How We Do It
Wildlife Rehabilitation and Rescue:
Our wildlife hospital, once a church in Didsbury, Alberta, is now a clinic with a surgical suite, laboratory, x-ray room, and various care units. Outdoor enclosures support the rehabilitative cycle and include two large flight-conditioning spaces for raptors, five songbird enclosures, a pasture and corral for young deer and moose, a shorebird enclosure, aquatic bird building, outdoor aquatic mammal enclosure, two outdoor waterfowl enclosures, two aerial insectivore enclosures, and four mammal enclosures.
Primarily, animals are rescued by our team of trained volunteers or by members of the public and then admitted to our centre. AIWC is an accredited vet hospital through the Alberta Veterinary Medical Association (ABVMA) and upon arrival animals are left to rest for a short time and then are fully examined my members of staff.
All wildlife rehabilitation is performed on site at our 9.69-acre property NW of Airdrie. We are permitted through the provincial and federal governments to intake and care for wildlife. Wildlife rehabilitation is a relatively new field of animal care, becoming more prominent in the past 20-30 years. As such, we are constantly striving to improve protocols and methods of rehabilitation. Staff attend workshops, conferences, and collaborate with other wildlife rehabilitation centres across the world in order to ensure we are providing the best care possible to the animals entrusted into our care.
Wildlife Education Program:
We have a shared responsibility to wildlife.
For as long as there have been people, there have been dangers to our wildlife. Each Albertan, young and old, plays an important role in the proactive understanding and reactive care of our wildlife. Each one of us has a responsibility to do something to support our wildlife population.
We will continue to advocate for the health of our wildlife.
Our primary mandate will always be to provide support and readiness to injured, orphaned or oiled wildlife animals. We believe in a community approach to taking the best care possible to animals that live and play in the same places we do.
We believe every Albertan should be a stakeholder in the care of wellbeing of our wildlife animals.
To ensure future generations of Albertans can enjoy our wildlife landscape, we encourage Albertans to:
- Appreciate and co-exist with nature and wildlife
- Be mindful of their surroundings and foster safe spaces for wildlife to graze, breed and thrive
- Encourage interconnectedness with nature
- Understand the issue affecting Alberta’s conservation initiatives
Caring isn’t enough. We must take action.
Every animal is deserving of the beauty Alberta has to offer, and this includes a safe, open environment free of human hazards. And we, as Albertans, have a responsibility to foster these opportunities through awareness and participation in conservation-minded conversation and actions. Our wildlife should be a continued source of pride for all Albertans.
We believe in developing awareness through education.
Through outreach programming, we’re working to creating strong co-existence between Albertans and wildlife animals. In 2019, our education team provided wildlife education to more than 6,050 members of the public.
We want children to build a strong relationship with nature.
Our actions impact the environment and its wildlife. We encourage children to respect the environment around them by inspiring a passion for conservation and sustainability. We know that children and youth who develop an early understanding of their relationship with nature and wildlife become life-long advocates for wildlife, champions for the care, protection and health of wild animals.
We are advocates for encouraging environmental stewardship in the next generation.
By educating children about nature and environmental awareness, we are informing Albertans of how their actions impact the environment and to think on a larger, provincial scale.
It all comes down to this:
“We don’t own the earth. We are the earth’s caretakers. We take care of it and all the things on it. And when we’re done with it, it should be left better than we found it.” ― Katherine Hannigan, author