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Lost duck reunited with owners thanks to Potsdam girl and Humane Society

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PARISHVILLE - An 11-year-old duck that had wandered from his home was reunited his owners this week thanks to a 12-year-old girl and the Potsdam Humane Society.

Hailey E. Sochia, 12, of Potsdam was riding in a car with her mother, Crystal Anderson on the Potsdam-Parishville Road Monday afternoon as the pair were heading to Parishville to visit Hailey’s grandmother.

“We drove up to her house and we saw the duck in the road near The Flow,” Ms. Anderson said. “When we came back it was in the exact same spot. We pulled over and my daughter said, ‘It’s probably hurt,’ so she tried to scootch it out of the road.”

Hailey said the trip to her grandmother’s lasted for roughly 15 minutes.

“It looked very hurt. When we passed it for the first time, it wasn’t moving,” she said. “We thought it would move, but when we came back it was in the same spot.”

While Ms. Anderson wasn’t open to bringing the duck to her home in Potsdam, she did agree to allow her daughter to “rescue” the animal.

“We noticed he was waddling funny,” she said. “We did get him out of the road, but as soon as we got back in the car he was in the road again.”

Ms. Anderson said her daughter, who loves animals knew what they had to do.

“She said, ‘I think it’s hurt. Can we take it?’ I said, ‘We can’t have it at home, but maybe we could take it somewhere,’” Ms. Anderson said.

She said the Humane Society in Potsdam was the first place that came into her mind.

“I called them up and they asked a bunch of questions,” Ms. Anderson said. “Then they said, ‘As long as it’s not a wild duck bring it on in.’”

Bonnie Peryer, who serves as a receptionist at the Humane Society laughed as she shared her version of the tale.

“I don’t think anyone has ever brought in a fowl that was a stray before,” Ms. Peryer said. “I’ve been here for three years and this is the first duck I have seen.”

Ms. Peryer said the duck’s owners actually heard her daily segment on the radio, where she talked about animals that are up for adoption and strays that had been brought in the day before.

Tonilee A. Perkins, who together with her husband Richard are owners of the animal said she couldn’t believe her ears when she heard Ms. Peryer talking about her duck on the radio Tuesday morning.

“I couldn’t believe it,” she said. “She said they had a white duck and then they said it was found on the Parishville-Potsdam Road and I was floored.”

Ms. Perkins said the duck had been missing Sunday night when they let him out of the duck house, where he had been all winter.

“He has free range of the area and everyone around knows who he is,” Ms. Perkins said, adding water levels at The Flow are beginning to rise. “I thought he had just wondered off and decided to spend the night on the other side of the island.”

While he has free range of the area, Ms. Perkins said, the duck usually makes his way home for breakfast each morning and it was unusual when he was a no-show on both Monday and Tuesday.

Ms. Anderson said initially she didn’t think bringing a duck into her car was a good idea, but she knew how much it meant to Hailey to try and “save” the animal.

“I didn’t think it was a good idea, but I know how much she loves animals and wanted to help it out. I was OK with it,” she said.

Hailey said after scooping up the duck and bringing him into the car, she was a little bit afraid of holding onto him, but then he waddled onto her lap and they enjoyed their ride together to the Humane Society.

“At first I was scared to hold it, but then he came up to me and sat on me,” she said, adding she named the duck “Sunny.”

Hailey said so far she hasn’t had the opportunity to speak with Mr. or Mrs. Perkins, whom Ms. Anderson identified as family friends, but she would like the chance to see Sunny again.

As for her thoughts on the experience, Ms. Anderson said she comes out it as a proud mother.

“I’m so proud of her. It was hard for her to give him up, but she knew what she had to do,” she said.

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