What does it take, financially and why we need your support.

There are so many aspects of this type of work that, for those not involved, would never consider.  Besides the care for our patients, medically speaking, there is the cleaning.  In the Spring, we sometimes have 5 or 6 loads of laundry to do a day.  Dishes, always dishes and bowls needing washed for the animals.  Kennels needing cleaning after use, rain or shine.  Paperwork, copies, mailing and trips to the post office.  Cleaning the van and restocking it with blankets and sheets for kennels.  Cleaning the isolation room after patients leave and so on.  I want people to think about the things that volunteers are needed for and that need doing throughout the year.
In wildlife rehabilitation, some seasons tend to be busier than others, making volunteering during those times even more important.
Keep us and all rehabilitators in your thoughts while shopping.  Pick up extra paper towels and donate them.  Computer paper on sale?  Grab an extra for us and so on.  Your teenagers need something to do, have them come clean kennels or rake around the facility.  You get the idea.

We appreciate donations, no matter the size.  I'd like to give you an idea of real costs, say for food items.
Esbilac Formula-used for feeding some orphaned mammals.  One medium can will feed a litter of squirrels for one week (3-5 squirrels).  Cost $28.00
One tub of nightcrawlers, containing 20, will feed 1 orphaned Robin for 1 day.  Cost  $3.00
We usually go through 14 or more containers for 1 orphaned Robin's stay, depending on the age they come in at, so this roughly adds up to $42.00 for 1 Robin barring any medical problems.
One mouse per day for 1 American Kestrel, varies between 80 cents and $2.00 depending on where I purchase them (availability).  Depending on the length of stay for that 1 Kestrel, let's say 4 weeks with the first several days being fed a special raptor nestling formula, then onto mice, those mice can run around $42.00 for that one Kestrel.  We always have several Kestrel chicks every year, so multiply that by maybe 10.
For a Great Horned owl, let's say who is injured and who's stay is about 8 weeks, they eat between 6 and 10 mice a day, depending on the sex of the bird (weight).  So we are looking at $11.00-$20.00 per day for 60 days; that's over $600 for just that one Great Horned owl, if it's a male.  If it's a female, it's at the higher end.  When we have the funds, we order large amounts of rodents and the price for each with the shipping is less, but sometimes we don't have that option.  Now, if that same bird needs surgery, then a 150 round-trip visit to the vet is not cheap either.  The gas to get there and then the visit itself.
Our costs for an x-ray with 2 views is 89.00.  Most of our patients need x-rays as the majority have been hit by a vehicle of some sort.  Even though I have giving the bird a thorough exam, the vet's fee for his exam is 37.00.  To anesthetize  the patient for the x-ray runs about $30.00 depending on how long they are 'out'.
The cost for surgery varies of course, but surgery to repair a broken ulna in a wing for a Great Horned owl would roughly run between $900 and $1,100.  Now,  many of our patients require surgery.  They are brought here because something is wrong.  Whether it be illness, trauma or being orphaned, they all NEED something.  They are not just dropping by to visit.  This is wildlife.
I hope I've shed some light on what we have to deal with on a daily basis.  When there are no funds, then this all comes from our (my) pockets.  These are wild creatures, without owners.  They belong to no one.  The only funding for this work comes from you, the interested public.  Sometimes Grants can be found to help occasionally, but they are few and far between and certainly are not ongoing as our patients are.  They need us year round and we hope to be there for them, so consider supporting a wildlife rehabilitation facility with ongoing donations.  It's how we do WHAT we do.

Feathered brothers and sisters, you came to us broken and as you bled…….we saw you desperate, dehydrated, desiccated, diseased, distressed, emaciated, famished, frayed, frightened, helpless, hungry, ragged, ravenous, shaken, shocked, shot, sickly, stressed, stunned, tattered, thirsty, traumatized, torn, weary and wounded. Defiantly, you stood us off with your last breath as we tried to tend to you. We saw you come in as cute, naked, fuzzy, cuddly youth, as mischievous, defiant adolescents, as fierce, regal rulers of the sky and as cunning, maimed elders whose time on earth was almost done. You endeared yourselves to us, bit us, charmed us, footed us, delighted us, hissed at us, talked to us, mantled at us, and graced us with your presence.

Some of you mended and were able to go on your way, never looking back. Some of you were injured in ways that prevented you from going, so you stayed with us to teach us…….And we came to love you. Others were too far gone, and you went home - where you fly free from pain with the Great One. All of you have touched us, and we are changed because of you.

used with permission by Arlene Powers