Paws, Wings & Other Things Rescues and Rehabilitates Native Indiana Wildlife
Writer / Matt Keating
Katja Kimball, president of Paws, Wings & Other Things, has a special place in her heart for wild animals, and goes out of her way to help them.
She says the mission of Paws, Wings & Other Things is “to rescue and rehabilitate orphaned, injured or sick native Indiana wildlife and return them back into their natural habitat, as well as educate the public about wildlife and promote their conservation.”
It’s a mission that requires a lot of time and dedication. Kimball often works 17 hours a day to help wild animals. She is fully committed to helping creatures in need.
“I am state and federally licensed to rehabilitate mammals and birds,” Kimball says. “The public can reach out to me for injured and orphaned wildlife, and I take in the animals to provide the care they need. When they are ready, we return them to the wild.”
Kimball gets medical help for the animals when they need it.
“I have a licensed veterinarian that comes to my facility to ensure the proper care for the animals,” Kimball says.
Kimball also educates the community on how they can help wild animals.
“I give educational talks when groups or places reach out,” Kimball says. “These talks are free.”
Kimball has rescued and rehabilitated some very sick animals recently, including raccoons, foxes and owls.
“We received several foxes with mange, which is caused usually by stress, because these foxes have a lowered immune system and have underlying infections,” Kimball says. “They get treatment for mange and antibiotics. We get many raccoons throughout the year. The most recent ones had injured feet and legs. One was hit by a car and had internal injuries. We currently have four barred owls in our care. They were hit by cars or got caught on a fence or had eye injuries.”
Kimball says Paws, Wings & Other Things always needs financial help.
“People can mainly help with donations and ordering from my Wish List on Amazon,” she says. “We need money, old towels and blankets, toys, stuffed animals, and meat donations. We currently have meat eaters. To raise money, we also have Facebook fundraisers. We need money for vaccines and formulas. The donations we get really do make a huge difference.”
Kimball plans to stay dedicated to Paws, Wings & Other Things for many years to come. She says she has been dedicated to helping animals since she was younger.
“I’m from Germany,” she says. “I started caring about animals as a child. I moved to the United States in 1989. I was one of the founding members of Paws, Wings & Other Things. The name was my idea. I’ve been with the organization for almost 10 years. I took over the 501(c)(3) in 2019, and now run it with my husband and two assistants.”
Kimball often works late into the night helping the animals.
“My life revolves around wild animals,” she says. “I have four vacation days in the summer. This life is not for everyone. The animals can scratch because they are scared. It takes a lot of knowledge to take care of them. If people want to help the wild animals here, financial donations are the best way to help. We have had people with great intentions reach out to us wanting to help, but this isn’t a cute place where you take care of little puppies and kittens. The wild animals don’t want to play. They are scared, hungry and hurt. We work with animals with claws and beaks. You must be able to read their body language and know when they want to be fed, or when to clean out their cages. We do appreciate the positive support we get from people though. It means so much.”
Kimball says working at Paws, Wings & Other Things is worth it because she helps numerous animals each year.
“We rehabilitate around 1,000 animals a year and we are very grateful for the support we have received from our followers,” she says. “We couldn’t rescue this many animals without their support.”