Our Mission

We rescue, rehabilitate, and release orphaned and injured wildlife and educate the community about the health and safety of our wildlife.

In pursuit of our mission to rescue, rehabilitate and release orphaned and injured wildlife, our primary concern is the wellbeing of wild animals & birds. Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care is committed to effective, scientifically-informed, and compassionate wild animal care practices, training, and educational outreach that promote the health and safety of our region’s wildlife, thereby helping to create and maintain thriving natural environments.

Your support makes our mission possible! Please help us continue our work.

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bears

Rescue

There are lots of reasons that baby birds and animals arrive at LTWC. Many have been orphaned or separated from their parents due to wildfires, car accidents,  predation from pets and other consequences of human activity.

Most of the baby animals LTWC cares for require a special diet or care. Our facility is equipped to ensure each orphan in our care receives the correct food (i.e., food that is as close as possible to the diet their mothers would have fed), and the right environment so that they can be released as healthy adults able to fend for themselves.

If you have found a baby bird or animal, please do not try to care for it yourself. Follow our guidelines and call us at 530-577-2273 (CARE). For tips on how to live with wildlife, click here.

Rehabilitate

Our dedicated team of rehabilitation staff and volunteers have decades of experience in treating a wide range of wildlife injuries onsite, including concussions, wounds and infections, broken bones and torn wings.

LTWC has also become a leader in treating animals burned in wildfires.

River otter at feeding time
raccoon-baby

Release

Every animal LTWC receives is treated with the intention of releasing it back to the wild. Since opening in 1978, we have successfully cared for and released over 15,000 wild birds and animals. Click here to check out images and videos from some of our releases.

Our mission to “Raise, Rehabilitate and Release” is central to everything we do. We cannot do this without the generous help and support of our donors.

Our History

It all started with a photo…

In March 1978 issue of Women’s Day magazine, Cheryl Millham saw a photo of a woman holding a baby raccoon. The woman, Jinny Collins, was one of the founders of Wildlife Rescue, a wildlife rehabilitation organization in Los Altos, California. The article reported that Wildlife Rescue was preparing to hold a training seminar to teach local citizens how to care for orhpaned and injured wild birds and animals. So, Cheryl called Jinny and signed up for the class in April 1978.

Cheryl and Tom Millham, their daughter Connie and their friend B.J. headed to the training seminar. When they returned to South Lake Tahoe, they began contacting entities that would come in contact with orphaned and injured wildlife, informed them of their plan to raise and rehabilitate these animals, and asked for their help.

The rest is history. Nearly 40 years later, LTWC is still committed to raising, rehabilitating and releasing orphaned and injured wildlife. We have cared for more than 24,000 critters and have released over 15,000 back to the wild, a 63% release rate — a statistic we are very proud of.

Without the wonderful support of the hundreds of generous volunteers and donors who have worked with us since our beginning, LTWC’s work not be possible.

1970s magazine clipping of woman holding a raccoon.
1991 newspaper story about LTWC.

Our Next Chapter

In 2015, LTWC embarked on the next chapter in our history. After existing in Tom and Cheryl Millham’s home since 1978, Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care relocated to a new and expanded location!

The new 27-acre site includes a state-of-the-art animal care facility as well as larger and more sophisticated enclosures, allowing us to care for–and successfully release–more injured and orphaned animals.

Rendering of LTWC Future Site
baby bobcat