Dogtime salutes Peninsula Humane Society and SPCA’s Wildlife Rescue Center.
How did this program get started?
Our shelter was established as a private non-profit close to 60 years ago. In the early years, we were primarily a dog and cat place, focusing on rescue and rehoming. By the mid 1970s, it because clear to us that there was a need for some organization to care for sick, injured and orphaned local wildlife. Our area had and still has much open space and many amazing wildlife species in that space. Development in our county over the years has led to an even more pressing need. It’s led to less habitat space for the wildlife and, as a result, more encounters between wildlife and people and pets. We started our Wildlife rescue center on a shoestring in the early 1970s, and have slowly added more facilities specifically for recovering wildlife; we’ve added paid staff over the years who focus on this vital work, and recruit more and more volunteers each year to assist staff.
What is your mission?
Our center’s mission is to care for animals which can be rehabilitated and help them get back to their native habitat as soon as possible. A secondary mission is helping people deal humanely with what they consider “nuisance” wildlife. We help these residents daily by giving tips on making their homes and yards less hospitable.
How do most of your animals find their way to you?
Most come from residents who call when they find wildlife in need of assistance. Some bring animals directly to us.
What happens to the animals once they are in your care?
They are given stabilizing care, given an individual treatment plan, and then remain in our care until we determine they are well enough to be released back into their natural habitat.
Tell us about a particularly compelling animal or inspiring rescue.
A few years back, we had a barn owl in our care after he flew into a vat of latex paint at a Kelly Moore warehouse in San Carlos. The rewarding part was bringing the fully recovered barn owl back to the facility and having our wildlife expert talk to their staff about the owl (the fact that it was controlling rodents in their facility) and the work we did. The employees were terrific and grateful – very eager to learn about their special resident. And, they made immediate changes to their facility so this kind of accident would never happen again.