The field of wildlife rehabilitation is a large one and there is a great need for people who are willing to take in and care for orphaned and injured animals. I’ve often said if more people did a little, so many of us would not find our Selves doing so much. So I encourage anyone with a sincere interest to seriously consider the efforts and expenses and become properly trained in hands-on rehabilitation to whatever extent possible. This might be taking in one litter of orphaned babies to raise and release each season, or “babysitting” for someone who works a full-time job during those first few weeks that babies need ‘round the clock feedings.
But certainly there are circumstances under which such hands-on efforts are not feasible. If you still want to be directly involved, consider volunteering to transport wildlife to rehabilitators, or spending an hour or two with a rehabilitator helping with cage cleaning, etc. Those with organizational talents can help with fund-raising activities; if you’re good with numbers, volunteer to help with the paperwork.
There are other ways to help as well.
First, learn who does wildlife rehabilitation in your area. A call to your state’s DNR or Fish & Game office will provide you with their names and telephone numbers. Keep them handy so you don’t have to worry if you find an animal that needs help during “off hours”. Most rehabbers can be contacted 24 x 7. Also ask if there are any nearby vets that treat wildlife and get their telephone numbers, too. An internet search will turn up many lists and websites like this one.
If you own property, especially an acre (or more) near other open or wooded land, or adjacent to a large, relatively quiet park, consider allowing for the release of rehabilitated wildlife there. Especially in counties containing large cities and urban sprawl, release sites are at a premium, yet the animals still need a place to live (and many states require permission from the landowner before an animal can be released on their property.) Simply call one or two of your local rehabbers and let them know you are willing to help in this way. Believe me, we’d be thrilled to hear from you! (You needn’t worry about a sudden increase in one species, either. We understand biodiversity and work very hard to “spread the wealth”.)
Another option is if you would be willing and are able to assist with what we call a “soft release”, meaning a temporary enclosure is put up at the release site and the animal(s) are simply fed inside it for a few days before the door is opened and they can come and go at will. After a few days of that, the enclosure is then taken down. It’s a short-term commitment that doesn’t require much time or effort on your part since by this time human contact is to be minimal, but it is actually a critical step in the release process. If you work long hours and therefore can’t raise babies, this is an excellent opportunity for a bit of no hassle “up close and personal” help to wildlife. Some states may require you obtain a wildlife rehabilitation permit or license if you will be coming into any sort of contact with the animal(s), but an alternative is that the rehabber you are assisting continues to come by to leave them food during the acclimation period or you can be listed as a subpermittee. There are folks who only do this part of wildlife rehabilitation, so don’t let getting a permit be an obstacle for you.
In a more indirect way, develop the mindset that “more is less” and use your voice and your vote to keep the environment as green as possible. Whether it is speaking out at a city meeting against more urban sprawl or supporting organic farming through your food purchases, keep in mind and teach your children that your everyday actions do impact our world. Here are just a few examples:
· Walk or bicycle instead of driving whenever possible
· Use a mechanical push mower and snow shovel instead of your power mower and snowblower sometimes (these two save money on gym fees!)
· Turn off the lights if you’ll be out of a room for five minutes or more (like your parents told you when you were a child)
· Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs
· Recycle and reuse
· Hold a garage sale
· Join craigslist and sell still-useful items
· Join your local freecycle.org group and give away still-useful items
· Use air conditioning in your car or home as little as possible (it’s supposed to be hot in the summer!)
· Turn your thermostat down at night and when you aren’t home during the winter (programmable thermostats are no longer expensive and make this a no-brainer!)
· Clean with steam (home units are fast becoming affordable in the U.S.; Europe has been doing this for years) and eliminate the constant need for chemicals
· Let a little of your yard go “wild” so your local wildlife has a bit of sanctuary
· Slow down and be observant when driving where there are squirrels, of course!
Make your online time work for others. Use GoodSearch.com – The search engine with a unique social mission. It’s powered by Yahoo!, so you get great search results, and each time you search, GoodSearch makes a donation to our cause.
Then visit GoodShop.com – The new online marketplace that donates a percentage of your purchase to the nonprofit of your choice. You can choose from hundreds of popular merchants and the experience of shopping through GoodShop is exactly the same as going to the retailer’s websites directly.
Finally, all wildlife rehabilitators are volunteers and therefore must purchase food and supplies, and pay for veterinary care out of our own pockets. Cash donations go a long way; for example:
$10 buys 3 packages of nursing nipples
$20 buys a box of syringes (used for formula feeding infants)
$30 buys 20 pounds of biscuits (a dietary staple)
$40 buys a bottle of antibiotic
$50 buys a 5-pound bag of replacement formula
$75 buys a 50-pound bag of shelled tree nuts or pays for an x-ray
To make a donation to
A Squirrel’s Tale Wildlife Rehabilitation, Inc.
( a registered 501(c)(3) )
click on Alexander below:
You can also get some bling for your buck and do good by shopping at the following online stores:
eBay Giving Works sellers can donate a portion of their proceeds to support our efforts, creating a win-win for all of us.
A Squirrel’s Tale at CafePress
Here is where you can find PJ’s photographs on items such as calendars, coffee mugs, t-shirts, and note cards. Great for gifts (even for your Self), 100% of all proceeds benefit the residents of A Squirrel’s Tale. The 2012 Squirrel Calendar is now available!
A Squirrel’s Tale at Zazzle Here is where you can find PJ’s photographs on items such as calendars, coffee mugs, t-shirts, and note cards. Great for gifts (even for your Self), 100% of all proceeds benefit the residents of A Squirrel’s Tale. The 2011 Squirrel Calendar is now available!
A Squirrel’s Tale at Amazon
Pick up some great reads and, yes, a portion of your purchase will come back to us to help support our efforts.
Garnered Images Photography
Browse through the large selection of wildlife and nature images at PJ.’s photography site, Garnered Images Photography. Powered by Smugmug, your purchase is not only assured of being the highest quality available in the industry, but these sales all directly support A Squirrel’s Tale.
Certain types of old household linens can be reused. Here is our current “wishlist”:
· Flannel pillowcases
· Flannel sheets
· Polarfleece baby blankets
· Cotton flannel baby receiving blankets
Just pack them into a small box (clean, please) and send them to:
A Squirrel’s Tale Wildlife Rehabilitation, Inc.
P.O. Box 1708
Royal Oak, Michigan 48068
Be sure to include a sheet of paper with your name, address, and email address for receipt acknowledgement.