Our Story – Why We Exist
Imagine starting your young life in the safety of your parents and siblings, only to have it all ripped away. You’ve become an orphan after watching your mom being hit and killed by a car.
You’re alone, scared, and vulnerable.
Now imagine being taken to a warm and safe place, where you will be given the care you need until you are ready to take care of yourself. This is where the Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society steps in to help.
Sadly, it is a reality facing wildlife in urban settings to be injured or killed while trying to navigate the complexities of cities. The Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society prides itself on providing expert, compassionate care to all species of injured and orphaned wildlife, giving them a second chance at life.
Description of Need
Calgary Wildlife relies heavily on public donations to keep our centre running, and during these difficult times, we have been hit hard by inflation. In our busy months, it can cost up to $10,000 a month just to feed our patients.
The Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society was founded in February 1993 to address the growing need for a wildlife rehabilitation facility in Calgary. Calgary Wildlife is the result of many organizations and individuals working together to achieve common goals.
The Calgary Zoo was accepting and treating wildlife brought in by the general public. When the number of wildlife in need of medical attention began increasing significantly every year, the need for a wildlife rehabilitation facility became apparent. Also, several local veterinary clinics were interested in donating time to treating wildlife, but a long-term recovery facility was still required. The result was the creation of the Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation society in February 1993.
At present, Calgary Wildlife is working to expand its facilities in order to accommodate more wildlife and enhance its efforts to rescue and rehabilitate them.
Our Impact – What We Do
Calgary Wildlife practices the three Rs of wildlife management; rescue, rehabilitate, and release. Each year we receive between 2000 and 3000 injured or orphaned wild animals and respond to thousands of wildlife-related calls from the public. In addition, Calgary Wildlife provides motivational, skill-building experiences for volunteers and valuable outreach and education services to the community. Our Wild Wise program teaches school aged children about how to live in harmony with urban wildlife and the benefits wild animals provide to our communities and ecosystems. Calgary Wildlife is the only veterinary-based wildlife hospital and rehabilitation centre within the City of Calgary and relies heavily on public donations.
Our Programs – How We Do It
Calgary Wildlife’s Goals & Objectives
1. To rescue and provide appropriate veterinary-based care and treatment to injured and orphaned wildlife with the goal of releasing vigorous individuals capable of successfully returning to their natural habitat.
The Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society rescues injured and orphaned wildlife in Calgary and the surrounding area. Animals are either rescued by our team of volunteers, brought to us by the public, come through Calgary 311 services, or filtered through local veterinary clinics. Once onsite, the animals are medically examined by our trained wildlife technicians and certified wildlife rehabbers, overseen by our staff veterinarian, and an appropriate course of treatment is implemented. Animals are kept at our facility until they are deemed medically fit by our staff veterinarian to be released back into the wild. An appropriate locale is carefully selected by the staff and all healthy individuals are released back into their natural habitat. Migratory animals are kept until the appropriate time of year.
The Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society works closely with Sustainable Resource Development to ensure that all animals are being taken care of appropriately. We are an accredited organization (Alberta Veterinary Medical Association) and do not charge for our services.
2. To provide relevant public education and outreach to schools and other community groups through presentations, visits, displays, and literature.
The Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society provides education programs to the public, including schools, seniors’ residences, libraries, fairs, festivals, The Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald’s House, and other appropriate venues. Our education programs serve to inform the public about our services, address conservation issues and provide information about urban wildlife. Our educators volunteer their time, donating thousands of hours a year to the hundreds of programs that we book. When appropriate, an education ambassador is sent as part of the education program. We currently have two education ambassadors: Lito (Swainson’s Hawk) and Marmalade (Hoary Marmot). Each of these animals was brought to the center injured and due to the severity of the injury could not be successfully released back into the wild.
3. To maintain connections with other local organizations whose primary interest is wildlife, environmental conservation, and related public education
The Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society maintains working relationships with the Cochrane Ecological Society, Medicine River Wildlife Center, Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation, Wild North, and other similar organizations. We actively maintain communication with such organizations and will transport animals to their facilities under the direction of Sustainable Resource Development when it is in the best interest of our wildlife patients.
4. To provide volunteer opportunities and service to the community by making available a venue for members, service groups, and volunteer minimum-security inmates to contribute to community service while acquiring new skills.
The Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society’s volunteers play a crucial role in the running of the organization. Volunteers help with Wildlife Clinic jobs (cleaning cages, prepping patient food), pickups (picking up animals at veterinary clinics), education (running education programs in schools, seniors residences, and other public relations events), marketing and social media, and as board members.
Our Requests – What YOU Can Do
Calgary Wildlife relies heavily on public donations and grants to keep our doors open. Over the past five years, we’ve seen an increase in patients by 20%. Year after year our costs rise and we treat more and more animals. Currently, what we truly need is to secure enough stable and regular funding to be able to hire more full-time clinic and program staff, which will enable us to grow and further help more wildlife in need.
Your donation will help us to:
Provide housing, food & medical treatment for the nearly 3000 wildlife patients received every year
Build and maintain animal enclosures
Provide the public with timely advice and help in regard to wildlife-related issues
Provide valuable learning opportunities to students
Provide education programs to thousands of students
Other ways that you can help include:
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