Re: [wiccan-169] Sometimes Even Angels Need a Little Help....

From: Jillian
Sent on: Saturday, December 28, 2013 8:00 AM
Will definitely donate. I am always cautious to donate to these charities, for fear that the money will not go to the cause. She is clearly legit, I'm happy to help. 

Jillian

On Dec 28, 2013, at 7:48 AM, "Susan \"Suki\" Moore" <[address removed]> wrote:

I will try to do what I can.

Blessings & Love
Suki
)O(


On Fri, Dec 27, 2013 at 9:58 PM, Tala <[address removed]> wrote:

And I am going to ask you for a little help for an Earth Angel that I know….

 

Let me tell you about Siggi. She is an animal rehabilitator who lives in Gardner, and she is an angel if

I ever saw one. She takes in wild animals of all kinds, and devotes her life to saving every one she possibly can….It is her life’s purpose.

 

Let me tell you the story of how I found her…

 

Tony actually found her a couple of years ago.

Tony was in the kitchen, and there was an uproar going on outside, with a flock of birds chirping to beat the band….Tony went out, looked around, and couldn’t find what was causing the ruckus.

 

So, he let Willy, our male Tom cat out, and Willy went strait to the problem.

 

The problem, was a poor, sorry sight. It was a young robin, and it was in rough shape. It had a deep gouge under its wing, down to the bone, and all the feathers were gone on that side, and from its tail……and it was covered in flies….AND fly eggs.

 

You see, when an animal is going to die, and has a rotting wound, the flies come and lay their eggs, so that when the baby flies hatch, they can eat the living flesh of the live animal, and that was going to be the fate of this poor robin. The flock of robins, had rallied around it, trying to protect it.

 

Tony scooped up the robin, ran into the house, putting it in a safe place, and called me in a panic.

I was out with friends from work at the time, and I told him he had to find an animal rehabilitator, and FAST!

 

He called various numbers, and Siggi was the one who answered his call, and told him to come right up.

 

He arrived at Siggi’s house with the bird, and she grabbed him, and went into action, immediately pulling all the fly eggs off of the bird. He was grateful, and gave her what money he had in his pocket, and told me about the incident when I got home. I went up there the next day with more money- A good wildlife rehabilitator is a hard thing to find these days….and you know what….she saved that doomed bird, and she  ended up releasing him.

 

I know, because I saw him after he was mended….in a cage with 2 other robins, 2 starlings, and a silly dove with some small little bird riding on its back…..

 

I also had the great privilege of her letting me see all the animals in her house.

(She does not usually invite people in)

In addition to the birds, she had 6 skunks (who you couldn’t talk too loud cuz they would stink you- lol)

She had squirrels, baby rabbits, possums, and albino chipmunk….

 

Many years ago, I studied to be an animal rehabilitator, and didn’t finish, because it was so hard to do…had to pay to take tests, and everything you have to get and have to do comes out of your own pocket. I ended up just saving animals that came across my path (which frequently happened)

I often had to take them to someone I knew across the Conn border (which is illegal btw)

or take them to Tufts.

 

I feel so blessed now, to know Siggi.

She is literally a lifesaver for me, and for the animals who are brought to her door.

I honestly don’t know what I would do without her now.

I have taken many animals to her, and the majority have survived, ones that you would think for sure were goners……

 

So every year, I try to donate some money to a good cause, and every year now, at the first of the year,

 I gather the money from my money altar, and I send it to her….

She receives very little money from donations, and much comes out of her own pocket…

Saving animals is her job, and she feeds, and cleans up animals from sun up, to sun down….

 

So if you are looking for a good cause to donate to, this year, ANY amount will help her to help the

animals……

 

Checks can be sent to:

 

Sigrid Warren

Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitor

92 Chestnut St

Gardner, Mass 01440

(978)[masked] 

 

Her blog site about the animals she saves is:

 

www.Sigiscreations.blogspot.com

 

and her email is:

 

[address removed]

 

Below is the annual Christmas letter she send out, and it brought tears to my eyes:

 

__________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

Christmas 2013

Dear Wildlife friends,

 

Last year I was too bogged down with animals to even come up for air, never mind updating you all on what had been happening.  I also was having increased trouble with Carpal tunnel problems on both hands, to the point where I couldn’t even hold a phone to my ear for more than a minute when the tingling made me switch.  By the time I finally got to see the doctor there was only one solution:  surgery.  So this is how 2013 started, with surgeries on both hands, plus the right Ulna nerve needed to be freed since it was impinched as well.  Not fun, as I was overwintering a cottontail, an opossum, and an injured squirrel.  Heating oil has become a luxury we haven’t been able to afford since 2011, and I had to get inventive feeding the wood stove with just one hand at a time. 

 

When the 2013 spring baby season started I was still recovering.  My thumbs still weren’t working, and trying to pry off the sterile casing on syringes and needles was almost impossible.  But somehow I managed, and before long I was once again nearly drowning in orphans.  This year the cottontails arrived in droves as well.  Cottontails seem to get more comfortable around human dwellings and sometimes nest in the most unusual places such as dog runs, front entrance flower beds, and fenced-in back yards.  As a result, I got in some pretty horrendously injured babies, from dog bites to weed whacker and lawn mower accidents.  The finders were usually pretty shook up, and I don’t blame them.  Sometimes all I could do was ease the baby’s pain, other times I was able to nurse even a partially degloved animal back to health. 

 

In 2012 I got in a total of seven skunks, five orphaned siblings and two individual youngsters.  I quickly learned that skunks are costly animals to raise, about $150 per animal due to their impressive formula intake and later on healthy appetite for whole fresh fish, mice, and lots of vegetables and fruit.  The five orphans arrived pretty ratty looking with sparse, coarse fur from malnutrition, but by the time I released them they had shiny, thick coats of fur and were simply gorgeous.  I also can attest that the home made skunk odor removal formula really works… 

 

My total count for 2012 was 97 intakes with nearly 80 successful releases.  An eighth skunk from Worcester was a questionable animal from the get-go, and even though I protected myself with a triple layer of gloves the animal still managed to inflict a tiny puncture in one of my fingers.  Within hours of its arrival I was certain that it had rabies and submitted it for testing which came back positive for rabies.  Thinking I was doing the right thing to cut costs I avoided the ER and went to my doctor the following Monday for rabies booster shots, but our insurance had changed and I got hit with a $350 co-pay.  2012 closed with a very meager Christmas because donations had been very few and I had spent well over $3,500 of our own limited income on wildlife… 

 

2013 was supposed to get better but actually was worse in terms of donations.  As the year progressed I once again received three skunks which came with zero donations.  I put out an SOS on Facebook hoping that out of nearly 250 “friends” I might get some help, but only two steadfast friends responded and one skunk was “adopted” and another partially funded.  Then two orphaned wood chucks arrived, the first one almost immediately, but the second one fell in the wrong hands.  “Cool pet!”, the young couple thought as they went on YouTube and found all the wrong videos.  Four days later the baby was near death and they had the good sense to bring it to Lunenburg Veterinary Clinic where it was pumped full with fluids before they called me and asked if I could take it.  The baby arrived ice cold and very lethargic.  It took almost 10 hours to get its core temperature back up to normal levels, another 48 hours for the baby to be able to thermo-regulate on its own.  While its sister was drinking 60cc of formula in one sitting, this starving baby could only handle 1cc at a time as its shrunken stomach slowly expanded.  But with lots of TLC it recovered and was reunited with its sister two days later who happily beat her up before cuddling up with her lost sister.  I thoroughly enjoyed those two and learned a lot about wood chuck behavior.  The near-death girl remained friendly towards me while her larger sister kept her distance.  When it was time for their release they were fully grown and healthy and walked off into the Audubon sanctuary without looking back.  I learned that wood chucks are among the most expensive animals to raise because of their huge intake of vegetables and fruit.  I am low-balling the cost at around $200 per animal.  Donations received were $50 for the first and $10 for the second animal… 

 

In 2013 I managed to keep the bird intake semi low.  The Dept. of Fish and Wildlife frowned upon the many I had received in 2012 and gave me grief because I am not federally licensed to take migratory native birds.  But it is hard to turn away a nestling when the finders refuse to drive 60 miles and I don’t have the time or finances to travel myself.  Birds are very costly to raise in that they need feeding every 15 to 30 minutes and gobble down between 5 -10 mealworms per feeding in addition to formula.  I try to maintain a small mealworm farm because I simply cannot afford to purchase them in the tens of thousands plus overnight shipping, but that small supply is depleted in no time by just a few robins.  In 2013 I got in a clutch of Chimney swifts, a few Cedar waxwings, a few robins, a few doves, and a few pigeons with significant injuries.  One pigeon had been hit by a hawk and did not recover from the paralysis, another arrived with a bad shoulder break which I was able to set successfully but the bird will never fly again.  Pixie, as I named the bird, decided that it wants to be a pet, more specifically MY pet (it hates my husband and goes out of its way to peck at and bite him), and when pleas on Free cycle for a guinea pig cage failed I had to go and buy one for the pigeon to give it a permanent home.  The jury as to sex is still out, it displays both behaviors, and I had to buy a “flight suit” (aka birdie diaper suit) for Pixie so it can be out of the cage without pooping all over the couch and me. 

 

On 4th July 2013 I received two calls, the first one from Gardner Police, the second one from a distraught woman in Ashburnham.  Gardner Police’s call was a first:  an elderly woman was trying to do laundry, but when she opened the lid of her washer in the basement a pair of black pearls blinked at her.  Opossum babies in a washing machine?  Come again?  I hot-footed it over there, and sure enough, there were two youngsters in the machine.  One was dead and already decomposing, the surviving one was lying in the fluids of its dead sibling, barely alive from the fumes.  He didn’t put up a fight when I fished him out but came to when I stuck him in the tub to wash off the stink.  After emergency treatment I let him calm down in a nest box with warm fleece, and he recovered nicely.  He never liked me, tried to bite every chance he got, but he thrived and was released a month later before I lost a finger.  -  The Ashburnham call was a terrible one:  two 10-year old girls on jet skis had gunned repeatedly for a flock of Canadian geese despite people yelling at them to stop and finally managed to run over one sub-adult, breaking the bird’s back and cutting deep gashes underneath its wings.  It washed ashore on the woman’s dock, but because it was a holiday she could not get any authorities to come out and help her.  I grabbed my largest carrier and a hefty dose of pain medication and brought the doomed bird to Wachusett Animal Emergency clinic where it was euthanized.  Environmental Police eventually did show up but dropped the case when the parents and girls lied about having been on the jet skis.  I wonder what will become of these girls as they grow up, considering the horrendous cruelty they were capable of at such a young age and utter lack of remorse.  Serial killers in the making?  I shudder when I encounter children who torture animals.  Luckily they are the minority. 

 

2012 was my rabies year, 2013 an adult squirrel from Athol who had run into a car tire and suffered temporary head trauma brought a deer tick along which gave me Lyme disease.  I found the tiny beastie embedded on my right knee which is the second replacement joint already, so I was a bit nervous of possible bone infections.  A blood test confirmed Lyme disease, but I caught it early and was able to stave off the worst symptoms with a 21 day course of Doxicycline.  I wonder what 2014 has waiting for me?... 

 

A late fall litter of three cottontails was too little to be released before winter so these three popcorn bunnies are spending the winter in the rehab room which means bales of timothy hay, good quality dry food, and half a bunch of kale and lettuce, carrots, sweet potato, and apples daily.  Donations received during the year barely covered 20% of the total cost of over 80 animals once again, so these three are being cared for out of our own pockets.  I am also overwintering a mouse, a chipmunk, and two bats.

 

We lost one of our best rehabilitators and director of WRAM (Wildlife Rehabilitators Association of Massachusetts), Fran Feeney, to cancer in October.  Fran rehabilitated thousands upon thousands of wildlife in her lifetime, brought WRAM back to life and in the black with inventive fund raising, and put on incredible annual conferences.  I doubt that WRAM will be able to survive without her.  With Fran gone, a huge void in bat rehabilitation has been created, and I am determined to step up to the plate as much as I can.  I wish I had the resources and time to go to Bat World and learn more about bats, but that is out of the question and I will have to rely on online help.  We have a house full of animals, both pets and wildlife, and my husband is currently working on his dissertation.  My dream had been for us to travel to Phoenix, AZ when he receives his doctorate, but I don’t know how we can possibly do it.  I have nobody around here I can trust with the house and the animals, and I cannot afford to board cats, dogs, and birds.  It is just the two of us.  I wish I could leave here but we are in no position to move.  My dream is a property abutting conservation land where I can release wildlife directly from cages and not have to capture and travel to release them.  I wish I could win the lottery and build a wildlife rehabilitation center with a vet on staff and paid staff which would be hand selected to make sure that the animals receive top notch care.  One can dream, right? 

 

This past fall I discovered to my horror that the oaks at Crystal Lake cemetery failed to mast for the third year in a row.  This had been my primary collection site for acorns, a vital winter food, and my bins of dried acorns were empty.  I put out an SOS for sites where acorns were falling and asked for help with collection since I needed about 1,000 pounds and can’t rake them as I put them in the oven to kill off the maggots inside before they destroy the nut.  I even contacted the local Boy Scouts repeatedly but received no reply.  A FB friend from Utah came through by contacting the local Mormon church, and after their Bishop visited me to make sure this wasn’t a really weird joke he asked his membership to start collecting in their own yards.  Amazing how friendships work sometimes, isn’t it?  I recently went to the church armed with home-made caramel popcorn and a small handmade gift for the Bishop and thanked everybody for their help.  But a good friend had also scouted out a great site in Leominster at Evergreen cemetery, and she tirelessly helped collect buckets upon buckets of pristine acorns.  My oven worked overtime and I went through two propane cylinders ($220) just heating trays upon trays of acorns before spreading them out on my drying rack

 

What will 2014 bring?  I have to remain optimistic, for this is not just a “job”, it is a calling.  I help wildlife because I am trained to do so and because I cannot turn my back on a helpless creature that has nobody else but me.  I wish finders would dig a little deeper and help me out more, for every squirrel costs me about $60 to raise and more if it is sick, every cottontail runs about $40 and up, and cottontails have arrived in litters of up to seven with donations ranging from 0 to $20 for entire litters.  I took in over 30 squirrels and well over 40 cottontails.  All total I took in well over 85 wildlife again.  Some people have been very generous with their donations which I could then apply to the next ones that arrived with nothing.  Some people made promises and then forgot or decided otherwise, and way too many people stated outright that they had nothing to give.  We are not allowed to demand donations, we can only ask or refuse an animal.

 

I know that this time of year your mailboxes brim with requests for donations and TV ads run constantly.  But nobody funds us “little guys”, most people don’t even know that we exist.  Many think we are crazy to work for nothing.  We don’t have a Kennedy for publicity, we just work our hearts out in silence until we burn out or are so broke that we can’t pay our own bills anymore. 

 

I sincerely hope that you enjoy this handmade card and find it in your heart to help keep me going another year.  It is hard for me to ask for help, but I simply cannot do this on my own. Every dollar helps. 

 

I wish you and your family a joyous Christmas Season and Happy New Year.

 

_____________




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