At first when NWRA mentioned Norman, Oklahoma for the symposium I was like, really? Where on earth is that? To my surprise by the end of the week it seemed like a perfect place.
Thanks to my co-exhibitor Marie Travers who manned the both with me, I was allowed to escape for a few hours… Sooo, I visited Wildcare Foundation, who just happen to use WRMD, and I was in complete awe of their facility and their staff. Rondi Large, the founder reminded me so much of the few amazing pioneers out there that started something from scratch, in their home and have dedicated their entire life to the cause. It takes a strong person, supportive staff/volunteers and community to last over 30 years (with tornados!) with a large, full on center running out of their home. My deepest respect to that wonderful organization for the work they do and, if you were at the symposium the stunning singing and acting talent displayed by their staff!!! (You had to be there)
While at our exhibitor table we had the opportunity to talk to many rehabilitators. Several already used WRMD and I finally got to meet them face to face. A few that I have been communicating with regularly and I was so happy to finally put a face to the names. I also met several who had heard of WRMD and wanted to talk about switching over and were very happy to sit down and talk about it a little more. Last but not least are those who have never heard of us and when I give my little intro, they are like “You do what! and it’s free!” and then of course “Why do you do this, for free!?” with a hidden under the breath “what is wrong with them…” As I tell them in some explanation similar to the statement below.
“We are wildlife rehabilitators, too. We do this because we care, and this is how we contribute to the cause. What wildlife rehabilitators do is so important and our community does not get enough recognition for the sacrifices we all make. We are here as support for all wildlife rehabilitators, so that our collective knowledge is recorded and not lost on the dead trees we write it on. And yes, we are a little crazy as well…”
We are only here to help, we have no personal gains in what we do other then the knowledge that we can support one of the most compassionate, humble, dedicated group of people who can talk about intestinal parasites and poop at the dinner table without a seconds hesitation. We are all in this together and we all need to support one another for our mutual cause, no matter our histories. We do it for them, and should strive to do it the absolute best way we can by constantly learning and sharing new knowledge of better techniques, diets, husbandry, cage design, medical procedures, etc. We can not do it how we always have done it, because what if this new way is better from them. That is what symposiums do for us, they connect us so that we can share our knowledge and experiences. WRMD’s Mission “Sharing our experience to save more lives” It’s that simply put. It is for them, the helpless, speechless and vulnerable lives that share our world because, we all know there is no other reason we would do it…
Wildlife Rehabilitation MD Founder