The State Humane Society is asking Acadiana to help rehabilitate our wildlife, and they are willing to match the contributions.
Since 1998, Letitia Labbie has operated Acadiana Wildlife Education & Reification in Youngsville. Acadiana Wildlife’s mission is to treat injured or orphaned wildlife in southern Louisiana, where the facility receives more than 200 “patients” each year. Because their intake is growing exponentially, Acadiana Wildlife is in dire need of donations to continue rehabilitating the wildlife of southern Louisiana. The Humane Society of Louisiana is helping Labbie and Acadiana Wildlife spread the word so they can get the funding they need.
Laby, a member of the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council, the National Wildlife Rehabilitation Association, and the International Association of Bird Trainers, has treated more than 6,000 birds and small mammals since she first started working with wildlife at the age of 10. Licensed, supervised and authorized by the US Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, they primarily specialize in the rehabilitation of raptors and birds of prey, although they are permitted to rehabilitate all types of Louisiana wildlife. She currently cares for hawks, owls and eagles, although she is able to sort out any small animal that comes her way and take it to the appropriate rehab worker.
“Birds of prey are important to our ecosystem because they keep rodent populations low and also get rid of deceased disease-carrying animals,” Labe said. “It eliminates the need for rodent poisoning, which can kill the animals that eat them.”
Lappie said her rescue intake recently doubled due to the loss of Lake Charles restorer birds, as well as the closure of the Orleans Audubon Community’s Injured Wildlife Program. And because the Labbie also treats permanently crippled raptors that cannot be released back into the wild, it becomes a constant — and a cost. She currently has two paralyzed turkey vultures and a pair of red-tailed hawks who need a larger flight cage, measuring 50 feet by 20 feet. Fly cages for smaller birds are generally 20 feet by 15 feet. , the more cages you can have, the more animals you can help.
“Acadiana Wildlife depends solely on donations for food and supplies, construction and maintenance of cages and closures,” Labe said. “Although we receive permits through the LDWF, we do not receive any funding from them. I think people would be surprised to learn that feeding the animals only cost $3,000 a month, and that my last big fly cage was $10,000.”
Other items that Acadiana Wildlife can use include rodent food and blocks, fresh produce, duck and chicken feed, good fencing, pieces of wood that are 2 feet by 4 feet, and help transport the animals.
“Only that day,” she said, “I traveled seven hours back and forth to rescue a pelican.” “It would be great if I could get help with that because I’m only one person.”
Lappe also said that if a person or business wanted to sponsor a cage for non-releasing birds, she would be more than happy to have a ribbon-cutting party with a plate placed on the cage.
If you would like to donate to Acadiana Wildlife Education & Reification, visit https://www.acadianawildlife.org/donate .
Donors may make a one-time donation, become a monthly supporter, or help Acadiana Wildlife store their wish list. They also accept donations by mail. Call 337,288.5146 for a mailing address. For more information on Acadiana Wildlife Education and Rehabilitation, visit https://www.acadianawildlife.org/home .
Volunteers with construction and craftsmanship skills are also welcome to donate their time and expertise.
The Humane Society of Louisiana will match the first $450 in cash donations.