Brevard County WILDLIFE EMERGENCY: 321-821-7881

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Our Mission

To provide a safe and compassionate emergency first response service for wildlife in need of urgent medical attention.

Due to the ever-increasing population and urbanization in the state of Florida, conflicts between people and wildlife are both inevitable and commonplace. Those conflicts; often resulting in life or death situations for the affected wildlife, require a rapid response by trained wildlife professionals. After recognizing the constant and increasing need for wildlife transportation and rescue, Heather Pepe Dillon and Matthew Buice Co-Founded WILD Florida Rescue, registered as a 501(c)(3) Non Profit Corporation.

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On The Horizon..

We Need Your Help!

WFR operates on the generosity of our community.

Please consider supporting our Go Fund Me drive to purchase a newer ambulance.

We normally run with two ambulances; however, Ambulance 1 has been driven into the ground, reaching excessive mileage running all over Brevard County and surrounding area rescuing injured wildlife. Our mechanics have advised it is no longer cost effective to keep it safely on the road. This leaves us with Ambulance 2 which is accumulating mileage at a fast rate.

Any and all amounts will help reach our goal.

Donate through PayPal here.

We greatly appreciate donations
of any size.

Donate by Amazon Wishlist

You are helping WFR rescue wildlife in need of an emergency rescue and provide first aid and care while transporting to veterinarians and rehabilitators

Services

Capture

We aim to utilize the latest methods and tools necessary to minimize stress and reduce the chances of further injury during animal rescues.

Transport

Our company is founded on the idea that a rapid pick-up and drop-off offers the greatest chance of survival for the sick and wounded.

Our 24 hour service means no animal is left to suffer.

Facebook Feed

Freedom's Update:
I've got a sad heart, we all do. There is no easy way for me to share the news, so we are most grateful that Dr. Donna Craig in collaboration with the Veterinarians at Eau Gallie Veterinary Hospital has written up Freedom's story to share. It's lengthy but I hope you can appreciate the thoroughness done for you with heavy hearts.
Thank you; Dr Brickett, Dr Retamozo, Dr Craig, CVT Gemma, CVT Dale, Aramie, Elizabeth, Dr Lane (Board Certified Avian Practitioner), WFR first responders AND the public who called in for help, who shared great concern, donated and brought fish. Thank you all.

Freedom’s Story

We wanted to take the time to offer some information and perspective about Freedom, the bald eagle that was brought in through Wild Florida Rescue on February 16th.
Every single case that comes in is unique and often there is very little history to guide us as to what happened. And that complicates how we move forward. In the case of this eagle, we believe it was part of a pair in Melbourne where the surrounding acreage was cleared a month ago. A lone eagle has been spotted in the area after 'Freedom' was rescued, presumably the mate. When the eagle came in, we knew it was from this area, but didn’t realize it was actually part of the pair that is watched. It can take some time to get all the details from the rescuer. What we learned was that this eagle was captured in a very dense vegetative area (near the cleared lot) that makes a safe capture quite tricky for all involved. And in this case it was not easy retrieving it. When the eagle was brought in, it was immediately examined, radiographed and blood drawn to determine a treatment plan. An IV catheter was placed, and treatment began. Luckily there were no broken bones. The only obvious injury was soft tissue injury around his humerus (on x-ray) and minimal bruising that could be seen on the surface layer of the skin. He was in good spirits, enjoyed fish and never turned down a meal. But, the injuries took a few days to start defining themselves.
All of us involved (3 veterinarians, including an avian wildlife specialist, several licensed veterinary technicians, several extremely experienced wildlife rehabbers, and volunteers) frequently discussed his progress and treatment plan, it was a VERY unusual case. One big rule out was HPAI (Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza) that hit our local eagle population hard in the last 2 years, as it is highly contagious and nearly always fatal. Our eagle had an elevated white cell count, was dehydrated and elevated markers that indicate muscle trauma. We immediately started him on the appropriate treatments (which often can change) and monitored his response closely. Within a couple of days his left wing started weeping blood from what we later located as a tiny hole in the skin of the inflamed area of its wing. We thought initially it might have been an infection, but it didn’t behave like a true infection. It was more typical of an envenomation injury, which could have been from a snake or spider bite. Depending on the type of venom, the wound will progress differently. If it was a neurotoxic venom (from an elapid snake like a coral snake) it would lead to neurotoxic signs like paralysis, seizures, and eventual respiratory distress/paralysis. In a hemotoxic envenomation, from something like a rattlesnake, it affects the vascular system causing bleeding and clotting problems. Were it a spider (say a brown recluse, which many people have commented do not occur in Florida) they usually cause very rapid necrosis (dying and sloughing of the tissue), leaving huge gaping holes that must slowly heal or require skin grafts. But birds do not have a lot of muscle mass in their wings. The bone basically forms the structure around which the skin holds the feathers, all keeping it light enough for flight. So, the little bit of muscle within the wing structure may have been nicked with venom since the bleeding didn’t start until a few days after coming in. But this is all speculation since nobody, other than the eagle knows what really happened. In retrospection now, we think what likely happened is that with the clearing of the land and the mad rush for cover of all the animals trapped in the lot, he likely saw a snake (which they will readily go for) and perhaps in doing so that is where the bite may have come. We do think it is less likely a spider, but again, we will likely never know.
Over the next few days, we did multiple daily flushing/cleaning/medicating the area to prevent progression, but it did not stop it. One of the medications used was formulated from The University of Georgia. We quickly changed paths and added different antibiotics and medications. There was growing concern that if it was infection, it might spread to the bone causing osteomyelitis and rendering survival impossible.
In wildlife work, one of the hardest pills to swallow is that you simply cannot save them all. There aren’t the resources for all in need, but with this eagle we all quickly became deeply invested in his recovery because it was a fighter. Through all the handling, which most wild birds quickly grow tired of and can become aggressive, he cooperated and was eating really well the entire week. But in a week’s time it was becoming apparent it was not meant to be.
On day 7 of its hospitalization things started getting rapidly worse as the skin, feathers and any surrounding tissue just started melting away, no matter what we did. With many raptors, it is possible to consider wing amputation to save their life and in many cases they can become an educational animal in a wildlife or zoo setting, which is invaluable for educating the public. But Bald Eagles, being our national bird are protected and US Fish and Wildlife Service oversees all that happens and ultimately, they make the final decisions. With decades of data we know that most bald eagles don’t do great with full wing amputations because they are big and it throws them off balance. And adult eagles that have not been raised around humans where we can teach them to accept handling, often simply do not adjust or cooperate. So, clearly this is not quality of life for them, meaning euthanasia is the most humane option.
We inquired with USFWS as to what our options were and because of the location of the wounds, he would require a full wing amputation and it was not advised, so our only option was euthanasia. So, Freedom was truly granted freedom once we knew this was not going to heal. We know this probably saddens and angers a lot of people, but ultimately it was the best thing for Freedom.
We have submitted biopsies in hopes of better understanding what did occur, but it is possible it will be inconclusive. Bottom line, we would ALL do this all over again. We are fully committed and dedicated to help all we can, but as is often the case, we simply cannot save them all. And for those of you that have been following this, we ask you to continue your support of wildlife by donating to organizations doing the work. It is HARD and often heartbreaking, but if we don’t try, none get saved. Thank you, Freedom, for the incredible fight you gave. We all hope you are soaring high now free from the pain you endured. We will not forget you.
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Dang, what a rough week for pelicans and our rescue team first responders 😔 3 days straight and around the clock picking up pelicans. 17 calls on 1 shift. Many with broken wings, others dead, some weak and lethargic. We don't know the causes 100% yet. We have had some crazy weather, cold water and high winds and random off course species ( normal for this time of year) but also could be due to human impacts, not necessarily deliberate but always the possibility of malicious which we certainly hope is not the case. We are tired and sad for the pelicans. We will keep getting out there as depressing as it is so none are left to suffer the pain they must be in. Sad 😔 🙁 😥 😞 🚑 We appreciate all you thankful folks out there sharing hugs and assisting 🫂 If you need help call 321 821 7881 ☎️ ...

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EAGLE UPDATE: Thank you everyone who has donated towards saving the eagle. We wanted to update that he is in a deadly situation. His wound tissue is worse every hour. He has Veterinary specialist in his corner. There is a possibility that this is all caused by a brown recluse spider (I'm not a vet so I can fill you in as we hear more) but with his condition deteriorating we have the Vets as well as Dale Craig of Outback Rehab currently speaking with the Fish and Wildlife State Coordinators to figure out what can be done. We are praying but we are in fear of losing another American Bald Eagle. Talking with some eagle folks we believe that he is one of a mating pair in melbourne. There does not appear to be any young in the nest 💙 ...

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Joe and Kim Underwood saw a pelican hanging from a tree on the spoil islands. It was hanging over the water by fishing line wrapped around its wing and was being tossed around by the wind like a rag doll 😔. Distraught Joe took off his pants and jumped into the cold water and cut down the bird. They called our hotline for help. Joe left his wife behind on the island because they have dogs and they didn't want to terrify the bird. He then boated the bird back to the boat ramp to meet us. I asked for a photo to spotlight his rescue, he said with an incredibly sad voice " I don't feel much like a hero". The pelicans wing was badly broken 😢 . Joe helped me remove the rest of the line and debri and I explained that he is no longer hanging or being battered by the wind and that Joe IS the pelicans hero ( and ours). 💜 ...

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EAGLE UPDATE: The Adult Bald Eagle has a ruptured abscess on his wing. Extensive wound care is needed for several weeks. Eau Gallie Veterinary Hospital Veterinarians & Staff are working along side a Wildlife Veterinary Specialist at the University of Georgia as well as Outback Rehab as well as the state coordinator. He is now eating very well and thank goodness!! Attitude is great ( which is pissy) as he is on all the best medications and treatments. Needs to eat about a pound of food a day to maintain weight, so he will need a lot of rats n such 🤮! He will also need a ton of fish, if anyone out there is netting bait fish and would like to support some of his needs PLEASE contact us @ 321 821 7881. Also, he costs A LOT and we hardy ever really make that statement so you know it's A LOT!! He needs frequent radiographic images done, extensive tests done, medications AND food. We are all trying to save this eagle especially after all those that was lost to bird flu ( his test hasn't come back yet but most likely negative). We are not going to give up on him, the Veterinarians and Rehabbers are not going to give up on him. We don't usually do this BUT if you are interested in supporting his care directly PLEASE use pay pal and state " straight to the eagle" His name is "Freedom " and we pray he will be free again 🙏🏽 🇺🇸 you can also mail donations to mailing address:

Wild Florida Rescue
1270 N Wickham Road
Suite 16 # 218
Melbourne, FL 32935

Mostly, please send him prayers 🙏🏽 ❤️ 💙 #straighttofreedom

www.paypal.com/paypalme/wildfloridarescue
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Together, we can can protect the incredibly diverse wildlife that calls Florida home.


 

WILD Florida Rescue mailing address

1270 N. Wickham Road
Suite 16#218

Melbourne, Florida, 32935-8301

Please Note: We do not receive animal drop-offs at this address.

A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION FOR WILD Florida Rescue Corp., A FLORIDA NONPROFIT CORPORATION (REGISTRATION NUMBER: CH52014), MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL FREE 1-800-HELP-FLA (435-7352) WITHIN THE STATE OR VISITING THEIR WEBSITE HERE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.