A non-profit group founded in 1991, GCWR has rescued more than 20,000 native California animals (we received over 3,000 animals in 2015). We operate a Wildlife Intake Center that is open 7 days a week, year-round, to take in animals in need found by the public, free of charge. The animals range from orphaned infants to injured adults. In the bird world, we receive eggs that we incubate, hatch and raise to adulthood and release (watch owl video here). Our goal for every animal is to return a healthy animal to the wild. We rely solely on donations to fund our operations.
■Work for squirrels:
GCWR took in 193 squirrels in 2014 and 235 in 2015. We have a comprehensive program to raise them from the “pinkie”stage (no fur, eyes closed) until they are ready for release. We work hard to keep our patients wild by minimizing their contact with humans and not talking to them when they must be handled. Once they are self-feeding and ready for life outside, they are moved into large outdoor “release” cages, which are located in rural areas frequented by squirrels. They are kept there for a few weeks while they acclimate to totally feeding by themselves and improve their climbing skills. Eventually the cage door is left open in the morning and food is put outside of the cage. The squirrels that return are locked in at night for their protection from predators. Within a week or two, the squirrels no longer return to the cage in the evening. We continue to supplement them with food for a while as they learn to forage and store their own food supplies.
■The message from the president, Ms Sallysue Stein:
Your friends at Gold Country Wildlife Rescue (in California) want to thank you for all you do to protect squirrel friends, the beautiful forest and all the other wild animals. Together, we can help ensure a safe place to live for all the wild creatures.
■About Ms Sallysue Stein:
Sallysue was a cofounder of GCWR in 1991 and served as the president for the first 10 years. After a multi-year hiatus out of the country, she rejoined the group in 2014. She serves as the president of the GCWR Board of Directors.