Wisconsin WildCare has members who are licensed to rehabilitate small Mammals in south Central Wisconsin
Treasurer, Animal Care Director, and Raccoon Co-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 8 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.
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. In January of 2020, Rebekah passed her Basic Wildlife License test and her facility inspection by the DNR to become a Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator.
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 24 years and their only child, who is 22. She has worked as a small business owner, a substitute teacher, and now dedicates her time to volunteer work and helping her aging mother, while starting a new business with her husband in the North Woods. She also enjoys walking the shores of the Great Lakes, collecting rocks, crafting, reading, and traveling.
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. In 2022 Tom became the Vice President of the Board of Directors and gave up his Volunteer Coordinator position.
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 3 grandchildren!
Secretary and Rabbit Coordinator
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. She has also taken over as our Rabbit Species Coordinator.
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 16+ years.
Board Member, Assistant Opossum Coordinator, Volunteer Coordinator
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. Renee has become the Assistant Opossum Coordinator and Volunteer Coordinator. She is also waiting patiently for the results of her Basic Licensing Exam so she can finish the process of earning her Wisconsin Rehabilitators License.
Squirrel, Chipmunk and Rodent Coordinator
Holly has been a member of Wisconsin Wildcare since 2018 when the Dane County Humane Society, for which she has been volunteering for 10 years, decided to stop taking baby mammals. Since neonates and juvenile mammals were her particular interest, she joined WWC and has been the Squirrel Coordinator since then. At the Humane Society, where Holly still volunteers, she worked with many species (reptile and amphibians, raptors and many kinds of birds) but the furry guys were always her favorite. She was recognized for her service as an “Unsung Hero” in the Madison Area for volunteering more than 14,000 hours at the Dane County Humane Society, where she gained her experience in raising small mammals, especially when she entered into foster home care and began caring for the little ones in her home.
Her special interest is squirrels (gray, red, fox, flying) and ground squirrels (thirteen-lined ground squirrels and chipmunks). Days can be long ones when, after working at the Humane Society, she comes home to feed her neonates taken in through Wisconsin Wildcare, especially at the beginning of the season when squirrels need to be fed 7 times a day. She also cares for mice, voles, muskrats, woodchucks and bunnies. Holly serves as an intake volunteer, taking in animals directly from the public for stabilization and healing before passing them along to another of our trained fosters when they are healthy. She on-boards all new people interested in doing squirrels, providing one-on-one training on syringe feeding and husbandry and serving as a mentor to our old and new fosters when medical issues arise.
While animal care is her first love, Holly also participates on our Board of Directors and organization fundraising by urging finders who bring animals to us to contribute towards their continued care, which in the case of squirrels is about 4 months from birth. She has 3 large pre-release cages in her yard to get these juveniles conditioned to return to the wild. She utterly enjoys seeing past “graduates” that she has released in her yard come to visit and have their own families!
Jen lives in Dodge County with her husband James, their four sons, dogs and cat. She has been with Wisconsin WildCare since 2020, where she took on 7 baby raccoons her first year. She is always looking to expand her knowledge and gain more experience when it comes to animals.
Jen's love for nature, animals and wildlife started from watching her Grandma who lived on a 120 acre homestead in the mountains of Pennsylvania and her grandma who lived in Grafton, WI. She watched, listened, and helped her grandmas care for these animals; with that she gained a love and respect for animals, nature and wildlife. Jen was exposed to all kinds of animals and wildlife which sparked a passion in her as a young child. She would often find strays and wildlife (or they would find her) that were in need of care and love.
As she got older that didn't change, even while she traveled she still helped animals in need. For the last 24 years she has worked with animals and wildlife in various ways; from pet stores, doggy daycares, horse farm cleaning stalls and caring for the horses, animal groomer/bather to volunteering at Rides & Reins and WWC.
Raccoon Care Co-Coordinator, Board Member
Hannah lives in Cottage Grove, WI, on the family farm that she grew up on, with her Husband, two cats and her husky. She grew up around stray kittens, cows, calves and horses. This helped shape her future love for animals and wildlife. Her first real job was working at a large horse boarding facility. In 2014 she spent a year working at the Dane County Humane Society caring for the dogs, cats, reptiles, horses and bunnies She moved onto different careers and is currently a service contract coordinator with Meridian IT.
In 2020 she found WWC and decided to apply to be a volunteer foster. She attended a day long training to learn the basics and 4 months later she had her first raccoon kits. When 2021 came around, she joined the Board of Directors to help assist with social media posts and educating. In May of 2021, she became Co-Raccoon Director.
In Hannah’s spare time, she loves to go fishing, hiking and kayaking with her husband and friends. She also spends a lot of time doing wildlife and outdoor photography.
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 is 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.
Tammy has been an animal lover her entire life. Everything from cats and dogs to snakes and turtles and everything in between. Growing up she had every kind of critter imaginable and her best friend was a giant Great Dane who took up most of her twin bed. It's no wonder then, that she is completely involved in rescue as an adult!
Tammy is co-founder and Executive Director of Community Cat Inc, a rescue in Whitewater, WI that specializes in cats most in need of rescue. A lot of work is done with feral cats, including trap/neuter/return. Tammy fosters animals for Community Cat also, mostly cats with severe medical and behavioral needs. Dogs are also much loved in Tammy's house! She has three small dogs of her own and fosters dogs for Community Cat and Albert's Dog Lounge.
Running an animal rescue brings lots and lots of calls for other creatures in need! Every year Tammy was taking these calls and finding somewhere for these animals to go. Many calls were made to wildlife organizations and much time spent running injured and abandoned animals to rescue! Four years in a row she ended up with baby raccoons until she could find them care. In 2020 she made it official and became a raccoon foster for Wisconsin Wildcare. Her first intake babies were a challenge, being very small and very dehydrated. She cared for them around the clock and they blossomed and were released and still visit her porch most nights along with the opossum and feral cats. She took in 3 opossums this year too and instantly fell in love with them. What's her favorite to foster? Whoever needs her the most at any given time!
When Tammy heard there was an opening on the board of directors, she jumped at the opportunity to use her experience in rescue to further help the WildCare organization. She looks forward to what the future brings and to find out how else she can assist the wonderful wild creatures of Wisconsin.
Tammy lives in Whitewater, WI. She has two wonderful adult daughters who have blessed her with two wonderful grandsons and a granddaughter. The grandbabies are being brought up to respect and care for wild and domestic animals. Raising a future generation of rescuers!
Board Member, Donor Relations
Like so many people in animal rescue, Rebecca’s love for animals started early. When her mother first told her that animals get sick or hurt and need help just like humans, Rebecca started wandering the neighborhood every chance she could, looking for animals who needed help.
Much to her parents’ shock, she found many. Squirrels, birds, mice, even an orphaned raccoon. That time Rebecca nearly lost her life. Not because of the raccoon, he was great. But the look her dad gave her had Rebecca’s life flashing before her eyes. So at that point Rebecca decided to switch to rescuing wounded insects and worms. This had her parents seriously confused. After reluctantly allowing Fred and Martha to live caused a massive moth infestation in their home, Rebecca’s parents considered duct taping their kid to the wall and hoping for the best.
Luckily Rebecca grew up and got into human rescue and rehabilitation. Her parents could breathe a sigh of relief for about a decade.. until Rebecca met domestic rats. At this point her parents gave up all hope for her sanity as she threw herself into volunteering in domestic animal rescue, specializing in exotic species like rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, etc. She also loves fostering cats, and neonate kittens especially. Rebecca has been volunteering for various rescues like the Humane Society of Jefferson County, Community Cat, and the Wisconsin House Rabbit Society for 10 years now.
When Rebecca found an orphaned opossum in her backyard a few years ago, she fell head over heels in love. Oliver the baby opossum led Rebecca to Wendy and Wisconsin Wildcare, and the rest is history. She’s still learning as much about wildlife as she can, and figuring out how she can help them while still volunteering and fostering for domestic rescue.
Working and taking care of humans was wonderful work, and Rebecca is grateful for the time she was able to do that. But she has never felt more whole and more herself than she does when working with animals. She often gets to see the very best of humanity in the people around her who sacrifice so much to save the animals they love. Even better, Rebecca gets to witness miracles with every animal in her care. They, humans don’t and animals alike, inspire her every day.
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 support to our network of fosters, while fostering and doing intakes with her husband Chuck.
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