Meet Our Outstanding 2020 Seasonal Assistants
Our seasonal assistants contributed more than 1,600 hours this year!
We are very grateful to have had the support and exceptional work of our 2020 seasonal assistants.
Thank you to the Virginia Wellington Cabot Foundation
for generously funding two seasonal rehab positions this year. Our seasonal assistants are a tremendous asset to Wild Care’s work and programs.
Rachel Wojciak and Gionet Hasson will be with us for an entire year, as Rehab Assistants. We’d also like to
welcome Karen Eldridge permanently to our team, as a staff Wildlife Rehabilitator!
Seasonal Assistant Rachel Wojciak:
Hello! My name is Rachel Wojciak, and I am from Granby, Connecticut. My family owns a house in Harwich, which is where I have been staying the past two summers to work at Wild Care!
I just wrapped up getting my associates degree at Northwestern Connecticut Community College this past spring. I am considering a bachelor’s degree at some point, but I am currently taking a more “hands on” approach and have spent the past two years working with animals directly. I would like to have a more specific career or position in mind before returning back to school so I can work directly towards that goal…whichever path I end up choosing, I know it will be with animals!
Wild Care has provided me with so many opportunities and incredible experiences the past two summers that it is hard to know where to begin. This position has allowed me to realize how much I love this field of work and appreciate every single day I spend at this facility. I would love to be able to learn enough through volunteering and likely more schooling to be able to apply for a wildlife rehabilitation license within the next few years! That would be a dream come true.
It’s hard to pick a favorite activity at Wild Care, but some of my top picks are feeding the crows, any interactions with turtles or snakes in general is such a treat, and being able to admire patients you typically don’t see up close in the wild such as gannets or turkey vultures. I spend most of my days feeding the baby birds we have in our clinic which is also incredibly rewarding and very heartwarming.
I am very blessed to have been able to spend the past two summers at this facility and I would like to say that the people who work for Wild Care are the most dedicated, selfless, passionate, and hardworking individuals I have ever met! Patients are always put before everything else, even if that means working much longer days than scheduled. I am so honored to be part of a community that is so devoted to healing and rehabilitating critters of all shapes and sizes and providing them with that second chance they wouldn’t have been gifted with in the wild.
Seasonal Assistant Gionet Hasson:
Gionet is a Seasonal Rehab Assistant. She’s been back three times! In 2018 and 2019, she was an Intern with Wild Care. We liked her so much, we hired her as seasonal staff this year to help us through the busy season!
Gionet is originally from California and is living in Eastham. She graduated from Wheaton College in Norton, MA this year, with a degree in Biology.
She came back to Wild Care because she enjoyed her time with us the last two years. Some of her Wild Care highlights are that she “loves learning new things”, “helping with rescues and caring for baby birds”. Gionet, we are delighted to have you back with us. You are an asset to all of the creatures, and to our staff!
Seasonal Assistant Belinda Rubinstein:
Belinda has been assisting Wild Care staff with the care of orphaned mammals for about
three and a half years and she has been working for Wild Care seasonally for one and a half years.
Belinda has worked with several different facilities rehabilitating a wide range of species including marine animals.
Her favorite part about being involved with the rehabilitation process is seeing the animals be released back into their natural environment.
Seasonal Assistant Lianna Montgomery:
You may have seen Lianna on Facebook Live with us on Fridays! Lianna has been a volunteer, an intern, and a staff member at Wild Care!
“I’m Lianna. I’m a seasonal rehab assistant at Wild Care! I worked at Wild Care last fall and was so excited to come back for the summer this year. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and am beginning Veterinary Technician school this coming fall. I love working at Wild Care because I love learning about all the different species of wildlife we have on Cape Cod! “
Lianna is also an intern at IFAW, and was an intern and a current volunteer for the National Marine Life Center. She is well-rounded in her studies and love of wildlife. We are so grateful to have you at Wild Care, Lianna!
Seasonal Assistant Karen Eldridge:
Karen is an occupational therapist from East Sandwich and Newton, Massachusetts. She is also an animal care volunteer for the Birdsey Cape Wildlife Center in Barnstable, and for many years has been a sea turtle rescue and transport volunteer for Mass Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.
As for so many others, 2020 has been a year of profound life changes for Karen. Seizing the chance to spend more time pursuing her passion for animals, particularly wildlife, Karen earned her Massachusetts Wildlife Rehabilitation permit in March, and began working at Wild Care as a Seasonal Rehab Assistant in May. She finds that her occupational therapy career – helping humans heal, adapt and regain independence after injury, illness or other setbacks = has many similarities in the world of wildlife rehabilitation.
One particularly memorable experience so far at Wild Care has been “flight testing” a young Barn Swallow and then releasing it in an area known to be frequented by Barn Swallows. After freeing the young bird from its basket, Karen watched it fly up into a tree, immediately joined by two adult swallows, and the group flew off together, communicating in “swallow language” all the way!
Karen is very grateful for this “opportunity of a lifetime.” It is a daily joy to be among these animals and help them get back to being their wild and beautiful selves.