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It is our dream at Viewpoint to see our clients rewarded after a career of hard work with the opportunity to do something they enjoy and are passionate about. This is exactly what the Givens family is experiencing in their retirement and they have been gracious enough to let us share their story. We hope you enjoy!

Terry and Jody Givens have been going to the cabin in the Sierras for over 47 years, but when their friends gave them the opportunity to purchase the property in 2013, they knew it was something they had to do. Their refuge from the stress of careers as an electrical contractor, the Chief of the Alameda County volunteer fire department, and a 1st grade teacher could be all theirs and they wouldn't let this chance pass them by! As they started enjoying more time at their cabin that backs up to a national forest, they noticed all the deer that would come around. Such beautiful creatures were the perfect example of the peace and quiet they now enjoyed each time they visited, and it would seem the deer enjoyed being around the Givens too. Terry and Jody decided to learn more about the deer in their area and stumbled upon the Sierra Wildlife Rescue. There they took a class for rescuing fawns. Little did they know, this would change their lives! When they found out they could participate in rescuing fawns that were separated from their mothers, they knew this was right up their alley.

They learned many times fawns are orphaned as does are killed by car accidents, predators, or by getting stuck in fences. They also discovered that sometimes people pick up fawns thinking they are helping, but in fact the does were just away getting food. When a fawn loses its mother, they are left with very little chance of surviving. Thankfully, this is where the Sierra Wildlife Rescue (sierrawildliferescue.org) comes in with a 4-stage program that rescues the fawns and prepares them to be returned to the wild. With the help and leadership of Dave Cook, or as he is more affectionately called "Deer Dave", of El Dorado county, the SWR may help up to 70 fawns per year be rescued, rehabbed, and released!

Terry and Jody learned that their cabin provided the perfect space to be one of the stage 1 facilities to help rescue fawns. They are able to use dog carriers to bring fawns to one of the two 6 x 12 foot pens on their property. From there, they monitor them for disease or injuries, make sure they aren't contagious, and train the fawns to take a bottle. Teaching the fawns to take a bottle is Jody's favorite part! It takes very gentle persistence and a special formula provided by SWR, but Terry and Jody both love taking fawns as small as 5 pounds and nursing them back to health.

The stage 1 process takes 7-10 days. Upon leaving Terry and Jody's cabin, the fawns are taken to a larger facility for stage 2 where they continue to be bottle fed and are allowed to run and play with other fawns. This reintroduction to other fawns is intended to help them remember that they are wild. The next step is stage 3 at one of three facilities, either in El Dorado, Georgetown, or Shingle Springs. These facilities have very large pens with trees, brush, and rocks. The fawns start to be fed via a bucket and pulley system and begin to form new herds with other fawns. Finally, in stage 4 the fawns are released into a natural wild terrain. Terry and Jody, as well as other volunteers of the SWR, are allowed to participate in the stage 4 release and it's not uncommon for a few tears to be shed as the fawns are freed back into the wild!

Terry and Jody have the privilege of helping around 8 fawns per season and they look forward to continuing their work as one of the stage 1 fawn rescue sites. After very stressful careers and a year quarantining in the pandemic, the Givens believe that retirement and specifically their cabin, has saved their lives. They are grateful to return the favor and help save the lives of the peaceful fawns that they share the forest with. They are also very grateful for the opportunity to work with the Sierra Wildlife Rescue. This all-volunteer organization is entirely dependent on donations to continue their work. All different kinds of wild animals are rescued, rehabbed, and released with fawns being some of the most expensive to care for. Donations are happily accepted at sierrawildliferescue.org.

All of us at Viewpoint Financial are thrilled to see how Terry and Jody are spending their retirement and the passion they have for fawn rescue. Here's to many more years at the cabin and enjoying seeing these beautiful creatures rescued, rehabbed, and released!

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