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Sea Turtles and Wildlife Rehabilitation Workshop

From: Jeff
Sent on: Thursday, April 24, 2014 10:51 AM

Dear Friends,

Four years ago, during the Deep Horizon BP Oil Spill Crisis, our humane society hosted a town hall meeting to try and address some of the issues and more than 100 people attended. Unfortunately, not a lot has changed during the past four years!  Just this week, for example, we tried to coordinate the transportation of an oiled pelican who was found near Port Sulphur to Audubon Zoo to be cleaned and rehabilitated (even though they are often short-handed and sometimes lack the skills and resources!)  There are so many problems and issues, it's difficult to know where to start.  In case you didn't realize it, there is oily discharge from barges and small leaks from oil rigs on a regular basis, so marine life is constantly exposed to oil and other toxins in the Gulf. For the sake of brevity, I'll use bullet points

  • there are hardly any resources available to help injured, orphaned or displaced marine bird, mammals or any type of wildlife. Neither the state nor the federal government provide any direct assistance in the form of personnel,  supplies, resources or funds on this issue.  Their mentality is that if an animal cannot survive in the wild on its own its best that he or she perish. They don't believe in helping individual animals or birds in need;
  • not a single coastal parish, which are teaming with wildlife, has a wildlife rehab center.  One of the few ones in our state operates in Livingston Parish, called Wings of Hope and is run on a shoestring budget out of a converted garage on 10 acres.  It operates strictly on private donations. Fortunately, they do an outstanding job;
  • our state has fewer than 50 licensed wildlife rehabilitators and each one has to pay all expenses out of pocket!
  • there is no formal mechanism in place to rescue injured wildlife.  If a wild animal, like a fox or raccoon, for example, are struct by a car, and is disabled, there is no agency to call which will respond.   Plus, factor in the danger of trying to capture an injured, potentially aggressive animal, and the problems quickly multiply.

The only two bright spots in this rather dreary report is that our humane society, which operates two sanctuaries also on a shoestring budget, has partnered with the Sea Turtle Restoration Project ( to help educate our government officials and the public on the need to protect these species.  We'll be doing our first outreach event at our upcoming 6th Annual Veggie Fest (  If you have a company or business that would like to sponsor an exhibit booth, please contact us at

Secondly, we will co-host an all-day basic skills wildlife rehabilitation workshop on Sunday, June 22nd.  The workshop will be led by Mr. Beau Gast, President of LAWRA, Louisiana Wildlife Rehabilitators Association:  Besides being an expert in this field, Beau is also a lieutenant with the Roseland Police Department in Tangipahoa Parish and volunteer humane investigator for several organizations.

We will send out a workshop registration form within the next few weeks.  In the meantime, if you would like to help, please make a donation to our humane society to help care for our 200 animals, support our cruelty investigations and/or our cross-country transport adoption program.  Kindly donate here:

Sincerely yours,

Jeff Dorson


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