Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything

by Fellow Mortals Wildlife Hospital Vetted since 2013 Top Ranked Effective Nonprofit Site Visit Verified
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
Fellow Mortals--Compassion Changes Everything
White-footed Mouse raised from injured orphan
White-footed Mouse raised from injured orphan

On the eve of a new year, I thought it was important to let you know how much your gifts did for the 'least among us' this past year.

The wonderful people who recognize an injured or orphaned animal give a precious gift to the wild one in distress, but they very often can't help with the cost of food, supplies, medicine or care.  It is only your support that bridges the gap between their caring and our caregiving.

Just a couple of days ago, a hawk was admitted from a busy downtown area.  It had been rescued by a homeless woman who went into the post office to ask for a blanket to cover the bird.  A kind man who realized what she was doing offered to drive the bird out to our hospital.

Gifts received through GlobalGiving in 2018 raised nearly $8,000--enough to provide ALL care for 53 birds and mammals who were saved from pain and suffering by a kind person who shares your compassion and respect for wildlife.

Whether it is a tiny mouse rescued from a parking lot, or a new-born fawn who lost her mother--you make happy endings possible for them, just as a local human charity has helped the woman who found the hawk.

Thanks to you, 53 precious lives were saved and will see the dawn of a new year with us.

With my heartfelt thanks that you have chosen to support Fellow Mortals' work.

White-tailed deer fawn healed from injuries
White-tailed deer fawn healed from injuries
White-footed mouse when it was admitted to care
White-footed mouse when it was admitted to care
Newly admitted new-born white-tailed deer fawn
Newly admitted new-born white-tailed deer fawn
Great horned owl (brancher)
Great horned owl (brancher)

With December come preparations for those who celebrate Christmas and observe other winter traditions--and for great horned owls, the cold and clear nights are filled with social events and meet and greets as well--important occasions for this 'tiger of the night,' for this is the time that mated pairs again roost together and new partners are chosen by young birds breeding for the first time, or by those adults who have lost a mate.

Great horned owls are monogamous and often mate for life.  They are the first birds to nest every season and do not build their own nest, but utilize a structure built by another species--sometimes a squirrel, sometimes another bird--or a natural cavity.  The average nest is two to three eggs, laid at the end of January and incubated to hatch at the end of February.

Once the first egg is laid, the female will leave the nest infrequently to stretch her wings or do 'house keeping,' perhaps tidying a branch or moving a piece of uneaten food.  The male, however, is more active than ever, as he is now hunting for two.  Once all the eggs hatch, the male is responsible for providing for the entire family for the first month, until the nestlings are able to maintain their own body temperature without being incubated by the female.  The parents will still be close by, and if the young are threatened the large adults will appear suddently on silent, powerful wings.

When the young owls have fledged (left the nest), at about 4 weeks of age, they will perch on branches around the nest site while the adult owls hunt for the family.  Nature has perfectly timed the birth of the first prey animals to coincide with the needs of the voracious young owls, who grow rapidly in the first weeks of life and will be as large as their parents by six to eight weeks of age--long before they are capable of surviving on their own.

The young of predatory birds stay with their parents much longer than those of young of other species and great horned owls are no exception.  The young birds must not only be capable of flight but must learn from experience and their parents to become proficient hunters before they leave their parents to find their own territory and a mate before embarking on what can be a very long life in the wild.

Great horned owls can be found across North America, and similar species occur world wide.  Not only are these birds magnificent creatures, but they are the top of the pyramid in their niche in nature, and are crucial to maintaining balance in prey populations.

It is a rare privilege to hear the hooting of a great horned owl pair--or a number of individuals on a 'meet and greet' seeking to find a mate or establish a territory, so if you are fortunate to hear their hooting some December evening, remember that while we humans go about the preparations so important to our species, the wild ones have their own rituals and celebrations as well.

Thank you for the support that makes it possible for us to continue to provide help for the great horned owls that come to us injured or orphaned--and for allowing us to educate to inspire respect for all wild ones with whom we share the earth.

Alberta (foster great horned owl) and brancher
Alberta (foster great horned owl) and brancher

Links:

Judith and
Judith and 'Buck'

Dear friend,

It’s been awhile since you’ve heard from us, and we hope we have a good explanation—it’s been another very busy season and we have provided necessary care to over 1700 injured or orphaned birds and mammals—with hundreds released in the last few months, including 80 just a few days ago.

2018 has come with great opportunities and challenges and changes. 

The new construction on our Critical Care Wing is coming along beautifully—from epoxy floors to barn doors to heated countertops and species-specific furnishings, Phase I is slated to open in November, and we are less than $100,000 from meeting the cost to finish Phase II—with many opportunities remaining to name a room or sponsor a specialized piece of equipment.

31 injured and orphaned deer received care—the largest number since deer rehabilitation became legal again in 2014. In May, we responded to 73 incidences where people believed a fawn had been orphaned.  All 73 situations were resolved without taking an animal into care.  We invest what we can in preventative education and have big plans for what we could achieve with greater funding.

May 23rd was a hard day, as we said goodbye to “Judith,” our foster white-tailed deer.  She had been a part of Fellow Mortals' family for 18 years since coming to us critically ill and emaciated.  From the fragile fawn she grew into a beautiful doe who was foster mother to orphaned fawns for many years.  That morning when I went to check on her was the first time she was unable to stand, too weak to get up and join her family to graze in their spacious half acre habitat.  

Our commitment to the wild ones is a promise: to release the wild one back to the wild if at all possible and, if a wild one stays with us when it cannot be released, we promise to give it the best  life possible in our care--no matter how long that life may be.

This year, Fellow Mortals' wildlife rehabilitators will provide 13,000 hours of hands-on care to over 2000 animals.  Because we donate so much of that time, your donation goes far to help the wild ones with us temporarily and those with us permanently. 

Fellow Mortals doesn’t close, not even for a day.   If we are equipped for a species, we will help.  People often drive many hours to Fellow Mortals to find care for the wild one they have rescued, rather than see it put to sleep because they can't find help.  We see the best in people every single day.  They make it easy to keep our promise to the wild ones.

Judith was and is our heart, and will always symbolize Fellow Mortals’ commitment doing the best we can for every individual that comes into our care.  Thank you for your gift that helped us keep our promise to her--and that will help us keep our promise to the wild ones who will need us tomorrow.

Judith in the spring
Judith in the spring
Snowy day Judith
Snowy day Judith

Links:

Injured fawn
Injured fawn

We're about half way through another very busy summer, and I am writing to you about 11 p.m. EST, United States.  The day started at 7 a.m. and after I write to you, our friends, I am going to enjoy a little quiet time before getting some sleep before the next busy, busy day.

Well over 1,000 animals have come into care in 2018--more than last year, and we are sometimes receiving 100 calls a day.  Thankfully, through education we are able to help many people keep wild babies with their wild mothers or parents.

It's certainly a season for the deer in Wisconsin, and 15 white-tailed deer fawn are currently in care—some with severe injuries, including an older buck fawn who fell off an embankment and was unable to see for several days. 

While we can handle most injuries and provide all emergency care, we are thankful to our veterinarians for responding quickly when we need them at the hospital, or when an animal requires surgery.  While most of the fawn arrive slightly dehydrated and a little thin, some are much more critical, having been attacked by predators like coyote or dogs, or hit by cars.

Bottle feeding young deer is time-consuming, but not nearly as time-consuming as preparing the formula, which must be warmed, and keeping the babies clean.  Mother deer 'stimulate' their babies to defecate and urinate.  Doing so keeps the fawn clean and nearly devoid of any odor that could be detected by a predator.  When babies come into care, we must take the place of the mother--not just for feeding, but for 'pottying,' and this often takes 5 minutes for one little deer.

Multiple the feeding, 'pottying,' cleaning of bedding, preparing formula, washing the bottles by 15 fawns four times a day and you have a full day for one wildlife rehabilitator.

Fawns come into care beginning in May and sometimes into August, so we have different aged babies, which means we are bottle-feeding someone for three months of the summer.

The wildlife raised by rehabilitators are already at a disadvantage due to the injury or condition that brought them into care--so we use only high qualify food and formula for their rehabilitation.  In the case of the fawns, this means pasteurized goat's milk that is purchased from a Grade A dairy.

The cost of goat's milk alone is now $100 a day!   Add the cost of other food, medicine and supplies to the formula, and the cost to raise one fawn to release is $1,000.

Once the babies are old enough, we transition bottles to a bottle rack to lessen their dependence on their human caregivers--this is very important, as we need to do everything we can to make sure the fawns are wild when they are released, and that means limiting our interactions with them.  

We will begin moving the oldest fawns to their secondary habitat in early July, after they are weaned.  This beautiful one-acre propery is lush with fresh 'browse,' like grasses and young saplings.  This is where they will live and grow big and strong before release--after hunting season is ended in Wisconsin.

For every fawn that has come into care, we have kept another five in the wild!  It has been a good season for white-tailed deer.

We thank all of you who have contributed to help the wildlife in our care, and we want to especially thank our recurring monthly donors, who are helping to cover the cost of care for this summer's baby deer.

Fawns at the door
Fawns at the door
fawn and bottles
fawn and bottles
fawn outside
fawn outside
Horned Grebe
Horned Grebe

Dear friend to the wild ones,

Spring has come to Fellow Mortals this week, and we welcomed our first baby squirrels and our first baby bunnies, after sad accidents separated them from mom--but not before the people who found them worked with us to try to keep the families together.

As we embark on another busy season, we continue to release many animals who were injured last fall and winter--including three birds returned to the 'big pond'' this week: an immature (1st winter) Ring-billed Gull that was admitted 10/13/2017 with a fracture of both the radius and ulna in the left wing; a transitional phase Horned Grebe that was grounded last week and needed a few days in the pool to heal her abraded feet and regain weight and waterproofing; and a mature female Ruddy Duck admitted 10/17/17 with such severe damage to the back of her neck from a predator attack that we could see her spine when she was admitted, and there was literally no skin to pull over the wound, which had to granulate in over several weeks.

Every animal has its own special story, and that could not be more true than for the Horned Grebe.  

To give some idea of the area that Fellow Mortals serves, we admit wildlife from two states and over 100 communities.  When people call for help, they often assume we are nearby--since they were referred by a local veterinarian or humane society, when in fact we could be hours away.  This complicates things when a person isn't able to bring the animal to us, and that was the case with the grebe who was discovered by a long-distance truck driver in a parking lot several counties away from Fellow Mortals.

On his way home to Connecticut from Wisconsin with a big fuel truck, Paul just wanted to do the right thing by reporting the injured bird to us.  Little did he know, he was going to be involved in not just one--but two life-saving events.

Given Paul's situation, we knew he couldn't bring the grebe to us, but it needed to be contained so that it wouldn't be run over or taken by a predator before we could get a volunteer to his location.  Following our instructions, Paul gamely parked his rig, went into a local hardware store and explained why he needed a free cardboard box--but didn't want to buy anything, and then made his way back to the grebe--just in time to chase away a hungry red-tailed hawk that wasn't going to have a grebe for lunch today!

Paul was pretty excited when he got back on the phone with us--which he'd dropped in the effort to get to the grebe before the hawk did!  It's probably good he had a little rest before getting back on the road, while he waited for our volunteer to arrive to transport the grebe back to the hospital.

The grebe's story has another twist, because Joseph, the volunteer who drove to meet Paul and bring the grebe to us, was celebrating his birthday, and spent over three hours on the road on his day off, so we made sure to have an ice cream cake ready to thank him in exchange for the bird.

Just another day in the Wonderful World of Wildlife.

For those of you who don't know, Fellow Mortals' logo depicts two Trumpeter Swans--one in flight, one attempting to take flight. Our logo symbolizes the work that we do, the triumph of those wild ones who recover, and our sorrow for those who may not.  Because not all wild ones can heal from their injuries, not all who struggle will ultimately survive--every individual who is released is a cause for celebration as they represent the fruits of the compassion that makes our work possible, and so very necessary.

Horned grebes don't breed in our area of the United States, so once our friend had recovered, we got her back out to a local lake with enough space for her to run across the water and take flight and continue migration to her breeding grounds up north.

The grebe's story doesn't end there though--it circles back to you, because your support is what makes it possible for us to answer the phone, provide advice, give care, maintain the facility and return the grebe and hundreds of others back to the wild after they heal.

So thank you!  And Happy Spring!

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Fellow Mortals Wildlife Hospital

Location: Lake Geneva, Wisconsin - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @FellowMortals1
Project Leader:
Yvonne Wallace Blane
Lake Geneva, Wisconsin United States
$68,009 raised of $70,000 goal
 
1,385 donations
$1,991 to go
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