Surge of squirrels at animal shelter

This is one of the many squirrels that have been dropped off at the Peninsula Humane Society shelter in Burlingame.


Animal control officers in San Mateo County said they’ve been hit with an influx of baby squirrels arriving into their wildlife care center. The number of squirrels — nearly 100 — are believed to be the victims of tree trimming. When someone tending to the tree doesn’t notice it, the squirrels fall out of their nests and lose their home.

Other times, the squirrels fall out of their nest or have been captured by cats, according to the Peninsula Humane Society and Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

“At this point, we are caring for almost 100 baby squirrels in our Wildlife Care Center,” said organization spokeswoman Buffy Martin Tarbox.

The breed of squirrels is the Eastern gray squirrels, which have litters twice per year. They sometimes have injuries when they arrive in the center, most commonly broken teeth and head trauma. They generally need two to three months of recovery time before they can be released back to the wild.

“Caring for baby squirrels is time-in-tensive and the smallest of our squirrel patients need to be hand-fed,” Tarbox said. “We feed them by hand a special, mother’s milk replacement formula using a syringe until they are ready to self-feed on seed and nuts.”

The organization encourages residents to hold off on trimming trees until the late fall to help prevent disrupting squirrel nests.

Anyone who finds an abandoned baby squirrel can bring it to the center at 1450 Rollins Road in Burlingame.