Donna and David Prevo of Leelanau Wildlife Care have been rescuing fawns for about six years and recently received their non-profit status for their organization in September of 2014. They are licensed and certified rehabilitators who specialize in rescuing and releasing white tail fawns and other small mammals. In 2014, they rescued 20 fawns. They are located on 132 acres of woodland in Leelanau County and work with a licensed veterinarian who is on call to assist with injured animals. Although they live in Leelanau County, they take in animals from many different northern lower Michigan counties.
They started rescuing after the Traverse City Zoo dissolved. Their neighbor was the zookeeper and gave the Prevos some fawns to release. They were hooked right away. They studied up and went to Ann Arbor for the lab part of getting certified and then passed the required tests. They are now IWRC Certified (International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council) and licensed by the Michigan DNR.
They have rescued bunnies, squirrels, a gray fox and an otter just to name a few. Just the other day, they received a call from a member about a bunny found at the door of the “Y” who was thin and has an eye problem, with movement restrictions. The Prevos have the bunny now and it’s eating well. They’re hoping it will be healthy enough to be released in the spring. Their goal is to release and rescue as the DNR frowns upon keeping wildlife permanently.
Each rescue has its own story and Donna recalls the rescue of a fawn who was injured after being hit by a car and who was left to die by the side of the road. Dispatch called and the Prevos rescued him. He was several days old and one of their volunteer vets gave him fluids and a steroid to deter brain swelling. Donna did daily work to rehabilitate him and kept him crated in their home. He was a special case but has totally recovered and was released with all the healthy fawns of 2014. Most of the fawns they receive are orphans when a doe is killed by a car. They are healthy and easier to raise. They counsel people who come across single fawns to leave them alone for at least eight hours to make sure it’s been abandoned before calling the DRN about it being abandoned. They also tell people not to give the fawn cow homogenized or cow milk. The Prevos get goat milk delivered from Falmouth to feed the fawns and last year went through as much as 25 gallons a week. Along with the milk, the fawns are given calf manna (a supplement) and also browse in their one acre fenced pen.
At $10/gallon for the goat milk, rehabbing fawns can get pretty expensive and overall, the price of rehabbing a fawn is about $500 to $800 each. Up to now, that cost has been coming out of the pockets of Donna and David Prevo. They hope to raise funds for the organization so that they can keep their rescue afloat now that they have a state and federal tax exempt status.
Donations are tax deductible and can be made to:
Leelanau Wildlife Care
526 W 14th St Box # 145
Traverse City, MI 49684-4051