AFA Director Vicki Weiland has been rehabilitating wildlife for over 25 years; as compassionate as she is gifted with wildlife. Vicki, who lives in St. Charles. IL, easily has over 100 animals pass through her doors each year. Her survival rate surpasses that of most rescuers.
The personal expense she incurs from rehabilitating is astronomical. Compounding that is the fact that AFA free of charge, takes in much of the wildlife that ends up at local shelters. With the number of licensed rehabilitators in Illinois on the decline, Vicki has quickly become one of only a few rehabbers in the area federally licensed to care for deer and raptors. This only adds to the burden.
On rare occasions, AFA has been able to place individual animals in proper, licensed facilities. It can take up to 6 months to rehab certain animals. Once they’re ready, healthy, rehabbed animals are legally released into a safe, uninhabited environment as soon as possible.Injured animals are further assessed to determine if treatment will yield a releasable animal. If after treatment it’s determined the animal is unreleasable, the hardest decision needs to be made. The laws restrict us in placing unreleasable wildlife in suitable licensed facilities. And as always, the animal’s quality of life is our utmost concern.
FACT: It costs about $300 to rehab a single fawn. On average Vicki rehabs 10-15 deer a year.
Fox before and after rehabilitation:
Each year we receive many calls for wildlife. In 2016, we rehabilitated almost 200 native Illinois critters. Included in this total are coyote pups. Not all rehabbers will rehab coyotes, because they take large cages and even larger pieces of land. They are loud and smell like skunks, so best to be farther from the neighbors! All of our coyote babies are vaccinated for local parvo/distemper strains, wormed and treated for mange and heart parasites. The VERY least we can do is to release them back into the wild disease and parasite free! They learn to eat what they will be catching in the wild, and are therefore given live prey prior to release. Coyotes are A VERY EXPENSIVE ENDEAVOR.