Friends of Wildlife

The Friends of Wildlife program enhances and financially supports the May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center at Lees-McRae College. Charitable donations are put to work immediately for the treatment and care of injured wildlife. In addition, your support helps to educate and train students who are committed to being stewards of the natural environment.

Benefits of annual membership:

  • Attend member-only dinner and presentation by May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center professionals and students.
  • Receive invitations to special releases of rehabilitated animals.
  • Participate in special educational programs, including lectures and classes, with other wildlife enthusiasts.

Annual membership levels:
Wildlife Warrior $5,000+
Conservationist $2,500-4,999
Steward $1,000-2,499
Guardian $500-999
Supporter $250-499
Friend $1-249

Mission of the Center

The May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center provides students the opportunity to learn about and practice the skills necessary to rehabilitate sick, injured and orphaned native North American wildlife, in preparation for diverse careers and environments. Recognizing that the planet and its life forms have an inherent worth, the Center is dedicated to the stewardship of the earth through environmental education and wildlife rehabilitation.

About the Center

Located along the Elk River, the Dan and Dianne May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center is dedicated to wildlife rehabilitation and environmental education. Rehabilitation professionals and Lees-McRae students annually care for more than 1,400 injured animals from the western North Carolina region, including songbirds, raptors, waterfowl and small mammals. The Center holds both state and federal rehabilitation and education permits.

About the Program

The Wildlife Rehabilitation concentration is designed for those students with a career interest in providing healthcare to wildlife or domesticated animals. The concentration provides students several structured intern and clinical opportunities to work with injured and sick animals, as well as strong academic preparation for graduate work and veterinary school. Graduates of this program will be qualified for careers in wildlife rehabilitation, public and private zoos, and animal research laboratories.

Meet the Director

Nina Fischesser has served as director and instructor since 1995. She earned her MA in Environmental Education and Communication, with her thesis focused on Lees-McRae’s wildlife rehabilitation program, and she served as the first president of Wildlife Rehabilitators of North Carolina.

For more information about the Friends of Wildlife program, please contact Associate Director of Annual Giving Tariana Nguyen.

“The May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center could not thrive without the generous support of volunteers. Whether the contributions are of time, talent or financial support, they are always appreciated. Our patient care, community outreach and student education capabilities are all tremendously improved by the generosity and kindness of volunteers.”

Amber McNamara, DVM
Assistant Professor and Veterinarian

Friends of Wildlife Newsletter

We are excited to share with you our Friends of Wildlife newsletter. Through this newsletter, we can reach so many friends and supporters who have helped us along the way—those of you who have rescued wildlife, given financial support and in-kind gifts, and volunteered to help our patients. We want to spread the word of our great work with wildlife through the growing and unique wildlife biology and rehabilitation programs at Lees-McRae College.

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