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Dec 21, 2009

How much does it cost? Rainbow Wildlife Rescue 2009

2009 at the Rainbow Wildlife Rescue

221 animals were admitted to the RWR

My name is Birgit Sommer. I am a licensed wildlife rehabilitator for the State of Texas, director of the Rainbow Wildlife Rescue in Stephenville, TX , as well as the vice president and foster parent for the Erath County Humane Society.

I, like many other licensed wildlife rehabilitators, work out of my own home and volunteer my time and just about every spare cent I can gather towards animal rescue efforts and public education.

No local or state funding is available for animal caging, veterinary care, medicine and food. That's why most rehabilitators gratefully accept donations towards the care of animals they receive from the public.

Birgit Sommer saying Good-bye to Ian
Birgit Sommer releases a raccoon back into the wild.

2009 has been quite a year for the Rainbow Wildlife Rescue!!

Merry Christmas We are now officially a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization!!!! That means that all donations are tax exempt!
Merry Christmas Over 220 animals made it through the Rainbow Wildlife Rescue in 2009. Unfortunately I had to turn at least 5 times as many away, which will hopefully change next year. More than 80% of the critters survived and were either released back into the wild or transferred to other facilities!
Merry Christmas We had a beaver, a few reptiles such as turtles and snakes, our share of cottontail rabbits, over 40 opossums, 11 raccoons, about 50 squirrels, nearly 70 birds, and not to forget the foster care for the Erath County Humane Society animal shelter counting 17 puppies and 43 kittens. I had a LOT of help with the kittens and the squirrels. Thank you Loree B.!
Merry Christmas Eight newspaper articles have been published about or by the Rainbow Wildlife Rescue in the Empire Tribune and the Abilene Reporter.
Merry Christmas The first sub-permittee/trainee will be added to my state wildlife rehabilitation permit and a board of directors is in the process of being put together.
Merry Christmas Plans for next year include focus on education, training more future wildlife rehabilitators, extending the rescue, getting the community involved and hopefully being able to help more animals than this year.
Merry Christmas This fall, I was voted vice president of the Erath County Humane Society. There are also big plans for 2010 that will hopefully include a new animal shelter which is attractive and convenient to the community as well as providing us with the means to save the lives of more animals.
Merry Christmas I also hope to see plans for the already discussed Stephenville Dog Park finalized.
Merry Christmas For more detailed updates, links to photos, movies and stories, please continue reading below.

Merry Christmas

How much does it all cost???

A LOT! To give you an idea, the Rainbow Wildlife Rescue went through over 50 lbs of Esbilac and KMR milk replacers, that's close to $3000 alone.

We spent a lot more on medical supplies, bottles, cleaning supplies, caging, bedding, canned food, dried feed, meat and fresh produce, live food, repairs, maintenance, and not to forget the utility bills that are 3 times as high than average when the rescue is full. The washing machine and dryer are always running and probably have to be replaced next year. The same goes for the 20 year old hot water heater which is making scary noises.

Everything put together we spent at least $10 000 on the animals this year.

About 30% of the cost were covered by donations and online fundraisers. A HUGE THANK YOU to everybody that had the heart and means to support our efforts!

The remaining 70% I earned with online jobs such as web design and hosting, site maintenance, translations, article writing, graphic design, etc.

It was rough. So this year I'm hoping to start early with the fundraising and prepare!

Merry Christmas

How YOU can help!

We need to raise about $5000 before baby season starts coming spring 2010. The first orphaned squirrels usually arrive mid February. By then I would like to have the MILKREPLACER FUND covered, which is the most important item on my list. I have planned to switch to Fox Valley this year due to a lot of controversy this year over KMR and Esbilac.

There are a few different ways you can donate.
Remember, all donations are tax-deductible!

Paypal (accepts credit cards)

  • Mail a Check (physical address is provided below)
  • Send needed supplies directly to us (wish list and physical address below)
  • Donate directly to the Vet Clinic for the MEDICAL FUND (contact info below)

The following are a few examples of how your donation can help:

  • $1000 helps with the utilities for 3 months
  • $ 500 pays for raising and vaccinating an infant raccoon
  • $ 250 will feed a litter of opossums from infant to release
  • $ 200 will provide a new large cage
  • $ 100 will provide infant formula for 3 squirrels
  • $ 75 provides bird food from nestling to adult
  • $ 50 pays for enough Capstar to rid 5 new arrivals of external parasites
  • $ 25 covers the de-wormer to fight the internal parasites
  • $ 10 provides fresh produce for most critters for 2 days
  • $ 5 pays for the bedding for 1 outside enclosure for 1 week
Merry Christmas

Please send your tax-deductible
donation to:


Merry Christmas

Stories, Pictures, Movies

Here is a collection of blog entries, links to youtube movies and newspaper articles related to the Rainbow Wildlife Rescue and Erath County Humane Society:

Missing Dog reunited with owner after nearly 3 Years!
Find out how Maynard found his way to the Erath County Humane Society and became one of the greatest Christmas miracles!

Read blog entries about orphaned raccoons that grew up at the Rainbow Wildlife Rescue in 2009. Including pictures, movies and heartwarming stories. For more information on raccoons please visit my Animal Forum!

Squirrels Squirrels Squirrels!
Over 50 squirrels passed through the Rainbow Wildlife Rescue this year. Read some of the stories. For more information on squirrels, please visit my Squirrel Education Website.

Thanks to more folks learning about America's only marsupials, more orphaned opossums where found and taken to the rescue than ever before. For more information on opossums please visit the Rainbow Wildlife Rescue Website.

Cottontail Rabbits
We also had our share of orphaned Cottontail rabbits this year. For more information on Cottontails please visit the following Link.

Dogs and Puppies
I fostered quite a few puppies and adult dogs this year. Since I picked up on Cesar Milan's lessons, things are working even better! For more information on puppies please visit our Puppy Education Website.

Cats and Kittens
Watch the LOLcatZ Movie featuring the latest fostercare kitten Laila meeting Oliver, my Great Dane! More stories, pictures and movies are also shown. For more information on cats and kittens and LOLcatZ postcards, please visit my Kitten Education Website.

*** New Website in the Making! ***

This site will include articles and educational material about this planet's wildlife from national and international animal professionals and much more.

A personal note about wildlife rehabilitation

Some folks find the idea of wildlife rehabilitation ridiculous or claim it's "messing with nature". These folks neglect to see that most wildlife related calls that require our human intervention ARE the direct result of unnatural conditions such as careless behavior of people, toxins, poisons, automobiles, guns, traps, lawn mowers, to name just a few.

Often we are confronted with animals that have suffered traumatic wounds and horrific injuries. Some animals come in poisoned, shot, injured by cars and left for dead by humans. The stories and cases are endless and heartbreaking.

We also have to deal with ignorant folks that are proud of doing all the wrong things and are trying to educate everybody that listens. We have to comfort the crying children and their thankful moms for having found somebody to take the critter to instead of having their kids to watch it die.

Merry Christmas




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