Introducing the staff of Fox Valley Wildlife Center!
Laura Kirk, Director

Laura first became involved with wildlife rehabilitation as a volunteer at Fox Valley in May 2011. After volunteering for about one year, she was offered a seasonal position as an animal care intern. In March of 2013, she was given a full time staff position and became Director of Animal Care in 2015. Laura has an associate's degree in biology from Waubonsee Community College.

Laura’s passion in life is to leave the world a better place than when she found it originally. She feels lucky to be able to do that by helping wildlife at the Center. She loves to work with animals and to teach others about wildlife and nature.

Fox Valley is her second home. She found her passion and purpose at Fox Valley and the people and animals she works with are like family to her.

More about Laura...
  • She loves hiking, biking, camping, gardening, crafting, swimming, watching birds and wildlife, cooking and baking, reading, and spending time with her pets.
  • She has a soft-spot for rodents, especially squirrels.
Meet some of the volunteers that help run the Center!
Jen H.

Here we have Jen, pictured with a very rambunctious baby squirrel! Jen started volunteering in spring of 2011 when she finished with school and had more time. She’s always had a respect for animals, and being an outdoors person she found herself right at home at the Center. She says it feels great to see all the baby squirrels, opossums and raccoons (her favorite animals), whose vocal demands set her right to work feeding them!

Arden Z.

Arden first started volunteering in the spring of 2011. She became a volunteer here based on her great love of birds; instead of just watching them from her window, she wondered if she could somehow become more involved with them. After a quick search online, she found the Fox Valley Wildlife Center and signed up for the volunteer orientation. Her volunteer duties concern the bird room where she cleans, feeds and tends to all feathered occupants… like the baby goldfinch in her hands!

Jackie F.

Jackie started volunteering at the Center in the spring of 2010, when her youngest graduated. She wasn’t sure what she wanted to volunteer in, but when she found Fox Valley, it was an easy choice since she loves animals (especially Snitch, the resident oppossum, seen in the picture)! She helps the Center with whatever needs to be done: whether handfeeding squirrels, making food bowls for oppossums or cleaning up a cage after a messy raccoon lunch! Even despite some of the nitty-gritty of cleaning, the Center is a place where she loves to be and derives a lot of pleasure from.

Doc V.

Doc, a retired veterinarian, has been with the Center since fall of 2008. In his career he mainly worked with domesticated animals, but Willowbrook, a fellow Animal Rehab Center, used to send wildlife to him that needed surgeries before they got their own vet staff. A lover of each and every animal, he’s happy to be anywhere in the Center doing anything that needs to be done. He’s often consulted during his volunteer time about unusual cases that come in due to his expertise.

Rena F.

“Who made the closet a mess again after I just cleaned it?!” Is probably what Rena is saying in this picture! Rena has been volunteering since the spring of 2011. In the past, people had called her to take in animals to Fox Valley before and at one point she met Andrea, one of the Board Members, who convinced her to volunteer. She loves all the babies that come in, especially the cottontails. She helps clean and feed the critters… and tries to keep a sense of organization for us all!

Mick Z.

When his wife saw an advertisement in the local paper for volunteers at Fox Valley, she told him to sign up, saying “you like animals!” Now, Mick has been volunteering with the Wildlife Center since 2007. His like for animals has gotten him a best friend in Lucy, the resident goose, who follows him while he works in the outside area of the Center. Mick tends mostly to the outside animals, but he’s also known as the “fix-it” guy with a checklist of projects and repairs the Center needs done.

Sean P.

Sean loves animals and also loves being outdoors, so Fox Valley was a perfect match for him to volunteer at. He started at the Center in fall of 2011, and his favorite animals are the raccoons (and Snitch, too, whom he’s pictured with). His normal activities at the Center vary, but he enjoys working with the animals in the outside area the most. Sean is also the delivery man who picks up produce from the Blue Goose grocery store to help feed all the hungry critters at the Center!

Donna K.

A raccoon lover, Donna has been volunteering at the Center since 2008. It all started when she saw the advertisement Fox Valley had put out to recruit volunteers. “And the rest is history.” She stated, especially since it was something she always wanted to do. Donna can usually be found in either the Raccoon Room or the Mammal Room cleaning cages and feeding all the raccoons, oppossums, and squirrels. She often brings extra produce to feed the animals, and tries to keep a sense of order in the otherwise chaotic kitchen.

Nancy D.

While it’s true Nancy started volunteering at the Center after seeing an advertisement in the paper, it would be more accurate to say she volunteers because she believes that we are all here to take care of each other in this world, and animals are no exception. “It comes back to you in ways you don’t even realize.” Nancy has been at the Center since 2008 along with her sister Donna. Her favorite place to be is in the Bird Room, where the vocal and personable baby robins are too cute to resist!

Carolyn G.

Carolyn has been volunteering at the Center since 2004 and is still going strong! Her journey started when she noticed a small, struggling squirrel in her backyard. Wanting to save it, she researched local wildlife rehab centers to take it to. In saving the squirrel, she said it opened her eyes to wildlife and the people who work behind the scenes to help. She wanted to be apart of that and so found herself signing up for the Fox Valley volunteer orientation when she saw it advertised. As seen in the picture, she’s usually found in the Mammal Room feeding baby squirrels, her favorite animal.

Ethan N.

Ethan had never done anything like volunteering at the Center before, but he wanted something fulfilling to do in his spare time that had to do with animals. Of course, he found himself at Fox Valley in the fall of 2011, the perfect fit! While helping with the daily chores of cleaning and feeding, Ethan also takes a lot of the pictures for the Center which are featured in emails and on the website. His favorite animals are the raccoons, and here he is pictured with Snitch, everyone’s favorite oppossum!

Paula M.

Before Paula came to Fox Valley her volunteering spirit took her down south to help with the oil spill in the gulf. While it was a fulfilling experience, she realized she didn’t have to go hundreds of miles to help; there were plenty of opportunites right in her own backyard. Paula knew about the Center from giving donations and bringing in an animal before, so in the spring of 2011, she found her new volunteering home! Her favorite animal is Snitch, but here she’s pictured with our flock of ducks while she was out cleaning their yard.

Marianne C.

Many years ago, Marianne rescued a bird caught in the sod webbing of her yard and brought it to the Center. When she saw our facility, she decided she wanted to be apart of it, too. Now, since the summer of 2006, she still loves coming to feed the baby squirrels! Normally she’s outside when volunteering at the Center and tries to keep a handle on the laundry and dishes that always seem to be piling up! Here she is feeding a baby squirrel.

Board of Directors & Advisors

Fox Valley Wildlife Board of Directors

Andrea Krueger, President
William Grabarek
Bryan Kimmell
Adrienne Stras 
Julianne Testa
Nancy Thornton


Advisory Board

Sheri Askew, DVM
Susan Cechner, DVM
Pam Otto, St. Charles Park District
Brian Peters, DVM 
Margret Rogers, DVM
Richard Velders, DVM