Monday, August 17, 2009

Hoots, Howls, and Hollers 08/17/2009

Seasons change and I gladly start to say so long to the summer. A noticeable difference is that now the mornings are darker and even a bit cooler. Hooray! Also, we begin to see the waning of the orphans that come in through the reception window in little boxes, bags, and other creative coverings. This triggers what we hope will only be the “temporary” departure of many of our Orphan Care volunteers as their duties come to an end. This is a group of amazingly compassionate folks who have given their time from April through August to nurture tiny little, sometimes unidentifiable, creatures.

The first Orphan Care shift started at 7:00 in the morning (the volunteers leaving home way earlier to get there on time) seven days a week and the last shift ended (but never did they actually get away then) at 7:00 in the evening seven days a week. They answered the calls of peeps, cheeps, and tweets, all translated as “please take care of my needs…NOW!” with patience, compassion and professionalism. They had to be versatile never knowing what species might be logged in on their shifts and what condition some of their charges would be in when they arrived. The baby might have been riddled with tooth punctures from a loose dog or cat; it might have been a dehydrated nestling exposed to too much sun, or it might have been a pre-fledgling blown from a nest as it practiced its wing beats. Whatever the situation, the volunteers had to be ready to act in the best interest of the vulnerable little baby.

They tiptoed around the tiny little Orphan Care room, feeding the correct “gruel”, insect or seed. They noticed things that might be causing problems. They tried to stay out of each other’s way as they performed their duties, and they kindly dealt with distraught members of the public who were trying to do the best by this little one in their charge.

And, then there was always the paper work which they did even in the midst of a lineup of incoming orphans in the drive way. These volunteers are our heroes.

For now I want to name and applaud the leadership for an outstanding job. The team leaders who throughout the season took one or two days a week to oversee the workings of the department are Michelle Grace, Susan Miller, Joanie Boatwright and Amanda Williams. They worked harmoniously to make sure all shifts were filled, that volunteers were tended to, questions answered, and most importantly they initiated changes in procedure that increased our success rate significantly. For all of these things we thank you.

As the season totally ends we will fill you in with the rest of the statistics including numbers, species, and the rest of the volunteer standouts, but for now know that you have the undying gratitude of the public you helped, the staff and other volunteers at Liberty Wildlife, and most of all—the orphans that you provided with a second chance to life. YOU ALL ROCK!

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