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Have you ever come across an injured deer, abandoned baby opossum, or a bird that needs help? Living in South Georgia, the chances are the answer is yes. However, the next step is figuring out what to do or who to call.
Jessica Pisciotta, owner of Steadfast Wildlife Rescue Rehab in Tifton, is a Georgia licensed wildlife rehabilitator. With this 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, Jessica says, “The end goal is to get these animals back into their natural habitat so they can live the life they were supposed to live.”
Jessica knew she wanted to work with animals from the time she was in elementary school, but actually started learning the ropes of helping wildlife around the age of 15. It was then that she found a baby opossum on the side of the road, took it home, and rehabbed it. “At the time I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I saved it,” says Jessica.
Red tail hawks, great horn owls, raccoons, skunks, fawns, opossums, squirrels, eagles, geese, beavers, and otters are just a few examples of animals Jessica has taken in over the last 21 years. As of right now, there are roughly 75 to 80 animals in her care. These rescues come from Tifton, Douglas, Baxley, and several other local communities here in South Georgia. “Taking care of them is 24/7,” says Jessica when speaking of how she is able to do it all.
Since Steadfast is a non-profit organization, all animal care is paid for with donations or out of pocket. With at least 500 intakes since March, Steadfast is in constant need of donations. Jessica states that she goes through around 5 rolls of paper towels a day, and roughly 400 pee pads a week.
If you feel led to give a monetary donation, Steadfast accepts Cash App, Venmo, Zelle, and PayPal. For other donations, Jessica has an Amazon wish list and also posts items that are needed on the Steadfast Wildlife Rescue Rehab Facebook page. You can follow the Facebook page to stay up to date with the latest rescues and needs of this organization. If you find an injured or orphaned animal, call Jessica at 229-646-6765.
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