A ground squirrel as a Christmas gift?
Farmers, ranchers and groundskeepers would be thrilled! Imagine them trapping ground squirrels and selling them at roadside stands. They'd dress them up in little squirrel sweaters, hats and mittens - hoping to make up for all of the losses they've incurred due to the ground squirrels destroying their crops and land.
Don't start knitting those squirrel mittens, quite yet. In California, ground squirrels are a keystone species and an important part of the ecosystem. They are also legally labeled as pests. And it is against the law to feed ground squirrels and keep them as a pet or "emotional support" animal.
People battling ground squirrels on their property may find it difficult to see them as providing emotional support - especially when these digging rodents make them act like Bill Murray's Caddyshack character, Carl Spackler.
Not familiar with the term emotional support animal? Emotional support animals provide the animal's owner a sense of safety, calm or well-being from the animal's companionship and presence. Dogs and cats are common support animals
Last October, an "Emotional Support Squirrel" made the news. The woman who brought a squirrel on board a plane, made quite the scene when she was removed. Normally, I don't get my news from Jimmy Kimmel, but he summarized it best.
When dealing with ground squirrels, you need to keep your sense of humor - and contact me if you have questions or need a solution.