Editor:

A Sun report titled “Yes, we have coyotes here” included a photo by Jack la Plante of a coyote suffering from mange. My wife and I also encountered a mange-stricken coyote that was laying in the shadows of a vacant lot near our home. It remained in the same location throughout the morning, so we got a closer look through telephoto lens. The mange-covered coyote had scratched himself to the point he was bleeding. As The Sun noted, FWC will not intervene to help these suffering animals.

We called Venice Wildlife Center and their response was amazing. That afternoon, they assembled a group of volunteers to capture the distressed animal for rehabilitation. They encircled the thick vegetation where we last spotted the coyote. They then clawed their way through in unison towards the center, but the coyote eluded them. They then set a trap and monitored it closely. Unfortunately, this coyote was too smart for his own good, and relocated to evade rescue.

I’m writing to encourage Jack and other readers who witness distressed animals or birds in need of rescue to call the amazing volunteers at Venice Wildlife Center at 941-484-9657. The volunteers I watched in the above rescue attempt were equipped with nothing more than large butterfly nets. As a volunteer organization, they did not have the animal control poles used by government funded agencies like Animal Control. We showed our gratitude by donating three poles, but there is much more they could use. Happy holidays!

Brett Slattery

Rotonda West

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