Q&A With WildCare
WildCare’s new executive director, Vaughn R. Maurice, is a 50-year-old Rohnert Park resident who got his start at the American Red Cross. He has 25 years of experience in nonprofit and animal welfare and advocacy work.
What drew you to take the job as WildCare’s executive director? With 25 years of experience in the nonprofit world, where I gained extensive knowledge in animal welfare, nonprofit fundraising and management, I felt ready to step into a leadership position. I was seeking an organization with a passionate and engaged board, a skilled staff and a volunteer base of people who share a desire for impactful work, and a community of supporters whose values are similar to mine and the organization’s.
What is it about animal welfare and advocacy that interests you? The more I’ve learned about animals, their behaviors and their rich emotional feelings as individual beings, the more I’ve been drawn to help them. Helping those who are unable to help themselves, in WildCare’s wildlife hospital; being an advocating voice for those who cannot speak for themselves; and educating people about animals and nature, I believe, are important and vital parts of a humane and ethically responsible society.
Have you always been passionate about animals? I’ve been passionate about animals for as long as I can remember. But that passion took something of a backseat until my experience in Korea of seeing a dog farm, with dogs in cages that were destined for a dinner plate. I was transformed from someone who loved his own pets to someone who needed to be part of the solution in helping all animals.
How does WildCare help our local animals and community? All of WildCare’s programs work together to help people live well with wildlife. WildCare’s wildlife hospital provides high-quality medical care for nearly 4,000 ill, injured and orphaned wild animals every year, with the goal of releasing them back into the wild. Over 80 percent of the patients we treat are found and brought to our facility by members of the public. WildCare is also a tremendous educational resource for our community.
How can the community best support WildCare’s goals, mission and services? You can support WildCare by bringing injured and orphaned animals to our wildlife hospital, by visiting us in person and online, and by sharing the resources we offer with family, friends and neighbors. Utilizing WildCare’s extensive knowledge and experience can help you protect and care for the wildlife in your backyard and beyond.