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Fellow Mortals, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Graduate & Professional Schools, Wildlife Preservation & Protection

Mission: Fellow Mortals, Inc. is a dedicated wildlife hospital organized in 1985 and incorporated in 1991. Licensed advanced wildlife rehabilitators and associated veterinarians provide professional, compassionate rehabilitation services from admit to release for all species of wild birds and most species of wild mammals. Our small professional staff and student interns provide care for 2000 animals at the hospital annually. Associated veterinarians donate time to perform necessary surgeries and consults. We educate and help thousands of new people every year. A philosophically-based organization, Fellow Mortals exists to provide care for the injured and orphaned wild creatures found and rescued by ordinary people, many of whom have never before interacted with a wild animal. Fellow Mortals bridges the gap between caring and giving care--allowing people to act on their compassion, and helping to create a better world for all living beings.

Results: Fellow Mortals has provided care for approximately 50,000 injured and orphaned animals since 1985, and successfully rehabilitates 65-70 percent for release to the wild. 60 young professionals have gained experience in wildlife handling and husbandry since 1992.

Target demographics: Fellow Mortals' services are available to everyone, regardless of their ability to donate.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Approximately 2,000 wild creatures receive help annually.

Geographic areas served: Southeastern WI and Northern IL

Programs: Wildlife Rehabilitation Program Wildlife Care Intern Program Wildlife Research Wildlife Education

Community Stories

224 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

I cannot count how many little beings we have brought to Fellow Mortals for care over the past 30 plus years. From orphaned to gravely injured, we have known that we could turn to Fellow Mortals, and they would be there ... and they always have been. Yvonne and Steve, and their entire team of caring staff members, goes above and beyond in providing services not only to the wildlife brought to them, but to the public as well. They combine dedication, compassion, and skilled knowledge into each and every life they come in contact with. The thing that amazes me always, is that in spite of being a hospital, their place is always filled with peace and calm. It is a professional setting ... clean, organized and filled with the equipment needed to diagnose and treat these beings, but there is an atmosphere of such peace and well being throughout the entire facility. Each species has been accommodated for, with space reflecting it's natural habitat. Each individual gets individual care. Each animal or bird is treated as if they were the only one there. As an animal lover, advocate, and protector, I have dealt with many organizations over the years. There are many good ones out there, thankfully, but none come close to Fellow Mortals. They give 100% in everything they do, every single time. Caring for wildlife, is their passion. It is their life. 365 days a year. They are the best.

Arthur10

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer there and they have the best group of really dedicated people.

Cindy192

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is an amazing facility run by the most selfless individuals, their time is spent tirelessly caring for our wild friends and their triumph begins and ends with the outcome of each life saved! I am glad that I have had the opportunity to help such an amazing non profit and I am glad to call them friends!

Rebecca148

Donor

Rating: 5

I have brought many injured and orphaned animals to this hospital. They are so compassionate to the plight of these poor animals! It's a wonderful place that does such good works.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This place is wonderful! They are passionate about the wellbeing of all wildlife and welcome injured or orphaned animals with open arms. They even send a follow up card giving you an update a few months later. Fellow Mortals deserves state funding, they do so much for the community and the state of WI.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Fellow Mortals has always been there and willing to help when I spot a wounded animal. Thank you for caring about species that some people don't give a second thought about!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Fellow Mortals has been a part of our family for the past 12 years. They have served us with professionalism and dedication. The staff offer practical advice, are patient and show no judgement when I call to ask questions or get advice. On one occasion we had a live squirrel stuck in part of our furnace venting system which we were able to rescue safely in the middle of a very cold February night. This was accomplished through multiple phone conversations and our trust in their knowledge and skill. We have brought numerous injured birds which they take without complaint during the busiest season. I love the fact that they send us post cards to let us know the outcome of a rescue attempt.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

How very lucky the people of Wisconsin and Illinois are to have Fellow Mortals Wildlife Hospital. My gratitutide for the staff is beyond words and I will continue to support them and their mission for the rest of my life.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Fellow Mortals is amazing! My son found 2 newborn squirrels. We knew we didn't have the knowledge/skills to properly care for them so we started to look for someone licensed who can. It was an unbelievably exhausting task. We had these babies for 3 days now and had no choice but to feed them formula...hoping that we aren't causing more harm than good. But I knew they couldn't go long with food/water. After 25+ phone calls, most of them never returned messages or said they no longer care for animals, I was given the number to Fellow Mortals by a coworker. They were amazing. Renee took the time to talk to me and helped arrange for me to drop off the babies. I drove 45 mins one way to drop these little guys off. I have to admit, I did get somewhat attached to them but knew this was the best choice. Once I arrived to the clinic, I was greeted by Renee. She took the babies to Yvonne and they were examined. As expected, they were dehydrated. Yvonne came out and thanked me for bringing the babies in and explained what their plan was. I immediately felt relieved and knew these babies were in great hands. Yvonne truly loves what she does and should be commended for the work she and her staff do. Its outstanding! I am so glad I found them! They truly make a difference!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The staff members at Fellow Mortals are the most dedicated, hard-working, and compassionate people I know. With them, the animals always come first. All patients are given the attention and respect they deserve, whether big or small, furred or feathered. I first went to Fellow Mortals when I found a dead opossum mother with what I thought were two surviving babies. (There were actually seven more babies still tucked in the mother's pouch.) Now I am a volunteer, and I can't imagine a better use of my time. My life is richer in so many ways because of my association with Fellow Mortals. This organization deserves everyone's support, whether it be gifts of time, talent, money, or all three.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

I learned about Fellow Mortals two years ago when someone brought an injured killdeer to the public library where I worked. Since then, I have delivered several other animals in need of care to them. It is wonderful having this organization in our area where I know every animal can get the individual care and attention it needs to be returned to health. The seven baby opossoms, two rose-breasted grosbeaks, and Swainson's thrush I brought to them would all agree.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first came to fellow mortals with my grand daughters and a little baby sparrow. learned more about them at an open house and became a part time volunteer after that. Thanks to the interaction I've had with them it has been my pleasure to be with them at a beaver release and an eagle release. Through them I have also been introduced to the world of animal rehabilitation. As a result of the people and animals I met I had a fascinating trip through Canada with a fellow volunteer and met Audrey Tournay (now my favorite author) and a myriad of other people and animals. The work they do is priceless. I wish I could do more.
.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Why is Fellow Mortals such a trusted and highly regarded organisation in among its many stakeholders? Whether it is the donors who trust FM to spend their money wisely or the members of public who bring injured or orphaned wildlife to them for care and rehabilitation, or the Wisconsin and Illinois community who see them as setting the standard for animal care or the government agencies who look to them for advice and experience…………..I could go on!!

The answer is that the management, staff and volunteers of FM are dedicated to providing the highest quality care to any animal that needs rescued and will work tirelessly to achieve a positive outcome.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Fellow Mortals has been a true Godsend to me!! My story is a little involved & long, but worth it - so please read on: My husband & I have been involved in the conservation of Wood Ducks and Hooded Mergansers by providing & maintaining 2 nesting boxes for these particular ducks for many years now. We have installed small video cameras with night vision capabilities in these boxes, which have allowed us to monitor their nesting process 24 hours a day during the spring breeding season. Sometimes there is only 1 female with 8 eggs, and at other times, more than 1 female is laying in the same box, which can produce over 30 eggs in 1 box. Every year around the end of March, a female (or 2 or 3) starts laying an egg a day in a box, covers it up with the Aspen bedding we provide for them, then leaves until the next day to lay another (both of our duck nesting boxes are occupied every spring, and sometimes, twice in a season - one right after another). When she's done laying, she starts incubating them 24 hours a day (with an hour break both in the early morning, then again right before it gets dark) for approximately 30-33 days. Hatching takes place within a 12 hour span, and by the next morning, the ducklings make the BIG JUMP. Mama drops down onto the ground under her nesting box and softly calls to her ducklings. Within about 2 minutes total, all the fully feathered ducklings jump out of the box bouncing one at a time onto the ground by their Mama approx. 9 feet below them. When all have safely left the box, they all waddle off in a feathery group down to our hidden creek and into the wild somewhere & are gone & never come back. We are able to watch this AMAZING process from both the inside of the box with our cameras and through a window from our home. This is the happy end of my story when ALL the ducklings (from 8 to possibly 30+) make it out successfully and waddle off with Mama. Amazingly, the same female duck or her offspring will come back to the same nesting box year after year to lay, which is an incredible feat in itself. Unfortunately though, when there are an excess amount of babies in a box or they hatched an hour or two later than the others, there have been ducklings too weak to make the big jump or their mother wasn't patient enough to wait for them all. In these cases, an orphan or 2 have been left behind in the box. Sometimes, there are eggs still hatching or don't hatch until a day or two from the others. These instances have been heartbreaking to me, as I have had no where to take a newly hatched or even an unhatched duckling egg for a chance at life. I've had perfectly formed, peeping ducklings pass away in my hands within a couple hours while waiting for a call back from a phone number someone gave me that could possibly help & take the baby - (calls that were never returned or were too late). Sadly, Wood Duck and Hooded Merganser ducklings don't survive after a few hours of being separated from their mother - they are so fragile. After this happened a couple times over a 3 year span, I seriously thought about taking the boxes down so that this wouldn't happen again, even though 95% of the ducklings successfully fledged and we were contributing great numbers towards the conservation of these ducks - I couldn't handle it anymore :-(. Then a MIRACLE!! One day I came upon a pamphlet from a place called Fellow Mortals and read it from front to back and realized that this wildlife/rehabilitation facility was only 40 minutes away from me. The next day I called them & told them my predicament that I have been encountering every spring & they told me they could help me whenever I needed a place to bring an orphan or even an unhatched egg. They said they had foster Wood Ducks that will raise my ducklings as their own and that they would be released into the wild when it was time. They also have an incubator for any unhatched eggs that I might have. I was SO RELIEVED!!! I now could continue with my nest boxes so that many more ducks could have a safe place to nest in an effort to conserve these beautiful creatures, and that Fellow Mortals would be there any day or time I needed them. Every year now, I call and give them a heads up when my eggs are hatching so that they know that I may possibly need to bring a duckling or two or an unhatched egg (or 2) the next morning. They are always prepared & ready for me since they too know that it's crucial to get the orphaned duckling to their foster parent as soon as possible or it will perish. Believe it or not, since then, I haven't had any orphaned ducklings, but I have had unhatched eggs. With Fellow Mortals help, at least 2 ducklings over the last couple years have hatched with the help of their incubator and been fostered and were released by them. There isn't a better feeling than knowing that there are people like me out there who considers even an unhatched duck egg a treasured creation and worth given a chance at life!!!! I have brought Fellow Mortals several song birds who were either injured or orphaned over the past few years (with 8 cameras in 8 different nesting boxes from ducks, owls & bluebirds, I can't help but have some bird in need!), but have yet had to bring them an orphaned duckling (phew!) I always know that they are there for me and all the creatures that need compassion & help, and I appreciate each & every one of their rehabbers, vets & volunteers. I pray constantly for them - that they can continue the work that God has called them to accomplish. Every month, I consider it an honor & joyfully contribute to their cause and hope that my meager offering will help them. I truly can't put into words how grateful I am that if one of God's creatures need help, Fellow Mortals are only 40 minutes away!! Thank you SO MUCH from the bottom of my heart for your compassion towards our fellow mortals - both furry & feathery! Love, Sandy

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Fellow Mortals is an incredible place. Everyone that works there is so passionate and truly love what they do. I am so fortunate to be apart of all the wonderful things that happen there. I have never worked with more extraordinary, hardworking, and dedicated people. The staff strives to make every animal life count, even if there is a slim chance of recovery they do not give up! Know that when you bring an animal to us they are given the best of care and when you support Fellow Mortals though donations you are helping to give a wild one a second chance. Fellow Mortals is truly a great nonprofit!

Donor

Rating: 5

I was introduced to Yvonne and her husband Steve several years ago at a fund raising dinner in Lake Geneva, WI. My wife Dian had painted a 36x48 swan wild life for auction at the event. Dian has continued to donate her work for auction at the annual dinners. Having no artistic talent myself I usually write checks. We have been at the Fellow Mortal's farm many times over the years and have been impressed with the dedication of the professionals and volunteers. Being in sales I've learned you must ask for the order, Yvonne would be excellent salesperson as she looks you in the eye and asks for what the animals need whether it is a washing machine or funds to support a beaver. You just can't say no to her.
We are delighted to one of her many donors.

Jack Simpson, Wind Point WI

Donor

Rating: 5

Great organizations start and are maintained by great leaders. Yvonne Wallace Blane and her husband Steve, have worked in service to all forms of injured wildlife since founding Fellow Mortals in 1985. One only has to read some of the stories penned by Yvonne to realize the depth of commitment she assigns to each animal brought to the wildlife hospital. Her story, An Insignificant Life (http://fellowmortals.org/insignificant/ ) brings tears and an awareness of why Fellow Mortals has such a unique mission in wildlife rehabilitation. Core values stated at the website reflect the values of both Yvonne and Steve:
• Value and care for the individual life comes before all else
• All species admitted for care are treated equally
• Fellow Mortals will not euthanize a healthy animal
• Fellow Mortals strives for the highest standards and professionalism in animal care and all other areas
• Fellow Mortals does not accept support that could cause us to compromise our values

Rita27

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been so fortunate as to volunteer my time at Fellow Mortals. I am humbled to be a small part of such an amazing organization of selfless individuals. Every life that enters the doors of this facility are as equally important as the rest. I have seen first hand the heart and soul that has gone into caring for the injured and abandoned wildlife who have required this care due to 'human' neglect or naivety. Thank you so much for all you do and a huge thank you for allowing me to be a small part of it all!!!!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Ever since I first became aware of and involved with Fellow Mortals in 2003, I have seen firsthand what competence and sincere compassion can achieve hand in hand. An enterprise such as FM (and there are others, but far too few and too far between) makes the difference between encountering a wild animal in dire need and *wishing* there was something you could do... and being able to actually do something - with their help. I have had the privilege of partaking in the eventual release of wild birds I had brought to Fellow Mortals for care and treatment, and those were some heartbreakingly joyous moments in my llfe, let me tell you. If you believe that wild animals of all kinds truly are our fellow mortals, individuals as worthy of empathy as you and I, please support those who take that philosophy into living action and make our world a better place in so doing. My world is certainly a better place thanks to FM. Yvonne and Steve and their staff are real people. Real good people. Angels upon the earth, as far as I'm concerned. Let's help FM help us to help those alien familiars we marvel at every day, the ones without civilization and technology. Let's lend them ours in their hour of need, in exchange for what they do for our lives every day. It starts with compassion, but it takes skill and dedication to make a difference. Fellow Mortals has all three and bridges the gap.

Sean Carroll

Client Served

Rating: 5

You may never know or have heard of Fellow Mortals until you're in the urgent position of wanting to help an animal and have no idea how. We found Fellow Mortals nearly 8 years ago, after we saw ducklings lose their mother on a busy highway and had no one to turn to. These tiny peeping balls of fluff started a relationship that has continued strong for us ever since for a large variety of animals. Fellow Mortals is a wildlife resource, a leader in healing and care as well as education. They focus on helping the animals first and foremost. Many times it means taking the reins of the critical care required, and sometimes it means education and advice for humans on how best to care for the animal in its wild habitat. It is so evident that their hearts and souls are in their work. Injured and orphaned wildlife seem to find us, and while we can't care for them personally, we are forever grateful for the care and love they receive at Fellow Mortals. The hospital is humble, resources are always tight, and yet each animal gets what it needs for the best chance it can possibly have. I can't describe the feeling that comes with helping something that cannot help itself, and knowing that when the transfer over the counter is made in a little shoebox, or a clothes basket, or a cardboard box, or a blanket, or a pet carrier, the little creature inside that you're helping couldn't have a better chance at getting better. My husband and I will continue to support Fellow Mortals, in our faith in their care of the animals we find, and financially as a way to help in a world that too often loses sight of Nature's innocence and beauty. If you are looking for a charity to support, believe me when I say that you can donate confidently, knowing that your dollars are being spent in benefit of those who need truly need it.

Jennifer372

Client Served

Rating: 5

Compassionate, Caring, and incredibly professional. I have known about Fellow Mortals for over 20 years, and they have been a godsend to animals I have found countless times!

Cleo R.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A love for all creatures, from the smallest baby mouse to an elderly beaver, is what I witness each day that I volunteer at Fellow Mortals. The compassionate and knowledgeable Wildlife Rehabilitators and interns, work long hours to help insure that each animal that is brought to them has a chance to heal and then be released. The hundreds of animals that are helped each year by this organization are impressive; especially when you consider the time and cost that is required.

Fellow Mortals works hard to educate the public on many wildlife issues. What a person can and should do when they come into contact with an injured wild animal, from the initial phone contact to literature that is given to each person that brings an animal to the shelter, is enlightening. Fellow Mortals is also using Facebook as a tool that is fun and informative.

Fellow Mortals is a wonderful organization doing an amazing job.