Our Main Shelter (including the Adoption Center and Front Office) will be closed Saturday, 9/30, for Bark & Wine! The Wildlife Center and Thrift Store will be open their regular hours.

Jan 25, 2022

New Werndli Apprentice Off to Running Start


Our new 2021-22 Werndli Apprentice is off and running. We check in to see how things are going and what she's learning so far through the program.

Staff sponsors have enjoyed teaching Taylor Alexander various skills related to wildlife rehabilitation, and she is learning quickly! When we caught up with Taylor for a short Q&A, she was gearing up to take her first basic licensing exam at the end of January 2022.

Q: Why did you choose this career path?

Taylor: “Ever since I could remember, I always had a passion for animals and knew I wanted to have a career working with animals, but I wasn’t quite sure exactly what I wanted to do. Since I started my first position at the Wildlife Center as an intern, I quickly realized that I loved working with wildlife.”

Q: What have you learned so far?

Taylor: “It was exciting to see the variety of species that Wisconsin has to offer, even if they are found unfortunately sick or injured. Through this apprenticeship, people such as myself have an opportunity to practice wildlife rehabilitation and give back to nature. Already with the start of my apprenticeship, I have had the opportunity to provide care to many bald eagles and rough-legged hawks – although, it was a bad start to the year for those birds, but it was the first time that I ever got to see a rough-legged hawk in person!”

Werndli Apprentice Taylor Alexander (right) assists Wildlife Veterinary Technician Erin Lemley with a medical procedure on a red-tailed hawk (above). Taylor (top of page) handles a snowy owl as an intern at the Wildlife Center.

We will catch up with Taylor in a few months to see how she’s progressing in the program.

The Werndli Apprenticeship is a position generously supported by the Werndli Charitable Trust.

DCHS’s Wildlife Center receives no federal or state funding and relies solely on community support and independent donations to fund operations and programs like the Werndli Apprenticeship.

The Werndli Apprentice position is a paid, full-time wildlife rehabilitation apprenticeship that includes personalized training from several licensed wildlife rehabilitation staff. At the end of the year-long term, the apprentice will have learned the skills necessary to gain a basic wildlife rehabilitation permit.

Taylor also assisted staff member Erin with imping feathers (replacing feathers) on a great horned owl under anesthesia.

Next Story

Sep 7th, 2023

Supporting Our Community Together

Your incredible support provides that extra help needed to keep families together.

Full Story

Next Story

Sep 5th, 2023

Clear The Shelters Helps Pets Find New Homes

DCHS helps more pets find loving homes in August, besting other recent months by a wide margin, thanks to the Clear The Shelters adoption event.

Full Story

Next Story

Aug 28th, 2023

An Ode to Crows

Enjoy an ode to crows, learn about theses interesting birds, and read a rehabilitation story from DCHS's Wildlife Program Manager.

Full Story

Next Story

Aug 1st, 2023

DCHS Hosts Clear The Shelters 2023

DCHS holds month-long adoption promotion to help more pets find loving homes during Clear The Shelters 2023.

Full Story

Next Story

Jul 31st, 2023

New Beginnings for Senior Dogs

Thanks to a generous grant award from The Grey Muzzle Organization, DCHS could provide necessary dental care to senior dog Barbie.

Full Story

Next Story

Jul 17th, 2023

It's Raining Woodpeckers!

Over 1,000 animals have already been admitted to DCHS’s Wildlife Center for rehabilitation in the first half of 2023. What species of songbird are we seeing the most? Woodpeckers!

Full Story