Opossum joeys in a cereal box Photo credit: Kelly Osborn, Wisconsin WildCare

About WWRA

Our activities

Through our member newsletter, website, shared communications, roundtables, and annual conference we seek to:

  • Preserve Wisconsin’s wildlife
  • Facilitate networking among wildlife rehabilitators
  • Promote professionalism and ethical excellence in the practice of wildlife rehabilitation
  • Improve management and outcomes for wildlife in the care of our membership
  • Foster an understanding of, and support for wildlife rehabilitation among wildlife management agencies, the veterinary community and the general public.

Our History

WWRA was originally organized by eight licensed wildlife rehabilitators in the late 1980s to serve as a means to support and assist Wisconsin wildlife and Wisconsin rehabilitators. On October 21, 1991, WWRA filed for and received the Articles of Incorporation granting 501(c)3 status as a nonprofit organization.

For the past 30+ years WWRA has organized annual conferences and sent out newsletters to the membership on a regular basis to educate, inform, and facilitate networking among the members. WWRA has worked in collaboration with the Minnesota and Iowa state rehabilitation organizations to offer a collaborative tri-state conference and multiple wildlife rehabilitation education and training opportunities

Service

WWRA is a vibrant state organization, dedicated to serving the wildlife rehabilitation community through annual education and networking conferences, educational workshops and training sessions, facilitating listening sessions with the WI DNR, hosting virtual roundtables and presentations for the membership, and offering education and resource grants to support wildlife rehabilitation in Wisconsin. WWRA activities are supported by annual membership fees, donations and grants.

Meet our Board of Directors

Peggy Popp

President

Peggy is an Advanced Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator with Endangered and Threatened Species Authorization. She has been an independent home-based wildlife rehabilitator since the mid-1980s, focused on orphaned small mammals.

The orphans she cares for have been getting increasingly smaller over the years, and since the summer of 2013 when an infant least weasel appeared on her doorstep, she has focused on researching and promoting the best practices for the rehabilitation of mustelids, including mink, our three species of weasels, and fishers.

Join the WWRA Board!

Wildlife rehabilitators are unsung heroes. Compassionate, dedicated, and with a seemingly endless reserve, Help us help Wisconsin rehabilitators – and the volunteers who support them – provide the best possible care.

Terms last three years, with the option to renew. Officer positions are two-year terms. You must be a current member to apply. apply.

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Brittni Vermiglio

Secretary

Brittni is an Advanced Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator at the Wisconsin Humane Society Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She has been a wildlife rehabilitator for this organization since 2016, having been both an intern and volunteer for the organization.

Brittni graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a Bachelor’s degree in Conservation and Environmental Science and a minor in Biology. More recently, she completed the NWRA Leadership program, and is a member of the Wisconsin Humane Society’s Morale Committee.

Crystal Sharlow-Schaefer

Vice President

Crystal is the Wildlife Director of the Wisconsin Humane Society Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in Milwaukee. She is an Advanced Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator with Endangered and Threatened Species Authorization, a Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator via the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council, and a federal bird-banding sub-permittee.

She has a Masters in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from UW-Milwaukee and a BS in Biology, with a double minor in Captive Wildlife and Museum Techniques from UW-Stevens Point. Crystal is also an Adjunct Instructor for the Behavior Department at Carroll University, teaching “Fundamentals of Wildlife Rehabilitation”.

When not enthusiastically teaching or rehabilitating wildlife, she enjoys spending time with her paleontologist husband, their three cats, and all of their many, many plants.

Tom Manley

Treasurer & Membership Coordinator

Tom is one of the lead rehabilitators and Board Vice President for Wisconsin WildCare, a collaborative of home-based wildlife rehabilitators. He is an Advanced Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator and frequent sponsor for new licensees. He became a WWRA Board Member in 2021.

Tom has a background in healthcare as a registered nurse, certified registered nurse anesthetist, researcher, and educator. In the little spare time he has in between his healthcare career and his passion for wildlife rehab, Tom enjoys reading, traveling, and hanging out with his wife, 6 children and 3 grandchildren!

Lori Bankson

Board member

Lori is the Curator of Animals at the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary in Green Bay, WI. She oversees the captive wildlife animal care program of 200+ permanently injured animals and the wildlife rehabilitation program, R-PAWS, that admits over 6,000 orphaned, injured, and ill wildlife from the public annually, along with the enrichment program and training program for people and animals. She oversees a wonderful staff and many dedicated volunteers and sub-permittees on and off site.

Lori started volunteering in the R-PAWS program at Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary in 1996. She graduated from UW-Madison in 1998 and has been on staff with Bay Beach ever since. 

At home, she and her husband Jared raise their own rescued pack: 2 dogs, 2 cats, a Senegal Parrot, and 2 turtles.

Lori was WWRA President from 2013-2022, joining the board in 2003, and served on WRAC from 2013-2021, as well as the state chimney swift group, local wildlife advisory groups, and other local organizations.

Wisconsin Wildlife Rehabilitation Association logo

WWRA is a 501c3 organization dedicated to serving the wildlife rehabilitation community through annual education and networking conferences, educational workshops and training sessions, facilitating listening sessions with the WI DNR, hosting virtual roundtables and presentations for the membership, and offering education and resource grants to support wildlife rehabilitation in Wisconsin. WWRA activities are supported by annual membership fees, donations and grants.

Have questions about wildlife rehabilitation or WWRA? Drop us a line!

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Drop us a line!

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Like our new logo?

Now you can wear it!

WWRA T-shirts and hoodies are now available from Bonfire