Wildlife Rehabilitation 2018

$2,318 of $3,000 goal

Raised by 55 people in 47 months
Caring for wild animals, with the goal of releasing them back into nature is my passion and my life focus.
I care for orphaned opossums, rabbits, birds and more (even a beaver once!)
Each species I work with has different needs that I strive to meet to provide them the foundation of health and safety in order to thrive.  This is a full-time endeavor and often around the clock.  
I am licensed with the state of Georgia and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service but do not receive funding or reimbursement- every aspect of their care from food to medicine is paid for out of my own pocket or through donations.  Veterinary care is often subsidized by compassionate doctors, but it is never free.
Any amount you can contribute helps- whether it's $30 for a can of Esbilac for orphaned opossums, $5 for fresh fruit for fledgling birds, or $250 to build better outdoor pre-release caging.
On behalf of the animals, thank you.
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Hello friends! I have not updated the GoFundMe campaign as PayPal is my preferred donation method, but this is a great way to share details and photos.

In 2017 I took in 148 animals! This included one groundhog, one bat, 82 opossums, a slew of bunnies and a few squirrels. I also cared for 13 birds, including my first hummingbird, a black vulture, a chipping sparrow and a bluebird.
I took a parasitology class and have acquired a microscope and testing equipment to do my own fecal tests, which will be interesting as opossums, my main species, carry a wide variety of hangers-on. I have also become very interested in two medical issues of opossums: a parasite called Besnoitia Darlingii, for which no cure has yet been found, and the care and nutrition of neonates. Being non-placental, they are born 2 weeks after conception and receive their immune system entirely from their mother's milk. (no belly buttons!) Trying to raise fetuses-out-of-the-pouch is complex as we simply cannot replicate Mom, but the more I learn the more hope I have in keeping them alive.
Thanks to my generous supporters in 2017, I paid for the series of rabies pre-exposure shots, allowing me to (more) safely care for bats, skunks and other rabies vector species. Already in 2018 I've rendered aid to a skunk, a gray fox and 2 bats. There is no other in-home rehabilitator for several counties with this permit. I am so appreciative of everyone's help in being able to offer this service!
I now have 3 pre-release cages outside, and a nice hospital set up inside. All of this is paid for out of my own pocket, and from your donations. Since starting this GoFundMe in 2015 I have raised $2148, with another $1000 raised through other fundraising efforts. I've increased my goal to $3000 to reflect the money already raised.
If I didn't get help, I wouldn't be able to care for this many animals. I am able to make a difference in their lives- a tangible difference- because my donors share what they have. I feel like we work together to improve the lives of wild animals, and improve the world. Thank you.
White-footed mouse
Charlie chickadee
Piggy the groundhog
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Dear Friends, The wildlife rescue and rehabilitation season started early this year! From January 8 through October 18, 2016 I took in 116 animals, broken down into the following categories:
Opossums: 68
Squirrels: 11
Rabbits: 23
Birds: 12 (Blue Jay, Northern Mockingbird, Black Phoebe, Mourning Dove, Carolina Wren, and a domestic Homing Pigeon and Quail)

I also accepted one snake who was caught in a glue trap and one short-tailed weasel.
I still have one rabbit and 10 opossums on site, several who will be overwintering.

I continue to learn and expand my knowledge of both the biology and natural history of the species I work with. Staying up to date on research and improving my skills and technique are ongoing activities. Through volunteering at AWARE (Atlanta Wild Animal Rescue Effort), online courses, listserv membership, reading and hands-on experience, I get a little bit better with every animal I work with.

I field hundreds of calls each season and try to provide assistance to everyone even if I'm not able to take the animal. I have a library of reference materials I use and keep notes- which helps track who calls from where and about what species. I've also been the “go-to” animal question answer lady for several people, and have made new friends this way.

During the busiest times my days are 14 hours of cleaning, feeding, cooking and laundry and I don't have time for much else because I do it, mostly by choice or happenstance, without volunteer help. Those who donate money and necessary items are the ones making it possible for me to focus on caring for the animals. There is no job where I could take 35 opossums with me or a cage of baby birds that need to be fed every 30 minutes or stop work and go home every 3 hours. All money designated for the animals goes to the animals- I don't use that money for my personal expenses. I take care of me, and you wonderful people help me take care of the animals.

My donors are all fabulous and giving people, helping out with either cash that went mostly towards food and medical supplies, or purchasing items off my Amazon wish list. The wish list items were so much fun to receive! Everyone loved their new toys, snacks and enrichment items. Even the boxes become play houses for opossums and cage accessories for squirrels and birds.
Everyone has helped in their own special way to make what I do possible. If I did this all alone I could only care for a fraction of cases and would have to turn most away- which means, sadly, a lot will die. There are few permitted rehabilitators in my part of the state and I am the only person now in at least a 50 mile radius other than the University of Georgia who is permitted for birds.

Although I am licensed by both the state and federal governments, I receive no assistance from them, and as wildlife rehabilitation is my focus, I rely on donations and assistance from my wonderful friends, family and supporters as well as those that find the animals in need and bring them to me. Not every “finder” is able to donate towards care, but the generosity of others makes up the difference.

I hope you who are reading this feel a sense of pride for the part you played in helping so many needy wild animals who have no voice. I really love what I do, and can't imagine doing anything else. Every year I learn more and can save more. I couldn’t do it without your help so thank you, very much. Everyone was so generous this year in their donations of money, time and thought.

I have a Paypal account, http://paypal.me/degrasse, where no one is charged fees and the money is kept in a separate account for wildlife purposes. Any cash I receive also goes into an account where it is held solely for animal care (mostly food, as I keep opossums until they are 3 pounds, and that's about 4 months!)

There is also my Amazon wishlist at https://amzn.com/w/ZF5GEDEFJW15 (or you can search by Suzanne DeGrasse). I update that frequently through the season and there is a combination of fun items and necessities.

Thank you all for your help during this 2016 wildlife rescue and rehabilitation season. I'm looking forward to another great year in 2017 and have so much to be thankful for this holiday season.
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Thank you SO much my wonderful supporters and donors! The 22+ opossums, 2 cottontails and 4 grey squirrels in my care have benefited from the:
>Food (formula, basic chow, nuts, fresh fruits and veggies)
>Housing (fleece blankies, heating pads, cages)
>Medicine (IV Fluids, antibiotics, parasite removal, pain meds, and euthanasia drugs when needed) (bless you for that!!!)
>Enrichment (wheels! tubes! stuff to chomp on! stuff to climb on! And in Bernard's case, a large cardboard box to gnaw through!!!)
>Cleaning and Cleanliness (bleach, pee pads, laundry detergent)
And as I absorb all costs, there are things I don't even think about. Like ink, to print my intake forms. Like minutes for my cell phone. Gas to drive to meet people halfway when they really can't make the drive to me, but want the animals they found to be saved. YOU make THIS possible.
So far this year I've accepted 61+ animals. They didn't all make it but they had a better chance here than wherever they were. I've taken in a LOT of opossums, but also squirrels, bunnies, birds, and a weasel. We all say thank you.
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I reached my 2015 goal! Thank you so much, dear donors. I've already taken in 25 animals in the first 3 months of the year, and the rehab season goes through October-I'm gearing up for a big year of helping (and feeding and cleaning and enriching and releasing!) Not all stories have happy endings, sadly, but I am always honored to be part of their lives. Your donations combined with my hands and time have kept many hearts and bellies full. Thank you, so much.
Bun ready for release
Enjoying apple blossoms
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$2,318 of $3,000 goal

Raised by 55 people in 47 months
Created August 14, 2015
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