by Anayeli Ruiz
MIDLAND- The severe drought is taking a toll on everyone, especially wild animals. Mothers are abandoning their babies because they can't feed them. Some of these animals are even popping up in your backyard and veterinarians say it's more common than ever. NewsWest 9 spoke to one woman who's had several unexpected visitors.
Ashlee Rice's son was out playing when he and his friend found a baby animal under a tree. They left him alone hoping the mother would get it but she never came.
"It was just making this terrible noise, it was in agony. I didn't know what it was it kind of looked like a puppy. We get in the car and rush to the vet because I think this thing is dying and when we get there it's a baby squirrel," Midland Resident, Ashlee Rice, said.
The Veterinarians told Ashlee this is becoming more and more common, animals are abandoning their young because of lack of food.
"So that broke my heart I can't imagine having to leave your baby no matter what you are. But they say the drought is definitely a problem," Rice said.
"Mom's and Dad's don't have anything to eat or to feed their babies, and are more likely to remove them from their nest or abandon their nest. I would say yes we are actually seeing quite more of that," Veterinarian Jessica Todia, said.
Vets at the A to Z Veterinary Clinic are seeing more and more newborn animals being brought into their clinic. They see anything from possums, raccoons and birds that are ending up in or near people's homes. This year because of the drought, they have seen an increase of 75 percent more animals.
"No water, no food for them to eat, so they are just trying in my opinion to migrate to find something and they are not having much success," Todia said.
So what you do if you find a wild animal in your backyard?
"I recommend that a lot of people think that finding these little babies whether it's a bobcat baby or baby squirrel, I think it's great. I commend you try to save them. However they do not make good pets. I recommend finding a wildlife rehabilitator who can provide the correct nutrition and release them," Todia said.