Early in May our house decided to get some ducks. Why? Well I think everyone had their own reasons. Rachel wanted someone to cuddle with. Dallas wanted to raise his own meat. Nick wanted companionship. I want to experience with urban farming. Max and Porter were big supporters as well, being eight and all, having ducks you could throw in your pocket for a few weeks was pretty exciting. So we bought them and they arrived in the mail a day old from a farm in California. We got the papers and the adventure began.
So we picked six different breeds: Black Swedish, Blue Swedish, Indian Runner Duck, White Pekin, Rowen and Welsh Harlequin. We named them all. Dynasty, Huey, Luey, Dewey, Little Ann and Frankie. After about three days, they pooped so much and our house smelled brutal so we brought them outside with a nice little heat lamp, our old chicken coop and an old bathtub so they could swim. I’ll post some shots from Nick’s Instagram as he was the most avid watcher and documentor of all things ducks.
The ducks were an instant neighbourhood hit. Neighbourhood girls would come by with their sketchbooks and draw them. Vegetable scraps would be thrown into their pen for late night snacks. Eventually we added a few chickens to the mix and they got along just wonderful. Towards the end of the summer they started escaping into the neighbours backyard and would hang out on the grass. Every once in a while you’d see kids from around the area petting them or showing their parents. It really was a fun time and we never got any complaints. Toward the end of the summer they started wandering around the the neighbourhood a bit more, just like the wild Mallard ducks that hung out on our boulevards. As dusk came, one of us or one of our neighbours would escort them back to their pen where there was shelter and food and water for them. We started making sure they couldn’t get out by filling in any gaps in the fence, and it wasn’t until mid October that we actually found out how they kept getting out (sneaky little buggers). But by then it was too late.
On October 16, they didn’t come home. Our neighbours called the Humane Society in a panic, we called Animal Control and finally we found out that the city picked them up. It was good to know they were safe. The following is the sequence of events since October 16.
Â· On October 16 when our ducks went missing we contacted the Humane Society, no info was given because they didn’t have any, we were told to contact Animal Control but that they did have them in their possession, it was late so we had to wait the night
Â· On October 17, and waited the weekend as we were told they would call us right back with no call back.
Â· Called Animal Control again on Monday the 20th, waited a few hours and then they contacted us back to tell us we had two options (give them up or find a home) and did not give a deadline
Â· On the 20th, we get multiple e-mails and calls from friends to tell us that our ducks were on Facebook
Â· We went to the Shelter on the 21st to bring them to our new home that we found, but they wouldn’t given them to us until the Animal Control lady (Jordy) called us and gave permission, I posted on Facebook that I had paperwork for them as well
Â· On October 22 I posted again on Facebook stating that I had found a home for them (a friend of mine with three daughters on a farm that was excited to have them) and that we would like them back
Â· We contacted Animal Control again back on the 23rd to tell them we had found a home for them to go to and we also saw on the Facebook post that they had given them away to someone else
Â· We then called 4 other times, almost every day and left messages with their secretary and they would not return our calls.
Â· We found out on Facebook that they had been given to someone else as well
Â· Finally, on October 30 we got a call back from Jordy from Animal Control saying they were given to someone else and we would need to contact Donna (director of the shelter)
Â· I left a message on October 30 with Donna and have been in e-mail conversation with her where I am being told there is ‘nothing she can do.’
Once I finally got through to people who could apparently make decisions, I was told by every level (Supervisor of Animal Control Department, Director of Humaine Society, Employee of Animal Control, Secretary of City Department) that there was “nothing that they could do” and to contact someone else. So I have had four conversations with four different people and all of them are passing the blame off to someone else.
Things I have been told so far.
– There is a four day window and then they go up for adoption and so it is our fault
(great, we contacted them on day one and day two and every single day after that)
– We never contacted them in time
(we did through phone and by showing up and by facebook)
– They sent us a letter saying we couldn’t have ducks in the city
(we never got a letter, but it does mean that they knew the ducks belonged to us)
– We needed proof they were going to a farm
(we gave them the names of who they should go to)
– The city was in the middle of staffing changes for Animal Control and things were chaotic
(explains why no one would contact us and everyone was blaming each other)
So where it stands right now is that all six of our ducks have been given to a nice home on a hobby farm somewhere. I’ve asked them to contact these folks and explain their mishap and ask to drop them back off so we can get them to our friends. They refuse to do that.
So this goes out to whoever may read it, that maybe knows where they went, so that we can work out a way to get them to the family that was promised them. I can’t help but think that if this was someone’s dog, or hey, maybe Joe the Cat that this would be unacceptable and that a simple phone call would be made to return the ducks back to their rightful owners. If you inherited and have been caring for our ducks, thank-you! and shoot me an e-mail if you are open to bringing them back. [email protected]