Getting the Bird

West Nile keeps animal control officers hopping to collect dead birds

The Allen animal shelter receives a monthly average of about 40 dead-bird calls, compared with about 10 before West Nile, supervisor Vikki Francis says. Like many area shelters, Allen's explains to callers that West Nile isn't transmitted from birds to humans. Employees then give callers the choice of either picking up the bird themselves or having an animal control officer drive over and do it for them.

"We usually have to go out there because they don't want to touch it," Francis says.

Allen animal control officer Vikki Francis says her city has seen the number of dead-bird calls spike since the West Nile virus' arrival.
Peter Calvin
Allen animal control officer Vikki Francis says her city has seen the number of dead-bird calls spike since the West Nile virus' arrival.

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