For some, squirrels are just a pesty yard animal that won’t stay out of bird feeders, but for Kate Kinnear, they are a way of life.
Kate is an associate lecturer in environmental science at the UTC, and in 2012, she started rehabbing wildlife at her home. In 2016, she was certified as a wildlife rehabilitation expert by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and runs an operation focused mainly on gray squirrels — with the occasional rabbit, flying squirrel + possum — called Marshall Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservancy.
By the numbers
~50: Squirrels in rehab during the off season (November-February + May-July)
~400: Squirrels in rehab during the busy season (August-October + March-April)
~4 months: When the baby squirrels are typically ready to be released
~100: Bunnies that Kate re-released in 2020
~$8,000: About how much it takes per year to run the operation
Kate wants to buy property that’s for sale behind her house for more pens so she can expand her conservancy.
She’s looking to partner with more rehabbers in the area so they can work together toward a common goal.
And she’s always looking for volunteers to help out with transport and laundry + other duties as she sees fit. Eventually, she’d like an intern in a year-long position with her. If you’re interested in learning more, you can email her.
Other local rehabbers
For Fox Sake | Focuses on saving under-served wild animals including skunks, foxes, raccoons, bobcats, reptiles, and amphibians.
Happinest Wildlife Rescue | This operation is licensed through TWRA and US Fish & Wildlife to rehabilitate raptors, migratory songbirds, and small mammals.
Opie Acres | A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that focuses mainly on the rehabilitation of possums.
Did we miss one? Let us know.