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Dedicated to the Welfare of Native Wildlife
The Humane Way…

If you've spent anytime at all watching and enjoying animals, you are aware that they are wonderful silent communicators. They have their own unique body language and can show a range of emotions. Animals are intelligent and worthy of our respect. They can love their young, and at the same time, can be very protective and territorial.

Urban development is spreading into woodland areas and this encroachment may result in human/wildlife conflicts. As people are confronted and confounded about how to interact with their new animal neighbors, more information about native wildlife will be needed. Fortunately, effective, humane strategies are available to deal with removing intruding animals to resolve wildlife conflicts often experienced by residents in our communities.

Our program seeks to change the lethal methods' standard now in place in the wild animal control industry by advocating homeowner responsibility, human tolerance, understanding and compassion as essential components to co-existing peacefully with wild animals.
Our mission strives to protect humans from property damage and personal injury, while protecting animals from inappropriate relocation, injury or death.
"Our task must be to [widen] our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."
- Albert Einstein

By providing information to the public concerning the humane and permanent solutions to human/wildlife conflicts available, property owners seeking assistance dealing with wildlife can opt for the humane choice.


In The Beginning, there were three

It was in the summer of 1994, that we first experienced the joys and challenges of caring for wildlife often found in cities and towns across the Midwest. A tree, previously serving as a comfortable home for a family of raccoon, was chopped down.

Now they were homeless and about to become our teachers and inspiration.


Their displacement from the mother, although unfortunate and avoidable, served as the catalyst that created this organization. After years of experience in rehabilitating wild animals, we've learned that the primary goal is to attempt to reunite family units whenever possible. Today, these animals would be customarily returned to the tree for their mother to retrieve.

It became apparent in the early days of our wildlife rehabilitation efforts, animals were being orphaned consistently. We began to investigate the specific reasons orphaned animals became abandoned and the findings were frightening. Our research revealed a magnitude of inhumane practices in the wild animal control industry, sadly advocated by institutions of higher learning and lack of state regulations.

Although coming to the aid of numerous animals was rewarding, it felt a disservice to these creatures to stop our efforts at this level. Releasing them into a society wherein cruelty was acceptable and condoned was contrary to our mission statement.

Thus, in 1998, Wildlife Orphanage, Inc. was founded.

Our wildlife rehabilitation center

As people are confronted with situations involving animal dilemmas, the potential for injuries to both animals and people may occur. Animals are crossing our paths in increasing numbers, in boat and car collisions. They are entangled in our fishing lines and trapped in our buildings and homes.

Often, their injuries are life threatening and quick intervention can mean the difference between life and death.


Wildlife Orphanage, Inc. operates a wildlife rehabilitation center, dedicated to the welfare of native wildlife, which operates from sites at two different properties in La Porte County.

La Porte County is the second largest county in Indiana. The county has the largest per capita park system in the state with 1,482 acres. Dubbed the City of Lakes, for its six lakes, the city of La Porte has a vibrant ecosystem of wetlands and marshlands. The heavily forested countryside serves as home to wildlife as well.

To the west, Porter County boasts the Indiana National Lakeshore and the Indiana Dunes State Park—both major wildlife refuges in our region.

These areas of population growth, both animal and human, are ripe for increased wildlife/human conflict situations to arise.

Regardless of the success rate of any wildlife rehabilitation facility, survivability of baby animals is vastly improved when raised by their parents. It is our continued goal to keep each animal's best interest in mind by maintaining family units whenever possible. When this is not possible, this facility is dedicated to providing a secure and sanitary environment for mammals requiring our assistance.

Our four licensed wildlife rehabilitators, including a licensed veterinarian, are ready to help.


Providing education and lobbying for legislation

Wildlife Orphanage, Inc. utilizes the services of three licensed wildlife educators, who present community programs to increase public awareness concerning ways to peacefully co-exist and humanely interact with our neighbors from the wild. Presentations are specifically tailored to be age-appropriate and are supplemented with written material.

Since 1998, over 100 seminars were presented to humane societies, park departments and school groups of all ages.


To further the cause of wildlife welfare, our staff and board members actively monitor legislation and provide input to legislators concerning administrative and legislative policies impacting wildlife on a national, state and local level.

And, we have some great success stories to share. On January 1, 2003, we were successful in helping to revise the Indiana Natural Resource Commission's administrative rule, which allowed animal control operators to use acetone, and other chemical solvents, as well as drowning as acceptable forms of euthanasia.

These inhumane methods are now prohibited by law.

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Wildlife Orphanage, Inc.
Dedicated to the Welfare of Native Wildlife
Post Office Box 0945
Chesterton, IN 46304
(219) 362-6999