In October of 2017, I was contacted by VT State Game Warden Mark Schichtle about a squirrel that had been confiscated as an illegal pet. Peanut was a beloved family member who had been raised by a child in the family from a tiny pinky baby and had lived with them for 3 or 4 years before she was reported. The family, defensive of their pet, threatened the life of the Warden. Ultimately, an agreement was made involving the Warden and the State Veterinarian at the time. The squirrel would be brought to a licensed rehabber and would be able to live out her life there. I agreed to take Peanut and she arrived here on October 19, 2017.
Because of improper feeding, Peanut was beginning to develop cloudiness with her previous keepers and because she was being kept illegally, they could not find a veterinarian to treat her eyes.
Once Peanut arrived here, she went to visit a veterinary ophthalmologist
and was subsequently diagnosed with cataracts. In the years that Peanut has been here, she has had further mineralization in her eyes and can see very little. She is an otherwise happy, healthy squirrel given ample stimulation with toys.
Game Warden Mark Schichtle has since retired. The State Veterinarian is no long the same person who made that arrangement.
And now, the new head warden at Vermont Fish and Wildlife is saying that keeping Peanut for as long as I have is a violation, my license will be revoked and they want to come and confiscate her to kill her. In January 2020 I was on the cover of the a Vermont's biggest newpaper and the Head Warden called me a "Rehabber in good standing". Peanut was on my paperwork then. The only thing that has changed is the staff at VT Fish & Wildlife.
I have reached out to our local new channel and they are interested in covering her story.
Vermont Fish & Wildlife reneged on their arrangement and they want to euthanize a blind squirrel simply because they want to enforce rules. These are rules THEY made and rules THEY chose to bend in order to save the Game Warden AND Peanut's life.
I am being ordered to contact the Game Warden this afternoon to schedule an "inspection" but this is their opportunity to take Peanut. They want to bring a man with a gun into my house in the middle of a pandemic so they can kill a squirrel, Governor Phil Scott.
My attorney is responding to VT Fish & Wildlife's demands.
Please share this story/petition. Peanut doesn't deserve to die because someone changed their mind about whether she should live or die. This is VT Fish & Wildlife's chance to show they are actually about conservation by allowing Peanut to stay with the licensed rehabber who they requested take her in the first place.
Please help me #SavePeanut by signing and sharing this petition.