Injured owl rehabbed by Sarasota Police Department facilities manager

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SARASOTA – An injured owl is recovering after it was struck by a car in Sarasota. Brian Saum came to the owl’s rescue Tuesday morning, when his father called and said an owl had been hit by a car near Fruitville and McIntosh Road.

“Almost completely unconscious, I mean he was still flapping and stuff but when I pulled up my dad was shooing away crows and birds that were trying to get towards him,” said Saum.

He called animal control and a local bird sanctuary, but neither place was open yet. That’s when Saum called a friend at the Sarasota Police Department. Lieutenant Richie Schweiterman found a facility manager, Terry Rutheruff, who is certified and licensed with Wildlife Inc. of Bradenton Beach.

“My diagnosis was he’s got a mild concussion,” said Ruthruff “so basically what he needs more than anything is some R&R. He needs some relax and recovery time.”

Lieutenant Schweiterman says this is not the first time they’ve taken care of an injured animal.

“It’s not that unusual, to be honest with you,” said Lieutenant Schweiterman “several times throughout the year, officers will come across animals and when they do we take the necessary steps to try to get the animals help

Lieutenant Schweiterman urges people who hit an animal to call for help.

“I recommend pulling over, calling someone to come out and look at the animal,” said Lieutenant Schweiterman ” I don’t suggest the individual get out themselves to look at it, because if they don’t know what they’re doing they could get hurt.”

Ruthruff will take care of the owl until he is ready to be released.

“If he’s bouncing from perch to perch then I know he’s got his balance back he’s feeling better,” said Ruthruff “Then Ill evaluate him again. And we’ll go from there,  as far as putting him back in the wild, where he should be.”

Ruthruff will take the owl home and continue to monitor him through the night, but he is expecting a full recovery.