Community Gem: Erica Miller of Miamisburg rescues, rehabilitates wild animals

Erica Miller founded Erica Miller Wildlife Rehab in 2016.
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Erica Miller founded Erica Miller Wildlife Rehab in 2016.

MIAMISBURG —Birds, fawns, squirrels and even skunks – if it’s a wild animal, Erica Miller can nurse it to health.

“I can take anything,” said the Miamisburg woman who founded Erica Miller Wildlife Rehab in 2016. Since then, she has helped thousands of critters rehabilitate from the home she shares with her husband, Scott, and their kids Cole, 18, and Grace, 16.

Her work with animals started when her husband was diagnosed with stage 4 oral pharyngeal cancer. Around the same time, the family befriended an orphaned raccoon. Her husband pulled through, and Miller said she began paying it forward in response to the raccoon who helped their kids through that rough time.

Miller, 42, was nominated as a Dayton Daily News Community Gem by Jennifer Russell, whose daughter has volunteered with Miller. She admires Miller’s commitment and remembered a time when they were together at a high school football game. Miller got a phone call, and a short time later went to the parking lot to pick up a basket full of squirrels to rehabilitate.

“She doesn’t do it for the recognition,” said Russell, also of Miamisburg. “She does it because she feels it’s her way to give back.”

Miller, who was a nurse for 15 years, has helped more than 1,700 animals this year alone, taking in sick, injured and orphaned wildlife such as waterfowl, foxes and beavers. Birds, squirrels, opossums and raccoons are the animals she sees the most, and she was recently caring for more than 300 animals on a single day, including 27 squirrels that needed bottle-fed.

The work is full-time and depends on donations. Whatever isn’t donated comes from her own pocket, including medications, food, formula and special needs, such as the prosthesis once needed for a Canadian goose without legs. Donations can be made at http://ericamiller.org.

“Any one that I can save is a good thing,” Miller said.