Wildlife abounds in these parts of Northeastern California. With a slew of intense fires during one part of the year and harsh winter conditions during the next, vulnerable Lassen County wildlife become injured and abandoned year-round. Local volunteer Peggy Speer rises to the occasion to save as many as she can. However, she can’t do it alone, so she started a GoFundMe to cover fuel costs and the purchase of a reliable vehicle to transport these animals.
These injured and abandoned animals have to be transported out of the area, sometimes daily, since Lassen doesn’t have a wildlife veterinarian or rehabilitation facility. With more than 100 wildlife rehab facilities throughout California, most rehabilitators do not provide services to pick up wildlife; they rely on you to get these animals to them.
Most work out of their homes and are not on call 24 hours a day. Wildlife rehabilitators often volunteer their time and efforts to this chosen profession, but have lives outside of it as well. Rehabilitators often specialize in certain species of wildlife and establish limits on the number of animals they can accept and properly care for.
Speer, as one of those volunteers, drives hundreds of miles on a daily basis. She often travels to Reno and Carson City, Nevada, Lake Tahoe, Sacramento, Chico, Red Bluff, Loomis and Anderson. There are no government agencies that pay fuel costs for transporting wildlife, so Speer pays for it all on her own dime.
Areas similar to Lassen County, such as Siskiyou and Shasta have rehab centers, but possessing so few locations, spread out among the rural north state, makes it difficult for animals in-need of care.
Speer is actively pursuing donations for fuel costs and for the purchase of a large reliable all-wheel-drive vehicle that can carry many wildlife crates and carriers and safely get us through snow in the winter months. Speer also hopes to someday build Lassen County’s very own wildlife rehabilitation facility with a licensed wildlife veterinarian.
Donations from the GoFundMe will go to the Lassen County California Wildlife Rescue, Transport, Rehabilitation and Release Fund.
Speer said, “With donations we will have fuel costs that will bring in more volunteers, which in turn will save many more hawks, eagles, fawns, beavers, squirrels, foxes, owls, etc,” and reminded readers, “Rescuing and transporting wildlife is very costly and time consuming, but the rewards and joy are immense once you pick up your prior injured or abandoned wildlife, fully recovered, that can be released back into their home, our beautiful community.”
Speer’s GoFundMe can be found at gofundme.com/saving-lassen-county-wildlife.