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Baby squirrel rescued from Ballard man’s stove

Posted by Geeky Swedes on August 28th, 2010

A Ballard man came home to hear a strange sound coming from his kitchen yesterday evening. “A squeaking something in the vent above my stove,” Dusty said. After getting out the flashlight, he discovered a baby squirrel had crawled down the fan vent and taken up residence next to the warm light inside.

Dusty posted a message in the My Ballard forum under the name Dweezil, asking for ideas. “Trying to disassemble the fan above my oven to pull a baby squirrel out. Anyone know who to contact? Not the exterminator.” Within a few hours, My Ballard readers had furnished links to animal rescue sites while he gave a play-by-play description of the rescue. “I managed to get the fan off. Just trying to lure him out now,” he said.

After wrestling with the fan and detaching it from the wall, he poured the little squirrel into a box, recording video of the cute little creature. “Just wondering who to take him to,” Dusty wrote in the forum. After reading the wildlife rescue sites, he had a plan. “I’m about to put him up into a tree and hope that momma will rescue him,” he described on the video, zooming in on the squirrel. “It’s kind of hard to let go of this cute little bugger.”

So up he went. “I put the baby squirrel in a box, taped it to a tree, put a sign on it, ‘Don’t Disturb,’” he explained while quietly videotaping from his back porch. “Just waiting for momma.”

Here’s the video to watch what happens next. Click ahead to 5 minutes and 54 seconds to see the heartwarming ending in the tree.

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82 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 Evonne Benedict // Aug 28, 2010 at 4:11 pm

    Best ever!! Rescuer deserves a medal!!!

  • 2 Tambria // Aug 28, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    We raised a baby squirrel in Ballard, rescued by my brother on his paper route. Mom carried it in her apron pocket. Would go on camping trips with us.

  • 3 Fred's Back // Aug 28, 2010 at 4:12 pm

    A smell a Pulitzer!

  • 4 yep // Aug 28, 2010 at 4:15 pm

    great rescue, but I really doubt putting it in a box taped to a tree will encourage the parents of this squirrel to re-embrace him.

    keep us posted. I'd like to hear if a hawk or illiterate crow goes after it.

  • 5 CoryBe // Aug 28, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Did you watch the end of the video?

  • 6 raisedbed // Aug 28, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    Love a happy ending!!

  • 7 Zobmie // Aug 28, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Good on ya, Dweezil.

  • 8 elaineinballard // Aug 28, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    I wonder what the response would have been if instead of a baby squirrel a baby rat had been found and rescued. Why all the love for what is an introduced species that is out of control in the urban environment, digging up our gardens, eating from our fruit trees, etc? Oh, but it's so cute and warm and fuzzy!

  • 9 Schnellepferden // Aug 28, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    Sweet story. Mama squirrel certainly rescued her baby quickly! I recall we did this once with a baby rabbit we found lost in the middle of our yard–we didn't duct-tape him in a box to a tree, of coure :) we just took him in overnight to keep him warm, put him back in the garden the next day (no hawks where we lived), then each found a window in the house to watch from. It took 45 minutes for mama rabbit to carefully, slowly approach her baby, but then she covered the last 6 feet in 2 hops and then the pair leisurely hopped away into the bushes.

  • 10 Silver // Aug 28, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    Enchanting video! Thanks so much for sharing your experience!

  • 11 Homelessdude // Aug 28, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    it's a rat with a tail, people. They're vermin.

  • 12 Kronkensweister // Aug 28, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    Every species has a purpose. Even you. Great story. I can't believe how big the little guys back feet are! Can you imagine birthing those??

  • 13 KirstLambert // Aug 28, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    Is it an Eastern Gray? It might be a Western Gray.
    Don't forget you are an introduced species as well.

  • 14 Freckles214 // Aug 28, 2010 at 5:58 pm

    I think that is the sweetest – selfless – mindful thing someone could do! Good on you Sir. May you have many blessings your way.

  • 15 Kole // Aug 28, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    I had this same thing happen but with a bird. I could hear the poor thing trying to climb back up the exhaust tube to get back out. I eventually had to cut my way through the thin metal exhaust tube, pull the bird out and open my front door so it could fly to freedom. The sad part of the whole process was that I found a couple other bird skeletons at the bottom of it. So this had been happening repeatedly. Really wish apartment buildings were required to put screens over the exhaust outlets.

  • 16 Heather // Aug 28, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    I love this so much!

  • 17 word2yermuther // Aug 28, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    So Troll, are you telling us that you have a tail…and some horns maybe? Jerk! If you are truly a “homelessdude” Its no wonder why! Folks that are bitter, smart ass jerks, who are unable to see the beauty of special times like this, are the same people that live crappy lives. Go figure!

  • 18 Kat // Aug 28, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    Wow, you made it to the Seattle Times. :)

  • 19 Pattijackson423 // Aug 28, 2010 at 6:46 pm

    Great job by the rescuer! I agree, he deserves a medal! Great story, thank you for sharing!!!

  • 20 ks // Aug 28, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    That was very kind. What a beautiful little squirrel. Loved the ending. Yoink and up it went. Thanks for posting.

  • 21 kuollutkarhu // Aug 28, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    I came home one early fall day and found an even younger and more hairless squirrel curled up in the living room carpet. My cat, and two dogs, the alpha of which was a vicious little terrier were just lying around on the couch and the mantle. Took care of the kid overnight (the humane society recommended ensure!) and then took it in the next day (it had a little scratch on the belly….).

    Very adorable, and this is a very good person.

  • 22 Debbie // Aug 28, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    just don't buy into it.

  • 23 Rrrnay // Aug 28, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    Love those huge feet!
    Great job saving the little guy…

  • 24 Big D // Aug 28, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    i'm pretty sure humans are doing a better job screwing up the environment. although, it sounds like you're a little more concerned about how good your garden looks. and yes, i understand the damage that can be done by an introduced species. Oh, i have a great idea! why don't you look for a sterilized little island, away from any living animal, so you can have a fabulous garden!

  • 25 Joejoejoew // Aug 28, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    Yeah, totally. Humans were only 'introduced' to the americas 16,500 years ago.

  • 26 joejoejoew // Aug 28, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    So I guess you're a vegan? And if you are you should recognize homelessdude's point. There wouldn't be the same reaction if this were a story about a rat baby.

    You are the troll.

  • 27 Dweezil // Aug 28, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    If it had been any 4 legged critter, my personal action/reaction would have been identical. Would the Swedes de Geek have written about it? I think they might have.

  • 28 Pepper // Aug 28, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    What a great humane being. Which there were more of you

  • 29 word2yermuther // Aug 28, 2010 at 9:57 pm

    Uh …well it isn't a rat baby dork…it's a s q u i r r e l… Come on say it with me now….s..Q….u…i..R….R…e….l….and nope, I'm no vegan either…mmm chicken…and flippin fish. Maybe if you were not an ass, you too would understand my point as well, which is…people that can't find joy in situations in life that have to do with motherhood, love, patience, kindness, hope, empathy, etc…and have something negative to say about it ( hence the world troll nerd) are most likely people that probably lead bitter, crappy lives…and yes, I believe it's fine to leave sarcastic comments, if it's regarding calling people out on their bull honkie doo doo!
    PS I'm smart enough to also know, that just because someone makes a snide comment once in a while, that it doesn't mean that they are a total waste, however when one is quick to show lack of joy in a positive situation, it makes me question ones character!

    I know I may be being e x t r e m e…but we are human and humans are sometimes e x t r e m e….hah!

    and aH Nobody, including most animals lovers I'm sure, would want to be presented with the task of reuniting baby rats their mothers, one would just hope they didn't have a rat problem to begin with.

    Maybe you need to clean out your basements, and or cupboards, because now you guys/gals got me thinkin that you have a bitter attitude towards rodents and verminous creatures for good reason…

    This man wanted to help reunite a precious baby with its most likely frantic mother and did so! A Heart warming story that made my day better! It's really as simple as that!

    pEACE…really though…I wish you and the animals you come in contact with…pEACE!

    Oh and for those of you out there that like to correct grammar…you know the ones that are constantly skimming over comments for grammatical errors…the ones the want to be WRITE (oohhh) you know who you are…..

    I like using … … … …. …'s and other custom techniques (ha) when I write, whether it's grammatically correct or not! weRD!

    I guess it's a free county to write what one wants to write and to dislike verminous baby rat squirrels!

  • 30 Ballard-ite // Aug 28, 2010 at 10:08 pm

    Sweet story and video. Thanks for sharing this.

    I cannot believe how many people come here and post nasty comments. It's a baby squirrel rescued from a vent… why must people spew hate about this? I'm convinced that Ballard is a magnet for pissy people with nothing better to do than troll the comments sections for a venting opportunity.

  • 31 TRMackle // Aug 29, 2010 at 12:24 am

    What a good guy. Thanks for your efforts.

  • 32 Bilklb // Aug 29, 2010 at 12:39 am

    Momma grabbed him and carried him up the tree. Did you not watch the video?

  • 33 HowieC // Aug 29, 2010 at 1:03 am

    Oh my god, that was so beautiful. I only got to see the barbecue in the background for a second, but it looked like a beautiful Kamada style smoker with a custom built stand and table. Brought tears to my eyes. Squirrel was cute too.

  • 34 Brent // Aug 29, 2010 at 1:13 am

    How cool is that! Great rescue!

  • 35 mrgames2 // Aug 29, 2010 at 2:07 am

    Awwwww! Shucks! I got something in my eye now! True hero!!!

  • 36 Kole // Aug 29, 2010 at 2:11 am

    What the hell does being vegan have to do with anything!? Word may or may not be a troll but you Joe are a freaking idiot. Seriously, please leave the planet. There are others that deserve to be here more. I hear Uranus is nice this time of year. Oh and if this was about a rat, and a human took the time to rescue it, that would make him cooler than you could ever dream to be.

  • 37 kim // Aug 29, 2010 at 2:37 am

    “because now you guys/gals got me thinkin that you have a bitter attitude towards rodents and verminous creatures for good reason…”

    no, i would just say bitter overall.

  • 38 Glynd // Aug 29, 2010 at 2:46 am

    Oh my gosh! That was amazing.

  • 39 nonplussed // Aug 29, 2010 at 2:47 am

    That's because the blog owners have a business partnership with the Times. The Times links here on a regular ba$i$.

    And, once again, the Swedes are mining the forum for stories to post on the front page. LOL.

  • 40 philly mom // Aug 29, 2010 at 4:46 am

    This is so stinking precious!!! You deserve many blessings for this wonderful rescue of this cute lil' critter

  • 41 werd2yermuther // Aug 29, 2010 at 5:30 am

    “because now you guys/gals got me thinkin that you have a bitter attitude towards rodents and verminous creatures for good reason…”

    I was implying that maybe they are living in filth and have had plenty of vermin around…hence the part where I mentioned needing to maybe clean out the cupboards and/or basements. It's hard to imagine anyone being so against any one creature, unless they have had a terrible experience…who knows…maybe they got bit in the arse.
    There is never a good reason to be cruel towards any of the creatures on this planet, or treat them as if they do not have a purpose. Not everyone gets my sometimes sarcastic sense of humor and that's OK…but you're right…they ARE probably just bitter overall.

    I think some of the negative squirrel haters here just may have a distant cousin over in Britian…does the name “Cat bin lady” ring a bell.

    Oh and to those reading what I wrote…I hope you had a laugh at the very least..geez!

  • 42 Bobfrankorlou // Aug 29, 2010 at 5:52 am

    “tasty, warm, and fast asleep”

  • 43 Snoopy // Aug 29, 2010 at 5:54 am

    ha ha, yep is dumb.

  • 44 werd2yermuther // Aug 29, 2010 at 6:03 am

    Kole, Being a Vegan has NOTHING to do with it! You are right! Let me please explain, so you get at least one thing about me straight. Although I am not a vegan, or vegetarian any longer (I was for over 10 years) I am the biggest animal/creature/bug/planet lover. I am compassionate, curious and friendly towards any animal, creature, bug, or what have you, that I have the pleasure of meeting in my life. I am teaching my young boys as they grow about respecting all living things in nature, including a persons right to their own opinions (as bogus as some may be) I believe that ignorance and cruelty is often learned behavior stemming from childhood. Some people have a really hard time admitting that they are unkind, and yet denial is the big road block for change. It's sad really. There are far too many jerks on the planet, but hey…you seem like a pretty cool guy!

  • 45 skeolan // Aug 29, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Ballard-ite, your surmise fits not so much 'Ballard' as 'The Internet.' Try not to let it get you down on the neighborhood too much :)

  • 46 Tonygumbrell // Aug 29, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Fascinating, and fun, thanks for the effort, really a gas!

  • 47 Squirrelly // Aug 29, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    Best. Thread. Ever.

    Time for a power hitting editorial Swedes: Squirrels: vermin or friend?

    I think this is actually a good sign for Ballard, that people get worked up over squirrels, as opposed to armed 10 year olds mugging people on buses.

  • 48 Johnnyriggsisdead // Aug 29, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Well, “Ballard man”, you've done it now. You made my girlfriend cry. Saving the little bugger from the cruel innards of your stovepipe, filming it in all its big-footed, closed-eyed, not-enough-fur-yet glory, jerking spasmodically as it dreams of leaping from tree to gutter, and finally showing the “oh my lord, nature CAN be loving and caring” ending from your safe spot behind a window screen.
    And the climax of the story took place in a cardboard box duct taped to a tree! It just proves, like Blair Witch Project, etc. that you don't need money to make a gripping film.
    There you go. You're now the hero of the day. I have no way to look THAT good. AND you've made my girly cry. Now is the time to hit on all the women you've ever been interested in.

  • 49 Straecatz2 // Aug 29, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    Great story, I love the guy who went to the trouble to get the baby squirrel back to it's mom! All you squirrel haters can go to hell!

  • 50 gertie // Aug 29, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    That's SO great!!! watching him dream whatever he was dreaming was so cute. The fact you took your entire hood apart to save a baby squirrel vs calling an exterminator is great! watching momma waste no time saving me and running pell mell up the tree shows how high up he was when he fell. Good for you!

  • 51 word2yermuther // Aug 29, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    Damn straight!

  • 52 Mike G // Aug 30, 2010 at 2:47 am

    Nice.

  • 53 Dweezil // Aug 30, 2010 at 4:19 am

    I'll have to try that as my opening line… “So, hey, you like squirrels?…”

  • 54 Dweezil // Aug 30, 2010 at 4:25 am

    Small update. CBS news in NY called me and wanted to do a live satellite interview for tomorrow's Early Show because of this. Sadly I was just informed that a hurricane trumped my story. But King5 might be showing the video at 10 and 11pm tonite.

    I now need to find someone to relocate mother and baby from the roof as their nest is clearly not in a good spot. I'm a renter, so I would be up Mr. Landlord's mercy with what he wants to do. I'm hoping to find someone to do this free, so that the owner can't say no to a humane and free deal.

  • 55 Sarah // Aug 30, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    Great story, and a wonderful rescue! The reunion of mother and baby was truly a pleasant surprise.

    Dweezil, is the vent on your building simply uncovered? Could a simple mesh screen be stapled over it, or is the job more complicated? I'm sure you'll have no problem finding handy people willing to aid you and your landlord in this job. :)

  • 56 Laura // Aug 30, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    Taylor sent me the link! You rock D! Think you might wire some screening over that pipe?

  • 57 hmcd // Aug 30, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    My friend back home (Seattle area) sent this to me this morning. I'm in North Carolina now and it was nice to be reminded that there is a place where people save squirrels…not eat them.

  • 58 Booboot8002 // Aug 30, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    smug snatch—get over yourself

  • 59 Ihatesubarusandyoutoo // Aug 30, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    Out of control in an urban environment?? I'd say people like you are out of control—oh no!! your precious organic turnips planted in the backyard of your quaint overpriced ballard cottage! How about you hop in your forest green Subaru with a “free tibet” bumper sticker on the back and head down to the local coffee shop where you can sit around and exchange smug pseudo-liberal conversation over a machiatto. Women like you are a dime a dozen in Seattle—and that's one of the reasons why I chose to get the F out! Put your knit beanie cap and patagonia fleece on, go climb some mountain and don't come back. I'd save a squirrel, or a rat for that matter before I'd lend a hand to a toolbag like you.

  • 60 Trendina // Aug 30, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    You did a wonderfully good thing.

  • 61 Kathleen // Aug 30, 2010 at 9:22 pm

    Would love to see a subsequent video showing the little guy moving about so we know mama was able to bring the baby to health; must have been hungry and thirsty! Wonderful rescue and thanks for your kind heart in going the extra effort for a happy ending…

  • 62 Dweezil // Aug 31, 2010 at 2:52 am

    I don't have a way up onto the roof to find the nest or entry point. I will need to rely on a professional, which I am having a hard time getting a hold of. I have found a place that would take in both mother and baby together and release them after baby is grown, which would be the best solution. But I still need to get a trapper.

  • 63 Lburris597 // Aug 31, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    Very very cool rescue.

  • 64 swede2 // Sep 1, 2010 at 12:02 pm

    I love this…so heart warming aaah but for the kindness of strangers!

  • 65 Swede2 // Sep 1, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    That is so heart warming thank you!!

  • 66 johnson // Sep 3, 2010 at 7:15 am

    Fucking amazing. awesome job. I wish there were more people like you.

  • 67 johnson // Sep 3, 2010 at 7:15 am

    Fucking amazing. awesome job. I wish there were more people like you.

  • 68 johnson // Sep 3, 2010 at 7:16 am

    eating up “our” fruit trees, and “our” gardens. what a db.

  • 69 johnson // Sep 3, 2010 at 7:16 am

    eating up “our” fruit trees, and “our” gardens. what a db.

  • 70 squirlmom in Colorado // Sep 3, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    Dusty, I’m a wildlife rehabilitator specializing in squirrels, and YOU ARE MY HERO!!! Every baby squirrel in trouble should be so lucky!

  • 71 Zorro // Sep 4, 2010 at 1:24 am

    Squirrels are just a rat with a PR campaign.

    These little rodents will get into your attic and chew up your Romex wiring just as quick as a rat will.

    If you want to encourage a rat to visit with you at your house keep rinsing food scraps down your garbage disposal.

  • 72 J.P. // Sep 5, 2010 at 1:38 am

    This made my day watching. You are a good, good man. Anyone watching this and NOT feeling anything but good are just… sad people.

  • 73 Veganne // Sep 6, 2010 at 6:33 am

    Hello! I’m an intern at PAWS Wildlife Center in Lynnwood, WA and I LOVE squirrels. I’ve been feeding the second batch of babies for about a month now. Mostly Eastern Greys, a couple Fox squirrels, and a couple of Douglas squirrels. I must say that the EGSQs are my favorite. :D I hope to someday start a home squirrel rehab center.

    “Vermin” is such a strong word. I do not think squirrels are vermin, native or not. Raccoons and rats aren’t either.

    Someone came in a couple mornings ago with 13g nuggets. I’ve never seen them so small. They looked like fetuses. A dog found them after their tree was cut down. We sent the lady back home with a heating pad and told her to put them in the nearest tree on the highest tree branch because 13g is minuscule (weighs less than my 10ml Erlenmeyer flask!). She came back yesterday afternoon and mom never came back. :( I’m not working until Wednesday but hopefully they’ll still be alive.

    Go squirrels! <3

  • 74 Meow // Sep 6, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Killing everything that isn’t us has been proven not to work.

  • 75 Meow // Sep 6, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    Killing everything that isn’t us has been proven not to work.

  • 76 Meow // Sep 6, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    Where did you go? I want to go too! (but I have to admit, Subaru’s are a great car for ice and snow, look at them passing hundreds of ditched cars in the passes)

  • 77 Meow // Sep 6, 2010 at 6:27 pm

    Where did you go? I want to go too! (but I have to admit, Subaru’s are a great car for ice and snow, look at them passing hundreds of ditched cars in the passes)

  • 78 Meow // Sep 6, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    And your a beast on two legs breathing fire, smoke and raining firey objects from the heavens, that will soon kill every living thing, even the cockroaches.

  • 79 Meow // Sep 6, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    And your a beast on two legs breathing fire, smoke and raining firey objects from the heavens, that will soon kill every living thing, even the cockroaches.

  • 80 Meow // Sep 6, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    And how long ago the invasive, poison kind?

  • 81 Meow // Sep 6, 2010 at 7:44 pm

    And how long ago the invasive, poison kind?

  • 82 Taice // Mar 19, 2011 at 1:27 am

    Squirrels are amazing animals.

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