Peggy Speer, of the Lassen Humane Society, has been transporting various injured wildlife from the area, to prospective qualified animal veterinarians, all on her own dime.
With a monthly travel cost of sometimes $1,200 per month, Speer takes sometimes two trips a day to get these injured animals help. Even though she works with local Fish and Game, sheriff and police departments, and with Speer being the only locally certified person to carry out these duties, she doesn’t receive reimbursement for the work.
LHS President Chris Geffre, told the directors “She does a lot of work. They call her if there’s an injured hawk, there’s an injured groundhog … and all sorts of wildlife. She takes them wherever it’s necessary, whether that’s down at the Klaich in Reno, one of the sanctuaries in Tahoe or wherever it needs to be.
“I’ve been doing this since 1998,” she told her other board members of the LHS.
When asked what happens to the animals when Speer isn’t available, Speer reluctantly, but sincerely replied, “They die. They’re left to die, because nobody can get to them.”
Speer has reached out to various agencies in the Northeastern California area regarding this issue and told the Times and the LHS she had, “tried every single avenue … and exhausted all options.”
“”I have talked to everybody, the higher ups, I’ve even had the backing of game wardens and biologists for years. I would have to become an employee,” said Speer. “The employee position would have to be a wildlife biologist that does rescue and transport. We have two people from Lassen and Plumas counties. We have a game warden who can’t leave and we have a wildlife biologist, who also cannot leave. It’s been that way since 1998.”
It wouldn’t be a problem, however “if we had a Fish and Game vet here in Lassen or Plumas county,” said Speer.
Geffre also told those present at the meeting, “Our insurance doesn’t allow us to transport animals except for the Pups on Parole program.”
The Lassen Humane Society provided a donation of $1,500 to partially provide Speer with gas money for her volunteer rescue and transport work she continues to provide for the bi-county area.
The board of directors unanimously approved the $1,500 to assist with Speer’s efforts. They also put through a motion for LHS to actively pursue alternative funding sources for Speer’s work.
Additionally, the board will draft a letter to be sent to those at multiple levels of hierarchy at Fish and Game, the Lassen County Board of Supervisors and even various state representatives throughout California.