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Wildlife rehabilitators collaborating to help animals affected by the storm

Published: Aug. 17, 2020 at 11:26 PM CDT
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CAMANCHE, Iowa (KWQC) - Many groups were impacted following last week’s derecho including wildlife rehabilitators. TV6 went to see what challenges they’re facing now and how you can help.

Jojo Fernandez of Jojo’s Nut House Wildlife Rehabilitation Center and Echo Gard of Guardians of Rescue and Rehabilitation are licensed wildlife rehabilitators. The pandemic impacted their fundraising at the beginning of the year and last week’s storm brought in not only an influx of animals but a rush of support.

“It was a huge impact to all area rehabilitators. I know I myself took in 58 baby squirrels now,” Fernandez said. “A lot of them, of course, injured, we’ve had a few broken bones come in. Several injuries throughout. Some have come in with Pneumonia. Just really really poor shape.”

Fernandez said the storm brought in some help including an enclosure from the Humane Society of the United States and handmade donations of pouches, blankets, and hanging sacks from Crafters and Artisans for Rescued Animals.

“So many people stepped up to help all of the area wildlife life rehabilitators,” Fernandez said.

As rehabilitators, they give animals medical and nutritional care until it’s time for them to be released. They said all of the work they do is funded by their own money and monetary donations. As they continue taking in animals affected by the storm, they’re in need of donations including fleece blankets, puppy pads, small stuffed animals, and more.

“Money for formula. Even household goods that they have that they didn’t realize we could use such as gloves. Baby bottles. Things like that are really needed right now,” Gard said.

Gard also said animals are still trickling in. They’re hoping people realize that there are resources like this one out there to help.

“There are wildlife rehabbers. There are animal rescue groups that can help with baby squirrels and such that they may not have realized before who to call,” Gard said.

Gard, who also works with domestic animals, said they’ve seen a trickle effect due to lack of supplies. “Vet offices were not able to do spay and neutering so they were doing emergency surgeries only and as a result, we’re seeing a higher rate in kittens and puppies and I honestly believe by spring, Humane Societies are going to be jammed packed.

“If you want to help your local area wildlife rehabilitator donate to them directly. Call them directly and if you can’t find their number call me and I’ll find it for you,” Fernandez said.

Both of the rehabilitators said if you find injured, orphaned, or sick wildlife, you should contact a local rehabilitator in your area. You can find a list of both Iowa and Illinois rehabilitators in the QCA on the Iowa DNR’s website under “Injured Wildlife”.

You can donate to Jojo’s Nut House Wildlife Rehabilitation Center through Venmo or PayPal. You can also mail checks or money orders to Jojo’s Nut House Wildlife Rehabilitation Center LLC 3459 295th Street Camanche Iowa 52730.

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