Pet Mouse Fanciers
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TIME SENSITIVE. Lost mouse OUTSIDE. Will explain.

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TIME SENSITIVE.  Lost mouse OUTSIDE.  Will explain. Empty TIME SENSITIVE. Lost mouse OUTSIDE. Will explain.

Post by Honey102019 on Wed 26 Feb 2020, 4:35 pm

I was going to take a mouse in from a friend's teenage son until he moved out.  The mouse was going to live with the boy's girlfriend up until last week when her parents wanted the mouse gone or that's what I assumed.

That's where I come in.  Up until an hour ago, I thought everything was fine.  I was supposed to pick him up tomorrow afternoon.  But, I guess teenage drama ensued and the girlfriend let the mouse go "free" 40 hours ago in Chicago in February (albeit it was mild this week).  

This girl knew about he exchange but did it out of spite.  I guess they broke up last week.  My friend's son didn't know until he asked her this morning if he could take him home today.  My friend's son is devastated.

Does anyone have any experience with locating a pet mouse outside.  I know they can go for a while without food and it has rained so he has water.  I'm wondering if he managed to find a warm spot somewhere away from predators and managed to survive if there is a way to find him.

They all live in the city.  I'm 40 miles away in a suburb so I can't help right right away.  I suggested putting out a "release box" with a sock & rice heating pad in it with some fabric in a large ziplock bag and some food near where the mouse was last seen.  I told them to check it a lot and also walk around calling his name and asking neighbors if they saw a mouse.  

I also suggesting using a UV flashlight to find mouse trails and follow them.  I'm sure some of them are wild animal trails but it was worth a shot.

If anyone has any ideas or prays, please pray for this mouse and his boy that they are reunited.  The mouse's name is Pluto.

Thanks.


Last edited by Honey102019 on Thu 27 Feb 2020, 12:32 am; edited 1 time in total
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Post by DoctorFluffs on Wed 26 Feb 2020, 5:50 pm

Unfortunately there's nothing that can really be done besides putting out release traps with a shelter, mouse food, some bedding from its cage, and some peanut butter around the spot the mouse was dropped off at. Calling out the name won't really help. Do they live in the actual city of Chicago or suburbs? I wish I could help more but sadly there's a good chance it didn't make it. Sad that is just a really evil thing to do, releasing a tiny domesticated mouse like that is essentially a death sentence.
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Post by MerciToujoursMaPetiteBoop on Wed 26 Feb 2020, 5:59 pm

This is awful.  I'm still at work, on the clock, so I have to do this quick -- pardon my haste.

By "city", do you mean where there's all pavement, or is it a place with yards and gardens?  The possible places of refuge are different, depending on if there is vegetation or just brick and concrete.

I can't imagine what missing mouse would have done once he was dumped outside, since he probably has very little idea what to do outside.  But with their bare paws and nearly bare tails, ears, and noses, finding a place to keep warm would likely be high on the list of things to do.  Might want to check inside the engine compartments of any parked cars in the area -- especially if there is any vegetation debris lying around nearby that could be quickly assembled for a nest.

The problem with searching is that if you get close, missing mouse might fright and make an escape that you don't even notice. Other than looking with UV for the trails, look closely for signs of digging at exposed dirt and for any droppings that could indicate a sojourning mouse.

As for setting a humane trap, I fear that whatever you heat up to put inside will cool off very rapidly outside in Chicago in February.  You might want to try putting an empty snack-size chip bag (the kind with the reflective mylar-like lining), stuffed with fleece strips or something like that, into the trap for the mouse to try to cuddle up in.  And check the trap (or traps) VERY regularly, because mousies have a lot of surface area in ratio to their very little volume, as well as a tiny distance between their central core and their outside surface, so they can lose body heat and go hypothermic very quickly.

Bait the trap(s) with something the little mouse particularly enjoys, that won't freeze, and that is high in calories -- but realize that you may actually catch a lot of other neighborhood mice.

Also keep in mind that a pet mouse may have very little idea how to survive in such unfamiliar territory, that in winter any burrow construction has to take place where the ground is not frozen, that the mouse may not respond to the calls of strangers (may actually run away), and that mousie may have already taken up residence inside a nearby garage or house wall or practically anything it can fit into in such a crisis.

Come back, little mousie!

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Post by Honey102019 on Thu 27 Feb 2020, 1:22 am

They both live in the actual city of Chicago.  I don't know where the girl lives.  I'm assuming closer in the city.  Maybe a brown stone or a high rise.  I live in the western suburbs.  Maybe the city will work to his advantage with more warm places like exhaust vents and sewer grates to keep warm in.

I feel so bad for this kid.  He was so good about finding his mouse a safe place to live.  He really loved this little guy.  Most teenagers wouldn't do all this work.  They would have had a parent dump the mouse off at the nearest Humane Society.  In hindsight that probably would have been the best thing for the mouse.  But, the owner didn't know what was going to happen.  

I feel a little like that girl killed my mouse too.  I feel guilty for not taking the mouse sooner.  I'm grieving for the poor little guy... and never met him.  He had a home.  He was going to make it.  Now I'm crying again.  Crying or Very sad   But I'm also angry that someone could do such a thing.  Mad   Censored

Thank you both for responding and the great advice.  Smile  I just needed to bounce my ideas off someone else.  I couldn't physically be out there to help.  I had to pick-up a child from school this evening so there was no way I'd make it there and back.

I said a prayer... more than one.  I prayed for the girl too hoping she'd learn from this and get some help.  I'm not super religious, but I have faith that sometimes you just have to let God handle these things.  

I'm choosing to picture him safe somewhere warm eating something tasty he found and that they'll find him or someone else will and take him in.  Positive thinking.

If I hear anything else, I will post an update.

Thanks again.
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