Gold Country Wildlife Rescue
Share page
Organization Details


We primarily serve as an animal rescue that accepts injured, ill, and orphaned wildlife from all of the following: members of the public, animal control, fish and wildlife officers, and veterinary clinics. We provide our services for free and are open 365 days a year.

Every animal that arrives at our Wildlife Intake Center receives a thorough exam. Paid staff determine a plan of treatment and provide care. After an animal is stabilized, a robust volunteer program takes on much of the animal husbandry duties (depending on species). Once they are ready, animals are moved to outdoor acclimation pens or release cages to prepare them for reintroduction into the wild.

Our operations are simple, focused, and efficient. In 2013, we had 2,034 animals needing help arrive at our facility; just a few short years later in 2019 we had 3,433 animals needing our help.
Program Successes
Our greatest success has been our growth in the face of ever-increasing animal intake numbers, most of which result from human-caused issues such as dog or cat attacks, embedded fishhooks and fishing line, broken bones from colliding with cars or windows, gunshot wounds and animals burned in wildfires. In 2019, we treated 3,433 animals from 201 different species of wildlife, including native and migratory songbirds, waterfowl, raptors, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians. Here are just a few examples of the animals we have treated:

- We received a bobcat and two gray foxes from the Camp Fire in late 2018, all suffering from 5th-degree burns to the bottoms of their feet. We worked with Dr. Jamie Peyton, a burn specialist from UC Davis Veterinary Teaching School. The animals were treated with traditional antibiotics and pain medication, as well as pulsed electro-magnetic field therapy, acupuncture, specially-compounded burn cream and tilapia fish skin. Dr. Peyton has pioneered the technique of treating animals (both domestic and wild) with tilapia fish skin. All recovered and were released near Paradise, CA, in the Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve.

- We rescued a coyote with a plastic jar that had been stuck on its head for at least 10 days. She arrived in critical condition, starving and dehydrated, but after a month in our care she recovered and was released!

- We rescued yet another animal with a plastic jar stuck on its head! This time it was a Gray Fox. She was also in very bad shape, but we were able to help her using everything we learned from the coyote and she was able to be released within several weeks.

- We helped the Nevada Department of Wildlife when they called asking for help with an avian botulism outbreak, which is deadly without intensive treatment. We took in 260 ducks over a one-month period. The majority of the ducks survived and were released!

- In addition to wildlife, we make every effort to help all animals in need, and we regularly accept non-wild animals from community members who have nowhere else to turn, such as domestic doves, pigeons and ducks, using our network of animal lovers to find homes for them.
Part of GCWR's mission is to promote human awareness of wildlife and the ecosystems we share. We achieve this through our team of educators, composed of staff, board members, and volunteers who provide presentations and community outreach to schools, clubs, and other organizations. The highlight of our education program is our wildlife ambassadors - animals with injuries that prevent them from surviving in the wild yet have adapted to being cared for in captivity - including a Great Horned Owl, Common Raven, American Crow, Peregrine Falcon, Western Screech Owl and more. Our wildlife ambassadors serve as invaluable tools in conveying the importance of wildlife conservation and how to protect and live in harmony with our wild neighbors. These magnificent animals are powerful and effective teachers who leave a lasting impression on those who meet them.
Program Successes
In the past twelve months our team of educators, with the help of our ambassador animals, has provided 35 programs to the public. We've presented to people of all ages - from Preschoolers to Senior Citizens and all ages in between. We've visited camps, festivals and classrooms, and held some of our own events too. Educating the public plays a critical role in protecting our wildlife, which is struggling due to ever increasing human-created impacts such as getting tangled up in fish hooks and fishing line, attacks by our pets, our use of poisons to control pests, being hit by a car, polluted waterways and habitat loss.