Animal Ambulance is urgently looking for volunteers. Especially drivers who can help pick up sick, dead, injured and injured animals.
Animal Ambulance has previously made a call on Facebook. It’s been shared a lot, but we haven’t been able to find anyone yet. The permanent core of volunteers is starting to get tired, says coordinator Elaine at the canteen in Wellness. “We have one person who drives all the night shifts, and he also has a regular job. Now sometimes he also has to drive in the evening to close the schedule.”
At the beginning of the Corona time, there were additional volunteers, because a lot of people were sitting at home. “But when their work started again, they also said goodbye again,” says Eileen.
Winter is usually a quieter period for an animal ambulance, due to the birth of very few new animals. Because of the bird flu in the area, the animal ambulance is now receiving many reports.
Learn about bird flu
This creates additional work, because an additional vehicle must be driven especially for animals with bird flu. “It’s so contagious that they’re not allowed to drive in a regular ambulance,” says Elaine. The bus must then be completely disinfected. with heavy things. After that, the bus must be idle for 45 minutes before you can drive it again.” An additional truck also means that an additional driver is needed.
If you can get close to the birds, it’s really wrong
• Getting to know Eileen about bird flu
It is important that bird flu spreads as little as possible. This is why Elaine gives some tips for identifying sick animals. “They are wild birds, and they never want to get close to people. If you can get close to them, there is really something wrong.” Often the birds move slightly or shake their heads. “Be especially vigilant for birds circling in the water, or in exotic places such as geese in a residential area.”
Do not approach sick birds, warns Eileen. You can spread the disease with your shoes. Try shooting it from a distance and call us.”
“The dumping is very sad”
In addition to sick birds, there are also reports of pets, animals that have been found, and animals that have been drowned.
Elaine noticed that more animals are being drowned in corona time. “People came to sit in the house and thought: OK, we’ll get a dog or a cat.” Eileen says, the moment people started going back to work and were allowed to go on vacation, many of the animals were euthanized. “It is incomprehensible to us that people can do this without feeling. Do you have cats that you don’t want? Take them to the shelter, to the stray cats of Amsterdam, all I care about is that you report them to us. Do something. But the dumping is very sad.”
Every day is different
Eileen says that closeness to animals is important to working at Dierenambulance. But isn’t that hard, especially as an animal lover, to meet so many animals that are in poor shape? “It’s hard sometimes,” admits Eileen, “but even if an animal is injured and has to be euthanized, you help it. Left in nature, they die a very vicious death. You avoid needless suffering.”
When you come across something like this.. you can’t escape from it
At Dierenambulance, you don’t just have to deal with animals, says Eileen: “You also have to be able to deal with angry or sad owners.” Sometimes you encounter special things.
For example, there was a lady who was hospitalized for a while. She has hired a company to take care of her cat. A month later she came home and the cat died in the hallway. The whole house was very dirty. The woman herself was unable to clean anything. “My co-workers grabbed a vacuum cleaner and they’re going to mop and clean it,” says Elaine. They returned two days later for a medical examination. “At that time, nothing had been arranged for home care. We went after that too.” This is of course not part of normal animal rescue duties, says Eileen, “but if you come across something like this… you can’t escape it.”
Not just misery
There isn’t a single day in animal ambulance, says Eileen. “It’s not really all misery,” says Eileen in front of a wall full of pictures. The photos show volunteers alongside swans, cats, hedgehogs, dogs and many other animals. “Last year we were able to bring back a cat that had been missing for eight years. These are the beautiful things, that you can make people happy.”
“It pays off,” says Eileen. Denotes rows of photos of smiling people. “And there’s a lot of laughter here, too.”