- Associated Press - Sunday, January 4, 2015

RICHMOND, Ind. (AP) - A dog wanders with a splint on a rear leg, cats and dogs wait for adoption or medical care and a Canadian goose occupies the basement.

Just a normal day at Animal Care Alliance.

Down the stairs behind the door with the “Goose In Basement” sign, the goose sat with a pink blanket and a food bowl nearby Saturday, two days after it was rescued from an ice-covered pond along Industries Road.

“We have stuff like that all the time,” said Joyce Luckett, manager of the clinic which provides low-cost spaying and neutering services and walk-in clinics for low-cost animal medical care. “We do wildlife rehabilitation here, and we have connections with the fire department and police department and it’s just a natural place for people to come that need help with a wild animal.”

That’s exactly what happened Thursday. Wayne County dispatcher Tia Penaranda called Luckett about a goose stuck on ice. A second message said Richmond Fire Department Engine 1 was heading to the pond, so Luckett met the firefighters and watched Rob Leavitt rescue the goose, the Palladium-Item reported (https://pinews.co/1vObXVX ).

“They decided to call the dive truck. They wanted the truck because they have an inflatable boat on the top of it,” Luckett said. “So the truck came and then one of the firefighters decided he would just put on a wetsuit and slide out. So they tethered him and he just crawled out on the ice and was able to scare the goose up to the other side of the pond, and we got it and brought it back.”

Luckett said Richmond firefighters readily help with animal rescues if they’re not busy on other runs.

“They’re wonderful,” she said. “These big-hearted guys in their big uniforms were hugging the goose trying to keep it out of the water.”

The goose has no noticeable injuries, Luckett said, but it has trouble standing.

“It was sitting on the ice long enough for its body heat to melt a hole and then it would kind of flounder around and move to a new spot,” Luckett said. “It’s able to move its feet, it’s able to move its wings, but it can’t stand well at this point.

“The perfect outcome is that it gains the ability to stand again, and we can take it back to that pond and release it back with its mate, which hopefully will still be around.”

Luckett said she has a rehabilitation permit from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources to handle mammals. That means there might be injured raccoons, possums, coyotes and foxes at Animal Care Alliance, along with cats, dogs and bunnies. And, of course, geese.

“We had a goose not long ago with a broken wing we released in Glen Miller Park,” Luckett said. “We kept it in the basement, and we left the door open. And the lobby was very busy that day, and all of a sudden this goose comes paddling up the stairs and walks into the lobby. It didn’t seem to be worried about the people at all, but the people were excited.

“We like being able to take care of the different species. It’s a lot of fun.”

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Information from: Palladium-Item, https://www.pal-item.com

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