Looking Back, Moving Forward

2022 Board of Directors – Rachel Avilla, Devin Dombrowski, Marie Travers, Doris Duncan and not in photo, Sonia Lunacek

It is difficult to find the words to express the awe and love we have for our wonderful community. When Devin and I started this little project just over 10 years ago, we really had no idea where it would take us. The people we have met, the organizations we have visited and the partnerships we have created are precious to us. With over 1,200 accounts and 2,734,486 patients, we are truly blown away by how much this community has grown.

The Wild Neighbors Database Project has reached a critical turning point as a non-profit organization. We are growing fast to help support the needs of our users. In 2023 we will be hiring three new part-time people to help support The Wild Neighbors Database project and WRMD users; a software engineer, a development and communication coordinator and a customer support and data specialist. These additions will increase our overhead significantly which is why we are reaching out to our community for support.

That’s why we are going to extend our fundraising campaign and push for another $4000 this week!

We are eternally grateful to all of you who have already donated to this year’s campaign. Thank you, thank you, thank you and virtual hugs all around! While we understand that some do not have the resources to make a large donation we humbly remind you that every little bit counts: $5 or $10 is a wonderful contribution if that is what you can afford.

Your donation will help support several amazing projects we have lined up for 2023. We have been working hard on WRMD 4.0, which will incorporate many of the features that people have been wishing for over the past few years. We are updating OWRMD (O for Oiled) for The Oiled Wildlife Care Network at UC Davis, and we are releasing The Oil Spill Extension, which will be available to any account for a fee. We are also diving into the world of marine mammals and sea turtles so that WRMD includes the necessary fields and reports for NOAA species. We are continuing to develop and expand our WildAlert System (previously known as Wildlife Morbidity and Mortality Event Alert System) which uses aggregate data from participating WRMD accounts to identify potential wildlife health events in near real time. As you can see, we’re having a massive growth spurt!

On top of all of that, we will be speaking at the FWRA (Florida Wildlife Rehabilitators Associations) symposium and the NWRA (National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association) symposium and will have a booth at the NWRA symposium. Please come find us and say hi if you’re also there, we would love to meet you!

Again, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all of your support over the last ten years, and for your continued support helping WRMD become even more awesome. We appreciate and love you all. We hope 2023 is a year of growth and positivity for all!

Warmest Wishes in the New Year,

Rachel Avilla and the entire Wild Neighbors Team

Looking For a Remote Laravel / Inertia.js Developer

The Wild Neighbors Database Project is looking to contract with an experienced full-stack Laravel/Vuejs developer who wants an opportunity to work on a unique and meaningful application. The Wild Neighbors Database Project is a a fully remote US based 501(c)3 non-profit organization which promotes international wildlife rehabilitation by developing online data management software and helping implement its use worldwide to gather and exchange wildlife data. We are a small team of dedicated individuals intent on supporting and improving the lives of wildlife everywhere. It is a tough job but we are equal to the task.

What You Will be Doing

You will be working with our lead developer architecting and planning features at all stages of a project lifecycle, and have the opportunity to recommend and build new features. This position will give you the opportunity to work on applications that solve specific real-world challenges facing wildlife professions.

What Is The Ideal Candidate Like?

  • You should be detail-oriented, thorough, and obsessed with pixel-perfect design.
  • You should be able to anticipate problems and plan ahead for them.
  • You should be self-motivated, organized, and able to manage your time wisely.
  • You should be fluent in English and able to communicate well.
  • You should have a passion for wildlife conservation, birding or natural sciences.

Must Haves

  • Required experience with the following technologies: PHP (5 years), Laravel (3 years), MySQL (3 years).
  • Proficiency with the Vue.js ecosystem using Inertia.js
  • Proficiency with Tailwind CSS
  • Good understanding of HTML5 and CSS3
  • Experience with both consuming and designing RESTful APIs is a plus
  • Understanding of domain driven design
  • Experience with responsive and adaptive design
  • Understanding of key design principles
  • Excellent verbal communication skills
  • Good interpersonal skills

Principal Responsibilities And Duties

  • Work closely with co-developers to implement designs from wireframes / mockups into HTML, CSS, and Javascript.
  • Keep project manager well informed of the status of development efforts.
  • Write clean structured and well-documented code.
  • Be a thought leader on the team, advocating best practices in security, testing, accessibility, and maintainability.
  • Work with management to develop strategy and multi-year technology roadmaps.


Compensation: $75/hr – $90/hr (depending on your experience)

Finer Details

  • Start date: January/February 2023
  • Fully remote based role
  • Contractor 1099 position
  • Based in North America
  • Salary range: $75/hr – $90/hr depending on your experience and could also be agreed on in your local currency

How to Apply

We would love to see some examples of your work, engaging, interactive apps / demos built with the skills required for the job, your github account, your blog (if you have one) and a cover letter with answers to at least the following questions:

  • Why would you like to work with The Wild Neighbors Database Project?
  • Can you share at least one piece of work you are really proud of and which falls in line with the job specifications.
  • Can you give us a brief description about your background, how do you work, what motivates you and how do you manage to work remotely?

Please send all of the above in one email to [email protected]. We promise to personally respond to every single application that at least has the word “cat” mentioned in the cover letter. We will be accepting submissions until Jan 31, 2023.

The Wild Neighbors Database Project is a proud equal opportunity employer. We are open to all backgrounds and never discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status.

We’re Updating Our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy

We made changes to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy and we’d like to share those changes with you.

Changes to Terms of Service

  1. Under the Content Backups section we removed the line: “You agree to maintain a complete and accurate copy of any Content in a location independent of the Service.” This line was left over from an older version of WRMD and is no longer needed. We maintain daily backups of the data in WRMD in addition to a revision history log of changes to the data.
  2. Under the Termination section we removed the line: “We may terminate or suspend Your Account immediately, without prior notice or liability, for any reason whatsoever, including without limitation if You breach these Terms and Conditions.” and added language how an apparent breach of the Service will be handled.

Changes to Privacy Policy

  1. Under the Analytics section we have removed all language regarding the use of Google Analytics. On 13th January 2022, the Austrian Data Protection Authority ruled that Google Analytics is illegal and violates GDPR; therefore we are discontinuing using that service. As a replacement we will be using Fathom Analytics, a privacy first, GDPR, CCPA, ePrivacy, PECR (and more) compliant analytics service.

These changes are effective from Dec 15 2022, and your continued use of Wildlife Rehabilitation MD will confirm your agreement to these terms – you don’t need to do anything else.

If you have any questions or need our help, you can contact our Support team. We’d love to hear from you! 

$10,000 Matching Gift !

We are excited to announce matching donation funds of $10,000!

A few weeks ago an amazing and generous donor offered us a $10,000 matching gift and WE NEED YOUR HELP getting it!

In 2022, WRMD was used in 28 countries by over 1,100 organizations. As of this writing 2,686,600 million patient records have been entered into WRMD worldwide! Today we are reaching out to you for your support.

We are humbled, and in awe, of the growth of this database that began as a passion project by two wildlife rehabilitators in 2012. As we reflect on all the good that WRMD has enabled to wildlife and rehabilitators, over the last 10 years, we give thanks to the generous donors who have made it possible for us to continue to operate this database.

Just this year, our donors have made it possible for us to begin work on WRMD 4.0, which will include some very exciting changes and updates such as daily tasks, forum groups, custom reports, multi-lingual support and so much more.

That’s right! We are working on a complete upgrade to WRMD that will encompass so many of the ideas that our users have asked for that until now we couldn’t do. Over the next year you will learn all about what we’ve been up to. An investment in WRMD 4.0 is an investment for the good of wildlife and rehabilitators worldwide. When 4.0 launches in late 2023 we will be able to deliver the world’s most advanced and inclusive database, designed specifically for the world’s wildlife rehabilitators.

With gratitude, we boldly and sincerely ask for your help reaching our goal of $20,000. Please support us in the way you can to allow for more success stories in 2023!

Devin Dombrowski and Rachel Avilla
Co-Founders, Devin Dombrowski and Rachel Avilla

Planned WRMD Down Time

On Saturday March 11 at midnight PST (March 11 at 8:00am GMT) we will be performing maintenance on the servers that Wildlife Rehabilitation MD (WRMD) is hosted on. This maintenance is being performed to help resolve an issue with users being randomly logged out of their account.

Users should avoid using Wildlife Rehabilitation MD (WRMD) between Saturday March 11 at midnight and 12:30 am PST or you may experience unexpected behavior from the site.

If you have any questions, please contact our support team. [email protected]

Crowdfunding Our Wildlife Disease Alert System

We need your help to improve, build and update the Wildlife Morbidity and Mortality Event Alert System (WMMEAS). In case you are not aware, the WMMEAS is a surveillance platform we are developing to track wildlife diseases using data from wildlife rehabilitators and wildlife veterinarians. We’ve set a modest goal of $3,000. Funds raised through this campaign will be used to develop a more sophisticated anomaly detection algorithm that will allow for higher accuracy in detection and to provide open access to the system’s online dashboard where users can query and visualize trends in wildlife morbidity and mortality events and sign up to receive alerts to wildlife health anomalies. 

Visit the campaign page here: https://crowdfund.ucdavis.edu/project/29935

PLEASE SHARE this crowdfund campaign with your friends and colleagues!

Check the WIRED magazine article featuring our system here:  This AI Helps Detect Wildlife Health Issues in Real Time

Two New Fields Added

We just want to share a quick update on two new fields that were recently added; Entity and Morph.


The first field is Entity which is a way for you to categorize your people. This field is especially helpful for annual reports which ask for this kind of information. The available options are:

  • General Public
  • Individual Wildlife Rehabilitator
  • Wildlife Rehabilitation Organization
  • For-profit Organization
  • Non-profit Organization
  • Federal Agency / Biologist
  • State (Regional) Agency / Biologist
  • Local Animal Control Agency
  • Research Lab

Thank you to Whitney and the Tufts Wildlife Clinic for helping with this!


The second field is Morph which is a way for you to identify a unique morphological variation of your patient. For example you can use this field to distinguish between Eastern Screech Owl morphs (Gray, Brown and Red). The available options are:

  • Red
  • Gray
  • Brown
  • White
  • Blue
  • Dark
  • Light
  • Albino
  • Leucistic
  • Piebald
  • Silver
  • Black

A big thank you to Tri-State Bird Rescue & Research, Inc for their help with this one!

If you have any questions or suggestions for additional options let us know. Otherwise we hope you all have a safe day!

We Needed You and You Were There

It is with tremendous gratitude and appreciation that we share our most sincere thank you for a successful fundraising campaign. Our WRMD users have become our family and your continued support nourishes our souls. We know that we’re reaching out to you while you also give all you have to wildlife rehabilitation; and yet you continue to give even more. Bless you all! The past few years have been difficult for so many, but its heart warming to know that there’s a community of people that work tirelessly, at any cost, to care for wildlife and help heal our shared planet.

With your help we raised over $15,700! This gift will ensure that WRMD continues to develop and grow as well as support over 1,000 accounts world wide.

In 2021

  • 262 new organizations signed up bringing the total to 1,003.
  • 379,587 patients were admitted to bring to total to 2,231,150.

These numbers are astonishing, and we are honored that so many have put their trust into WRMD to help manage the care of their patients. We hope to meet and chat with many of our users at the 2022 NWRA Symposium in Madison Wisconsin; please come find us if you are attending.

We look forward into the new year with hope that we all continue to succeed in helping those who have no voice and continue to nurture ourselves and the planet we love so dearly.

To Our WRMD Community

Dear WRMD Community,

We will just come out and say it, during this Season of Giving we are asking for your financial support.

Back in 2012 we started The Wild Neighbors Database Project, our 501(c)3 non-profit and launched WRMD as a labor of love. We developed WRMD for the community we love and for our wild neighbors. When we started we had no idea how quickly this program would spread, nor could we have ever imagined that WRMD would be used around the world by over 950+ organizations. We have seen it connect, reshape and modernize the wildlife rehabilitation profession.

The most important thing that WRMD has taught us in the past nine years is that wildlife rehabilitators knowledge, experience data is an invaluable resource for understanding the threats to our environment and collective health. Wildlife health events are the “canary in the coal mine” for our planet, which makes wildlife professionals first responders for many emerging infectious diseases that not only impact wildlife, but also all lives on this planet. This puts WRMD in a unique position to represent wildlife rehabilitators as key contributors to the One Health knowledge base.

We are asking for support from you, our WRMD community. WRMD is, and has always been, free. This is critical for wildlife rehabilitators that could not afford it otherwise. However, if you can afford any amount on a yearly or monthly basis, please consider adding WRMD to your budget. Software comparable to WRMD ranges from hundreds to thousands of dollars a year. We continue to make improvements and updates within WRMD as well as keep up with new emerging technologies. This requires constant development, monitoring and surveillance of the WRMD program. We also maintain a very active forum where we answer questions and help with problems nearly every day of the year. We do all of this free of charge. Please consider helping us so we can continue to help you and our wild neighbors.

Here are a few of things we have been up to in 2021, all of which are truly remarkable milestones:

  • The 2,000,000th patient was admitted to the WRMD database! It was a Northern Mockingbird from Davis, California in the US.
  • Through a generous sponsorship we are now able to provide all WRMD users free access to The Cornell Lab of Ornithology – Birds of the World.
  • We were published in our first research paper in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B – “Early detection of wildlife morbidity and mortality through an event-based surveillance system”
  • With the release of the Wildlife Morbidity and Mortality Event Alert System in California, our partners the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the UC Davis, One Health Institute are now monitoring wildlife health events within California, with plans to expand this ability for other states and countries.
  • We unveiled a brand new Knowledge Base to help our users find answers and solve problems on their own.

Can you help us? Please consider making a yearly or monthly donation to The Wild Neighbors Database Project to help support WRMD.

With much love and gratitude,

Devin Dombrowski and Rachel Avilla and the rest of the WRMD team

Help us Reach Our Goal of $10,000

Did you know that WRMD is the largest online wildlife rehabilitation community in the world, connecting 984 organizations in 50 US states and 25 countries? Since 2012 WRMD users have admitted over 2.2 MILLION patients! Our incredible community of users grows larger every year and we need your help.

One of the most remarkable things about WRMD is that it’s FREE. We rely on our users and partners to support our efforts. We see this as a community project and without them we could not continue. WRMD doesn’t sell ad space or any user data. This means that we depend on our supporters to keep WRMD free and constantly improving.

We’re writing today to ask for your support to help keep WRMD awesome and free. Our dedication to our users empowers them to save hundreds-of-thousands of injured and orphaned wildlife each year and collect irreplaceable wildlife epidemiological data. WRMD was developed to help wildlife rehabilitators save lives, but it does a lot more than that. In 2021 we have made some truly remarkable milestones:

  • The 2,000,000th patient (an Northern Mockingbird from Davis California) was admitted!
  • Through a generous gift we are now able to provide all WRMD users free access to The Cornell Lab of Ornithology – Birds of the World.
  • We were published in our first research paper in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
  • With the release of the Wildlife Morbidity and Mortality Event Alert System we are now monitoring for wildlife health events.
  • We unveiled a brand new Knowledge Base to help our users find answers to solve problems on their own.

Can you help us? Please consider making a monthly donation to WRMD. It will be you, your patients and wildlife rehabilitators across the world that will benefit!