Ottawa region’s only rehabilitator of wild mammals and turtles appealing for support.
August 26, 2013, Ottawa – The Rideau Valley Wildlife Sanctuary has admitted more than 620 orphaned and injured wildlife this year, compared to 480 in all of 2012. The growing animals in their care and the second litter for some species are putting a financial strain on the region’s only licensed rehabilitator of wild mammals and turtles.
“When people come across a helpless baby animal or a turtle hit by a car, most people can’t just leave them to suffer,” says Coralie Lalonde, one of the sanctuary’s board members. “Most cases we see are caused by interaction with the human environment, not nature,” she adds, “and people desperately look for someone to help these vulnerable creatures and give them a second chance back in the wild.”
Note for editors: Visit the public Dropbox folder for high resolution images of animals in their care: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/su6h1hx7epuiv1m/-D5ghnM9Xe. If you already have a Dropbox account, you will login with your own Dropbox user name and password.
The sanctuary attributes the increase in intakes to its expanded capacity to admit more animals. The organization was able to build more treatment rooms and outdoor enclosures this year, thanks to donated construction materials and volunteer labour, and a grant from the Community Foundation of Ottawa.
“More animals means higher costs for food, caging, staffing and veterinary care,” says Lalonde. “Squirrels and rabbits are also having late litters this summer, which means we’ll be busy formula feeding and getting these animals ready for life back in the wild well into October,” she adds. Many mammals and recuperating turtles will need to spend the winter at the sanctuary and be released next spring.
Primarily a volunteer-based organization with more than 100 people helping in various roles, the sanctuary receives no government funding. The sanctuary’s capacity to help wildlife is entirely dependent on public donations.
Running the sanctuary for a season includes answering hundreds of calls about injured and orphaned animals, treating animals with professional care and then diligently searching for appropriate release sites when animals are returned to the wild. The sanctuary also provides advice on humanely preventing and resolving issues with wildlife in and around property.
Animal lovers can consider making a donation by phone (613-258-9480) on-line (www.rideauwildlife.org) or by mailing a cheque to P.O. Box 266, North Gower, ON K0A 2T0.
About the Rideau Valley Wildlife Sanctuary
The Rideau Valley Wildlife Sanctuary is a registered charity that treats and cares for injured or orphaned wild mammals and turtles until they are healthy enough to be returned to their natural habitats. The Sanctuary is the only licenced rehabilitator of wild mammals and turtles serving the Ottawa and Rideau Valleys. We also offer advice on co-existing peacefully with wildlife and humane, cost-effective ways to prevent or solve wildlife situations. The Rideau Valley Wildlife Sanctuary has cared for nearly 3,000 animals since 2005. Learn more: www.rideauwildlife.org, @rideauwildlife, www.facebook.com/RideauValleyWildlifeSanctuary.