BACK TO THE WILD®, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation. (Details)

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Dear Friends of Back To The Wild:

I wish all of you a wonderful New Year filled with many blessings! I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for letting us share our lives here at Back To The Wild with you through Facebook, our Website, attending one of our educational programs or by a personal visit by you, to our center! While we love sharing our greatest successes and wonderful experiences with all of you, we also have to be honest about the wildlings that find their way here, who we cannot help. I know many of you have read about some of our sad losses.

A most difficult part of being a wildlife rehabilitator is to help people realize and understand that not every animal can be saved and shouldn't always be rescued, if it is truly nature taking its course. Then we are interrupting the cycle of nature. Death in nature is as much a part of the cycle of life as is birth. However, if a wild creature's injuries are human-related, we feel we have a moral obligation to intervene and do what we can to make up for our carelessness with our planet, and give that wildling a second chance to be returned to the wild!

We know that most people do understand this, but through education, we may be able to help those who are inclined to make "pets" out of a wild animal, to change their decision to one that will truly be helping that wild animal be what it is meant to be ~ a creature who does not belong to us, but belongs to the wild!

As rehabilitators, we learned very quickly that nature surely has its own set of rules that can seem quite harsh at times. We do not want these beautiful wild creatures to suffer beyond what is bearable. Some die shortly after arrival, on their own, oftentimes just from the shock of being removed from their natural environment and being held captive, but we often have to make the very difficult decision to humanely euthanize an animal we know we can't save. This takes a great emotional toll on us, when an animal cannot be helped, but we have to focus on those we can help to keep ourselves grounded, or it would be too difficult to do this work.

No one can know the ultimate thrill that comes with being able to have the honor and privilege of returning a wild creature back into the wild where it belongs. I know all my staff shares these feelings. I just can't put into words what it means to me. We have returned many wildlings back into the wild over the years and it never becomes routine. Each time, we are left filled with admiration and respect for these wonderful creatures of the wild.

Those who we can save, but who cannot be returned to the wild, due to permanent disabilities, serve as powerful ambassadors for visitors, helping visitors understand our message about conservation and respect for our natural world. Here at Back To The Wild, we have over 50 hawks and owls, Bald Eagles, herons, egrets, songbirds, swans, fox, bobcats, bunnies, squirrels, opossums, turtles, snakes, salamanders and more, in our educational program! This work is very labor-intensive and costly, and it really does completely consume our lives, but I can't imagine doing anything else with my life.

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I love helping children, especially, learn of the great need to respect, appreciate, preserve and protect our natural world and watching the impact these wild animals have on them. They find out there is a "real" world out there and that there are consequences to our actions, both positive or negative. When teachers tell me that their students were deeply affected following a field trip here, it means everything to me. What I strive and hope to do is to have visitors who come here leave with an entirely new perspective on the natural world!

Sadly, we are truly struggling through this financial disaster with the troubled economic situation. It has impacted us in a big way. We have no guaranteed source of income and most donors have had to cut back or even drop out until things improve. I can't and won't give up the ship, but it is a great challenge to find funding! On a very heartwarming and uplifting note, our supporters have been extra generous during the Holiday Season and New Year, remembering us with a much-needed donation to help us keep our doors open! We are so thrilled with this unexpected increase in donations! It would be so wonderful if this outpouring from so many could continue throughout the year. We have to make this special time of year stretch a long way, before it happens again! Please, if you are in a position to help us help wildlife, remember us throughout the year, especially in the spring when we are literally overwhelmed with hundreds of orphaned and injured wildlings, monthly!

Our heartfelt thanks to all you who have sent a donation to us in the past or just recently! You are so important to us for we cannot do this work without you! Thanks so much for believing in our mission and helping to make a difference!!! If you live nearby or far away, and want to do something unique for a day trip, or are from another state and find yourself in Ohio, please DO plan on visiting and touring our center, to see the work being done here. We love to share these wonderful wild animals with anyone who will listen. We know they have so much to teach us about "their" and "our" natural world ! ! !

We are so busy here, I sometimes forget and will take this opportunity to thank Heather, especially, for doing a great job on Facebook and keeping all of you updated on what is happening here at Back To The Wild, and to the rest of my staff and volunteers for working so hard without complaining about the long hours, harsh weather conditions, constant phone calls, "low wages" and "no wages"! From the bottom of my heart, sincere thanks to my husband Bill, and to Heather, Melissa, Sammie, Judi, David, John, Kristin, Jan, Beth and Debbie! Special thanks to Dick DeLombard for creating and maintaining our website for many, many years, completely free of charge!

Many thanks to our wonderful veterinarian and Board Member, Marianne Socha, D.V.M., for sacrificing countless hours of her time and expertise to help us save wildlife!

There are so many other volunteers involved with Back To The Wild! There aren't words that can adequately convey my gratitude to my staff, volunteers, and you, our SUPPORTERS, for all you have done to make it possible for us to be here for wildlife and to educate children about our natural world! We continue to need all of you!



Mona Rutger, Director
4504 Bardshar Rd.
P.O. Box 423
Castalia, OH 44824

Phone: 419-684-9539

Only after the last tree has been cut down,
Only after the last river has been poisoned,
Only after the last fish has been caught,
Only then will you find that money cannot be eaten.
American Indian Proverb, Cree Indian Prophecy

NOTICE: This is a page for the BACK TO THE WILD® wildlife rehabilitation center in Castalia, Ohio. This material is used with permission. Most of this material is copyrighted by the BACK TO THE WILD® wildlife rehabilitation center.

Comments or questions regarding the BACK TO THE WILD®
rehabilitation center should be directed to Mona Rutger at:

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This page was last updated on January 6, 2013

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