Wisconsin WildCare has members who are licensed to rehabilitate small Mammals in south Central Wisconsin
Rebekah is relatively new to structured wildlife rehabilitation. She has rescued – and dropped off to an appropriate rescue – many injured animals during her lifetime, but decided to make it official for the 2018 season. After trying to convince her husband to foster puppies or kittens, he said “NO” and suggested wildlife. He figured if Rebekah fostered kittens or puppies, they’d end up with a hundred animals.
Rebekah contacted Wisconsin WildCare, completed training, and fostered 6 baby raccoons for the 2018 season. Rebekah describes her experiences with these wild animals with “My soul felt whole in those moments.” In 2019, she continued learning and joined the intake team. During the 2019 season, she fostered 5 baby raccoons to release and then released an additional 2 later in the fall. By the end of the summer, Rebekah joined the Board of Directors. In October, she was asked to take over the position of President of the Board. January of 2020, Rebekah passed her Basic Wildlife License test and is awaiting her facility inspection by the DNR.
Rebekah has a Bachelors in Business/Marketing and a Bachelors in Human Nutrition, which help in her roles at Wisconsin WildCare. She lives with her husband of 20+ years and their only child, who is 19. She has worked as a small business owner, a substitute teacher, and now dedicates her time to volunteer work and helping her aging mother. She also enjoys walking the shore of Lake Michigan, collecting rocks, crafting, reading, and traveling.
Director, Treasurer, Animal Care Coordinator, and Raccoon Care Coordinator
Diane lives in the Town of Vienna, Wisconsin with her husband and youngest child. Their two older children live independently in neighboring communities. Diane has always been a nurturer and spends much of her time doting on and caring for her family. She also enjoys her career working as a Program Coordinator at a local senior center.
Ever since she was young, she had a great interest in caring for children as well as both domestic and wild animals. Growing up, Diane was one of those kids that managed to find injured or orphaned animals and brought them home so that she and her mother could nurture them back to health before setting them free to live out their lives in the wild. As a teenager she and her mom took in two newborn orphaned puppies. After weeks of bottle feedings and some special care, she watched the puppies grow from frail little beings to energetic and happy young pups. She will often say that the reward of this experience is likely what cinched her decision to later seek out a role in wildlife rehabilitation.
During spring of 2014, Diane began volunteering with Wisconsin WildCare and she received that hands-on training necessary to raise three very young raccoons. Over the past 6 years, Diane has continued to take on more responsibility and to grow with the organization. Today she is one of two Directors and plays a major role doing intake, triage, and training. Diane says that this is one of the most rewarding roles and it is a large part of who she is today. She and her family live adjacent to a nature conservancy and they spend a lot of time enjoying nature.
Director & Volunteer Coordinator
Tom began working with wildlife in 2007 as a volunteer at Four Lakes Wildlife Center (now Dane County Humane Society Wildlife Center) where he cared for multiple species of birds, small mammals, and reptiles. He became very active in their home fostering program, including training many of the new fosters on the care of squirrels and rabbits in their homes. He has often said that while caring for the variety of animals in the wildlife center was very rewarding, it is the opportunity to closely observe and develop a connection with the animals that he cared for in his home that truly stimulated his passion for wildlife rehabilitation!
In 2012, he obtained his Basic Wildlife Rehabilitation License from the Wisconsin DNR and continued to volunteer regularly at Four Lakes. In 2011, he began working with WWC Founder, Kelly Osborn, to foster raccoons in his home and was part of the original planning committee that assisted Kelly in the startup of Wisconsin Wildcare in 2013. Tom was granted his Advanced Wildlife Rehab License in 2017. Since 2017, Tom has been very active in coordinating and training all the wonderful foster volunteers the organization has. He is also very active on the phone triage and animal intake team for WWC.
Tom has a background in healthcare as a registered nurse, certified registered nurse anesthetist, researcher, and educator. In the little spare time he has in between his full time paying job and his passion for wildlife rehab, Tom enjoys reading, traveling, and hanging out with his wife, 6 children and 2 grandchildren!
Courtney is the current Secretary for WWC. She is a mom, a wife, a business owner, a photographer, and a huge part of our organization. She is not only part of the Board, but also a member of our Intake Team and a foster. She’s willing to try just about any species at least once.
As a nurse she cares for humans, but that translates to an abundance of usable knowledge in the wildlife rehabilitation world, as well. And her compassion has no boundaries. She has been involved in rehab for 14 years.
Board Member and Cottontail Rabbit Care Coordinator
Teresa began chasing her dreams of caring for animals at the age of 4 assisting her grandfather tend to livestock. In 1995 she began fostering wild birds and raptors in Texas under the wing of a Dallas based rehabber and local veterinarians.
In 2017 Teresa formally met Tom Manley while rescuing an injured raccoon in Deforest, WI. She joined WWC as a foster specifically caring for Eastern Cottontails in 2018. In 2019, under the wing of Tom, she began coordinating intakes, assisting with wildlife calls, foster placement, and training of cottontail fosters. Later that year she joined as a member of the Board of Directors. She is now the Rabbit Care Coordinator, as well as a member of the Board. She has a higher than average successful release rate – over 80%. She is always willing to walk through a ditch in high heels, a skirt, and a rainstorm to rescue an animal
Teresa lives in Sun Prairie, is a Married mother of two daughters, is actively raising her 8 year old granddaughter, and caring for her senior disabled parents with the help of her husband. She is an executive with a passion for four legged fluffy butts. Over the past 30 years she has worked with rescues of cats, dogs, domestic and wild birds, snakes, geckos, newts, turtles, bunnies, opossums, and the occasional squirrel, and mouse.
Renee Bridich has been passionate about animals as far back as she can remember. She grew up running through the woods rescuing little animals. One of her first memories is pushing a baby carriage around filled with salamanders! Currently she lives in Stoughton with her husband who supports her like crazy and their assortment of pets.
Renee graduated from UW Stevens Point with a BS in Wildlife Management back in 2006. She has worked professionally with animals for almost 20 years in a wide variety of environments such as pet stores, zoos, and wildlife sanctuaries. She currently works at a vet clinic in Madison which she loves. However her true passion is wildlife!
Renee was introduced to WWC in 2017 and was thrilled to join. Her first role was a foster mom for a group of 6 tiny opossums. Opossums are a very tricky baby to raise but she fell madly in love with the species and hasn’t looked back! She looks forward to years of fostering and educating the public about all the beloved Wisconsin animals that WWC rehabilitates and releases. This year her goal is get her Wildlife Rehabilitation License!
Squirrel & Chipmunk Care Coordinator
Holly Hill-Putnam is starting her third season with WWC after doing home care with Dane County Humane Society for 8 years where she specialized in neo-natal baby mammals. She has an abundance of experience with many species between her DCHS work and her work with WWC. She was recently recognized for her service as an unsung hero in the Madison area for volunteering more than 14,000 hours working with animals.
Her special interest is squirrels (gray, red, fox, flying) and ground squirrels (thirteen-lined ground squirrels and chipmunks). Holly has seemingly endless energy. She spends hours at DCHS to come home and care for the WWC animals in her care. She also does mice, voles and bunnies. She is an intake volunteer, taking in a huge number of our fosters for stabilization, training fosters, and serves on the Board of Directors. Holly is also a master at fundraising! We couldn’t do what we do without her.
If Holly had to be summed up in one word, that word would be “dedicated”. Holly personifies the word in her work with the animals, training fosters, and promoting our organization. Holly is always willing to go above and beyond for an animal in need. We are fortunate to have such a wonderful, caring individual directing care for our squirrels, chippies, etc.
Opossum Care Coordinator
Wendy Lee came to wildlife rehabilitation after working for over a decade in feral cat rescue, fostering, socializing, and working as a volunteer medical assistant to the shelter vet. Her experience with and love for feral cats gave her a strong base for moving into wildlife rehab.
While every life is precious to her, she has found her calling with the opossums. Wendy spends countless hours on research and education, passionate about improvements in nutrition, enrichment, and better preparing our opossums for release. Her biggest challenge currently improving mortality rates for pinky opossum orphans under 15 grams, something which few rehabbers undertake.
“I honestly wish I could put into words how I felt the day that I saw my first baby opes. Kelly opened the box, and they literally took my breath away. I knew from that moment that I would do anything and everything I could for them.”
She continues to confer with rehabbers and experts nationwide, working towards greater solutions for opossums overall. She is seen on social media at all hours of the day and night, helping others locally, across the country, and even a couple of times in Mexico and Brazil, to help opossums, and continuing to learn from the experiences of others. She is an invaluable resource and hardworking member of our team.
Founder and Emeritus Board Member
Kelly Osborn, who started the organization is still involved today. She lived and breathed Wisconsin WildCare while trying to get it off the ground as a viable rescue and rehabilitation organization – spending countless hours to make it a success. She provides much needed education and information to our network of fosters, while fostering and doing intakes with her husband Chuck.
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