IWRC 2014 Recap

We had a blast at the 2014 International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council Symposium in Cincinnati, Ohio this past weekend. We would like to compliment IWRC on their smooth and easy registration, amazing banquet food, choice of hotel and overall positive atmosphere. The best part of the weekend was getting to know so many new people. It is a joy to meet new people and introduce them to Wildlife Rehabilitation MD. We also had the honor to meet some of our current users and discuss with them how they used WRMD and their thoughts on the program. I am happy to announce that almost everybody we meet that uses WRMD says “I love it”. We hope this is the case for all users. We are requesting testimonials from all our users that we can post on our website and blog. We would be delighted to add anybody’s testimonial to our collection.  You can email them to [email protected]Rachel Avilla and Cathy Wolfe

I think what makes WRMD so different is that we actively interact with as much of the rehab community as we can. We love learning how other people do stuff and we share our own experiences in the process. Some of our new friends at IWRC had some very poignant questions for us, that we actually get all the time. I thought I might address these common questions about, our organization The Wild Neighbors Database Project.

“What is The Wild Neighbors Database Project and how is it related to Wildlife Rehabilitation MD?”

The Wild Neighbors Database Project is our 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. We saw potential for more than just one project so The Wild Neighbors Database Project was created and our first project was Wildlife Rehabilitation MD “WRMD”. We in the planning phases of 2 other projects to be developed in the future.

Logo for The Wild Neighbors Database Project logo-500x500

“How much does WRMD cost?”

It is a free service. We can not charge wildlife rehabilitators for this service. That money should go to animal care or wildlife rehabilitator income.

“How do you afford to keep it going then?”

We mostly rely on generous donations from our users, but also will receive some money from grants that we are working on. If you are willing to make an end of the year gift to The Wild Neighbors Database Project we would gladly accept it. There is a Donate button on our homepage for our PayPal account or we accept checks mailed to us at The Wild Neighbors Database Project 3800 Vista Oaks Dr., Martinez, CA 94553.

“Why are you doing this and what do you get out of it?”

We do this because we want to help wildlife rehabilitators by giving them an intuitive and user friendly tool to collect incredibly valuable data about what our profession does. There is so much data that has not been collected or recorded. That knowledge is disappearing as our previous generation retires and passes away. They are the founders of our professional field and we should not have to reinvent the wheel for that which has already been done,  just add to it as our knowledge grows. We saw a need, that we were skilled for, and we decided to dedicate our lives to filling that need. We are wildlife rehabilitators, we do what we do because we care, that is what makes our profession so special. We actually care for more than ourselves or our lively hoods or the human race, we care for the planet and her innocent inhabitants that have no voice.

“Are you crazy?”

Yes, probably, aren’t we all.

Thank you,
Rachel Avilla
Co-founder of The Wild Neighbors Database Project/Customer Care WRMD

Notes from CCWR 2014

WRMD Booth at CCWR 2014We would like to thank everybody who attended our WRMD workshop at theCCWR 2014, California Council for Wildlife Rehabilitators Symposium. Databases are not a real exciting topic, but I think we made it as interactive as we could. At this point, WRMD is well known in California and we no longer need to tell people what it about and how to use it. This workshop was used to bounce ideas off our community. We get many ideas and suggestions throughout the year from all over the world. The ideas that we think are worth exploring are taken to you. We don’t want to make any big changes unless we have some approval from our users.

Proposed Changes

Here are some of the proposals and suggestions that came out of our workshop at CCWR 2014. We plan on having similar discussions at IWRC and NWRA. We are interested in attending other state-wide organization gatherings, if anybody is are interested in having us, let us know.

  • Create a way to limit required fields, allow for organizations to choose their own required fields.
  • Have some confirmation after a new case# is created.
  • Create a way to select “unknown” in the admissions area for unknown information.
  • We need to clarify, rescuer’s observation, nature of injury and diagnosis. We want to incorporate standard terminology for the circumstances of admission. For example, most animals that come to a wildlife rehabilitator have similar issues. These animals are cat caught, dog caught, hit window, hit car, orphaned, kidnapped, electrocuted, rodenticide poisoning,  disease, etc. This list is pretty well establish, but everybody uses slightly different terms. We want change the name “Rescuer’s Observations” to “Reason for Admission”. The field will autocomplete, so when you type in “ca” cat caught will automatically populate and can be selected. You can also type in other observations as well. The autocompleted phrases will then populate to the Identity Box that appears on all tabs as “Circumstances of Admission”. What we also need to figure out is the exact meaning of “Nature of Injury” and we need to add some form of “Diagnosis” to the intake section.
  • We have discovered that Holding at, Enclosure and Homecare are all talking about the same thing, “where is that animal located?”. So, we propose a new section called “Location”. Within this new box we will include “Date”, “Location/Area”, “Enclosure” and “Enclosure History”. The date is the date that the animal moved. Location/Area is a general location and would include either a volunteers name such as “Do, Jane” so that you know who has it, or it could be an area or room of the facility. For example the area could be aviaries, mammal pens, exam room, icu, baby bird room, Ward A, or however a facility is organized. This will allow for reports to be printed for specific areas. Then there is the actual Enclosure number or name, such as Bird Cage 1 or Mammal Cage 2 or whatever names are used for enclosures. Lastly there will be an Enclosure History which will include all past enclosures and the current enclosure at the top of the list. When you fill out the new enclosure information it will automatically add the new enclosure to the top of the list. We also plan to add “days in enclosure” in this section. We plan to have very strong searching ability in this section.
  • Flag records. This is a very common suggestion, but we need to know what needs to be flagged and how it should be presented.
  • Ability to export any report into a Word or Excel file.
  • Add donation amount and have a better donor report system.
  • Add in more domestic species.
  • Being able to select records you want to batch update.
  • Have access to approximate age of animal and a more visible, days in care.
  • Change Euthanized +24hrs to Euthanize after 24hrs.

Thank you again for your thoughts and suggestions. If anybody has comments regarding these potential new changes feel free to email me at [email protected].

Wildlife Rehabilitation MD’s 2013 Year In Review

2013 was an absolutely extraordinary year for Wildlife Rehabilitation MD! Although we have existed for 4 years, Wildlife Rehabilitation MD has only been available to use for 2 years. It was important for us to spend a significant amount of time researching what information the larger wildlife rehabilitation community collects and how that information is cataloged; and that investment has paid off! In the 2 years of its use in the rehab community, Wildlife Rehabilitation MD has grown from a simple database with good intentions into a fully fledged and versatile living resource. Our ability to adapt to nearly any organizations needs have allowed us to work with facilities all over the United States. The flexibility of the database has also allowed us to connect with organizations in Canada and Belize.

Wildlife Rehabilitation MD’s 2013 Numbers

In 2013 Wildlife Rehabilitation MD admitted just over 32,000 cases from 14 very active organizations. To put that in perspective, in 2012 we admitted 4969 from 2 organizations. In truth we admitted nearly 150,000 records if you include all the imported records from previous years. To date there are 65 organizations registered in Wildlife Rehabilitation MD, many of which signed up in the last 2 months of 2013. As for the actual usage of the wrmd.org web application, we served over 800,000 page views to 2,500 unique visitors! That is extraordinary. The wildlife rehabilitation community is a very niche community and to serve so many of us is an absolute honor.

Top Highlights From 2013

  • Established the parent organization, The Wild Neighbors Database Project, as a nonprofit organization tasked with managing Wildlife Rehabilitation MD.
  • Endorsed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
  • Completed a successful Kickstarter fundraising campaign that ultimately generated over $6000.
  • Upgraded to version 2.0, which included significant enhancements and 140% speed increase.
  • Moved to a much more powerful and secure server.
  • Presented Wildlife Rehabilitation MD at three symposiums: CCWR, IWRC and NWRA.
  • Wildlife Rehabilitation MD is now being used in three countries: United States, Canada and Belize.

Total Cases Admitted per Week in 2013

Total Cases Admitted per Week in 2013

Sincere Thank You

This may be becoming old, but we could never stop saying it, Thank You! Our success and growth are because of the contributions of our users. We have been blessed with their great ideas for improvements as well as financial assistance. Nearly each day we receive a message from a user with a great suggestion or question. We are here to try and make hard working, underpaid wildlife rehabilitators lives just a little easier.

Presentation at the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council (IWRC) Symposium

We just returned from the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council (IWRC) Symposium in beautiful Victoria British Columbia. There as plenty of Intrigue towards Wildlife Rehabilitation MD and we were able to meet directly with the staff from a few organizations in BC.

On Friday the eighth of 2013 we presented WRMD to the conference goes. Unfortunately their were technical difficulties with recording the screen so there is no video of the screen tutorial as well. This presentation was also at 4pm on a Friday and most people were exhausted from the days previous discussions, so we also took a low key approach. If you have an hour and fourty-five minutes, check it out!

Introduction to Wildlife Rehabilitation MD at IWRC 2013

iwrc-2013-symposiumThe Wild Neighbors Database Project team will be presenting Wildlife Rehabilitation MD at this years International Wildlife Rehabilitators Council (IWRC) Symposium. The symposium is at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort and Spa in Victoria, BC on November 4th – 9th.

Our presentation will be on November 8 at 4pm. Sign up soon to see us there!