Cheryl and David Cox, of the City of Maine, usually take turns waking up each two hours at evening to feed, rock and luxury a crying, hungry child.
They’re not a lot completely different than any dad and mom of a new child, with one exception — the infants they feed have fur.
The couple run We Are Their Voice — Wildlife Care and Rescue LLC, a wildlife rehabilitation heart primarily based out of their Maine dwelling. They maintain small mammals who’re injured or orphaned till they recuperate sufficient to be launched again into the wild. Their sufferers embrace squirrels, opossums, skunks, rabbits and bats.
“We’re each such enormous animal lovers,” David Cox stated. “Some species are misunderstood. We get pleasure from educating the general public about our native wildlife.”
Eight years in the past, the couple discovered a blind and deaf possum.
“Whereas caring for her, we knew that we wished to assist extra wildlife,” Cheryl Cox stated. “Opossums are nonetheless our favorites to look after.”
Caring for the opossum bought the couple hooked on caring for wild animals in want. They grew to become licensed via the state Division of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and began We Are Their Voice 5 years in the past.
We Are Their Voice is the closest wildlife rescue who’re licensed to look after bats, skunks and raccoons — which all get vaccinated earlier than they’re launched again into the wild. Additionally they take mice, weasels, rabbits, squirrels, opossums, raccoons, bats and chipmunks, she stated. Earlier this 12 months, a child fisher cat and a child otter stayed with them earlier than being transferred to different rehabilitators with more room.
Their present sufferers embrace a child weasel who’s recovering from being attacked by a cat; a child bunny who was by accident stepped on by a development employee; and an orphaned opossum who likes to take naps on their sofa.
Calls for his or her service are available in via native pet shops, veterinary workplaces, police and anybody who finds a wild animal that’s injured or orphaned. The group can also be listed on the DEC website and animalhelpnow.org.
How lengthy they keep varies relying on the animal that is available in, the couple stated.
“Each species has a unique size of keep, particularly ones who’re orphaned,” David Cox stated.
Cottontail rabbits normally keep for a month, whereas raccoons can keep for 5 months or extra. Some animals want therapy from the Janet L. Swanson Wildlife Hospital in Ithaca, which may imply a number of journeys backwards and forwards between Ithaca and their dwelling in Maine, the couple stated.
When the animal is wholesome sufficient and in a position to maintain itself, the animal is launched again into the wild, the couple stated.
Similar to any child, lots of the orphans the couple look after have to be bottle-fed each two to 3 hours across the clock.
“Opossums must be tube fed as a result of they don’t suckle like most mammals,” Cheryl Cox stated.
The child animals require particular formulation and diets of their bottles, the couple stated. Milk or child formulation isn’t appropriate for wild animals.
Whereas there’s a variety of work concerned in taking good care of wild animals, the couple don’t thoughts, they stated. They’re decided to maintain serving to as many wild animals as potential, even when it means midnight feedings.
Cheryl and David Cox
House: City of Maine.
Profession: She is retired from working in baby care and as a veterinary assistant. He’s a homemaker who has labored on and off within the restaurant business.
Household: Two grown daughters.
Tips on how to assist: To donate, go to http://paypal.me/WATV. The group additionally has want lists of wanted objects listed underneath We Are Their Voice Wildlife Care and Rescue on Amazon.com and Chewy.com. For extra info on the group and how you can assist, discover them on Fb at We Are Their Voice — Wildlife Care and Rescue LLC
If an animal wants assist: Name We Are Their Voice at 607-321-5554. Preserve the animal in a heat, quiet space till it will possibly get to a licensed rehabilitator corresponding to We Are Their Voice. Don’t go the animal round to household/mates and take footage and so on. By no means try to feed it something. Any human-grade milks or child formulation should not appropriate for wildlife. Attempting to feed an orphaned animal can result in aspiration pneumonia, and fluid within the lungs is commonly a dying sentence.
Additionally, for those who ought to discover an injured or deceased opossum hit by a automobile, remember that opossums are marsupials like kangaroos and should have infants of their pouch. A wildlife rehabilitator can take away the infants and save them even when the mom is deceased.