A Richmond, Virginia man was recently surprised to hear a rustling noise inside his car. He looked under the seats to find two baby raccoons. He’d had the car parked about 25 miles away for quite a while and it seems that the raccoons had made a home out of his vehicle. The only problem is that the mother raccoon was not with her cubs and they were too young to make it on their own.
“The raccoons were both pretty scared, but when we picked them up they were very calm and friendly,” Officer Kelly Morley explains. “The owner of the car got one of them out right away and he had it wrapped in a blanket when I arrived. Then we reached in and got the other one out too and put them in a box together.”
Officer Morley knows an animal rehabilitation specialist in another county so the two set off towards each other and the raccoons rode quietly in the squad car. As unfortunate as it was that the raccoons were separated from their mother, the truth is that such a loss could have begun an even more tragic sequence of events were it not for Officer Morley’s determination to offer them a safe place to land.
This isn’t the first time that Officer Morley’s pledge to “protect and serve” extended to the non-human residents of her precinct. Having several cats and dogs of her own, Morley identifies strongly with situations of animals in distress.
Teamwork to Save Treed Cats
A couple months ago, Officer Morley was flagged down by a resident who was concerned about a pair of cats who had been stuck in the tree for five days. The resident tried luring the cats down with food, but had no success. Officer Richard Chappell was with Officer Morley and he had a clever idea. He decided that if they stacked a few city garbage cans they could create a mock staircase to help the cats climb down. Officers Brent Howlett and David Woods were in the area and stopped to assist.
The neighbors were thankful and one of them offered to take the cats in and offer them a home. But that turned out to be just stage one of the rescue.
“Months later, I was walking through that area while working and I ran into that same woman and man who had let the cats into their apartment,” Officer Morley explains. “Not only did they still have the same two cats, but they had since had a litter of kittens. The couple asked for advice on what to do, being that they now had seven cats and it was just too much for them to handle. I came back the next day when I was off and loaded up all seven cats into cat carriers and took them all to animal control. All seven cats were spayed/ neutered, given their shots and put up for adoption. I called animal control not long ago and all seven cats were adopted.”
Police work is not often as black and white as a squad car. There are a lot of grey areas where officers have to confront situations that are not easily resolved or they simply don’t have the legal authority to intervene. So whenever Officer Morley does have a clear shot at a rescue, she takes it.
Not long ago, Officer Morley was dispatched to do a wellness check on a resident. When she got to the home, she found that the woman had been keeping a cat in a carrier for its entire life.
But meeting one of Richmond’s finest was a tipping point for the cat who was about to undergo a remarkable transformation. After spending time in the animal control where she was nursed back to health, the cat was adopted by Officer Morley’s friend Chris, shown here.
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