The Wildlife In Need Center (WINC) was founded by Nancy Frank. The Center officially opened its doors to the public in January 1994.
WINC was initially located at 516 E. North Street near downtown Waukesha. This first location was provided by former Board member and wildlife rehabilitator Joyce Salzmann. The tiny one-bedroom house was used for the first two years as Nancy’s office and as a wildlife hospital.
The first volunteer training class was held on November 13, 1993 with 27 people attending. Nancy Frank and Nan Calvert were the first staff members. Volunteers logged 477 hours in December 1993 getting the facility ready for its opening.
A total of 18 animals were admitted in the first month, but by the end of 1994, 837 animals had been admitted. In 1995 the number admitted climbed to 1,250!
In the fall of 1995, WINC moved to Hwy C in the Town of Ottawa. The new site offered a three-bedroom farmhouse on five acres, with a pole barn, insulated garage, and two sheds, as well as the skeleton of a 100 year old barn. In 1996, a total of 1,702 animals of 117 species were admitted. The numbers continued to grow with 2,028 admitted in 1997 of 127 different species. In 1997 the Center’s office was moved out of the farmhouse and into the renovated garage.
Each year that passes brings increasing numbers of injured, orphaned, and displaced wildlife to the Center’s doors. In 2006 over 3,000 animals were admitted, breaking all prior records. In 2016 WINC treated 3,179 animals and completed 153 education programs reaching over 46,070 people.
With WINC’s essential mission being heard by more and more members of the community, the organization was required to expand once again. In June of 2011, we transitioned from a small one-bedroom farm house to an efficient and spacious 6,000 square foot facility. Our facility enables us to offer more education, including on-site programs and displays, research, and, of course, up-to-date medical care treatment. This facility is located on the Field Station property of University of Wisconsin – Waukesha; 2017 marked WINC’s seventh year in our partnership with this highly regarded institution.
Each year that passes brings increasing numbers of injured, orphaned, and displaced wildlife to the Center’s doors. As the demand for wildlife rehabilitation and quality wildlife education in southeastern Wisconsin increases, the Wildlife In Need Center is here to meet the growing need!