Health First's Viera Hospital Associates Save Stunned Critter, Deliver it to Wildlife Nonprofit
Health First's Viera Hospital Emergency Department nurse Ashley Trivitt has taken care of a lot of patients in her four years there. However, a four-legged furry friend who needed her help during Hurricane Dorian was definitely a first.
Looking out at the ambulance bay while working prior to the storm, Ashley and a coworker noticed a baby squirrel on Monday just sitting on the ground. He didn't appear injured, but he seemed tired and confused, unable to move. The tiny creature had likely been blown out of a nearby nest during Dorian's windy gusts.
Ashley rescued the baby squirrel and immediately gave him some fluids and much-needed TLC. Luckily, an associate also working in the Emergency Department that night, Robert McClung, knew just who to call to help and decide what they should do with him.
Robert's stepmother, Crystal McClung, has held a Florida Wildlife Rehabilitation license from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) for more than 20 years. In 2016, Crystal opened her own not-for-profit wildlife rescue organization, Crystal's Critter Care and Rescue in Palm Bay.
Crystal's organization takes in animals of all kinds 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Running solely on donations and community support, the goal of Crystal's Critter Care is to care for and return sick, injured or orphaned wildlife they receive back to the wild, where they belong.
As for the baby squirrel, the staff at Viera Hospital have nicknamed him "Dorian," of course. He is doing well at Crystal's Critter Care and will be re-integrated into the wild once he's ready.
"I've never had a squirrel patient before," laughs nurse Ashley. "That was a first!"