AUSTIN, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - Imagine finding a wild animal in need of help. Would you know what to do?
It's a predicament Julie Maron found herself in years ago. One that led her to Austin Wildlife Rescue, and a total career change from once working in finance. "I did end up quitting that job and I came here because I actually ended up finding an injured rabbit in my front yard."
The organization peaked her interest, so much so, that Julie felt compelled to get involved helping some of Austin's most vulnerable wild creatures. "And then I was hired several months later as a staff member, and now three years later now I get to be in animal care management. So it was just so exciting, it's like it was just meant to be and it's just a dream job."
A dream job that takes in over 7,000 animals each year, so there's a lot of work to be done.
From cage cleaning, to baby feedings, even extensive knowledge of animal medicine. "You have to really know the medication, like the antibiotics and the pain killers that sort of thing. And we work very closely with our veterinarians to make sure the proper medications are given in the proper situations."
When it comes to feeding time, volunteers can participate after proper training and orientation. "You always want to wear gloves when handling wildlife, they can have a few more diseases that we're not used to. So you want to protect yourself and protect them as well."
So we mixed up some squirrel-specific formula and I was shown proper handling technique. The babies were ready. "We like to see the big bellies on the babies," explained Julie.
The slow technique is to prevent aspiration, a condition where squirrels breathe in some of the formula. Improper feeding can lead to pneumonia. "It's just a wonderful experience. To be able to watch these babies grow up and our ultimate and only goal is for release back into the wild."
A goal that the center strives for with each of its residents.
A temporary home mixed with a little tender loving care before being introduced back to nature.