The Wildlife Angel
One fateful day on the job, a woman came to the rescue of a wild baby animal. Two decades later, Chris Scott has made it her life's work being an Angel to creatures large and small.
She has a "few" she's caring for right now.
"Let's see, we have seven older raccoons, nine tiny raccoons, two bobcats, and 13 baby opossums," she said.
That is Chris Scott's latest menagerie. A contractor clearing land called her about the newest additions to her family.
"Over at the clearing site on West Spencer Field Road and he said, 'I have two bobcats and I don't know what to do with them.' I was thinking he was talking big bobcats, you know, and he said, 'No, they're kittens,'" she said.
Chris is permitted by the State of Florida as a wildlife rehabber. Her vocation for rescuing wildlife began innocently enough when she was a law enforcement officer on patrol in Miami 23 years ago.
She recalls, "A deputy sheriff and I just happened to find a baby raccoon one year and raised it up pretty far. I actually became known as the raccoon cop."
Chris then found herself dispatched for any abandoned or hurt wildlife. Now retired, tending to these little creatures is no inexpensive or part-time job. She comes out of pocket for cages, bedding, toys, medical equipment and supplies.
It is an around-the-clock commitment with medical issues to be tended to and feedings as frequently as every half-hour. That feeding is also costly with special formula for each little guest.
"I get mine from a place, Fox Valley, that has a formula for every species like their mother would be," she said.
Chris is a surrogate mom of choice for many area domestic animal rescue groups like Amazing Grace Bully Rescue. She has bottle fed and cared for more of their babies, like the tiny blue pitbull Malachi, than she can count.
Paula Whiteamire, director or Amazing Grace Bully Rescue, is grateful for every one that Chris has taken in.
"She says it's 87. I think it's probably more. I think it's probably more. There's a couple in there's she's probably forgotten about," she said.
She's helped those babies grow and get ready for adoption.
Chris says the wild ones are returned to their natural habitat, "They get released. The Creek Indians, the tribe in Santa Rosa; they're so wonderful. They actually do a ceremony for them and they bless them and then we release on their land."
Though bittersweet, for Chris, that makes it all worthwhile.
Paula says she knows why, "Her heart, her heart. It's in it. She loves, loves the animals."
Angels In Our Midst is sponsored by Nemours Children's Specialty Care.