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A question for Ellen

Posted by Aly on 12/17/03 at 10:08 (140140)

Hi Ellen!

How did you get involved in wildlife rescue? I've always wanted to do that, but never knew how one gets involved... Long ago I volunteered at a wildlife waystation out in California, feeding baby squirrels and birds - I loved it. But when I left CA I never found anything else like it. I'd love to get involved again when I move to VT next year...

:)

Aly

Re: getting into wildlife rehabilitation

Ellen J. on 12/18/03 at 16:09 (140230)

Hi Aly,
Nice to hear from you!
It's pretty easy to get into wildlife rehab, and what you would do once you move to VT (or wherever) is to contact the state Fish and Wildlife Dept. and ask for a wildlife rehab permit application. Once you get the application, you fill it out according to instructions and build a couple of cages that are appropriate for whatever types of animals you plan to rehab. I only wanted to do the smaller animals, so I built smaller cages (about 2ft. x 3ft.) along with an outdoor cage that is 6 ft. high. I started doing rehab because I found a nest of naked, pink baby birds lying scattered on the ground. All of them were dead except for one baby, wich was barely moving/breathing. I took it in and warmed it up and called some rehabbers to ask for help and that's when it all started. I will rehab most any animal but I especially like the small rodents (squirrels, chipmunks, mice, etc.) and baby birds. You can choose to rehab what species appeals most to you, and like most of us, you might choose based on the type of career you have. I am self employed which allows me to stay home and feed baby birds every 30 minutes in between working (and chatting here, when I should be working, ha ha!).
Please feel free to contact me any time and email me directly if you wish. If you do move to VT. I would be happy to help you get started in wildlife rehab. Too bad you are not here already, as I'm about to host a big gathering of rehabbers at my house on saturday--but maybe next year you can join us!
Ellen J.

Re: getting into wildlife rehabilitation

Aly on 12/19/03 at 11:17 (140328)

ooh, how exciting, I didn't know you were in VT. I will definitely let you know when I move to the area. What part of VT are you in? I'm partial to the little critters too. :)

Re: getting into wildlife rehabilitation

Ellen J. on 12/19/03 at 21:58 (140391)

Hi Aly,
I'm in Shelburne, VT, right next to Burlington Vt. That's funny because when you wrote your letter and mentioned moving to Vermont, I somehow assumed you knew I was in VT. I don't know why I assumed it--just wasn't thinking, I guess! Anyway, I will be glad to help you and it will be fun to meet you! Let me know when you get settled in and you are welcome to come over and see my small setup. I try to keep it small in order to keep it manageable, yet I still take in over 200 animals a year.
Well, I guess I will sign off and get some sleep. A bunch of wildlife rehabbers are due here at 11:00 AM tomorrow.
Take care,
Ellen J.

Re: getting into wildlife rehabilitation

nancy s. on 12/19/03 at 22:11 (140394)

ellen and aly: i've had a few dear friends in vermont over the years, and i drive across the state at least once a year to visit my brother in upstate new york. i love vermont! and i love it that you're concerned about critters.

just a note of appreciation
from nancy
.

Re: getting into wildlife rehabilitation

Ellen J. on 12/20/03 at 19:04 (140448)

Thanks for your note, Nancy.
Sounds like you live in New Hampshire? We sure have gotten alot of snow lately in our neck of the woods. It has been beautiful and my back is getting a great workout from clearing snow!
Hope you have a great holiday,
Ellen J.

Re: getting into wildlife rehabilitation

nancy s. on 12/20/03 at 23:10 (140458)

i'm in maine, ellen (southern coast). some years we don't get as much snow as they do inland, but this year so far is proving to be an exception. or, more likely, inland has more snow than we do here and we're ALL getting more snow than other years! you probably are getting more in vermont, too, eh? when we get a foot, i picture vermont getting about three feet. but vermont-in-snow usually looks to me more beautiful than any-other-state-in-snow.

i envy you your back if it can take hauling snow. i had to give that up about five years ago, when about a 90% chance of throwing my back out became the norm.

happy holidays to ya!

nancy
.

Re: getting into wildlife rehabilitation -- p.s.

nancy s. on 12/20/03 at 23:26 (140459)

wildlife rehabbers are some of the nicest people i've met.

when we lived in the woods, i occasionally found creatures in need of help. after calling around, i discovered that the windham animal control officer did wildlife rehab on the side, at his house.

the first time i took an animal over there (a chipmunk), i was just amazed at what he had created. he lives at the end of a road and probably started out like you -- small, with a few cages. but by the time i found him, he'd been doing it for many years and had a whole village going there! sheds, huge cages, merely big cages, medium cages, small cages, indoors and outdoors -- it is this connected, rambling, wonderful array of habitats for all sorts of animals. i think he's seen it all, and he never turns an animal away. he has a magical way with them.

nancy
.

Re: getting into wildlife rehabilitation -- p.s.

Ellen J. on 12/21/03 at 18:48 (140506)

Wow! He sounds like a full-time rehabber and I bet he also has volunteers helping him out. Speaking of Chipmunks, I rehabbed a litter of orphaned baby Chipmunks last summer and I think they were my favorite of all the mammals. They are smart, curious, and vocal about their likes and dislikes as well as totally adorable.
Ellen J.

Re: getting into wildlife rehabilitation

Aly on 12/22/03 at 11:45 (140559)

Thanks Ellen I can hardly wait! :) Of course, I realized I'll be living in an apt for the first year or 2, so I can't do anything till we get a house, but I would love to visit and see your setup. How did your get-together go with the rehabbers?

Re: getting into wildlife rehabilitation

Ellen J. on 12/22/03 at 13:44 (140572)

Hi Aly,
The get-together was fun even though I got hit with the flu right after everyone left. Probably due to the mild stress of preparing for the party, deadlines, etc...
Anyway, even though you might be in an apt. you might still be able to do the tiny babies if your schedule allows for it, and then pass the weaned babies on to another rehabber for finishing up in an outdoor cage prior to release. Give it some thought, and obviously if you have a regular 9 to 5 work schedule you might not be able to feed babies unless you have very understanding co-workers! I've seen it done though. You could also take on the occasional injured adult mammal (hit-by-car chipmunks or whatever) and the small size of the animal--and therefore small cages--might allow you to do a little rehab. When you get here, I'm listed with the Fish and Wildlife Dept. and most of the vets, and even if you can't find an 'Ellen' when asking around, most of the rehabbers know me so you can get their phone #, call them and ask for Ellen's phone#. I'm a bit hesitant to display it on the chatroom due to the occasional useless trolls that join us.
I look forward to meeting you at some point!
Ellen

Re: getting into wildlife rehabilitation

Aly on 12/22/03 at 13:51 (140574)

Thanks Ellen,
It will depend on the size and setup of my apartment - I have 4 indoor cats, so I'd be very hesitant to do it inside, for obvious reasons!! And I will likely being doing the 9 to 5 thing. But we'll see what happens, everything is all up in the air right now. I'll contact you regardless, so that when the timing is right I'll know what to do. Thanks for offering to help, it's nice to know someone who can get me started when I'm ready. I've wanted to do it for years. :)

Sorry you came down with the flu - I am fighting it right now. I'd better not come down with it - I'm off to Vancouver BC tomorrow for a week, to spend Christmas with my sister. I would hate to be laid up during the holidays!

Hope you feel better soon! Take lots of vitamin C and sleeeep.

Aly