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Squirrel Squad Members Volunteer To Save Critters In Crisis

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A group of New Yorkers has made it their mission to save critters in crisis.

The Squirrel Squad finds injured animals in the wild, squirrels in particular, takes them home, and nurses them back to health.

Just weeks old, "Dorothy" is bright-eyed, but not quite bushy-tailed. She was found alone in Central Park and taken to New York City's only wildlife rehab center, the Wild Bird Fund.

CBS 2's Dave Carlin joined the city's first class of volunteers on Friday as they trained to become members of the Squirrel Squad.

The work isn't easy, but as one teacher explained, "The goal is to make sure they live their squirrelly life where they should be."

So far the unsung heroes of the Squirrel Squad have nursed Dorothy back into a rambunctious and healthy squirrel. They said she could be back in the park in as little as three weeks.

Volunteers told CBS 2 that the training has made them more aware, and that helping the animals gives them a sense of fulfillment.

"You helped get this animal back into the wild and you saved its life," Joey Luther said.

Squad members also spread the word to the public about how everyone can get involved in saving squirrels. Many of the 12 volunteers who trained as part of the inaugural class were also to learn how to rescue baby birds.

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