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Click2Daily: Wildlife animals recovering at SPCA after Harvey

HOUSTON – After Hurricane Harvey, the Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals took in many animals. 

Not just dogs and cats, but other wildlife critters.  Many of them were wounded. 

The Wildlife Center of Texas is helping rehab some of the critters of the wild who might not have been able to make it on their own. 

Here are four things to know about the rare animals at the Wildlife Center:

1) Pigeons, opossums and bears, oh my!

The Wildlife Center of Texas sees everything from pigeons and opossums to tigers and bears. On Thursday, they treated a rare white crown pigeon. Sharon Schmalz, the executive director of the Wildlife Center of Texas said, "He came in after the Hurricane Harvey. They're normally down in the Florida Keys or the Puerto Rico area further south of here. So it's very rare to be in Texas.'

2) The SPCA is about more than dogs and cats

The Houston SPCA started in the 1920's when there were more horses and buggies than there were dogs and cats needing help. Patricia Mercer, the President of the Houston SPCA said, "We are the only campus in the country which houses and cares for really all species. Cats, dogs, horses, farm animals, native wildlife. Even exotics because we've had tigers and bears and other animals from cruelty cases that have come through our doors."

3) Hurricane Harvey brought nearly 600 animals to the SPCA

That included 70 species of native wildlife including two threatened species. That also meant 54 orphan squirrel feeding training sessions. That is the kind of care that an eastern gray squirrel needs. Schmalz said, "She was just found down on the ground. Ants were all over her. She was really dehydrated. So we got her hydrated. And she's starting to eat on her own."

4) Two owls are permanent residents at the center

They are here with special permission of state and federal officials as it is illegal to keep wild animals. Schmalz said of the great horned owl, "He was hit by a car as a younger bird. We've had him for about four to five years. He can't fly well enough to hunt. So we got permission from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife and Texas Parks and Wildlife to keep him for education." 

Click here for more information about the Houston SPCA.

Follow reporter Ryan Korsgard on Facebook and Twitter for more on this story.

Rare animals at the #houstonspca #wildlifecenteroftexas KPRC2 / Click2Houston

Posted by KPRC2 Ryan Korsgard on Thursday, October 26, 2017

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