About Gie

A dreamer by day, coffeeholic by night/

Likes having a little bit of roughness and edge mixed in with the lace/

Has a diploma she doesn’t use and a job that requires a degree she doesn’t have/

Nothing left in her right brain, and nothing right in her left brain/

Still she can read, write, do some arithmetic and tweet/

Addicted to lipstick, ice cream and coffee. In that order/

A daughter, sister, wife and sometimes a bit of a wallflower/

Say hello at gie [at] acupofgie [dot] com or visit http://about.me/gie.chloe.

We care for the injured and orphaned wildlife of San Benito County


Nan Pipestem Wildlife Rehabilitation Center is a nonprofit organization that operates solely on funds from public donations and fundraisers. We get NO funds from any governmental origin. All the people working for the center are volunteers, with the exception of the Director of Animal Care, Meredith Day, who became the Director after Meredith Pipestem retired. The Director is responsible for the medical treatment and hands on care of the animals that come to the center. There are five other trained Animal Care technicians, all of whom are volunteer assistants and follow the prescribed treatments decided upon by Meredith and the attending Veterinarians.


The mission of NPWRC is:

  • REHABILITATE – to successfully rehabilitate injured wildlife and raise orphans, retaining their wild state
  • RELEASE – to return the animals to their natural habitats
  • EDUCATE – to teach the public in how to help prevent injury, preserve wildlife, and to appreciate the ecological value of every species


Rehabilitating wildlife is a very serious matter for us. We cannot release animals that will come up to people to beg for food. The animals need to be self-sufficient and live their lives in the wild with as little human contact as possible, or they risk getting injured or killed. Therefore, the animals in our care need to have as little contact with people as possible. We cannot run a petting zoo and expect to release animals into the wild that will fear and avoid humans.


Even with all the precautions that rehabilitators took with the California Condors, you probably have heard how the condors in the Grand Canyon are not afraid of humans . One man shot and killed a condor that got too close to his campsite. Park officials are looking for ways to keep the birds from swooping down looking for handouts. They will try to train the condors to fear humans.

That is what we are striving for–to release wild animals that fear humans. If not, our deer will approach the hunter, our raccoons, opossums and skunks will become pests in your yard. We are serious about helping wild animals to be wild and free. For this reason, we cannot be open to the public. But do visit the animals on this website, where you will see the current residents as well as the ones that we have successfully released.

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Posted in Blog by npwrc


The Nan Pipestem Wildlife Rehabilitation Center is looking for a new site to house our facility.

We would like to thank Granite Rock for providing our facility since 1991, and to thank all of you for your support to help maintain that facility, but, in a recent and sudden turn of events, the site of our facility has been sold. We now find ourselves preparing for an unexpected move. This is the second time a relocation of this nature has occurred since our incorporation in 1980 and due to the magnitude of the task we need to find a permanent home.

The Wildlife Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that has been providing medical care to the sick, injured and orphaned wildlife of San Benito County for over thirty-two years. Those three plus decades have been funded only through fundraisers and private donations, or to put it plainly, we exist only because of the kindness of our community and volunteers. We have been proud to serve our community and glad to help in the ways we are able; to provide animal care, wildlife conflict tips and advice, and offer wildlife information in general when the opportunity arises.

We are looking for a parcel between five and ten acres to meet our habitat space requirements. The main regulation we have to be mindful of is that our animal enclosures must be a distance of 100ft from where domestic animals have access. Ideally the site should include a dwelling for animal security purposes and because this vocation doesn’t keep regular 9am-5pm workdays. A barn is an especially significant source of utility to our cause. Outbuildings for our office and diet prep area would be beneficial, but if not available, we can build.

At this moment in time we are no longer able to accept new patients and the clock is ticking down to our imminent departure from our current location. Each animal that needs our care is being transferred outside of our county so its needs can be met. Our gratitude to the dedicated hands they are being received by is immeasurable, but not all wildlife can be transferred across county lines due to regulations.

We have a place in our county’s history because the community values the magnificence of the wildlife in this breathtaking place we are all lucky enough to steward. We believe it’s not just the beauty of the land that inspires our citizens to love it here, but the majesty of the creatures we meet upon it. It has been the work of many people together that has seen our cause through the decades. We are hopeful together we can ensure that the tradition of caring for our wild neighbors endures for future generations.

If you have property that you would like to donate or would like to make a contribution to our fund to purchase a suitable property, please contact the center at 831-628-3400 or by e-mail to [email protected]

A temporary fund has been established with the Community Foundation for San Benito County. If you would like to make a donation, make your check payable to the “Wildlife Center Relocation Fund” and mail to Community Foundation for San Benito County, 829 San Benito St., Suite 200, Hollister, CA 95023.


Posted in Blog by npwrc


This website will continue it’s growth process. Check out what we have done so far, and come back often. We will be adding more photos and stories as well as more animated pictures and who knows what kind of surprises are in store….(the webmaster knows that’s who).
This site last updated on 09/02/12.
Some of the “Success Stories” pages now have .mpg movie files. See and hear some of the animals at the center!

Please click on one of the following for more information:
SUCCESS STORIES (photos and descriptions)

Wildlife Center email: [email protected]


Posted in Blog by npwrc




Most wild babies are born in the spring. As the weather warms, the birds begin to nest. Some nest on the ground or in buildings. Many nest in trees or shrubs. For this reason, it’s a very good idea to cut trees and prune shrubs before spring. In the unsettled weather of spring, many song bird nests are blown out of their trees. If the nest is only slightly damaged and the young birds are unharmed, the nest can be replaced in its tree and secured with strong twine. As long as the new nest location is near the original site, the parents should return to care for their young. A severely damaged nest can often be tucked into a strawberry basket and then returned to the tree and secured. Songbird parents, with their poor sense of smell, will be none the wiser that you’ve handled their babies.


Those best qualified to raise baby birds are parent birds. Song bird babies are naked and helpless at hatching time. They must be kept warm and fed often by their parents. Young birds have very special diets. Some eat seed, some eat insects, some eat a mixture of both. Whatever the baby bird eats has been predigested to some extent by the parent birds. Song bird babies are ready to leave the nest at only 3 weeks of age. At this stage, they are called fledglings. Their bodies are covered with feathers although their tail feathers are very short. Some still have down on their heads. The parents now begin to teach their youngsters how to avoid the many dangers of today’s world. The fledglings are clumsy and easily distracted, as are all young things. They may not fly well yet, but they learn quickly or they do not survive. The parents continue to feed their young until they learn where to find their own food.


Fledgling birds should be left alone to allow their survival lessons to proceed without interruption. A fledgling found sitting in the street can be tucked away in a nearby shrub; the parents are always close by. If you have cats and dogs, lock them up for a few hours. You should sit and watch the young birds and do so from a distance for about an hour. You will be rewarded by learning first hand some of mother nature’s secrets. If you do not see the parent birds, call your wildlife center for further instructions.


Baby birds that hatch out covered with feathery fuzz, and able to run and peck at their food immediately, are called precocial birds. They are herded along by the mother and covered (brooded) until they are able to control their own body heat. These youngsters are taught survival and foraging skills by their parents. Ducks, quail, pheasant and killdeer are some of the species that are precocial. Young precocial birds who may seem to be lost and alone usually are not. If left alone, their cries for attention soon bring the worried parent who will hurriedly escort her youngster to safety. Remember to stay back, mother birds know about and fear humans. Again, if the parent bird is not seen for an hour, call your wildlife center for further instructions.


The downy babies of hawks and owls need their parents too. Predatory birds feed on rodents and other small prey. Only the parent bird knows which morsels of a mouse are best for their rapidly growing infants. Even a young bird of prey can be dangerous, their feet and beaks are used as weapons when necessary. Young hawks and owls sometimes fall from their nests. It is not a good idea to try to replace them in the nest; the parent bird may misunderstand your intentions and attack. Call your wildlife center for help!


Mammals are warm blooded creatures capable of transmitting rabies. Furry mammal infants need specialized care too. Food you have in your kitchen will cause serious and often deadly problems for any wild thing. Young helpless mammals found away from their denning sites should be left alone. If they are still in the same spot an hour later, call your wildlife center for help. Mother deer often leave their fawns bedded down in a quiet spot while they are off feeding. If you happen to discover the hiding place of a tiny fawn leave it alone! The mother will return for it and it understands that fact. Do not touch the youngster. Learning to trust humans is not a safe thing for a wild animal. Mammal parents have a very good sense of smell.


Nearly all wild birds and mammals are protected under the law. They may not be taken from the wild and kept as pets or patients of an inexperienced person. When a wild animal is truly in need of assistance, it should be taken to a wildlife care facility holding permits through the Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Department of Interior. Wildlife rehabilitators have received extensive training on the care and feeding of native wildlife. The process of rehabilitation and eventual release is more complicated than diet and includes many steps beyond daily care.

Unless you are an experienced rehaber, there is great danger in offering any food or water to a young wild bird. Each species has different dietary requirements which must be met in order to insure survival. A drink of water can drown a young bird. Cow’s milk can cause intestinal problems in wild birds and mammals.


Call a wildlife center. If you are in an unfamiliar area, call a local veterinarian, Sheriff, Police Department or the Department of Fish and Game and ask for the phone number of the nearest wildlife center. Call first to alert the staff and allow them to make necessary preparations.

REMEMBER: Your wildlife center has a staff of people who are knowledgeable in the field of wildlife rehabilitation. They are dedicated and trained to raise a young wild creature so it can be given its freedom and make a successful release into the wilds.

A power greater than our understanding has created the wealth and beauty of nature as we perceive it. Let us all treat wildlife with the awe and reverence it deserves.

Posted in Blog by npwrc


Our little project while he’s back for Christmas and New Year. The kind of shoot we actually wanted to do as part of the pre-wedding shoot but didn’t go through with for some reasons. Simple enough to go through on our own. Had fun.

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Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus)
Our Mascot of 20 years affectionally known as “Uncle Merlin” died Friday, August 15, 2003.

Merlin arrived in 1983 after his wing was amputated because it was severely damaged by beating it against the bars of the small cage that had been his home. Some well-meaning people rescued the owl when he was about 3 months old and kept him in that cage. They did not have the facility, nor the knowledge of raising and releasing a juvenile bird of prey. The veterinarian suggested that the owl be taken to the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.

After rehabilitation from the amputation, Merlin stayed at the Center and became a part of the education program. Nan Pipestem, for whom the Center is named, took Merlin to visit schools, so the children could get a close-up look to see how magnificent wildlife can be. The school children learned that wild animals are not pets. They learned how to respect wildlife and the importance of having a wild place, an environment, for wildlife to live.

Merlin also became the foster parent for numerous young Great Horned Owls. He relieved a lot of their stress of growing up in a large enclosure and they could learn some of his hunting and flying techniques.

When the Center moved to the current Panoche location 13 years ago, Merlin even found a “girl friend”. A female owl would visit each night, sit in the large pepper tree and sing her “whooo whooo whooo” songs to him for many years. You could tell it was a female owl, because she was larger than Merlin. She would also come to check on how he was doing as a foster parent. Merlin and the female would “whooo” while the youngsters tried to mimic with a soft whistling version.

Old age caused Merlin to lose the sight in one eye several years ago so he retired from education, but he still played the foster parent role.

In August of 2003 he permanently lost the sight in his other eye. Since he could no longer see, quality of life no longer existed. He was euthanized on August 15. He will be missed.

Great horned owls are highly adaptable owls that can live in deep forests as well as open country throughout North, Central and South America. Lets hope that these magnificent creatures always have a wild place in which to live.

Posted in Blog by npwrc




Unless it’s a small bird, leave it alone. If it’s a small bird, please place it in a covered and padded box, or sturdy paper bag with air holes. Place it in warm, dark, quiet conditions and do not give this wild animal anything to eat or drink. Immediately contact your local, licensed wildlife rehabilitation center for directions.

If it’s a larger bird like a magpie, crow, heron, egret, hawk, owl or eagle leave it alone. Larger birds have strong, sharp beaks. Some have strong sharp talons. They can inflict serious injury and then you will be too busy getting help for the injured humans to have time for the injured bird. Contact your local, licensed wildlife rehabilitation center. They have a staff that’s trained to capture the injured bird without further harm.

If it’s a mammal, PLEASE, LEAVE IT ALONE. Mammals have sharp teeth, they may have sharp claws and they may carry rabies. Injured animals are afraid and even a harmless looking one can inflict a serious bite. Contact your local, licensed wildlife rehabilitation center. They have a staff that’s trained to capture the injured animal without further harm.

Oh, did we mention – PLEASE, LEAVE IT ALONE!



NPWRC Logo Nan Pipestem Wildlife Rehabilitation Center
P.O. Box 2244
Hollister, CA 95024


Posted in Blog by npwrc


We have literally hundreds of success stories. And there are some very sad stories too. Unfortunately, you can’t have one without the other. There is nothing more rewarding than healing and injured animal, or raising and orphaned one, and returning them to their natural habitat. Volunteers get to share in a wide varieties of areas, and those really interested can qualify to attend special wildlife classes to learn how to give medical help to the injured.

Click below to see a just a few of the successful releases:





Posted in Blog by npwrc