From a cormorant stuck high in a tree, tangled in fishing line, to a dog trapped with an opossum beneath a shed, it was a busy couple weeks for Petaluma's two animal control officers.
On Dec. 22, Officer Mark Scott teamed up with Petaluma firefighters to rescue a dark, sea-going bird called a cormorant that had become tangled high up in a tree near the Golden Eagle shopping center. According to Scott, the bird was dangling by one wing, which was caught in fishing wire, about 50-60 feet in the air.
By the time Scott arrived on scene, a crowd of about 50 people had gathered, and crows were circling and pecking at the ensnared bird.
Scott said he immediately called for help from the Fire Department.
Within a few minutes, firefighters arrived on scene. They set up a ladder truck to reach the bird, cut it free and placed it in a carrying container.
After they freed the bird, Scott rushed it to the animal shelter, where the remaining fishing line was removed from its wing. The bird was bleeding where the line had cut into its wing.
From there, the bird was rushed to a bird rescue center for further treatment but was expected to recover fully, Scott said.
Then, on Jan. 3, Scott found himself sawing into the floor of a shed to free a Boston terrier that had gotten trapped under the floorboards when he chased a wild animal — likely an opossum — under the shed.
"It sounded terrible," Scott said of the racket that the dog and the wild animal made while trapped together under the shed.
"I'm still recovering from a heart attack," joked a grateful Eugenia Davidson, who owns the terrier. She recalled hearing barking and growling coming from the shed shortly after realizing that the 4-year-old dog, Jordan, had gone missing.