Oaken Acres Part 2
Is there a success story that is particularly heart-warming and special to Oaken Acres?
Georgy Girl was one of those lost causes. A red fox dragged herself out from under a farmer’s barn and was probably a victim of a car collision. Judging from her condition, she lived underneath the barn for several days, unable to hunt for food.
Dehydrated and on the verge of starvation, she was not difficult to subdue when she was brought to Oaken Acres. She was kept on a heating pad and rehydrated with a glucose and electrolyte solution every hour until she could be seen at Bethany Animal Hospital the next morning.
After a physical exam and X-rays, both hind legs were found to be broken. One femur lay in three pieces. Dr. George Balster was not confident that she would make it through the surgery to repair them, even less confident the legs would ever heal or properly function again. Although the prognosis for Georgy Girl was not good, Dr. Balster decided to proceed with surgery anyway.
Two hours of orthopedic surgery, two weeks of confined recovery, and three months of rehabilitation later, Georgy Girl, named for George Balster the skillful veterinarian who saved her life, was remarkably well and eager to get out there again.
Georgy Girl’s story appears in a book that Kathy Stelford authored and published in 2008 titled, Every Life Matters: Inspiring Stories of Wildlife Rescues and Releases. Her book is for sale on the Oaken Acres website – www.oakenacres.org.
What does the facility at Oaken Acres look like?
The facility is housed on 33 acres of extraordinary wildlife habitat – part riparian, part woodlands, part prairie restoration – and the Kishwaukee River cuts through the floodplain acreage. We have over 20 outdoor cages, two smaller buildings for animal care and a large barn that houses two flight cages.
Upon rehabilitation, where are the animals released?
Many of our avian patients are released onsite. It’s such fun to see our ducklings that came in as fluffy, downy balls of feathers, take their first swim in the river on our farm. They LOVE it!
Anything additional we should know about?
How much space do we have J Here are some things that your readers would like to know, in no special order:
· Oaken Acres, under the direction of Christy Gerbitz, is developing a new educational program using live animals. We have applied for permits for three unreleasable birds so far – turkey vulture, snowy owl and screech owl – and will begin doing presentations for our community after our busy season is over.
· Oaken Acres operates very frugally. There are very few charities that have as little overhead as Oaken Acres. When you donate to Oaken Acres you can be assured that most of your donation goes directly to animal care. We don’t pay for the property and we normally raise funds separately for large expenses, like a new flight cage.
· Our website – oakenacres.org – has a wealth of information on our mission, vision and core values, what to do if you find an orphaned or injured wild animal, FAQs, and how to support Oaken Acres with your wisdom, wealth, or work.
Remember, there is no reason for anyone in DeKalb County to turn their backs on a wild animal that needs help. Help and Oaken Acres is just a phone call away.