Internship applications will be accepted up until December 30th.

I want full name:  High School Graduate or equivalent:  you must have your own car and be over 18 years of age.

A small paragraph as to why you would like the internship and what you hope to gain.
Are you in college or working?
Send all to

The Internship which runs from May to August is 6 days a week, non-paid as are all Internships.

Housing is provided:  You get one day off which I ask if possible to work out with the other fellow Interns.

I need a phone number as no one is considered without an in person interview which most are doing on either Thanksgiving or Christmas Break.

Interns will be picked by March 5th.


Scouts or Youth

Hoo is looking for 4-6 scouts or youth 15 years of age and above to help for 3-4 hours on a Saturday or Sunday.   Our Bird of Prey pens need Ag lime and if you tag team it makes it go well.     Please call 815-629-2212 and leave a message for Karen.


I am grateful for the response to our need volunteers.  We are doing better but not quite there yet.  We still need help Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.  You will be here from 9-1pm.  Wear old clothes, the layered look.  Bring your good listening skills, ask lots of questions and get excited to learn many things you never knew.
Be one of the doers.  Please call we need you.


The next two articles were written by one of our volunteers you can see her enthusiasm in every word.

Kristin Drew, 8 December 2016

“Hoo” Haven Feature Story

71 eagles from four states, 16 pelicans, two African tortoises, a snowy owl and countless squirrels, rabbits and opossums. These are only some of the animals that have been rehabilitated at “Hoo” Haven, a refuge for injured wildlife in Durand, Illinois.

Karen and Steven Herdklotz started “Hoo” Haven 36 years ago, but Karen says she doesn’t remember what type of animal triggered the creation of the rehabilitation center that now fills their backyard. “It was probably either a squirrel, a rabbit or a raccoon,” Karen said.
Though Karen and Steven have been rehabbing animals for 36 years, they didn’t officially establish “Hoo” Haven until 2000 with the arrival of a visually impaired owl named Jessie. Jessie has a torn retina in one eye and a cataract in the other, so like many of “Hoo” Haven’s other residents, she can never be released back into the wild. Karen and Steven trained her to be an educational bird, and with that, “Hoo” Haven and it’s educational programs quickly became an integral part of the northern Illinois community.

Since then, “Hoo” Haven has acquired many interesting animals including Licorice, a silver fox who was rescued from a fox fur farm, and Captain Jack, an educational eagle who was left with only one eye after sustaining a severe injury. Digger, a red fox, has a neurological condition that impairs her balance. She’s become a permanent resident of “Hoo” Haven and will serve as a surrogate mother for baby foxes,
teaching them how to do basic fox tasks like hiding their food. Broccoli, one of “Hoo” Haven’s three resident pelicans, was found frozen in the Mississippi River after she failed to migrate south with her flock. She lost the webbing on her feet as a result, and is now in training to become an educational bird.

“Hoo” Haven’s unique animals are just one part of what makes them so special, though. The animals are the easiest to see, but perhaps the most intriguing thing about “Hoo” Haven is the fact that they’re completely volunteer and donation driven, fueled by support and enthusiasm from the local community.

“We really rely on a core group of about 12 to 14 volunteers,” Karen said. She explained that “Hoo” Haven takes animals in based on how many volunteers they have available, so the volunteers are one of the most important factors in allowing “Hoo” Haven to rehabilitate and save as many animals as they can. “We could not do the quantity of saves and rehabs that we do if it weren’t for the volunteers,” she said.

In addition to volunteers, the local community supplies support in other ways, too. “A lot of the food we feed our animals, like the meat and fish for the birds, is all donated by local grocery stores,” Kim Genthner, a 10 year “Hoo” Haven volunteer, said. Genthner also said that all of the animal housing units were built by local Eagle Scouts as their final projects.

“Hoo” Haven also receives a great deal of monetary support from Exelon’s Nuclear Generating Station in Byron, Illinois. “Exelon really puts a premium emphasis on giving back to the community where their plants are located,” said Dorothy Wallheimer, Exelon’s Community
Manager for their Byron station. “We’ve chosen to support Hoo Haven a number of times because of the unique outreach and services provided by this Northern Illinois wildlife rehabilitation and education center. It’s a well-run nonprofit group that does a great job with wildlife rescue,” she said.

Through donations from Exelon, “Hoo” Haven was able to construct their aquatic rehabilitation center for birds like the pelicans they’ve rescued. Exelon’s donations also made it possible for “Hoo” Haven to purchase a van to assist in picking up and transporting injured animals.
“Hoo” Haven is also driven by community interest and enthusiasm for the organization and their wildlife. “People love to come to our programs, and they all say it’s because we’re so passionate about what we do at “Hoo” Haven,” Karen said. When Karen saw how much their programs impacted people, she got the idea to turn education into a legacy.

“We have a lot of things in place to make sure “Hoo” Haven can continue, even after Steven and I are gone,” Karen said. She explained that the knowledge they share at their educational programs is something that will create a legacy in itself. “If we can teach kids
starting at five years old not to litter, to turn off water when they’re not using it, that even dead trees have a use, and that everything in this world has a purpose, we can raise generations that have a greater respect and appreciation for our Earth,” she said.

“Hoo” Haven also hopes to educate people about what they do when they find an injured animal. “We always want people to know exactly what to do with an animal that’s hurt so that we can help it the best we can,” Karen explained. “With birds, for example, it’s important to get
them to us as soon as possible if you think they have a broken wing. Since their bones are hollow, broken bones start to repair themselves almost immediately. If it repairs itself wrong, that could be very bad for the bird.”

“I thought it was interesting to hear about how injured animals can be rescued,” said Sherri Drew, a visitor to “Hoo” Haven. “Normally when you see an injured animal, it makes you sad, but you just think ‘That’s nature,’ so it was really helpful to hear what you can do to help
them,” she said.

Whether you visit “Hoo” Haven or go to an educational program, one thing is clear: the organization cares deeply about every animal they take in. “It’s so wonderful that two people care so much about wildlife in the area to dedicate so much time to those animals,” said Diana Lewis, who also visited “Hoo” Haven.

“Saving as many animals as we can is a top priority,” Karen said. “I just think every day, if I can save one more life, and educate one more person, I’ll be a happy camper.

Kristin Drew, 4 December 2016

Marshmellow Profile Story

When people think of typical Illinois wildlife, they tend to think of animals they see every day. Squirrels, rabbits and small birds like finches or robins probably come to mind. If they think just a little harder, they’ll think of raccoons, opossums and birds of prey like hawks and eagles.

“Hoo” Haven, a wildlife rehabilitation facility in Durand, Illinois, rehabilitates of most of these animals in addition to some less common animals like barn owls, falcons and foxes. Some of “Hoo” Haven’s most prized residents, though, are their white pelicans. Many people don’t think of pelicans as being typical Illinois animals because they’ve
never called Illinois home until recently. Before 2005, it was rare to see a white pelican anywhere in Illinois, but for the last few years, flocks of pelicans have been spotted in many northern Illinois towns, like Streator, Dixon, Oregon, and Byron.

“When Hurricane Katrina came through, it was such a big storm that it threw off their migratory path,” said Kim Genthner, a volunteer at “Hoo” Haven. Genthner explained that while the pelicans used to migrate to Canada for the summer through the middle plains states, Hurricane Katrina shifted their migration patterns to the east, so it’s much more common to see white pelicans in northern Illinois now. With more pelicans, though, comes more potential pelican injuries.

That’s where “Hoo” Haven comes in. So far, “Hoo” Haven has rescued 16 white pelicans in the northern Illinois area, and they currently have three resident pelicans who weren’t able to be released back into the wild. Marshmellow was the third pelican “Hoo” Haven recovered, but he was the first to stay there permanently. The 7-year-old pelican was found near Streator, Illinois, after he flew into a cell phone tower guide wire, an accident that severed one of his wings. “He was flying with his flock and someone saw him go down, so they went to find him and contacted a vet in the area,” Genthner said. After the veterinarian took care of Marshmellow’s injuries, they contacted Karen and Steven Herdklotz, the directors and founders of “Hoo” Haven. “Right when we met him, he had such a personality,” Karen said, “He was so friendly.”
Because Marshmallow is unable to fly, he can never be released back into the wild, so “Hoo” Haven has become his permanent home.

Now, Marshmellow works as an educational pelican and travels all around Illinois with volunteers and the Herdklotzes. He’s the star of
programs they put on that aim to spread the word about “Hoo” Haven, and teach people the importance of treating nature and wildlife with respect. “Hoo” Haven’s programs featuring Marshmellow have become an important part of the organization. Karen explained that having Marshmellow as an educational bird and allowing people to see and interact with him teaches people to accept their flaws. “Everybody has a flaw that they’re self-conscious of,” Karen said. “Marshmellow only has one wing, but he’s still as happy as can be.”

Hearing the stories of the animals like Marshmellow also serves as an inspiration. “They’re just so amazing,” said Kaitlyn Drew, an 11-year-old who went to a “Hoo” Haven program in Byron, Illinois. “Marshmellow and the other animals just keep going strong, even after the awful things they’ve been through,” she said.

Marshmellow doesn’t just educate people, though. He also serves as an educational pelican for other pelicans, teaching them about how to live at “Hoo” Haven. “A lot of the time, we feed our pelicans fish that’s donated from local grocery stores, and normally, when wild pelicans eat fish, they eat it head first. When we feed them the fish chunks that we get, they don’t know what to do with it,” Genthner said. After Marshmellow learned how to eat the chunks of fish, it became his job to show the other pelicans they’ve rescued how to eat them. He teaches the new pelicans that the fish is okay to eat, even though it doesn’t look like the fish they’re used to.

Two other pelicans, Broccoli and Snapper, are also permanently housed at “Hoo” Haven. Broccoli is currently being trained to be an educational pelican like Marshmellow. “Hoo” Haven hopes that she and Marshmellow can work together in future programs to inspire and educate people for years to come.



Click the picture .

to see Peyton's .

final project video .



As school starts many of our youth volunteers are back in class and we have a void. We are in need of Monday thru Friday volunteers.
If you have 4-5 hours to give each week, want to have a good time and feel good about yourself for helping and LOVE animals…..We want you…..

Call 815-629-2212 and leave a number where Karen can call you back at 6PM.



Two Volunteers having a good time. Whether washing food bowls or feding we all help each other.


It amazes me the number of animals and birds that we do every year.  It is 500-800 with the number of volunteers that we have.    People ask me if we need volunteers.  The answer to that question is YES.  The volunteers we have are dedicated.

We are always looking for youth, retired and everyone in the middle and our particular need is Monday thru Friday.  We ask for 3 hours a week but many give more.  You must be willing to get dirty, wear old clothes, have a good time and  LOVE animals.  Many of our volunteers work and then have a day off in the week, or after training will come in the evening after work.   As long as you have had the training and know what to do that is fine. 

Call 815-629-2212 and leave a number where I can reach you either 7AM or 7PM.  I am looking forward to seeing new faces.  



"Hoo" Haven does very few pick ups any more let us explain.

Because of the number of mammals and birds we care for, treatment, feeding, cleaning and running Hoo Haven and also in consideration of our full time jobs and our volunteers' full time jobs, it is not feasible to do pick ups any longer. 

We do have volunteers to the west who pick up  birds of prey and animals  for Hoo and transport them.  They are called Transport Volunteers  We would be glad to teach individuals how to do this if anyone is interested.

At "Hoo" there are all different kinds of volunteers because we are solely run by volunteers and supported by the generous donations of the People, Who Believe In What We Are Doing.

Please do not punish an animal or bird and do nothing because we do not pick up.  We will walk you thru it and you will feel good at the end.  No one person or facility can do it all.  If we all work together we can make Rockford and all Mother Earth a better place to live for all future generations.   It is not everyone else's job, it is everyone's job to help. 

It truly saddens me when individuals get angry on the phone. 

Thank you

Karen, RN,WLR