Peggy DiMauro, Wildlife Rehabilitator
My childhood was spent on a family farm in Indiana. From an early age I had responsibilities for animal care for a range of domestic animals – cows, sheep, pigs, horses, kittens, puppies, chickens, ducks. I learned from my grandparents at an early age, that animals were important and that responsibility for their care was a given for everyone in the family. By the age of eight my job in the spring, as babies came, was to bottle feed and watch over those babies who, without extra human care were likely not to survive. Calves in particular could be problematic and often I was allowed to sleep overnight in the fresh straw with a newborn to ensure that blankets and cuddling kept them warm and gave them a fighting chance. So for me, loving and caring for animals was the natural order of things.
With a move from Massachusetts to Florida and being self-employed, I volunteered at the South Florida Wildlife Center, became a certified wildlife rehabilitator and embarked on an opossum research project to try and find out why the mortality rate was so high and why so many infants were being euthanized because they did not do well in rehab. I did my research primarily at Nova South Eastern University, connecting primarily with scientists and veterinarians in Australia, as well as commercial marsupial milk manufacturers. As a licensed rehabilitator, I set up a neonate nursery in my home, began developing an infant opossum protocol and trained four caregivers, three of whom were registered nurses, to help provide round the clock care.
Fast forward, it will be 12 years in April of 2018, now licensed in the state of Massachusetts, we have a protocol based on scientific data and species specific biology. There have been significant advances in this increasingly successful neonate protocol which has reduced the mortality rate of these babies and has led to many successful releases. Much has been accomplished, much yet remains to be researched.
Passionate belief in the importance of human moral responsibility to respect and preserve other life forms drives my continuing dedication to all creatures wild and wonderful.
Caryn Ritchie, Wildlife Rehabilitator
I have been involved with caring for animals on a volunteer basis most of my adult life. I have had a 40 year professional career as an Advanced Practice Psychiatric Registered Nurse working with patients in a private psychiatric practice on an outpatient basis. I have a Master’s Degree in Psychiatric Nursing and a PHD in Psychology.
Working with animals has always been my own therapy. About ten years ago I became more active in the caring and rehabilitation of wildlife here in Massachusetts and abroad in Belize. I have been involved with WildTracks in Belize caring for endangered manatees and howler and spider monkeys. The past three years I have also volunteered my time providing direct animal care to the animals at the Cape Wildlife Center. I am excited to be moving forward within another organization to provide care to local wildlife here at home on Cape Cod.
Born and raised in Short Hills, NJ, Margi moved to Cape Cod five years ago, after spending twelve years living and working abroad in England. She is the proprietor of a UK and internet based antiques business, Serpentine Antiques.
A former volunteer Emergency Medical Technician, she is currently volunteering locally in West Barnstable, as well as caring for animals at the Cape Wildlife Center and serving as a rescue team member of critically endangered stunned sea turtles at Sandy Neck Beach Park. This continues a lifelong interest in caring for both wild and domestic animals.
She feels privileged to serve on the Board of Directors of Friends of Cape Wildlife to help encourage successful interactions between humans and wildlife. She believes that rescuing and rehabilitating our animal neighbors is a critical responsibility of human kind.
Margi and her husband Tom share a home in West Barnstable with their two rescue dogs. They are parents to two grown sons, and grandparents to three grandchildren.
I moved to Provincetown in 1974 and over the next several decades I wore many entrepreneurial hats with business startups including kite store owner, printmaker, website and design firm owner, restauranteur, photo studio owner, press photographer, advertising marketing director, innkeeper, educator, non profit founder, therapy dog trainer and boat captain.
But my core love has always been for animal welfare, environmental preservation, and wildlife and nature photography. As a volunteer first responder and transporter for wildlife on Cape Cod, I have learned first hand how vital the life saving work is that wildlife rehabilitators perform every day. Every animal matters and deserves to enjoy it’s life without suffering. I am privileged to be part of this work to help rescue and protect our wild neighbors and support those who care for them.
Heather Fone, Wildlife Rehabilitator
Very shortly after moving to Cape Cod in 2004, Heather Fone became a volunteer at the Cape Wildlife Center. During the next few years, what began as a four hour a week volunteer position transcended into her becoming a licensed wildlife rehabilitator and a full time staff member as an Animal Care Technician.
Heather combined her passion for wildlife rehabilitation, helping the sick, orphaned and injured wildlife with her passion for photography, focusing her camera on the endless array of animals and documenting their rehabilitation and release back into the wild.
Heather is now a Teacher Naturalist with Mass Audubon Long Pasture Wildlife Sanctuary and continues her commitment to the Cape Wildlife Center as a board member of the Friends of Cape Wildlife.
Retired Physician Assistant with over 40 years of combined clinical experience mostly in Emergency Medicine and healthcare management. Cape Cod resident for 15 years with special interests in fly fishing, photography and nature. The Cape has always been a very special place, whether enjoying an ever changing pack of dogs at home or trying to keep up with my wife’s wildlife escapades. Each day provides a wonderful opportunity to observe and assist the diverse Cape wildlife population.