Holding a pink plastic pan, Diane Nicholas offers water to two wide-eyed fawns bound together by fate. The young buck stands with the help of a pulley system, his injured hindquarters supported in traction by an adapted dog wheelchair. The young doe lies on a bed of sawdust, her front legs wrapped in splints. Both hit by cars, their luck changed when motorists brought them to the Kindred Spirits Fawn Rescue in Loomis, dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of injured and orphaned fawns. Nicholas, an interior designer, says she watched as much of the rural landscape disappeared during the housing boom. Starting the rescue was her way of giving back to the displaced wildlife. Some of the fawns are found by animal-control or CHP officers, lying on the highway next to their mothers, who have been killed by cars. Some are injured in dog attacks or by unfriendly fencing like barbed wire. She now cares for 65 fawns rescued from this season. She says the feeling she gets on the day of release makes it all worthwhile. "When you see them take off running, kicking up their heels and munching on some grass, it's pretty amazing," she says. "It's like a gift."
The Kindred Spirits Fawn Rescue is non-profit community supported organization licensed through the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Rehabilitating injured fawns by members of the public is illegal. If you find an injured or orphaned fawn call their 24-hour service at (530) 889-5822 or go to kindredspiritsfawnrescue.org
The rescue serves Placer, Nevada, Sacramento and Yolo counties.