Opposum enjoying a rub with mascara brush

Opposum relaxes with mascara brush cleaning via


The Appalachian Wildlife Refuge (AWR) is inviting you to donate your used mascara wands to an extremely worthy cause - the rehabilitation of injured birds and small animals.

If you've ever tried to save an injured critter, you know that they're difficult to manage. Not being accustomed to humans, these little guys don't know what the heck you're doing with them and fear of you may become their dominant motivator. But they need to be cleaned, de-burred, and 'combed' to find their wounds and treat them, and tools used on larger animals won't do the job. In addition, they will frighten little guys even more.

The AWR just built its animal hospital in 2014, with the help of volunteer wildlife rescuers, some who've been working from home rescuing critters for 20 years or more. It's been a rescuer's 'secret' in the small animal world that used mascara wands help save injured animals. In 2017, AWR decided to make a national call for their donation (Wands For Wildlife, WandRaiser!) ​ and, so far, have received more than 50,000 used mascara wands.



A mascara wand has tiny bristles that are soft, but dense, just the kind of texture that is effective at separating fine hairs and removing debris, but gentle. And once the critters get used to the feeling of the brush, most don't mind it at all. Caregivers say that the brush feels much like their mother's touch when she cleans them. Many of the critters, particularly rodents, enjoy the brushing and beg for more!

If you don't use mascara, you can donate fresh ones, very reasonably priced here at Amazon!


Appalachian Wildlife Refuge via PopSci


Myra Per-Lee for Lady Bee