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Join the Wildlife Hotline!

Join the Wildlife Hotline!

Are you already a wildlife rehabber in Missouri or Illinois and interested in joining the Bi-State Wildlife Hotline? Are you caring for wildlife in your home and interested in learning more?

We would love to have you be a part of our team! We are simply a network of wildlife rehabbers and wildlife rescue volunteers that run a 24 hour Hotline to give the public one centralized number to call for wildlife emergencies and wildlife conflict advice. Our Hotline gives home rehabbers (permitted and otherwise) a break from answering incoming calls and allows them to focus their limited resources on caring for the animals on hand. It also gives home rehabbers a way to pool resources, supplies, donated items, and volunteers. In the past a rehabber had to be part of a large clinic or rehab center in order to utilize volunteers to help with animal pickups, rescues, and help with incoming phone calls. Being part of a group also allows us to take in large donations of medications, medical supplies, food, and other items and share those donations amongst the group. We also help each other by simply having a space to discuss complicated cases, diseases, vaccination protocols, formulas, nutrition, and veterinary advice from trained professionals. We have veterinary technicians, veterinarians, seasoned wildlife rehabbers with veterinary backgrounds, and all of those resources can be utilized by the group at any time without making costly appointments, traveling long distances, etc. We do a lot of prescribing, diagnosing and treating via online chat, Facetime, and with photos of injuries that we can discuss as a group. It works like a hospital would, where multiple specialists can see a patient together and all offer their expertise to help that patient. We can also call in prescriptions to you locally, or mail you what you need, when you need it, even in whatever tiny town you might be rehabbing from!

More than anything else, being part of the Wildlife Hotline offers you a family of other like-minded people who live the same kind of crazy life that you live. We know first hand how hard this life is, and the stressors that can sometimes send us all over the edge. (Like surviving June of every year!) Being part of the Wildlife Hotline family means having support from other rehabbers at 3am, when you’re crying over an opossum and no one else understands what you’re going through. It means having someone to vent to when a finder shows up with 3 baby squirrels that they’ve fed banana pudding to for 4 days and now you are watching them die despite everything you do to save their lives. It means having a group of people to talk to when your husband is ready to kill you for the amount of money you just spent on mackerel for the baby otter that just showed up. We help with expert advice, veterinary support, medications, drug dosage calculations, costs of supplies and formula, costs of veterinary care, books and training, but most of all – we are your family, your friends, and your support system when you need it most.

If you are a permit holder in Missouri or Illinois, or a retired wildlife rehabber that just wants to keep working in wildlife rehab on the phones or doing pickups and rescue, but can’t do the physical work of every day rehab any more, you have a home here. We need the help, and you deserve a family. Just because we aren’t a big corporate-owned rehab “center” or “clinic”, that doesn’t mean we can’t band together and work together and accomplish just as much, if not more, than any center or clinic could.

Please fill out a Wildlife Specialist Application to join our team. We all help out on the hotline to answer calls, in order to keep the hotline running. This is the bare minimum of involvement with us to be part of our team. This is the ‘cost’ of being part of our group. You can fill out our application at the end of this page.

Special Note for “Illegal” Rehabbers:

We know you’re out there. Even if you’re a tree trimmer’s wife, a pest control provider’s wife, or the farmer in your town that everyone brings wildlife to, you’re still a rehabber. If you are a person that cares for wildlife, every year, and has made a commitment to care for wildlife as best as you can, you are one of us. You may need training, and we may ask you to change some of the ways that you are currently doing things. Many times people who are illegally rehabbing have learned some bad habits, just because you were doing the best you could at the time, without any training in proper wildlife care. We know that you were simply doing the best you could! But once you join up with us, we aim to fix that and get you properly trained to care for these wild species. If you are willing to learn the RIGHT way to do things, and willing to listen to our advice, you are still welcome here. The only time this is an issue is when we come across an ‘illegal’ rehabber that is completely unwilling to use proper formulas, or change the ways they have been doing things in the past. We know that you have successfully raised babies in the past using whatever means you came up with, and we commend you for that. Thank you for helping them, and thank you for not giving up. However, that doesn’t mean it is the BEST way to raise a baby. We require that rehabbers with the Wildlife Hotline follow our protocols for raising wildlife, and raise wildlife to BE WILD – not to be kept as pets. Our protocols are designed to raise healthy wildlife fit for release back to the wild. You will have to trust us to some degree, trust that our protocols are what is best for the animals in your care. If you are willing to do this, you are welcome here. We’re not here to ‘report’ people for anything, and we are not in the business of policing illegal wildlife rehabbers. We care ONLY about proper animal care, regardless of its legalities. Ask yourself if you are open to learning new and better ways to care for the animals that are brought to you. If you are, you are welcome to be a part of the Wildlife Hotline family.

Wildlife Specialist Phone Operator Application

Fields marked with an * are required

We are currently seeking help for our wildlife hotline! We take calls primarily for Missouri and Illinois, but we get calls from all parts of the country on a regular basis. We always desperately need help keeping up the calls that come into this hotline. We offer support for our staff in the forms of our chat room, along with rehab support if you are still actively rehabbing in your area. We're a very welcoming 'family' of rehabbers. We share information freely and welcome rehabbers of all areas. It helps to be located in Missouri or Illinois, but we can make it work either way. Thank you for your interest!

This application is specific for those interested in helping with our virtual call center as a Wildlife Specialist Phone Operator. We run a 24 hour wildlife hotline where we answer calls from our own home and cell phones.  We have the ability to 'schedule' phone specialists according a schedule that you provide.  For instance, if you prefer to only get wildlife calls on your cell phone between the hours of 5pm and 9pm on weeknights, we can schedule that into our phone system. Your phone would only ring during those hours.  We prefer that our wildlife phone specialists have experience with wildlife calls, or have completed our New Volunteer Phone Training. We LOVE retired wildlife rehabbers for this position.  It's a great way to stay involved in wildlife rehab without the physical implications of rehab work. No permits required. You don't have to physically be in Missouri or Illinois, but knowledge of these areas does help with call routing.  We have a chat room to help you with any issues you might have with incoming calls and it is staffed 24 hours a day.  If you're interested, please fill out and submit the following info.

Every call that comes into us is a potential animal suffering, starving, freezing, in need of our help. We try VERY hard to make sure that all calls are answered and that none get forwarded to voicemail. Our phone system is tied to all of our cell phones and/or home phones, across a very wide area. You choose what hours and days you are willing to help out on phones, and we can program that into our phone system. You are never ALONE when you are on phones and we have a chat room online that you can use from your phone or computer/tablet to stay in touch with us every minute of every call if you need help. When we don't answer the phone and it goes to voicemail, people do really stupid things, like giving the babies to someone else who leaves with the animal, or they feed bizarre things to the animal or call another agency that just comes out to kill it. We MUST make phone calls a priority. This is a battle we face every year and we are desperate to find people who can help with our phone overload!

During baby season these calls can get quite overwhelming, and we need people who truly understand how important it is. Each call is potentially saving numerous lives!

After submitting your information you will hear from our Director, Angel Wintrode, or another of our Wildlife Hotline staff members, within a week of your application.  We'll discuss your schedule and tell you all about how incoming calls come in and how to handle them.  We'll also give you phone lists for our area and everything you need to get into our chat room.  Don't worry!  We won't throw you on phones until you're ready.  If you have any other questions for us, please submit them here, or email me at angel@wildlifehotline.com at any time.  Thank you!