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Goose survives his injured caboose

Loomis Basin Good Samaratins help get arrow out of bird's body
By: Martha Garcia, Loomis News Editor
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There are lots of geese in the Loomis Basin, and Mike and Janet Virgil, of Penryn, are used to seeing them in the pond on their property on Brennans Road. But Memorial Day weekend they discovered a goose that wasn’t quite right. The Canada goose had been shot by an arrow and the arrow was still in the goose, sticking out of both sides of its posterior. The Virgils’ attempts to catch the goose ended when it flew off with its mate on May 25. Then, on June 9, Sean Murphy was driving on Horseshoe Bar Road, at Val Verde, when he spotted the injured goose and stopped to help it. “I got close and he started to run,” Murphy said. “I sprinted after him, grabbed him by the neck … The arrow was so long it stuck out.” Murphy, an electrician, had plenty of tools in his truck to cut off the arrow so he could put the goose in the truck. “There I was, goose in one hand, pliers in other,” he recalls. Murphy also had a cell phone. “I text messaged some friends and one of them gave me a phone number which eventually got me to Pat,” he explained. Sacramento Wildlife Care Association volunteer Pat Brown had heard about the injured goose for about two weeks. However, when she got Murphy’s call she was surprised that someone had been able to catch it. She took charge of it the same night. Brown has been a Wildlife Care Association member since 1997, not long after she and her husband, Ray, moved to Loomis. Her main role with the WCA has become caring for fowl. The next morning she made a call to Dr. Maryann Brick of Madison Avenue Veterinary Clinic in Sacramento. Brick, said Brown, is an “angel” who gives up her own time to treat animals rescued by the Wildlife Care Association. The veterinarian, said Brown, was amazed the goose survived being shot. She was able to remove the shaft of the aluminum arrow. The arrow – which had a ½-inch blunt tip – only fractured one rib and didn’t hit any vital organs when it pierced the goose’s body. “His body had built scar tissue around it. The doctor said it had healed around the arrow shaft … This goose is like the luckiest goose in the world,” Brown said. On June 17, when it was declared healed and he no longer needed medication, the goose was returned to the Virgils’ pond. Helping Brown release the goose were Lola Elliget and Martha Maldonado of Gold Country Wildlife. After being coaxed to exit the carrier, the goose sauntered over to the edge of the pond and went for an early evening swim. It is not known how the goose was shot, but “If someone were apprehended, they could be charged with ‘take out of season,’” or hunting out of season, said Kyle Orr, spokesman for the Department of Fish and Game headquarters. “It is misdemeanor charge … with a fine of up to $1,000 and/or one year in jail,” he said. Orr also warned the crime could fall under the cruelty to animals section in the California penal code that has a potential to be a felony with a fine of up to $20,000 and state prison time.