Photo by Alec Peters, 2006
Marjorie Davis, founder and director of Kenwood-based Fawn Rescue, is turning eighty-six later this year, and says she's a realist.
"I'm pushing my luck," she laughs.
Davis has put over twenty years of her heart and soul into creating a volunteer organization that helps injured fawns and releases them back into the wild. And while she plans to do what she does until she "drops," she is actively trying to find others to take over the many tasks that have developed over two decades of operation.
"We're a specialty organization," said Davis. "If we're not here for the fawns, there's no one else who can do the job."
An award-winning, non-profit organization, Fawn Rescue takes care of as many as 100 fawns in a season, fawns who have been injured and need care and rehabilitation. It operates under a special license from the State of California's Department of Fish and Game for long-term care of deer.
Fawn Rescue operates with about twenty volunteers at the moment. No one gets a salary, and the organization depends on fundraising.
Davis uses her Kenwood home as the main fawn facility, with a number of pens, shelters and wooded enclosures. After the fawns are healthy enough, they are sent to out-shelters, large private properties in the county where the fawns are raised and then released. Davis and her husband, Rudy, have lived in Kenwood since 1973.
"It's a wonderful job," said Davis. "It's a challenge and exciting. Every call is different."
Davis has been trying for some time to find a new director, as well as others who can take over responsibility for various jobs that Davis is doing now. Examples of tasks include being the phone coordinator, to receive calls concerning injured fawns and call a volunteer driver to pick up the fawn. Or an animal-care coordinator who can take care of the fawns and work with veterinarians. Or the publicity person. And, of course, someone is needed to serve as the director of it all.
"I love doing this," said Davis. "I'm not quitting, I just need someone to take it over. It's not good for an organization to be so dependent on one person. When it all started it was just me. I just absorbed these jobs one at a time."
Some of the work is not for the faint of heart, said Davis, since Fawn Rescue is often called to grisly scenes of deer who have been hit by cars or attacked by dogs. Often, situations have to be handled on the fly, and decisions made quickly regarding medical conditions. Davis said they are able to save less than fifty percent of the fawns they are called about.
Fawn Rescue also has an important educational component, with volunteers giving wildlife speeches to Sonoma County schoolchildren. Currently, Davis has a volunteer who is handling that program.
But Davis is worried about the future of the major components of program, and is eager to make sure the work done by Fawn Rescue continues, whether she is around or not.
"We need someone quickly," said Davis.
To reach Fawn Rescue, call 833-6727. There is also a website at www.fawnrescue.org.