- Associated Press - Thursday, March 26, 2015

HERRICK, Ill. (AP) - At one time, Anne Eddings’ house was crawling with critters. Eddings, an animal rescuer licensed through the Illinois Department of Conservation, had cages in her dining room and guest bedroom housing as many as 50 young animals that had been brought to the modular home she shares with husband Ron.

Raccoons, opossums, squirrels (both ground and flying), chipmunks, rabbits, deer, groundhogs, river otters, foxes and coyotes. It doesn’t matter to Anne, who has been caring for injured four-legged young’uns off and on for more than 40 years.

“I love them all,” she said. “These unfortunate little ones are victims of their mothers being killed on the highway, dogs attacking them, human intervention, malformed limbs, sensory loss and many other tragedies.

“All are welcomed with open arms and love,” she added. “These animals are a part of my life.”

The eventual goal, she said, is that her “babies” are re-introduced to the wild after a period of care.

But Ron’s new lung, received last fall, means that Anne won’t be able to love her critters like she once did. That’s because his doctors are concerned that exposure to wild animals will cause his body to reject the new lung.

“The doctors found out about what Anne does and told me that I can’t be around any wild animals because they put something off in the air that would cause my body to reject the lung,” he said.

So…not only are the Eddings having to spend $1,500 a month on medication that Ron needs to stay alive - but they need significant renovations to their property in order for Anne, a former nurse, to care for any critters that might come her way.

“The best thing to happen would be for us to have an attached garage, so I can have the babies close to where I make their formula,” she said.

Anne said a contractor has estimated the price of that garage at about $20,000. A less expensive option, she said, would be to renovate the barn that stands about 125 yards from the Eddings’ home. It’s modern enough, but it would need some form of climate control to safely house vulnerable animals, she added.

“To do it properly, I’d say it would cost $5,000 to $10,000,” Anne said.

But with Ron’s medical condition, the Eddings can hardly afford food, medicine and vet bills for the critters. That’s where the couple is hoping for a little help from their friends.

For now, the Eddings are only caring for four fawns, three females and a male, who came to the barn during the recent cold snap.

“They will be released until the snow melts,” she said.

While winter is a slow time of year for animal rescue, Anne said demand for her services picks up as the weather warms.

“They will start coming in March and April,” Anne said.

She hopes she’s ready.

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Source: Effingham Daily News, https://bit.ly/1zWeJeT

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Information from: Effingham Daily News, https://www.effinghamdailynews.com


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