Fawn Rescue


Big Mac, April 1996 Fawn Rescue operates the only wildlife center in Sonoma County that is licensed for long-term care of deer. We specialize in the rehabilitation of ill, injured and orphaned Black-Tailed fawns, receiving 100 or more fawns in one season. Since 1989, FR has provided this unique and much needed service to the community. All Sonoma County fawns must come to FR for care. The transport of deer is a public issue, therefore, we must respond personally to each call, providing veterinary treatment when needed.

Beyond the scope of practical service provided FR responds seven days a week to wildlife concerns of the California Department of Fish and Game, Animal Regulation, the Humane Society, animal care agencies, all Sonoma County wildlife centers, Police and Sheriff Departments, Park Rangers, veterinarians, and the public.

FR works closely with a pathologist in fawn disease research. Our submitted samples of a unique and life threatening disease enabled this doctor and diagnostic lab to successfully isolate and identify a genetically distinct, deer-specific, viral disease, Deer PoxVirus, likely comprising a new genus! A giant step for wildlife! And through this same pathologist FR discovered a second deer disease, Hair Loss Syndrome, new to the state of California.

No formula was available which specifically addressed the rich nutritional needs of the Black-Tailed fawn. FR requested an animal nutrition company to manufacture a new, specialized formula using the analysis of the doe's milk. Now fawns thrive and lives are being saved throughout the entire west coast region.

FR is a nonprofit public benefit 501(c)(3) association, working under a Memo Of Understanding issued by the State of California Department of Fish and Game. We assume entire responsibility for our own funding.

Through many grassroots fund-raising activities Fawn Rescue has:

•purchased a pickup truck with camper shell to provide safe and comfortable transportation of fawns

•constructed an emergency care center at our main facility, with large remote enclosures, shelters, and additional holding pens, creating a natural environment allowing fawns to remain wild and free

•established several satellite shelters on outlying, private land located throughout the county, where fawns are raised and released, preventing overpopulation of anyone area

•provided all shelters with solar-powered electric fencing to protect fawns from predators, and a capture chute for use in case of emergency

•accumulated an extensive wildlife reference library

•established a portable educational wildlife exhibit containing fourteen displays of native wildlife mounted in natural settings, used in our public educational programs. FR does not exhibit live animals.

FR Educational Outreach Program provides:

•free wildlife presentations to schools, clubs, and other private and public organizations

•a complete wildlife manual, "Black-Tailed Fawns - Care In Captivity", purchased by other wildlife facilities throughout the United States, Canada, and abroad

•a Fawn-Care Protocol offered by the California Department of Fish and Game to other wildlife centers

•wildlife articles written by FR are distributed to the public, wildlife centers, and wildlife publications nation wide

AWARDS received:

•California Legislature and Assembly Resolution for unparalleled achievements for wildlife and the public

•California Department of Fish and Game Director's Achievement Award for outstanding support of wildlife protection and conservation

•Statement of Appreciation from Wildlife Investigations Laboratory of the California Department of Fish and Game for pioneering techniques in the rehabilitation of fawns

•United States Congressional Recognition award as one of the twenty-five top Bay Area volunteers and for outstanding and invaluable service to the community.

•Sonoma Ecology Center Environmental Award in recognition of outstanding contributions for our environment and our community

•American Red Cross Award for many years of dedication to the rescue of ill, orphaned and injured deer, and

•Earth Elders of Sonoma County award in recognition of devotion to the work necessary to sustain life on this planet for future generations.

Reports of Fawn Rescue's achievements have been published in national magazines, syndicated newspapers, network and cable television, radio, and public service videos.

A World Wide Web site: www.fawnrescue.org.


There are no words to describe the deep satisfaction derived from this very unusual, specialized work with fawns.Our work is urgent. Our work is vital. What would these defenseless creatures of the wild do without Fawn Rescue? Their future depends upon us. Our future depends on getting the job done and getting it right.

This work is never dull, never boring, a constant challenge. But the immense satisfaction in meeting that challenge far exceeds the effort. There is stress but there is fulfillment. There can be deep sadness but there is also great joy.

Our work is always an emergency. It can never be planned. A fawn cannot schedule a time to need our help. Like a fireman, or policeman, when the call comes, we must go. Our image depends on being able to deal with the public calmly and with assurance during emergencies. We must gain their trust and keep it.

Fawns are not Bambis. Raising fawns is not fun, nor entertainment. We deal with wild animals and they must be kept wild. An unusual concept which presents unique situations. A fawn's hoofs are razor sharp. They kick. They come to us with heartbreaking injuries. The piercing cry of a fawn sinks deep into the psyche. A sound you will never forget.

At Fawn Rescue the fawn comes first. Always. All decisions are made with the welfare of the fawn in mind. We do not hold captive deer for exhibit. It is our policy all fawns must be returned to the wild. We must understand the species and work according to the laws of nature, not by our preconceived ideas.

We must have the inner-strength to handle every aspect of this work in order to be able to advise, lead and train volunteers, encourage them to learn our successful methods and stay with us longterm. We assign areas of work to make our job easier. We answer phones and respond to calls, rescue animals, evaluate their condition and if necessary take them to a vet for treatment and instruction for convalescence. We have expert volunteers to take on a big part of this burden.

There is no place to stop. We are never so overloaded that one more fawn cannot be accepted and given proper care. This can mean 100 or more fawns in one season. But if #104 needs our help we are here. Our door is always open. We respond seven days a week, year round.

We run on high-octane adrenalin. But at the end of the day, when exhaustion sets in, we know we have learned, we have reached a goal and left a small light shining. A life has been saved, an emergency has been met

To watch the growth or slow recovery of a fawn, then witness it bound joyfully across a field, eager to be free, makes this work worthwhile. We have only just begun!

~Marjorie Davis

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