Turtle and Wildlife Rescue

Eastern Painted Turtle
My spirit-led path to wildlife rescue and reciprocity

During my first shamanic journey, I had a vision of a turtle dancing into the night sky, leaving a trail of starlight in his wake. The message I received during that journey was “follow the turtle home.”

In the years after that initial foray into shamanism, I have journeyed many times and developed relationships with several animal guides. Desiring to know more about the animals I was connecting with, I began to study their natural history. Fascinated, I expanded my exploration to all the fauna of the Adirondacks, so I would know those I might encounter while hiking or paddling. It was through this exploration that I discovered wildlife rescue and rehabilitation.

A wildlife rehabilitator rescues and cares for injured and orphaned animals until they can return to the wild and live as successful members of their species. When I discovered wildlife rehabilitation, I felt as if I had been led by my turtle guide to an opportunity to bring healing to the animals in my area and give back to the Earth. I was licensed by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation in 2018. I specialize in the rehabilitation of turtles, honoring my guide, as well as other reptiles and amphibians, plus small mammals such as squirrels and opossums. Wildlife rescue has become my reciprocity, the way I give back to the Earth for all I have received.

The Turtle Bus and Turtle Hall

row of plastic storage tubs on countertop with paper on clipboards hanging from them housing injured turtlesMy turtle rehabilitation clinic is inside an old, stripped-out school bus, affectionately known as the Turtle Bus. Dpending on their size and condition, the aquatic turtles that come into my care, such as painted turtles and snapping turtles, are housed in large plastic tubs with heat lamps, filters, basking spots and UV lighting. Outdoors, within an old carport frame wrapped in chicken wire we call Turtle Hall, large stock tanks with pond pumps and filters house our largest turtles and those readjusting before release.

Pet Turtle Rescue

During my first turtle rehabilitation season I “accidently” acquired my first non-native rescue. Big Mama, a very large female red eared slider, was injured by a car. Red eared sliders are designated an invasive species in New York and, as such, cannot be returned to the wild. Faced with the choice to either euthanize her or keep her, Big Mama joined the family. Since then, I have taken in a number of non-natives who were rescued from the wild, surrendered, or found abandoned.

Educational Outreach

After a few years of wildlife rehabilitation and pet rescues, I realized the general public did not know much about turtles. I began to offer some educational outreach programs to teach both children and adults when to be on the lookout for turtles, how to help turtles across the road, what to do if they found an injured turtle, and how to be a good pet turtle keeper so we do not get more invasives in our local waters.

Dancing Turtle Rescue

Dancing Turtle Rescue logo cartoon turtle with star specked swirls behindIn 2021, I founded Dancing Turtle Rescue and Education Program, Inc., a charitable nonprofit to bring the wildlife rehabilitation, turtle rescue, and educational outreach programs under one organizational umbrella. I now split my days between my offerings here at Shamanic Flow and the rescue, handling both the administrative and operational aspects with the support of my board of directors.

I marvel sometimes at what that first shamanic journey inspired. When I work with the turtles I feel aligned and centered. I have, indeed, followed the turtle home.

Please visit the Dancing Turtle Rescue website to learn more about my spirit-led work with turtles.