Shusterman supports local wildlife rehabilitation efforts

MALVERN, Aug. 8 – State Rep. Melissa Shusterman, D-Chester, and her summer interns, Suzie Ahn and Alexander Hallam, visited Diamond Rock Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic to support the nonprofit located in the 157th district that provides quality care for orphaned, injured, and sick native PA wildlife.

Deb Welter is a passionate animal advocate and has been a licensed rehabilitator for more than 20 years. She founded Diamond Rock to release rehabilitated wildlife back into their natural habitat and educate the public through programs emphasizing harmonious coexistence with nature.

"It's important to preserve our woodlands so that animals can remain in their own habitat,” Shusterman said. “Many people don't know what to do if they see an injured animal in their backyard, and they can accidentally cause unintentional harm. That's why public education is so important for wildlife survival."

As the founder and co-chair of the bipartisan, bicameral Animal Protection Caucus, Shusterman said she is eager to introduce and support legislation that would aid rehabilitation clinics such as Diamond Rock. She has introduced H.B. 911, which would allow charitable donations to be deducted from taxable income, incentivizing more people to donate to rehabilitation efforts.

Another notable bill is State Rep. Tarah Probst's Wildlife Rehabilitation Grant Program (H.B. 1522). Shusterman said she fully supports Probst’s bill, which would create grant opportunities for animal rehabilitators and their facilities.