Environment | Animal Wellfare
Living Standards | Education And Learning

Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society

Our mandate is to rescue and rehabilitate injured and orphaned wildlife in Calgary and the surrounding areas.

Our Story

Why We Exist

What if you were hit by a car and nobody stopped to help you?

Countless wild animals are injured every day by their intersection with human activity; caught in barbed wire, electrocuted on power lines, attacked by pets, caught in cruel traps, shot and hit by cars with no-one to help them recover or end their suffering. We care. We believe that every life has value and provide a second chance for these animals to live the wild life they were meant to.


Our History:

The Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society (CWRS) was founded in February 1993 to address the growing need for a wildlife rehabilitation facility in Calgary. The CWRS 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 creations of CWRS in Febuary 1993.

At present, the CWRS 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 Rehabilitation Society (CWRS) was established in 1993 to provide professional care for wildlife rehabilitation. Our goal is to Rescue, Rehabilitate and Release –the three R’s of responsible wildlife management. Each year we receive over 2,000 injured or orphaned wild animals and respond to thousands of wildlife-related calls from the public. In addition, CWRS provides motivational, skill-building experiences for volunteers and valuable outreach and education services to the community. CWRS is a registered charity and does not receive any direct government funding. CWRS is the only veterinary based wildlife hospital within the City of Calgary. If you would like to help our community, click here: volunteering with CWRS.

Thank-you to Trending on Shaw for having our great horned owl, Ophelia, on their show to be an ambassador for CWRS and the amazing work that happens here very day. CWRS is featured on SHAW TV and the video link is here: Ophelia, our ambassador.

Our Programs

How We Do It

CWRS 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, are brought to us by the public, come through Calgary 311 services, or are filtered through local veterinary clinics. Once onsite, the animals are medically examined by our trained wildlife technicians (RAHT or B. Sc), 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. Animals unable to be released due to the severity of injuries sustained are euthanized or kept as education ambassadors.

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. The Education program serves to inform the public about our services, address conservation issues and provide information about native 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 3 education ambassadors: Lito (Swainson’s Hawk), Oberon (Great Horned Owl) and Ophelia (Great Horned Owl). 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, the Alberta Wilderness Association 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.

CWRS has been asked to give talks about wildlife and conservation at the Marda Loop Justice Film Festival and for Nature Calgary. CWRS is invited every year to host a booth at Bow Habitat Station, a local fish hatchery and nature interpretive center. These are just a few examples of other local organizations with which CWRS maintains a positive and collaborative partnership.

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 a community service while acquiring new skills.  

The Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society has a roster of over 200 active volunteers who contribute to the functioning of our society. These volunteers are members of our society. Volunteers help with animal care (cleaning cages and feeding animals), pickups/rescues (picking up animals at veterinary clinics or rescuing animals that are injured), education (running education programs in schools, seniors residences and other public relations events) and as board members.

Minimum Security inmates volunteer their time, under supervision, to help with site maintenance.

Service groups volunteer their time to help with construction projects.

Our Requests

What You Can Do

We receive no direct governement funding and must rely on donations to raise the money required for food, housing, medical supplies and our staff of six. Every donation received has a direct and meaningful impact on the care we can give our wildlife patients.

CWRS needs to raise $250,000 this year to keep our doors open (our fiscal year aligns with the calendar year). Our fundraising budget is just 2% of our annual $315,000 operation budget.

Your donation will help us to:

  • Provide housing, food & medical treatment for the 2,000+ wildlife patients received every year
  • Build and maintain animal enclosures
  • Provide timely advice and help to the public for wildlife-related issues
  • Provide valuable learning opportunities to students
  • Provide education programs to thousands of students

Other ways that you can help include:

  • Talk to your place of work about corporate sponsorship
  • Donate money, gift cards or time
  • Spread the word about CWRS
  • Connect with us on Facebook and Twitter 


Andrea Hunt

Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society


Charitable Number: 891088189RR0001

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