My name is Sammantha Bender and I am the niece of Tom and Cheryl Millham, co-founders of Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care, a nonprofit organization. I have grown up as a volunteer, watching my aunt and uncle save hundreds of animals from Tahoe and surrounding areas. I have assisted in the rehabilitation and release of many different amazing animals. But there is one animal that will always have a special place in my heart. A few years ago my Aunt Cheryl offered me a once in a once in a lifetime opportunity. LTWC had just received an animal that we don't see very often, a baby coyote. It's mother had been killed by a car and so now the baby came to us as an orphan. I might be bias, but it was the cutest baby ever. The baby boy was only a few weeks old, and being bottle fed with almost no teeth. He was almost a mix of dog and cat. He would yip and smile like a dog, but when he was being fed, he was as soft and content as a kitten.
At the time, he was trying to teach himself how to walk, so we would set him on the floor with a toy and see how far he could get. He was so determined and fearless. He was precious. The day that he was released was one of the most bittersweet days I will ever experience. Having helped raise such a precious, small baby into an animal that was ready for the wild was such a tremendous blessing. I know that I will never forget that little one.
This story is just one of many from the LTWC volunteers. Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care has rescued so many animals, giving them a second chance at life. Without their organization, injured and orphaned animals would have no chance of rehabilitation. As I said earlier, LTWC is a non-profit organization. Because of that, they willingly accept any donations that enable them to improve and expand their service to the community. Thank you LTWC for helping to keep Lake Tahoe's animals alive and thriving.