Animal related

Fellow Mortals, Inc.

Compassion Changes Everything

aka Fellow Mortals Wildlife Hospital

Lake Geneva, WI

Mission

"Fellow Mortals is more than a place; it is a living philosophy based on the belief that encouraging compassion in humans toward all life brings out the finest aspects of our humanity."

We believe that individual life is important and do not support the practice of euthanizing healthy animals to limit numbers or conserve resources.

We provide care for all species of wild birds, including non-native birds, as well as for non-predatory mammal species. In order to continue to meet the growing need for services for individuals of these groups, we continue to expand our facilities.

Ruling Year

1992

Executive Director, Co-founder

Yvonne Wallace Blane

Facilities Design & Operations, Co-founder

Steven J. Blane

Main Address

W4632 Palmer Rd

Lake Geneva, WI 53147 USA

Keywords

animal, education, bird, wildlife, wildlife rehabilitation, wildlife hospital, wildlife training, orphaned wildlife, injured wildlife, education, public education

EIN

39-1694862

 Number

4976590430

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Wildlife Preservation/Protection (D30)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (C01)

Graduate, Professional(Separate Entities) (B50)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve New!

Wild animals share our world, but they are at the mercy of human activities and human structures that can change their reality in an instant. They suffer trauma when they impact with a vehicle or a window. They are poisoned accidentally and on purpose. They are injured and killed by legal and illegal means. When an adult wild animal is removed from the environment through injury or death, its young are orphaned. When a compassionate human finds a wild animal in distress and wants to help, they turn to a professional wildlife rehabilitator. Fellow Mortals is the only resource available for people from more than 100 communities and multiple counties on the border of Wisconsin and Illinois. 2000 individual animals are brought to the hospital every year by the people who have found and rescued them.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Professional Wildlife Rehabilitation Staff

Wildlife Internship Program

Wildlife Education

Post-release Research of Rehabilitated Wildlife

Nature & Education Center at Meadowlark Acres

Where we workNew!

Our Results

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one. These quantitative program results are self-reported by the organization, illustrating their committment to transparency, learning, and interest in helping the whole sector learn and grow.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Number of animals monitored post release

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

General/Unspecified

Related program

Post-release Research of Rehabilitated Wildlife

Context notes

Post-release studies help us understand how rehabilitated animals acclimate back to the wild. Numbers represent observations of animals identified by tagging and actual or remote observation.

Number of nonreleaseable animals saved from euthanasia and placed for wildlife education or conspecific fostering

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

General/Unspecified

Related program

Post-release Research of Rehabilitated Wildlife

Context notes

Unreleaseable wild animals must be euthanized unless they can be placed with licensed individuals or institutions as education animals or fosters to orphans of their own species.

Number of animals rehabilitated

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

General/Unspecified

Related program

Professional Wildlife Rehabilitation Staff

Context notes

This number represents the individual animals which received professional care after they were brought to the hospital by members of the public who found them injured or orphaned.

Number of non-releaseable animals saved from euthanasia to act as fosters to orphans of their species

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

General/Unspecified

Related program

Professional Wildlife Rehabilitation Staff

Context notes

Wild orphans must be raised to know their own kind. Birds with injuries that prevent release and which would have otherwise been euthanized instead become 'fosters' to orphaned young.

Number of wildlife education contacts related to admit of injured wildlife

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Related program

Wildlife Education

Context notes

Site visits by the public to bring animals for care involve a minimum of one person, and more often several people, each visit represents one-on-one wildlife education provided to the public.

Percentage of animals admitted which were successfully rehabilitated

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

No target populations selected

Related program

Professional Wildlife Rehabilitation Staff

Context notes

Admitting injury or condition affects release. % is obtained in this way: [# released] divided by [total # admitted less (# admitted doa + # euthanized at admit because of severity of injury)]

Percentage of newborn and eyes-closed mammals admitted that were successfully rehabilitated and released: rabbit <7 days; grey squirrel <4 weeks; opossum <9 weeks; white-footed mouse <2 weeks

TOTALS BY YEAR
Population(s) served

General/Unspecified

Related program

Professional Wildlife Rehabilitation Staff

Context notes

Newborn and eyes-closed mammals are routinely euthanized at some facilities due to poor success. Our release rate for these individuals is directly related to the quality of care provided by our staff

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

We believe injured and orphaned wildlife deserve professional care. To that end, Fellow Mortals follows a unique model. Where most organizations handling similar numbers of animals utilize volunteers to provide care for wildlife, our licensed wildlife rehabilitators and animal care staff provide all care on site, which results in less stress to our patients and less possibility of taming or habituation. A wild animal must do more than survive to be released, it must know its own kind, how to find or procure food in the wild, and be properly imprinted on its own species. Along with providing professional care, we work hard to keep healthy wildlife in the wild when they are mistakenly 'rescued' by the public. Wildlife education is part of every contact we have with the public, in order to prevent unnecessary injury and orphaning of animals as well as to inspire concern and compassion toward wild species through understanding their natural history and behavior.

Our small staff is very dedicated and works long hours during the busiest months when wild animals are nesting. In order to handle the influx of true orphans, Fellow Mortals offers full-time paid internships to qualified college students, who help with the hand-feeding and cleaning associated with the care of hundreds of orphaned small mammals, songbirds and waterfowl. Prior to admitting a new patient into care, an experienced rehabilitator works with every concerned caller to assess the situation. This investment of time results in fewer patients in care, which translates into more time for the animals who truly need us.

We are fortunate to have a stable, dedicated, multi-talented staff and have been able to count on some consistent funding from a long-term donor that provides a portion of the modest compensation they receive. In addition to providing wildlife care, some staff members have backgrounds in business and the building trades, allowing us to handle fundraising, social media, bookkeeping, education, writing projects, facility design, maintenance and repair without requiring outside assistance. For those areas of expertise our staff can't cover, we rely on a dedicated group of volunteer professionals, who donate services in veterinary, legal, accounting, and business fields.
Other volunteers also give time to help in many ways including with admission of new patients and running fundraising events. Over $200,000 of in-kind services and supplies are donated every year, allowing cash donations to be used for the things that must be purchased.

1. The successful outcome of a wild individual brought to the hospital injured or orphaned is our first priority. That accomplished, it is important for us to provide education to the community to prevent future unnecessary injury and orphaning of wild creatures. We manage our patient load through intensive one-on-one education of the public and chart our success not only by our release rate from year to year but also by the number of animals we are able to keep in the wild thanks to successful intervention. 2. We are always looking for ways to improve the quality of our physical facilities to benefit the wild patients during their care and in the last five years have added custom-designed waterfowl habitats with in-ground pools, two 100-foot long raptor (hawk/owl/eagle/falcon) flights and a new facilities workshop and garage. In 2018 we are working to complete another 2,000 square feet of space dedicated to critical care of endangered, threatened and sensitive species. As long as we are improving and maintaining the facilities required for excellent care, we are on track. 3. Within the wildlife rehabilitation community, there is an accepted paradigm of euthanizing healthy animals as part of 'conserving resources.' We reject this paradigm. Fellow Mortals' core values include the pledge that we will not euthanize a healthy animal; rather, we work hard to raise the funds to add facilities and staff to continue to meet the need for our specialized services. If we can show others that our model works, and stop the euthanasia of healthy orphaned animals as part of another organization's business model, we would truly feel we have made a difference.

2018 is Fellow Mortals' 33rd consecutive year serving as a no-fee resource to the public. Since our inception, we have only moved forward and upward, adding staff and facilities that mean we are able to meet the increased number of animals coming in to care. It isn't just about keeping the organization alive, it's just as important to us that we have kept our philosophy alive and true. At the end of 2017, we were honored to be chosen by Parade Magazine as the Outstanding Nonprofit for Wisconsin in their 2017 Giving Issue.

Funding has always been a struggle, especially without outside help and, since 2007 fundraising has fallen entirely on the co-founder and executive director, who is also chair and appointee to a government advisory board, writes all informational and fundraising materials, acknowledges all gifts large and small, handles all social media and online giving, and is a full-time wildlife rehabilitator.

In 2018, we hope to raise the funds to provide a living wage to our existing staff, to add a part-time position to assist the executive director with some of her duties, and to raise $250,000 to complete the Buchanan Family Critical Care Wing.

External Reviews

Affiliations & Memberships

International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council

National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association (NWRA)

American Humane Association

Photos

Financials

Fellow Mortals, Inc.

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  • Forms 990 for 2016, 2016 and 2015
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2016, 2016 and 2015
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

See what's included

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?

Not Applicable

CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?

Not Applicable

ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?

No

BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?

Yes

BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?

Not Applicable

Organizational Demographics

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Gender

This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Part-Time Staff and Volunteers.

Race & Ethnicity

This organization reports that it does not collect this information.

Sexual Orientation

This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Part-Time Staff and Volunteers.

Disability

This organization reports that it does not collect this information for Part-Time Staff and Volunteers.

Diversity Strategies

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We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
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We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
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We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
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We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
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We have a diversity committee in place
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We have a diversity manager in place
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We have a diversity plan
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We use other methods to support diversity
Diversity notes from the nonprofit
Our senior staff includes people who came to the hospital as interns. Interns have come from South Africa, Switzerland, Scotland, Canada and across the United States, representing different cultures and races. Current staff includes individuals from the United States, Scotland and Canada. We do not require an in-person or virtual interview, so it is always a pleasant surprise to meet our new interns for the first time when we welcome them to the Fellow Mortals' family. Race, religion or sexual orientation are not part of the conversation. While some staff, interns and volunteers have self-identified in a particular area over the years, what is most important to us is that an individual share our belief in the value of individual life, and be passionate about doing what is necessary to provide excellent and compassionate care for the injured or orphaned wild creature brought to us by a person who entrusts us with the precious life they have rescued.