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HSL: Acadiana wildlife rehabber needs help

Acadiana Wildlife rehab
Posted at 4:16 PM, Oct 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-06 17:16:57-04

The state Humane Society is asking Acadiana to help our wildlife rehabber, and they're willing to match contributions.

Since 1998, Letitia Labbie has operated Acadiana Wildlife Education & Rehabilitation in Youngsville. Acadiana Wildlife’s mission is to treat injured or orphaned wildlife in South Louisiana, with the facility admitting more than 200 “patients” each year. Since their intake is growing exponentially, Acadiana Wildlife is in dire need of donations to continue rehabilitating wildlife in South Louisiana. The Humane Society of Louisiana is helping Labbie and Acadiana Wildlife spread the word so they can receive the funding they need. 

Labbie, who is a member of the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council, the National Wildlife Rehabilitation Association, and the International Association of Avian Trainers, has treated more than 6,000 birds and small mammals since she first started working with wildlife at the age of 10. She is licensed, overseen and permitted by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and specializes primarily in the rehabilitation of raptors and birds of prey, though she is permitted to rehabilitate all types of Louisiana wildlife. She currently cares for hawks, owls, and vultures, though she is able to triage any small animal that comes her way and transport it to the proper rehabber. 

“Birds of prey are important to our ecological system because they keep the rodent population down and also dispose of deceased animals that carry diseases,” Labbie said. “They eliminate the need for rodent poisoning, which can kill the animals that eat them.”  

Labbie said her rescue intake has more than doubled recently due to the loss of a Lake Charles bird rehabber, as well as the closure of the Orleans Audubon Society Injured Wildlife Program. And because Labbie also treats birds of prey who are permanently crippled and unable to be released back into the wild, they become a permanent fixture—and cost. She currently has two crippled turkey vultures and a pair of red-tailed hawks who need a larger flight cage, which is 50 ft. by 20 ft. Flight cages for smaller birds are generally 20 ft. by 15 ft. The more donations she receives, the more cages she can have, and the more animals she can help. 

“Acadiana Wildlife depends solely on donations for food, supplies, and construction and maintenance of cages and closures,” Labbie said. “Though we receive permits through LDWF, we receive zero funding from them. I think people would be surprised to learn that it costs $3,000 a month just to feed the animals, and my last large flight cage cost $10,000.”

Other items that Acadiana Wildlife could use include rodent food and blocks, fresh produce, duck and chicken feed, good fencing, 2 ft.-by-4 ft. pieces of wood, and help transporting animals. 

“Just the other day, I drove seven hours roundtrip to rescue a pelican,” she said. “It would be amazing to have someone help with that since I’m only one person.” 

Labbie also said that if a person or business wanted to sponsor a cage for non-releasable birds, she would be more than happy to have a ribbon cutting ceremony with a plaque put on the cage. 

If you would like to donate to Acadiana Wildlife Education & Rehabilitation, visit

Donors may make a one-time donation, become a monthly supporter, or help Acadiana Wildlife stock up on their wish list. They also accept donations via mail. Call 337.288.5146 for the mailing address. For more info on Acadiana Wildlife Education & Rehabilitation, visit

Volunteers who have construction and handyman skills are also welcomed to donate their time and expertise.

The Humane Society of Louisiana will match the first $450 in monetary donations.