to.

Thank you again.

I expressed my sympathy to KasaKaitas. If I felt terrible, she must have felt worse, considering all of the time she spent nursing the owl to health. She responded:

I do get very attached, and sometimes that isn’t a good thing.

We see so much that is caused by our hands; it is painful to think of some days. Some people just do not care what they do. The comfort I have from that is that there are people like you and the community that pulled together to find an interest in trying to save this owl. The kind, caring souls always brings me back to why I do this. And, of course, seeing those we do help get back out to where they belong.

Certainly caring for injured wildlife is a tough job and relies on charity.

If you still have a few bucks left, a memorial donation to the Coulee Region Humane Society might be a thoughtful holiday gesture.

Kathy KasaKaitas

Coulee Region Humane Society

Animal Control Department

911 Critter Court

Onalaska, WI 54650

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