Over the years, DCHS’s Wildlife Center has experienced overwhelming growth from increased patient admissions and greater public demand for services to help treat sick, injured, and orphaned animals. There just weren’t, and still aren’t, enough wildlife rehabilitators in Wisconsin to meet the needs of the community nor the number of animals requiring life-saving measures. Thousands of birds, mammals, and reptiles are admitted to our wildlife program each year, and they can only be cared for by trained and permitted professionals – a process which takes years to achieve.
Slow and steady additions to the Wildlife Center over the last decade have allowed for more staff to join the team, now reaching six permanent members. Since 2019, thanks to the funds provided by the Werndli Charitable Fund, our team has been able to give back. Through their incredible support, DCHS’s Wildlife Center is able to offer a paid 12-month, full-time wildlife rehabilitation apprenticeship that includes personalized training and sponsorship from several licensed wildlife rehabilitation staff. The program’s goal is for an apprentice to achieve all of the skills and knowledge necessary to gain a basic wildlife rehabilitation permit by the end of the term. Each year since 2019, one lucky aspiring wildlife rehabilitator has earned the Werndli Apprenticeship position.
Werndli apprenticeship funds have given DCHS the opportunity to provide a stable income for those entering a career in wildlife rehabilitation, foster a positive learning environment to teach future generations of license holders, and grow the number of trained individuals in our region. Each Werndli Wildlife Apprentice has become a permitted wildlife rehabilitator, and we are so proud of all they have accomplished!
Thanks to a matching gift challenge from the Werndli Charitable Fund, our community has the opportunity to further support wildlife rehabilitation by helping fund not one, but two, wildlife apprentice positions starting in Fall 2023! The Werndli Charitable Fund will match donations up to $15,000 to fully fund a second apprenticeship position.
Donate now to have your gift doubled and invest in the future of wildlife rehabilitation in Wisconsin!