This month, I interviewed Suzie DeGrasse of Primarily Possums Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation, located near Athens. Learn more at www.primarilypossums.org.
What is your mission?
My main mission is rescue, rehabilitation and release of native wildlife. I have been doing this for nine years. I specialize in possums, bats, cottontail rabbits and armadillos, and I am licensed for small animals, songbirds and rabies-vector species (bats, foxes, skunks, raccoons and groundhogs).
How many possums have you helped?
Thousands, and it increases every year as more people become aware of checking pouches when a possum is hit by a car. The majority of animals that come to me are orphaned — mom has been hit by a car or attacked by a dog.
What do you love about possums?
I am always learning about them. They are marsupials, and their babies grow differently than other mammals. They are highly intelligent with interesting and adaptive behaviors. They worked their way up the United States from South America. They also are absolutely adorable.
What is something about possums not many people know?
They are omnivores. They don’t eat garbage. They eat things like insects, carrion and frogs, as well as berries and fruits. They have 51 teeth! All of their development happens in the pouch, not the uterus. When they are born, they have only gestated 13 days and are still embryos. That is why it is so important to check the pouch. They stay in the pouch for a long time.
How can people help?
Slow down. Give possums a “brake.” They don’t mean to get in your way. If you know one is in your yard, make noise before letting your dog out. If you see a dead possum, please check the pouch for living babies.
Primarily Possums is a nonprofit organization, and all donations are tax deductible and very much appreciated. You also can help by volunteering time to help babies and build and maintain enclosures. Carpentry help is very needed.
Next month, my interview with Suzie continues with a focus on bats, as she helps a lot of them, and they, too, are misunderstood and need help.
– Rob Macmillan is on a mission to help shelter dogs and cats. On Facebook @robsrescues. www.robsrescues.com.
These animals are at Cobb County Animal Services, waiting for homes.
This dog’s name is Scooter. His tag number is 643477. He is a medium-sized hound. He has been at the shelter for a very long time, since March. Scooter is such a nice dog and walks well on a leash. He doesn’t have too much energy but is definitely not lazy. He is very interested in things and likes to sit next to you. He is a good listener, would be a really good family dog and has a great temperament.
This cat’s name is Ian. His tag number is 644147. He is an orange tabby that is about 2 years old. He really likes people and attention. He is a very strong cat. Ian is heavy but sweet and loving, not pouchy.