Tuesday, November 19, 2019

I turned green .... by Jill C.

There I was scrolling through Facebook classifieds out of complete and udder boredom when I came upon a post from AHWF looking for volunteers. Seriously? This kind of opportunity never presents itself to me. Well at least it didn't in my previous small-town life in Perry, Utah. I was bored and looking for ways to connect with people. Possibly even connect with me. We had just purchased a powersports dealership in town and had only been here a few months. I needed out of the house like a dehydrated dog in the dessert needs water. I have always been an animal lover and have dreamed of working with animals. I could kill two birds with one stone. Bad analogy, I would never kill a bird, but I could help save some. This was going to be perfect! And it is!

 Day one I showed up eager to learn and jump right in. The best part was that this incredible lady sharing her knowledge and passion with me allowed it! She was so patient with me and thorough with the information needed to care for the animals. I left on cloud nine and couldn’t wait to return. I could only get out to volunteer like once a week, which was far from enough time. For some reason I couldn’t find a volunteer babysitter to care for my boys while I volunteered elsewhere. Apparently, people want to get paid for that these days. Ha-ha. If only I had family here! It was springtime and the animals were flowing in like crazy. Kathleen had lost her interns for the season and was trying to keep up with it all on top of working a paying job. I honestly do not know how she keeps it all together. It was kind of like watching someone juggle ten objects. You just sit there and watch with your mouth open, but no words come out. I am pretty sure that she is the real wonder woman.

I mentioned loving animals, but I did not mention anything about love for mealworms or the lack there of! I am pretty sure that I turned green when Kathleen stuck her hand in a container chuck full of the creepy crawlers. Mealworms and beetles! Was I going to have to do this? I had two choices at this point: run like the wind or face my fears. Luckily, she brought up the tweezers shortly after. Oh, thank the lord, I could breathe again. As time went on and I spent more time tending to the wide variety of birds and sifting for their tasty treats, I got a little less squeamish. I eventually stuck my bare fingers in there and grabbed a couple, but I hated every second of it.

I haven’t been a volunteer for too long, but it already feels like I belong there and AHWF will always hold a special place in my heart. When I was lonely and missing home, it helped me to start to fall in love with my new home here in Northern Idaho. It’s so fulfilling watching these little fighters grow and become strong through the education, knowledge and experience that their amazing founder has. Let’s not forget to mention the cuteness overload here either. Have you ever sat and watched a baby skunk or raccoon play? If not, I highly recommend it!

I have had the opportunity to assist with many other things that go on behind the scenes as well, and trust me, there is a lot!! If I could change one thing about the foundation it would be more consistent support. I would urge more people to volunteer their time and make donation to keep this amazing organization thriving.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

2019 Spring Update

2018 patients finally ready.  

In 2018 we accepted 71 individual animals, from songbirds to small mammals we have state and federal permits to care for them all.
At the end of summer, which is the time when many young mammals are normally moving out of their family territory and establishing their own, is usually the time we release our orphans. We had two
different species we felt were just too young to release at that time. The decision was made to overwinter—meaning they would remain in care until the snows had melted and plants started to grow. The group of 5 fox squirrels and the group of 4 raccoons. 
They were released in April.  The squirrels were returned to their home
territory but the raccoons were placed in a new territory. This is sometimes the case with the animals we accept. The region were found is too dangerous for return so we must find a suitable habitat.
If you feel your parcel would be acceptable for our native neighbors please let us know which ones and we will put you on our listing for those interested.

   New ways to support local wildlife without even trying. Or by  volunteering!
   As you are aware, we have many types of fund- raising platforms.  We re- cycle: aluminum cans (last month over 100 pounds was collected), ink car- tridges, and technology gadgets (we have gath- ered several but still need three more to send them in).
   We are a charity support- ed through Amazon, Yokes, Purium, iGive, Chewy, Bird Watchers  Digest, along with assort- ed online merchandise – teespring & ssa & cafe- press and a few others. We have just signed up with a new program from Wine Cellars. Buy wine (with a guarantee you’ll love it) and save North Idaho’s wild animals. All these links are found on our facebook page. They will also be on our new website—the old one was hijacked recently and still experiencing glitches up- loading the updated de- sign.
   We are of course in need of volunteers to as- sist with animal care (our chosen intern had to de- cline due to family emergency), animal taxi, public relations, outreach and awareness, event plan- ning and coordinating.
We have many upcoming events planned which need you! June 23rd is the 7B Sunday at Schweitzer Mountain Re- sort. July 4th is the Day of festivities in Clark Fork. We set up a table in the morning and then we offer a carnival mid-day. September 6th is the Wildlife Trivia night at Matchwood Brew- ery. September 14th is the fourth annual Silent Auction and Clean Comedy night fundraiser. October 5th is a night of singing by Samantha Carston at Farmhouse Kitchen. The first three weekends of October we hold the scarecrow contest. Businesses, groups and individuals are encouraged to enter their scarecrow and be voted by hundreds of Hickey Farms patrons.   
We cannot do this without you   

1,000 hours to date 

   I for one am amazed at the speed at which this year is passing. We just accepted case number 11. Our volunteers do the best they can with the resources they can for every animal in care. The founder just attended a webinar on wildlife triage, it was a nice refresher.   A national survey reported 30% is the average re- lease rate. Wildlife rehabilitation is the act of   providing sufficient nutritional, emotional, physio- logical and environmental support with the result being successful release of the wild animal into the natural habitat.
   We have  offered four presentations at our local public library on various
wildlife topics of interest. The spring highway clean up, and several fundraising events have also oc- curred the last 18 weeks.
    This is the third year ICL & KLT have joined with us to bring a memorable speaker to the panida theater. This year was acclaimed photographer Jerry Ferrara. We drew the name of a lucky winner in our Silverwood Theme Park raffle. Huckleberry Lanes was the host for Bowling for Wild- life. Excellent staff and food only accentuated the wonderful times had by all. BINGO was called again this year at the Center in Clark Fork. Amazing prizes were the rewards for the winners including the custom made teeshirts (which are also available online). Idaho Gives is the annual one day online day of giving and our state residents did just that. Thank you to all who donated, as a bonus we also received a $500 prize.
   Along with planning, coordinating and implementing these great events and presentations, volunteers assisted AHWF through tidying up and preparing the animal en- closures and infirmary. We are pleased to announce the Nature Walk is very near completion. We do need a few more people to assist with this as well as sign up to be the guides!