WICCU History

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 wild animals, 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).  Permitted wildlife rehabilitator

Throughout her career as a veterinary technician and wildlife rehabilitator, Michelle identified three areas that she 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 other wildlife centers are closed.  Three, there was a need for critically injured wildlife to have a place to recover from extensive surgeries, injuries, 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 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 Michelle was working.  The fawn had sustained head trauma and some deep wounds.   By giving the fawn time, oxygen therapy and diligent nursing care, they 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 out to for the nursing care that it needed.   Already being a permitted rehabilitator and having the training in emergency and critical care medicine, Michelle decided to take the fawn home to work with it.   As she was driving home, a little thought came into her heart.  “Start it.”   It was that moment she decided to start the Wildlife Intensive & Critical Care Unit (WICCU).