Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

October 1, 2012

'Baby dinosaurs' got animal officer's quick attention


CNHI

— PLAISTOW, N. H. - Brian Farrell hears it all — loose rabbits, the report of a boa constrictor on the run, even one call about "baby dinosaurs."

And that's just fine with Farrell, who grew from the little boy who rescued wildlife to the on-call animal control officer for three rural New Hampshire towns known for their wildlife.

Farrell, 27, said he entered the field because he "always had a passion for animals, always wanted to help animals."

As far back as he can remember, he "was rescuing snakes and frogs . . . little chipmunks from my cats. I wanted a job that involved protecting animals. I don't think I could sit in a cubicle and feel like I was making a difference."

Most of his calls are about stray dogs. But not always, given the open spaces of his beat. Take, for example, the woman who thought she had found some "baby dinosaurs."

"What she discovered was baby possums that got rejected by their mother," Farrell said.

Farrell, who said he's a "snake guy," was excited when he received a call about a boa constrictor on the loose in Plaistow, N.H., his home base.

But when he arrived, what he saw was a crowd of people around an Eastern milk snake, a reptile commonly found in the area.

"A lot of people aren't in tune with the types of animals that are around," he said.

---

Dustin Luca is a reporter for The Eagle-Tribune, North Andover, Mass. Contact him at dluca@eagletribune.com.