Mar 31, 2009

Frosty, the newborn Kitten and 9 Opossum Babies

The shelter just called and said that the ACO brought in a newborn kitten, ice-cold, probably not going to make it, if I wanted to try it anyways. OF COURSE I DO!

He sure was icey cold, so cold that I named him Frosty right away! After I warmed him up, he suckled like a champ, peed and went to sleep purring. I think he has a good chance :


It's getting crowded at the Rainbow Wildlife Rescue! I'm up to 9 opossums, 8 squirrels, 2 kittens, a momma dog with her 4 puppies, and a rabbit.

7 of the 9 opossums were being tube-fed until yesterday when they finally figured out how to lap from the bowl:

And here are the 2 older opossums:

Mar 27, 2009

Heidi with 4 newborn Puppies

I got her in today from the shelter. No history on the dog whatsoever. What are your guesses on the breeds she's got in her?

I named her Heidi. I can't say much about her yet..she was very nervous and crying, so I gave her a safe place, food, water, warm Esbilac, blankeys and now she's calmed down and sleeps with the babies:

Mar 21, 2009

Rainbow Wildlife Spring Newsletter

Spring 2009 at the Rainbow Wildlife Rescue

The Rainbow Wildlife Rescue is a non-profit organization in Stephenville, Texas. My name is Birgit Sommer. I am a licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator for the State of Texas as well as a Shelter Walker and volunteer foster parent for the Erath County Humane Society. I, like many other licensed wildlife rehabilitators, work out of my own home and volunteer my time and just about every spare cent I can gather towards animal rescue efforts. No state funding is available for animal caging, veterinary care, medicine or food. That's why most rehabilitators gratefully accept donations towards the care of animals they receive from the public.

I would like to welcome our new subscribers! With 438 members we are approaching the 500 mark! Thank you all so much for taking the interest in my work with animals! Kitten

In this Issue:

Stephenville, Texas: Local Issues

Vote for Mark Murphy

If you live in Stephenville, we urge you to support and vote for Mark Murphy on May 9th. Mr. Murphy has been of great help to the animal community. He actively supports the dog park issue and if re-elected, wants to speak out for a new animal shelter.

Thumbs up

Sean Perry has started a web site called He also created the above graphic. Thanks! His web site features an exclusively local petition in favor of the dog park. Please click HERE to sign it!

Boy Scouts building a Flight Cage

Boy Scouts
Boy Scouts
Boy Scouts

Boy Scouts

The Boy Scouts started to build on a 16 x 8 x 8 foot flight cage according to the required State standards! It's nearly completed and the last hurdle on my way to the federal bird permit! I can't express enough gratitude towards these boys. Thank you all so very very very much!!!!

Honey and Trinity: Happy Ending

Honey and Trinity

Honey and Trinity

Trinity has finally made it into her forever home! The story is supposed to be printed in this Sunday's edition of the Empire Tribune, but we haven't received any confirmation as of this writing.

To the folks outside of the local newspaper area, I made the article available online for ya'll to read. CLICK HERE!

Here's an excerpt:

Honey and Trinity with Family

The Branhams

It was a cold and damp morning on New Year's Eve 2007. My small wildlife rescue was empty for the winter and I was enjoying the relaxing moments before spring would present me with its orphaned critters again. That's when the phone rang and my life was about to be changed forever.....


Spring Babies

If you found any of the following animals, click on the appropriate link or contact me at

The following is an article by Angelia Joiner which she wrote for the Abilene Reporter at . I had the honor to put my 2 cents in, so make sure you read the article all the way to the end or you miss all the good advice!

Leave the mothering to nature

Experts say young animals who appear to be abandoned often are in parents' care

By Angelia Joiner
Special to the Reporter-News
Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Spring is just around the corner, and as the new season arrives so do the offspring of a variety of wildlife.

Kindhearted humans sometimes find -- and try to take in -- young birds, squirrels, fawns or rabbits that appear to be abandoned.

Roy Johnson, Taylor County game warden, said most of the time this is not the case.

"Mother Nature has a way of taking care if itself," Johnson said. "If you see a fawn, I promise you the mama has not abandoned it. She will come back and take care of it."

He said the same is true for other animals.

Johnson said the exception is when someone sees a dead mother. The fawn will not leave it, and in that case, the fawn should be taken to a licensed rehabilitator -- but those are hard to find.

Read More >>>>

Erath County Humane Society Animal Shelter

I want to mention the ECHS, since they have a current Adoption List on I go to the shelter at least once a week and take pictures to update the petfinder page. It has been a great success!

Don't Buy, Adopt a Pet

Don't Buy, Adopt a Pet!

Currently residing at the Rainbow Wildlife Rescue

5 squirrel babies

opossum babies

5 Squirrel Babies from 2 different Moms
3 Opossum Babies
5 squirrel babies
kitten named Martini
A Cottontail Rabbit

A Kitten named Martini

Last Word of Advice: Dog Tips

Is this Dog aggressive? Know what to do!

If a strange dog approaches you, should you run or should you stay calm?

Rule number 1: always stay calm!

Emotions such as fear are considered a weakness in the animal world and will make you vulnerable.

Running dog

Here are some guidelines of what you need to do to stay save when a strange dog approaches you:

1. Do not take it personally; the dog is only protecting his own space and not out to get yours.

2. Stay calm. Dogs communicate with energy. Fear and anxiety is energy. If the dog is aggressive, he wants you to get scared which spells vulnerability in the dog world. Any emotion does. So stay calm and controlled and the dog will be thrown off.

3. Stand your ground, don't run. If you have a purse, an umbrella, a stick, or something similar, place it in front of you to make yourself appear larger. Body language is another form of communication that the dog understands and he will see that you are no threat to his space, because you are claiming your own. By staying calm and claiming your space you are building an invisible energy boundary between you and the dog. You let him know that you are not afraid.

4. Wait until the dog retreats or simply looks away or turns his back on you. Then calmly walk away.

Miss Dolittle's Websites:

Critter Blog with regular Updates - - Puppy Education - Funny Animal E-Cards - Squirrel Rescue Texas - Rainbow Wildlife Rescue in Texas - Pets and Wildlife Forum - Magic Postcards - MissDolittle on Youtube - Stephenville Dog Park - Webdesign in Support of the Rescue

Mar 20, 2009

Several U.S. Bird Populations Plummet Due to Habitat Loss

Sweeping Report Shows Some Species Have Made Gains

Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, March 19, 2009; 2:30 PM

Several major bird populations have plummeted over the past four decades across the United States as development transformed the nation's landscape, according to a comprehensive survey released today by the Interior Department and outside experts, but conservation efforts have managed to stave off potential extinctions of others.

"The State of the Birds" report, a sweeping analysis of data compiled through scientific and citizen surveys over the past 40 years, shows that some species have made significant gains even as others have suffered. Hunted waterfowl and iconic species such as the bald eagle have expanded in number, the report found, as birds along the nation's coasts and in its arid areas and grasslands have declined sharply.

"Just as they were when Rachel Carson published Silent Spring nearly 50 years ago, birds today are a bellwether of the health of land, water and ecosystems," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in a statement. "From shorebirds in New England to warblers in Michigan to songbirds in Hawaii, we are seeing disturbing downward population trends that should set off environmental alarm bells."

The fact that concerted conservation efforts have saved birds such as the peregrine falcon and allowed various wetland birds to flourish, scientists said, shows that other species can reverse their declines with sufficient support from federal agencies and private groups.

"When we try, we can do it," said John Fitzpatrick, executive director of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. "There are now populations and habitats across the country begging for us to do it."

The species in decline are being affected by climate change, habitat destruction, invasive species and disease, among other factors, the report found. More pedestrian threats, such as collisions with buildings and attacks by feral cats, have diminished birds' numbers in some urban and suburban areas.

Hawaii, more than any other place in the country, highlights the challenge native American birds face. Seventy-one bird species have disappeared since humans populated the Hawaiian islands in 300 A.D., and another 10 have not been spotted in years. At the moment, more than a third of the bird species listed under the Endangered Species Act are in Hawaii, but state and federal agencies spent only $30.6 million on endangered birds there between 1996 and 2004, compared with more than $722 million on the mainland.

"In Hawaii we've got lots of imminent extinctions, but not enough resources being spent on them," said George Wallace, vice president of the American Bird Conservancy.

With sufficient funds, Wallace argued, federal managers could restore Hawaiian birds' habitat and protect them against introduced species such as pigs, sheep and deer that threaten their survival. He estimated it would cost roughly $15 million to erect extensive fencing for the Palila, a Hawaiian honeycreeper whose numbers declined from 6,600 birds in 2003 to 2,200 in 2008.

Bird advocates have enjoyed more success in raising money to protect North American waterfowl, which have a powerful political constituency among sport hunters. The U.S. government has raised $700 million for wetlands conservation through the sale of Federal Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamps, better known as "duck stamps," and a coalition of private groups and agencies in Canada, the United States and Mexico have raised more than $3 billion over the past 20 years to protect more than 13 million acres of waterfowl habitat. Taken as a whole, the 39 species of hunted waterfowl that federal managers track have increased 100 percent over the past 40 years.

In some cases, however, public and private protections for key bird species are in jeopardy. The Conservation Reserve Program provides federal dollars to farmers in order to preserve vital habitat on which species such as the lesser prairie chicken depend, but contracts encompassing 3.9 million acres are set to expire by the end of September. Michael J. Bean, who directs the wildlife program for the Environmental Defense Fund, an advocacy group, said losing these grasslands "could be the tipping point that makes an endangered species designation for the lesser prairie chicken unavoidable."

Placing the bird on the endangered species list, Bean added, could make it more difficult for entrepreneurs to build wind projects in the southern Plains. As a whole, birds that breed only in grasslands have declined by 40 percent over the past four decades.

Elsewhere in the country, conservationists are trying to protect rare bird species before disease can strike. On Santa Cruz Island, off California's southern coast, part of the Channel Island chain, Nature Conservancy officials are conducting a vaccination campaign aimed at protecting the Island Scrub-Jay from the West Nile virus, which has already hurt some related bird species on the mainland.

Scott Morrison, the conservancy's director of conservation science in California, said his group has determined the virus has yet to infect the island's unique, bright blue birds even as incidence of West Nile among birds in nearby Ventura County nearly doubled between 2007 and 2008. While the scrub-jay's remote location offers them some protection, vaccination offers even more.

"There's evidence, anecdotal, this [vaccination] could actually be a useful strategy to guard against this disease," Morrison said, noting that scientists had already vaccinated California condors against the virus. "If it comes over tomorrow, maybe we would avoid some of these scary drops in numbers, for at least a subset in population."


Mar 19, 2009

A Kitten named Martini

Animal Control brought lil Martini 3 days ago. He found her under a trailer, rest of them were already dead, he said. She's about 10 days old, just opening her eyes and is terribly congested with yellow mucus coming out of her nose and infected eyes.

She responded well to the infant Amox and seems to get better. She's drinking fine and purrs a lot:

That old Lindt Teddy here has raised more kittens and squirrels and opossums than an entire school class full of kids would see in a life time!

Mar 16, 2009

Wrens moving in

This is not a rehab post, just some backyard fun. I had this little birdhouse which I used to cover up a hole in the enclosure. I had to cut the screen so I could get in there to rake some dirt away from the entrance, because I couldn't get in anymore. Look at the rabbit thread for that one lol.

Anyways, I had tied up that birdhouse there until I get the screen fixed and yesterday I look outside and see the wrens moving in.

I also had this little 'I forgot what it's called' in the red net. My friend's 2 year old made it. She collected all sorts of hairs and grasses for the birds to pick on for nest building material. Isn't that the cutest thing ever?? And it soooo works!!

Mar 9, 2009

Baby Squirrels, Baby Cottontails, Trinity, Boy Scouts

3 days ago I received 3 squirrels of about 5 weeks, eyes fully open. A playhouse was taken down and moved to another city. On arrival, the babies were discovered. They were a bit dehydrated and scared, but otherwise in good shape.

Yesterday, I received 2 more babies with their eyes still closed, but about to open any day now. They are close to 4 weeks old and also in very good shape.

I also received 2 baby cottontails (in addition to the one I already have for a few days and who is doing great!) with their eyes still closed and badly injured by a dog. They are also very dehydrated and starved, so I don't have much hope for them, but that won't keep me from trying to help them.

The Boy Scouts have also been busy building a flight cage for the Rainbow Wildlife Rescue, so that I can apply for the federal bird permit:

And last but not least, Trinity together with her mother Honey in their new forever home:

Mar 6, 2009

Orphaned Cottontail first Baby of 2009

His mother and siblings found an unfortunate end under a lawn mower, but this baby was saved:

He had one eye open when I got him, now both eyes are open, which is the most critical time. So far, everything looks good.

Mar 1, 2009

Trinity, Boy Scouts, Federal Permit

Yesterday, Trinity had her stitches removed and received the green light to start rehab. I started her exercise on the treadmill and we will go water treading tomorrow, when it's warmer. She is doing so great! In a week, 2 the most, she will be moving in with her new forever home!

The Boy Scouts, led by an Eagle Scout (I really need to learn the ranks and functions of the Scouts, so I can do them justice!) came by yesterday and stayed for a few hours to start building on the flight cage. I need an 8 x 16 x 8 foot enclosure so I can finally apply for the federal bird permit which will enable me to accept songbirds and waterfowl.

Here is a little movie of the boys working hard. They have yet to raise the netting material in order to finish the flight cage and I'm looking forward to them coming over again. They are such a delight. Kids are so curious and I always find some ears to listen to some animal stories which I try to combine with some education.