PLACER COUNTY (CBS13) —A local wildlife rescue group has been bombarded with calls about animals in distress after they say coronavirus concerns have nearly shut down the county and state agencies that usually help.

When there’s an animal in need, people are calling Gold Country Wildlife Rescue. Laura Morin, a rescuer, said they’re getting double the call volume they’re used to this time of year.

The range is huge, everything from an abandoned baby possum to a deer stuck in a fence. They’ve even got a call for a malnourished coyote.

“We’re constantly hearing that ‘you’re the only ones who have called us back’ or ‘we’ve called so many places and you’re the only one willing to help,’” Morin said.

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Morin said agencies like county animal control are only responding to emergencies due to the shelter-in-place directive. Staffing is low and calls about wildlife don’t take priority. So, Gold Country Wildlife Rescue is handling everything else that slips through the cracks, while also trying to stay safe.

“I’ve got my hand sanitizers, my masks, things I wouldn’t normally have,” Morin said.

The work is non-stop right now. With shelter in place in effect, people are flocking outdoors. Morin said that means a lot more people are out fishing and their hooks are injuring geese and wildlife.

“We see a lot of that anyway, but that has been one of our most popular calls this year again,” Morin said.

The California Fish and Game Commission is considering a delay to the sports fishing season. In the meantime, rescuers have no plans to slow down.

“I consider it essential. There’s an animal in trouble that’s an emergency,” she said.

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