Always an animal lover, a friend's phone call nine years ago would lead to an Iowa woman's passion to save animals.

How It All Started

Amanda Johnson remembers the day well. It was a summer day in 2013 and a friend called, in a panic. She had come across a bunch of newly-born sparrows lying in a parking lot. Knowing Amanda was an animal lover, she called her for help. Even though Amanda, who began working at a vet clinic when she was just 14, had no idea what to do, she answered the call. She saved nearly all of those baby birds and it changed her life.

The Group She Works with Today

Since that day nine years ago, Amanda has been rescuing and rehabbing animals while working as an independent animal rescuer and rehabber. She works with about 15 animal rehabbers but is typically the one who goes out and performs animal rescues. The group has started a western Iowa animal rescue organization known as Forever Wild. Their aim is to Rescue, Rehab, Release.  Amanda is working to get non-profit status for the organization. While that process continues, the work of rescuing and saving animals does, as well.

How Often Does She Get Called to Rescue Animals?

Last year alone, Amanda tells me she personally took 134 rescue calls. Some of the animals she rescues are very time-intensive. Birds must be fed every 15 to 30 minutes, while squirrels are anywhere between 2 to 4 hours.

When it comes to raptors, Amanda assesses the animal, consults with Saving Our Avian Resources (SOAR), and the birds then go to that organization as soon as possible.

What Should You Do if You Encounter an Injured Animal?

Amanda says people's normal reaction is to pick up the animal and feed it. You shouldn't do either one. Amanda recommends calling an Iowa-licensed wildlife rehabilitator like herself. The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has more information available here.

You can learn more about Amanda's organization, Forever Wild, and the incredible work they do here.

Amazing Photos of Animals Saved by Forever Wild

She's been working to save animals for almost a decade. The leader of Forever Wild in western Iowa, Amanda Johnson is working to get the animal rescue organization non-profit status.

Palisades-Kepler State Park in the Fall

I took a drive out to Palisades-Kepler State Park in Mount Vernon to capture some of the beautiful fall colors before winter takes over. I hope you enjoy the scenery as much as I did!

Photos That Show the Beauty of Iowa

More From 97.7 KCRR