Midtown Raleigh News

Wildlife Welfare gives critters a second chance

Mission: Wildlife Welfare Inc. is an all-volunteer nonprofit that rehabilitates and releases injured and orphaned wildlife. About 40 volunteers in a 10-county area tend to small mammals such as squirrels, rabbits, opossums, beavers and groundhogs in their homes. Each year, the group helps about 2,000 animals for four to five months each, then releases them into the wild.

“All of us are very passionate about a particular species of animal that we’re in love with,” said Jackie Wylie, who often keeps baby opossums in a spare bedroom.

For volunteers such as Wylie, joining Wildlife Welfare wasn’t a difficult decision. “To me, it’s to have something not suffer,” she said. “It’s just the thought of something lying on the ground dying because no one cared for it.”

Donations needed: Wildlife Welfare relies mostly on monetary donations, but it also needs PetSmart, Walmart, Target or Tractor Supply gift cards, cages, heating pads, raw shelled nuts, non-instant oatmeal, Gerber baby food chicken, light-colored fleeces, canned salmon, food storage bags, disposable first-aid latex gloves and timothy hay.

Volunteers needed: Wildlife Welfares trains those interested in becoming permitted wildlife rehabilitators, who are then listed in a state database used when an injured or orphaned animal is found. Training classes are held twice a year. Before applying for a permit, new volunteers are paired with a mentor. “Every week, we will meet with you and take a hands-on look at the baby,” Wylie said.

$10 would buy: Food for wildlife, syringes used for medications, feeding tubes, bottles, heating pads, first aid items, bedding materials, small plastic cages or water bottles.

$20 would buy: One bag of formula to feed infant wildlife – those run about $15 and feed six babies for more than a week. “That’s our biggest expense,” Wylie said. “It’s not something that you can buy at PetSmart.” $20 would also buy a medium-size cage, medications, nesting boxes or materials used to build cages.

$50 would buy: One bag of omnivore chow to feed wildlife, prescription medications, a large cage or a large tub of formula to feed infant wildlife.

Contact information: Jackie Wylie, 919-417-1697

P.O. Box 19432

Raleigh, N.C. 27619-9432