About Wildlife Rescue League
What We Do
Wildlife Rescue League operates a wildlife assistance helpline that provides the public with advice, resources and referrals to licensed wildlife rehabilitators. Wildlife Rescue League is committed to educating the public about the natural history of native wildlife, how to exist with our wild neighbors and preventing the need for wildlife rehabilitation. Wildlife Rescue League also provides informational brochures as well as educational materials and presentations to inform the public about wildlife.
Wildlife Rescue League does not receive any local, state or federal funding. We are totally dependent on donations to provide life-saving food, medicine and supplies. Please support us by making a donation today.
Who We Are
Wildlife Rescue League is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization dedicated to providing care for sick, injured and orphaned wildlife with the intent of releasing them back into their native habitat. Our licensed rehabilitators, located throughout the Northern Virginia and surrounding areas, work with a network of volunteers, wildlife centers, animal shelters, humane societies, nature centers and veterinary hospitals to provide life-saving help for wildlife in need.
President and Treasurer
Beth Axelrod has volunteered for multiple animal advocacy organizations for over 30 years. She became involved with WRL as a Helpline volunteer in 2007. She has served on the Board of Directors since 2011, as President from 2013-2017 and as Vice President and Treasurer from 2017-2022, as well as chairing the Wildlife Center Task Force with the goal of establishing a wildlife center in Northern Virginia.
Prior to retiring, Beth had a 30 year career in Real Estate Management and was a Vice President of a real estate development firm. She managed projects full-cycle with a focus on team management and training, ensuring statutory compliance with multi-jurisdictional condominium acts, and that construction standards met the specifications of contractual documents. Beth also prepared operating budgets for multiple projects, served on all Declarant Boards of Directors, prepared financial reports for investors and acted as a liaison for the Developer involving complex negotiations regarding legal issues.
Beth resides in Centreville, where she enjoys landscaping with a focus on wildlife, creating gardens, a pond, and wildlife and pollinator habitats. She will obtain her Category II wildlife rehabilitation permit in January 2023.
Casey Nolan is a double graduate of Georgetown University, receiving both her B.A. and M.A. in American Government. She works at Gartner, a research and advisory firm, and helps supply chain and quality leaders solve their most critical issues. Outside of work, she spends most of her time in Toastmasters, teaching Sunday School and serving as the Communications Chair of her alumni committee. Additionally, she is a graduate of Arlington Neighborhood College, a civic leadership development program, and previously served as President of the Clarendon Courthouse Civic Association.
Casey has volunteered with WRL on the Helpline since October 2018 and is currently an At Large member of the Board. She also participates in training new volunteers and in planning and moderating the Trifecta Lecture Series. She lives in Arlington with her rescue dog, Juniper.
Philip S. Church
Philip S. Church is a graduate of Ohio State University and spent over 32 years working for the Defense Logistics Agency as a logistics and contracting specialist, focusing largely on procurement automation. He has been the At Large representative to the Fairfax County Animal Services Advisory Commission since 2001 with time as Chair, Vice-chair, and Secretary.
In addition to other humane organization work he was a primary member of Humane Deer Management which was a key partner in the five year deer spay effort in Fairfax City, VA. He has been a member of the Mantua Citizens’ Association Board since 2010 and joined the WRL Board of Directors in Dec 2020.
He and wife, Patricia, have three children and live in Fairfax, VA.
Member at Large
Jessica Andersen, is the current Rehabilitation Program Manager at the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center, where she has worked in rehabilitation, education, and outreach since 2015. Previous to BRWC, she started her rehabilitation career with an internship at the Marine Mammal Care Center in San Pedro, CA in 2013, and continued on to complete a year-long Apprenticeship at Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation in Texas in 2014, working with Texas native wildlife in a rehabilitation setting as well as with livestock, domestics, and exotic rescues. She enjoys birding, hiking, wildlife photography, traveling, and spending time with her two indoor-only cats, Nugget and Freya.
Member at Large
Tami Dennis is a public relations professional, with a specialty in media relations. She has a deep background in the intersection of media and health/medicine. A journalist and editor by training, Tami has held positions at various newspapers, most notably at the Los Angeles Times, where she was longtime health/medicine editor. She has also served as head of media relations for UCLA’s hospital system and school of medicine and, prior to that, as head of external communications at City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center.
She moved to the East Coast four years ago to be closer to her daughter, who lives in D.C., and her family, who live in Georgia. She grew up on a farm, taking care of various farm animals and turning over a seemingly endless number of guinea eggs in an incubator.
Since moving back to the East Coast, she has bought a house in Arlington and has embarked on a mission to transform her backyard into a native-plant filled habitat for pollinators, birds and any other creatures that happen to be in the area. She is currently in training to become a Virginia Master Naturalist through the Arlington Regional Master Naturalist program.
Tami holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia, where she majored in journalism and mass communications.
Member at large
Elissa Myers has been involved with nonprofits for over 50 years, most recently as Executive Director of the Academy for Eating Disorders, President & CEO for Partnership for Prevention and President & CEO of the Electronic Retailing Association. Her expertise in strategic leadership, board and government development, member and sponsor marketing, and team building make her an excellent candidate for the WRL board. She has authored many articles in the field of Association Management, has developed on-line training programs and has consulted with numerous nonprofit organizations.
Elissa’s other passion is animals. She has been the in-kind donations coordinator for WRL for many years.
Elissa holds a Bachelor and Master of Arts from George Mason University. She lives in Springfield with her husband and dog India.
Member at Large
Jennifer Rokasky graduated in 2002 with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science. Since 2005 she has worked with Prince William County Schools. She started out as a high school science teacher, teaching Earth Science and AP Environmental Science. In October 2012, she started a new role as an Energy Education Coordinator with the division’s Facilities Department. In this current role, Jennifer works managing utilities, monitoring schools’ energy usage, and making suggestions for improvements, and will soon be implementing the school division’s first-ever Solar Power Purchase Agreement program.
Outside of work, Jennifer has served on the board of the Prince William Education Association and Virginia Education Association and has been chair of the Communications and PR Committee, Co-Chair of the LGBTQ+ Ad-Hoc Committee, and a Resolutions Committee Member. She currently serves as Zone 1 Director on the NEA LGBTQ+ Caucus. She has been a Helpline Volunteer with Wildlife Rescue League since October 2021, and recently completed transporter training and is looking forward to learning that aspect of WRL.
Elena Taube Bailey
Member at Large
Elena Taube Bailey has diverse and in-depth experience in academia and the private and public sector, including the DoD, CIA, ODNI, and the DoS. She currently serves as a senior national security analyst at the DoD, as well as, a part-time Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University in the Master’s in Applied Intelligence program. As an advocate of animal welfare, Elena serves as the Executive Director at Wild Things Media and as a Campaign Director of the nationwide Watch For Wildlife campaign, which aims to prevent wildlife-vehicle collisions across the United States. Elena also serves as a Board Member for the Wildlife Rescue League and for Wildlife SoS. As a Board Member, Elena contributes to the Development, Marketing and Communication Committees, and she helps leverage media for fundraising, education, and information sharing purposes, ultimately to help save wildlife lives.
Elena is currently completing a Ph.D. in Strategic Communication and an M.A. in Psychology from Harvard University. Elena received an M.B.A. from Georgetown University and an M.A. in Politics from New York University. Elena had pursued her undergraduate studies at Harvard University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and UCLA where she earned a B.A. in Political Science and a minor in Middle Eastern Studies.
Committee Chairs and Coordinators
Carolyn S. Wilder
Rehabilitator Committee Chair, Education Committee Co-Chair
Carolyn S. Wilder is a former president of Wildlife Rescue League (WRL) as well as a volunteer on WRL’s helpline and a presenter to community groups and schools. Carolyn began her involvement with WRL in 2008 as a transporter while transitioning from a career as an attorney. Now retired, Carolyn devotes most of her time to WRL activities.
Carolyn has been a licensed attorney since 1979 and worked for nonprofit trade associations for almost twenty years as in-house counsel. She counseled the associations and its members on contracts, antitrust, trademarks and general legal issues.
Carolyn also served six years on the board of Senior Services of Alexandria.
Education Committee Co-Chair
Joan Vasbinder has been involved in education for over 40 years as a teacher, principal, and director at the University level.
She became involved with the WRL upon her retirement in 2017. She joined the Education Committee in 2021, working to create classroom lessons and presentations on wildlife for school age students.
Joan received a BS in Biology and Education and a MA in Administration and Supervision from the University of Texas at Austin.
She currently lives in Boone, NC with her husband and Rex bunny, E.B.
Volunteer Coordinator, Interim Helpline and Interim Transporter Committee Chair
Data Management Coordinator
Marketing and Outreach Committee Chair
Rachel Feeney is a sixth generation Washingtonian with deep ties to the community and is thrilled to join the Wildlife Rescue League. She comes with a degree in Communications from Ithaca College as well as over a decade of experience working in marketing and events.
Rachel is excited to get back to her roots working with animal welfare, as she previously worked with the Humane Rescue Alliance focusing on their events and PR. She has been featured on local and national news, worked with celebrity animal advocates from Kirk Cousins to Carson Kressley, as well as managed and executed over 300 events in her career.
Online Archive of WRL Rescue Reports
Vegetarian / Vegan Policy
In acknowledging the importance of our environment and animal welfare, all events sponsored, hosted or funded by WRL will have only vegetarian or vegan fare served.