Woman honored for helping animals, domestic and wild - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Liberty Bank Surprise Squad

Woman honored for helping animals, domestic and wild

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Coventry Wildlife Rescue (WFSB) Coventry Wildlife Rescue (WFSB)

It takes a big heart to be willing to help not just domestic animals, but animals that live in the wild.

The Channel 3 and Liberty Bank Surprise Squad heard about a woman who does just that.

Jeanne Kraemer of Chaplin puts everything into her job.

"She puts forth 150 percent of herself into whatever she's doing," said Liz Bennett, a friend. "She's just constantly volunteering, constantly doing."

Kraemer is a teacher in every sense of the word.

"I'm a job skills coach for able students during the school year," she said.

Her teaching is not just limited to the classroom. In the community, she volunteers at soup kitchens and food pantries, like MACC Charities.

"It's the right thing to do, and it makes me happy," Kraemer said.

"She's really one of our best volunteers, one of our most faithful, awesome volunteers," said Dan Dubow, executive chef, MACC Charities.

Kraemer's lessons are also taught in nature, where she is a licensed wildlife rehabber.

"She has built this huge center for wildlife rehab," Bennett said. "She trains people that want to become rehabbers."

The Coventry Wildlife Rescue was born 10 years ago.

"My goddaughter brought me a baby animal, and I couldn't find help for it," Kraemer said. "We called all the rehabs in the state and nobody could take care of her. And she eventually passed away. And I found out the reason why is, there aren't enough. So I became a wildlife rehabber and now I train and mentor other rehabbers."

"It's a voluntary job," Bennett said. "You're up all hours of the day, all hours of the night. You're doing medical stuff and you do it because you really want to help the animals."

"[I've helped] skunk, fox and racoon and I already have possums [and] squirrels. I've had woodchucks, some birds," Kraemer said. "I try and stay away from birds because I have predators in the building. And this coming year, I'm rehabbing fawns."

Kraemer said she operates the rescue solely on her paycheck and donations from the community.

That's why the Liberty Bank Surprise Squad felt compelled to contribute.

"She's one of the most down-to-earth people that I've ever met, and this would be so amazing for her," Bennett said.

Once the squad was in contact with her friends, it coordinated where it could catch up with Kraemer.

"We'll find her somewhere, whether it be in the line or sorting bread," Dubow said.

Sure enough, she was found hard at work on her day off inside a soup kitchen.

The squad presented her with funds she could put toward whatever she needed for the animals she's currently rehabbing as well as those she'll be helping in the future.

"My animals are eating solid foods now, and need fresh fruits and vegetables," Kraemer said. "This is amazing, this is really going to make or break the bank at this point."

"If anyone is deserving of something like this, it really is Jeanne," Dubow said.

Anyone looking to help the Coventry Wildlife Rescue can find information on its Facebook page here.

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