History of ICRC
Indiana Coyote Rescue Center was founded by the late Cecilia Lambert in 1989 after receiving two coyote puppies from Wolf Park located in Battle Ground, Indiana. There, she volunteered and became good friends with the late Dr. Erich Klinghammer, founder and director of Wolf Park.
As a volunteer, she assisted staff and the director in raising/socializing wolf puppies for the park as well as attending animal behavior seminars and reading available literature on ecology, ethology, and captive wildlife management.
Dr. Klinghammer presented Ms. Lambert with Hope Ryden’s book God’s Dog, a work dedicated to summarizing Ms.Ryden’s years spent observing coyotes in Yellowstone National Park. From this point on, Cecilia Lambert’s passion for animals directed her towards the coyote. While still finding interest in wolves, she felt the coyote deserved a chance at understanding on a higher level than was currently known or written about.
Indiana Coyote Rescue, from that starting point in 1989, dedicated itself to providing permanent residence for non releasable coyotes, which would be socialized similarly to learned practices at Wolf Park to effectively document behavioral observations that could be used to educate society on truth about coyotes, instead of following commonly held misconceptions. Privately run and funded, ICRC was not open to the public, kept a relatively small donor base, and was funded mostly out of Cecilia’s personal funds.
In 2003, with the help of our current Treasurer Shane McKee, ICRC became incorporated as a 501(c) 3 non for profit organization. This allowed for a larger donor base, tax deductible donations, and a way for ICRC to grow as a facility and provide more specialized care for the coyotes through grants and sponsorships instead of relying so heavily on Cecilia’s fixed income.
In the winter of 2005, a person came onto ICRC property in the middle of the night and shot Amber, a former pet that had been confiscated and brought to live out the rest of her life here at the center. After being rushed in for emergency medical care, Amber survived(with the loss of one of her eyes), showing the world the resilience of the coyote. Donations came in from all over the world to help with her vet bills and a small security system, which in turn, opened up awareness about the hatred surrounding the existence of the coyote that Cecilia fought so hard to protect. After this unfortunate incident, she was more determined than ever to educate the surrounding communities on coyotes, how to coexist, and to change the commonly held mentality that coyotes were “vermin”.
That fall, three interns from Wolf Park heard of the shooting that occurred in January, and volunteered at ICRC on their few days off to assist in constructing a barrier fence to keep the animals out of easy viewing. From these Wolf Park interns, ICRC gained its first intern(that never left) the following summer as well as a continuing volunteer that assisted in providing articles for the ICRC newsletters from his work studying wild coyote populations in Yellowstone National Park under the direction of Dr. Robert Crabtree.
With added help of new volunteers along with help from 20 year volunteer, Robert, ICRC continued to dedicate itself to meeting the needs of the coyotes residing here, spreading awareness in attempt to better the lives of their wild counterparts, and networking with other facilities to share collected data and observational research.