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Member Spotlight

Every month we shine a spotlight on one of our amazing TMWR volunteers.

Meet Sheri,

Meet Sheri,

My name is Sheri Beach and I rehabilitate squirrels. I am sub permitted under Belen and I am planning on applying for my own permit by the end of this year. The first wildlife that I took care of was a baby squirrel. My friend, Julie, called me and asked me if I was interested in learning how to take care of squirrels and that is how I started my journey as a wildlife rehabilitator. I am going on my third year now rehabilitating squirrels; last year I took in 62 squirrels. In 2015, I also became a member of TMWR and this year will be my second year to chair our annual garage sale. Thanks to the help of our group, I have gotten many supplies like cages, pouches for the babies, etc. The main items I find are needed the most is help with the cost of medicines and vet care for the sick and injured squirrels people bring me. My favorite part of what I do is when I look at their little faces! Also, being able to release some of the ones I have taken care back on my own backyard. Some of them will come back looking for handouts like corn and nuts. They have learned to come into my garage knowing the goodies are in the freezer!

Member Spotlight: Sandy

Member Spotlight:  Sandy

My name is Sandy. I work with squirrels. I have been a rehabber for ten years, permitted for eight.

I got involved in wildlife rehabilitation when I attended a Call of the Wild workshop and signed up for squirrels at the registration table. The next thing I knew, I was a sub-permittee under a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.

The first babies I cared for were squirrels given to me by my mentor, Belen. They were healthy and eating formula well from a syringe. After rehabbing several more babies like that, I did my first intake. What a shock! This baby was dehydrated, did not know how to nurse from a syringe and could not empty its bladder. This is the normal condition for an animal coming in to rehab. My mentor walked me through the steps to stabilizing new intakes and getting them on the path to recovery and release. Two years later, I earned my own license.

The number of animals I care for annually has varied with my life circumstances. The first several years, I worked part-time and so could rehab more and younger babies. Now I am working full-time and can only babysit for other rehabbers occasionally and transition juveniles from my outdoor cage to release. I have helped hundreds of babies.

I am a founding member of TMWR. I have been the membership chair twice. I like being able to contribute to the group in a significant way even though I can not put in the hours with the babies like I used to.

My favorite part of being a TMWR member is spending time with the animals. It is a wonderful way to make a difference in the lives of wild animals that have gotten into trouble. My fellow members are a great group of people to know and be associated with. We always have a good time together.

Hi, I'm Julie Cassidy

Hi, I'm Julie Cassidy

I have been rehabbing about 5 1/2 years.

I got involved with wildlife rescue and rehab after one day, while walking the dogs, one of my dogs came out of the bushes with a young opossum in her mouth. It was not injured and I was able to reach out to an opossum rehabber who came over to my house, looked over the possum, and basically educated me on my front porch about opossums

what they eat, how mine was too little to be released and I needed to keep it about two more weeks.

I will always appreciate that they let me keep it and finish rehabbing it. From there, I got involved with DFW Wildlife Coalition organization and started volunteering on the hotline. It was during my time on the hotline when a caller in Dallas had rescued some baby opossums after their dog had killed the mother and all of our opossum rehabbers were full so I decided to go pick them up from this lady and rehab them. I later became sub permitted under Prudi Koeninger. Shortly after that I took some classes from Kate Rugroden.

I rehab opossums and squirrels. I have transported all kind of wildlife for other rehabbers (coyote, beaver, raccoons, bats, baby deer, and armadillo). I rehab approximately 50 animals a year and limit what I take in since I work full time and sometimes my job can require some uncertain flexibility such as going in early in the morning or working late. So I try not to take in babies that require multiple feedings during the day.

I have been with the Dallas Police Department for over 31 years and I am very active in other animal rescue groups. I have always been a road scourer (not sure if that's a word). In other words, I am always checking out the roadway as I drive for abandoned or injured animals. I have rescued hundreds of animals off of the roadway

Dogs, cats, birds, opossums,etc.

For 3 1/2 years I served on the city of Dallas animal shelter commission (2012-2015). I also volunteer with Dallas companion animal project, Society for companion animals, Dallas DogsRRR, animal investigations in response, and city of Dallas animal shelter.

I would have to say the most enjoyable thing about being a member of Texas Metro Wildlife Rehabilitator is the friendships and being around some of the most incredible volunteers who work tirelessly to rehab wildlife and always have the best interest of the animals first and foremost. I have learned so much from everyone and I am still learning so much.

I look forward to the day when I am retired and can get my rabies vaccination and take in more species! Of course I always thank this group for taking me under its wing as well.

Hi, I'm Lisa Phillips

Hi, I'm Lisa Phillips

When I was 17 I found a baby squirrel in my yard and the mom was nowhere to be found. I worked with my veterinarian, Dr. Sanders, to come up with a diet and a plan for raising it. From that time forward, all the neighbors would bring me mammals, birds, lizards, and turtles that they had found. Thus a rehabber was born. I've been rehabbing for 34 years and have been permitted for 17 years. I was sub-permitted under Bonnie Forte for almost a year before I got my permit.

I used to take everything because there were almost no rehabbers in the area. I was taking around 250 animals every year. Now, I am only taking opossums because I have chosen to spend more time with family.

I enjoy being a member of TMWR because I like meeting other rehabbers and sharing stories and how-to ideas.

For me, working with wildlife is such a joy because I can actually make a difference in the world.

It's hard work and it's 24/7 but who doesn't love a good challenge!

If I could have a wish list, I would wish for old T-shirts, high quality kitten food (dry or canned), and small feeding dishes. I also go through a lot of chicken legs and raw (high fat) ground beef.

My favorite quote is by Edwin Way Teale~ Those Who wish to pet and baby wild animals love them. But those who respect their nature's and wish to let them live normal lives, Love them more!

Hi, I'm Desiree

Hi, I'm Desiree

I work with Cottontail rabbits primarily. In the course of a year, between orphaned babies and injured rabbits, I will treat 200+ cottontails. This is my sixth year rehabbing. I am not currently permitted but have begun the process. My documents have been sent to Texas Parks and Wildlife for review. Previously, I was sub-permitted under Bonnie Forte. She was a wonderful teacher and mentor. I also intake squirrels and opossums and stabilize them until a species specific rehabber can be located.

I have always had a love for animals of all kinds. A friend of mine, Mary Anne Whittle, told me about the DFW Wildlife, and their need for volunteers to cover the hotline. So, I began learning more about the wildlife of our city while answering the hotline. After three years, it became apparent that there just were not enough cottontail rehabbers in the DFW area. I started training with Bonnie Forte, soaking up all her wisdom. Now, I teach others about the cottontails through public meetings, addressing school groups, and working with animal shelters.

I have been a member of TMWR since 2014 and although I have not held any office, or been part of a committee, I have been involved with outreach; I worked a booth for TMWR at the open house for the Murphy Animal Shelter. I have helped build outdoor cages, worked garage sales, and trained new cottontail rehabbers. I spend a lot of time mentoring these individuals. In the future, my hope is they will join our organization and provide more resources.

Rehabbing cottontails is rewarding but difficult. They are very sensitive to diet changes and stress. I use a combination of Fox Valley formula and raw goats milk, adjusting the ratios daily. I also use Emergency Herbivore food for injured rabbits that cannot eat on their own. All cottontails are fed alfalfa hay and oats when weaning from milk. I always seem to need baby blankets to make into nests for the tiny babies. They start out in small pet carriers and move through multiple sizes of aquariums, then move to large indoor/outdoor cages before they are ready for release.

I like being a member of TMWR because I have the opportunity to meet many other rehabbers from the DFW area. They are an incredible resource of knowledge.

Hi, I'm Jacqui

Hi, I'm Jacqui

My name is Jacqui and I started rehabilitating animals, by necessity, about 3 years ago since I had taken a job at a local Animal Services. Since there was no real plan in place for the transport or rehabilitation of small mammals; most injured or orphaned wildlife were euthanized. I started out with volunteering to transport, and put together a small emergency kit so I could stabilize them prior to transport to a rehabber. Eventually, I took some classes and dove right into rehab. I like to say that I major in bats, with a minor in squirrels, and sometimes hold cottontails, although I rarely take little bunnies because they are so difficult. I am a sub under Kate Rugroden. For squirrels, I get all of my advice and guidance from Belen, Kim, and Michelle. I have no intention on holding my own permit until I have a place of my own so I can have the adequate facilities.

As far as what led me into wildlife rehabilitation, I have always been attracted to the idea of raising and releasing wildlife. From dogs and cats to horses and now wildlife, I have always surrounded myself with animals. The first animal I rehabbed and released about 15 years ago was a Canada goose (of course I had no idea they were federally protected back then). We had found the nestling abandoned on our home property outside of Chicago. She had an injured leg and she couldnât keep up with her family so she was left behind. My vet set her leg and I raised her in the house and eventually the front yard in our Koi Pond. I even ran up and down the driveway with her following me, her hobbling along trying to keep up while I tried to teach her how to fly. Eventually, she took flight and disappeared down to the lake behind our house. Every year she would visit our home, and would walk up to the back door with her family warily trailing behind her. She was the only goose the dogs would not bark at or chase, and showed no fear of my family. She returned to visit us for many years. So that was my first successful rehab and release!

As far as joining TMWR, I think it helps to be a sub for one of the rehabbers. But I like to tell people that the reason they invited me to join was because at my second meeting as a guest I brought two packed yard waste bags full of pecans and oak tree clippings for the squirrel rehabbers. I like to bring stuff to share when possible, and I have a great network of citizens that allow me to come and gather nuts or rake pecans themselves for the critters

My favorite part of being a rehabber is educating the public and being a part of the solution. My species of choice, the bat, is widely misunderstood and usually feared. Teaching people about the importance of bats and helping them realize how essential and harmless they are can be very fulfilling. It is my understanding that there is a very limited amount of professionally trained and licensed rehabilitators that can successfully rehabilitate and release bats. Although I have had some really tough cases, I have also had some great successes and I am proud to specialize in the species.

OOOOh the wish list. Well I have always wanted a soft sided dog crate that opens from the side instead of just the front; I have to practically climb inside the one I have to retrieve hiding bats because of where the access door is. Small nesting boxes for squirrels would be nice, my last outdoor enclosure we built ourselves and it is great, but this season I have had multiple litters that came in at different age intervals, so I will need multiple boxes of different sizes to fit in the different outdoor cages I have set up. Large heating pads that don not have automatic shut off,is that on EVERY wish list? A 50lb bag of plain roasted unshelled peanuts, Henrys Healthy Blocks, Elk antlers, water bottles that use a valve stem as opposed to ball and tube (they leak too much), small animal sifter feeders, puppy pee pads. You know, the regular stuff. Hee, hee.

Hello, I'm Vicki:

Hello, I'm Vicki:

My name is Vicki Shultz and I have been rehabbing animals for about 10 years. I have rehabbed several fawns, raccoons, squirrels, opossums, rabbits, ducks ,foxes, skunks, and one armadillo. Currently, I rehab skunks and foxes as I no longer have the facilities for fawns.

I am licensed for mammals including fawns and I am sub-permitted for birds, but will only do water birds. When we lived on acreage in Magnoliam, TX, a northern suburb of Houston, my husband was retired and it was something we could do together since we both love animals. He was able to feed the babies during the daytime while I was at work.

Five years ago I met Belen and Carol at a NWRA Symposium in Albany NY. I knew we were eventually going to move near Arlington since our grandchildren live there so I kept their contact info and upon moving here I joined TMWR. One of my favorite and also the saddest part of rehabbing wildlife is watching them go free. Some just take off without a backward glance; others aren't ready and I usually bring them back home and try again later.

I can always use donations of large exercise wheels, hollow logs, litter pans, and mealy worms.

Hello, I'm James.

Hello, I'm James.

The Spotlight

I have been rehabbing squirrels for 6 years. I am sub-permitted under my wifes permit. I helped a squirrel that was hit by a car, we named her Autumn. She was released a few weeks later at Pecan Valley Park near a lake. A few years later our dog Rusty brings a wet baby squirrel into the house. At first we were not sure what it was since it was so small and drenched from a rain storm. We named him Rocky. He ended up being blind and deaf. He passed away from a terrible seizure. He was about 12 weeks old. My wife and I decided we wanted to learn more about squirrels and to try our hand at rehabbing. We went on to the Texas Parks and Wildlife web site. We found a list of wildlife rehabbers there. We contacted the closest one near our home who worked with squirrels. We were invited to her home and she showed us how to get started (I am sure we were being interviewed also to make sure we were the right people to work with the squirrels). We were also invited to the first meeting of TMWR. We are honored to be founding members. And as the say, the rest is history. We take in between 50 and 60 wild animals a year. I have served as Treasurer and have helped with cage and nesting box building and fund raisers. My favorite part about being a member of TMWR is getting to know the other members regardless of what species they work with. We all have a common goal and that is to release health animals. I love taking a pinkie in, watch it grow, and being able to release it.

Items needed to help my rehabbing are feeding syringes and nipples, bedding, medicines, and cage building supplies.

Hello, I'm Judy.

Hello, I'm Judy.

The Spotlight

I have been rehabbing Cottontail Rabbits for 8 years and I have had my state permit for 5 years. I have always loved animals and after 30 years of teaching school I finally had time to learn about them. My first experience with wildlife were 3, motherless, baby bunnies. I usually care for 60 babies a year, hand feeding them 3-4 times a day, with goats milk, formula and alfalfa, until they are ready to go outside, in an area where they get use to climate change, temperature changes, noises, etc. before they are released to survive on their own. Since being a Founding Member of TMWR I have served as President Elect, helped out with estate sale donations, garage sales, transporting animals, building cages, finding release sites and just about anything else when the need arises. I love learning from other TMWR members who appreciate wildlife and am proud to work with, caring, loving and compassionate people who truly do make a difference.

Items I need to help care for the Cottontail Rabbits

Incontinence bed liners to line cages

Formula

Goats milk

Alfalfa

Nipples

Syringes

Hello, I'm Stacy

Hello, I'm Stacy

The Spotlight

In early spring of 2013, I found a three week old baby raccoon in our warehouse. I was unsuccessful at reuniting him with his mother and was determined that I was going to help this precious baby.

After researching on the internet, I discovered that caring for baby raccoon was a very involved process. I contacted a licensed wildlife rehabilitator, Donna Robinson, who is also a member of TMWR. She guided me in raising little baby Lewis. When it was time for him to move into her outdoor enclosure, I was heartbroken. I thought this wonderful experience was coming to an end, but then she gave me another litter. I was hooked.

I have now cared for 30 or more babies since I started, and could not imagine not rehabbing. The experience of aiding such an intelligent animal and returning them to the wild is like nothing I have ever experienced.

In May of 2015, I became a licensed wildlife rehabilitator. I still have much to learn about rehabbing and am grateful for the mentoring that I receive from TMRW. Raising raccoons, along with two teenagers, and a full time job is very demanding. But I would not have it any other way.

Hello, I'm Sindy.

Hello, I'm Sindy.

The Spotlight

I have been rehabbing squirrels since 2009. I've been passionate about animals my entire life. I attended a Call of the Wild event and discovered that I could take training classes and save other animal lives. I've been doing so ever since.

I was 8 years old when I took in my first injured squirrel. My first official rehab animals were 3 squirrels whom I received from my mentor and rehab instructor. I usually rehab/care for around 20 squirrels per year, but in 2014 I cared for 30.

While being a member of TMWR, I have worked on multiple estate sales for fund raising and cage building projects. I have also cast animal footprint molds for our "Kids Gone Wild" Stock Show booth.

My favorite part of being a member of TMWR is being able to network, consult, and train with other rehabilitators. It is beneficial to the animals when help is only a call or quick drive away.

My Wish List Item

Absorbent liners for animal beds and cages.

Upcoming Events
Class: Advanced Topics (Day 2 of 2)
Sun Jun 25, 2017 9:00am
Class: Opossum Care
Sat Jul 8, 2017 8:30am
Class: Raccoon Care
Sat Jul 8, 2017 1:00pm
TMWR GENERAL MEETING
Sun Jul 16, 2017 2:00pm
Bat Rehabilitation Workshop
Sat Jul 22, 2017 8:30am
Story Book
Miracle Bunny
Miracle Bunny
This cottontail bunny was released after 5 weeks in our...
It has been raining opossums!
It has been raining opossums!
The Virginia Opossum is the only marsupial in North Amer...
Update on Hope
Update on Hope
the juvenile raccoon that came last Thanksgiving Last N...