Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What is your mission?
Giving Wildlife a Second Chance. Walden’s Puddle is committed to wildlife rehabilitation and education. Individuals in our community bring injured and orphaned animals to us. Once they have recovered or matured and are capable of taking care of themselves, we release them back into the wild. We are a hands-on environmental and conservation organization.

Q: How are you unique?
We are the only wildlife rehabilitation and education center in Middle Tennessee. Walden’s Puddle admits over 3,500 injured or orphaned animals of over 100 species per year. We have an education department that provides programs throughout our community. We also provide the opportunity for 20 to 30 biology, environmental education, pre-veterinary and veterinary technologist students per year from area colleges like Austin Peay, Vanderbilt, Belmont, UT, Columbia State and Volunteer State, who will receive unique training otherwise unavailable to them.

Q: When were you founded?
Walden’s Puddle was founded in 1989 by a home-based rehabilitator named Vicky Carder.

Q: Where are you located?
In 1995, Louie M. & Betty M. Phillips Foundation donated a 4,000 square foot building located on 14 picturesque acres, where we currently reside in Joelton, TN, Davidson County.

Q: How are you funded?
Walden’s Puddle receives no federal or state funding, the very important work is done through the generous support of foundations, individuals and businesses in our community.

Q: Why do donors support you?
Individuals know we are here in their time of need to provide compassionate, often-emergency care for the animal they have found. Organizations value that our mission connects deeply and directly with their employees’ desire to do good in their community. We receive hundreds of letters of gratitude from local businesses and from people from all walks of life, from children to seniors, reflecting how deeply we are appreciated for doing this selfless healing work and for “BEING THERE” for them and the animals in need.

Q: How would my donation be used?
Over 92% of every dollar donated to Walden’s Puddle is spent directly on animal care.

Q: How do you help injured and orphaned animals?
We maintain a highly skilled and committed staff of professionals that work tirelessly to rehabilitate and release back into the wild injured and orphaned Tennessee wildlife.

Q: What are some interesting facts about Walden’s Puddle?
In 2012 we totaled over 9000 volunteer hours. These volunteers do the support work for the staff. We are permitted by TWRA, USF&W and USDA. We are members of IWRC, NWRA and TWERA and receive continuing education from these groups. In fact, we are hosting the NWRA conference in March 2014, which will be attended by around 500 wildlife veterinarians and rehabilitators from all over the country.

Q: What education services do you provide?
Our education department provides over 80 education programs to schools, libraries and civic groups throughout our community per year, with our wild animal ambassadors. Programming focuses on what WP does, living with wildlife, and what to do if you find an injured or orphaned animal in distress. By engaging the community through over 150 events annually, traditional and social media, Walden’s Puddle educates the public on how to skillfully assist the injured and orphaned wildlife they encounter.

Q: How do you help the environment?
Primarily through education and our hands on follow through work with the animals. The over 3500 we admit includes over 100 different species per year. We admit many raptor species such as the American Bald Eagle, red-tailed hawks, great horned owls, barred owls, American kestrels and Eastern screech owls. Other species include; a wide variety of songbirds, Eastern cottontails, gray squirrels, Virginia opossums, white-tailed deer, red fox and bobcats, to name a few. Walden’s Puddle is dedicated to saving and enriching private and public lands by preserving and protecting natural habitat for all native Tennessee wildlife and for the thousands we release back into the wild.