About Us

Who are we and What do we do?

The WICCU is a 501c3 non-profit organization that provides assistance to Minnesota’s wildlife by performing wildlife rescues, admitting injured and orphaned wildlife while providing medical support and nursing care during an animal’s rehabilitation process. 

With the support of a variety of veterinarians, our goal is for the patient to be released back into the wild after recovering from the trauma or abandonment they had endured.

We enjoy participating in educational events and sharing with the public our passion to help these animals.  


Founder:  Michelle LaBelle Lake CVT, VTS(ECC)

Throughout my career as a veterinary technician and wildlife rehabilitator, I identified three areas that I believed required more attention.  One, there was a need for wildlife rescue and transport.  Two, there was a need for wildlife to be helped “after hours” when centers are closed.  Three, there was a need for critically injured wildlife to have a place to recover from extensive surgeries, injures, and trauma.  The goal is to help give the animal an opportunity to have another chance at life. (Even if it resulted in them having to be euthanized, they at least had an opportunity to recover.)  

The WICCU was started because of a little fawn that presented in the middle of the night into the veterinary emergency hospital where I was working.  The fawn had sustained head trauma and some deep wounds.   By giving the fawn time, oxygen therapy and diligent nursing care, we would have had the opportunity to give a more thorough evaluation, to determine if the fawn would have had a good chance at life.  The decision to euthanize was discussed due to the extensive injuries.   Due to the time of night, there was not a place for the little fawn to be transferred to for the nursing care that it needed.   Already being a permitted rehabilitator and having the training in emergency and critical care medicine, I decided to take the fawn home to work with it.   As I was driving home, that little thought came into my heart.  “Start it.”   It was that moment I decided to start the Wildlife Intensive & Critical Care Unit (WICCU).

Our Mission

“To give Minnesota’s injured and orphaned wildlife a fighting chance at survival while inspiring communities to join us in our pursuit.”