Most Wildlife Rehabilitation Centers are not large like the ones you see on the nature programs on T.V.. The majority of us run out of our homes and backyards. We do it with no Federal or State funding. We do it out of love for nature. We are some of the Division of Wildlife’s most important volunteers; we do thousands of hours a year. Funding our facilities is our duty. Our education is our responsibility also. In most states you need to be licensed by the state and at times also the Federal Government. This is for the critter’s well being, because he then goes to someone trained to handle that species.
It takes long hours and lots of money (which you don’t have). In one day you’ll be shown something amazing, and then come face to face with death. The best paycheck ever is successfully releasing that critter back into the wild. Which is good, for there is no glory in cleaning up piles and piles of manure. It’s strictly for the love of these animals. They are all part of our eco system. You shoot all the coyotes, and then you have population problems with species they consume, such as the cottontails or gophers.
What we do as Wildlife Rehabbers is to try to help keep the balance between man and wildlife. Almost everything we get in is because of a kind of human conflict. As we move further and further into”critter land” we will have a growing number of conflicts with nature, your backyard is that raccoon’s back yard also. Education is our key. We just need to learn to co-exist, not take over but co-exist. If everything in nature has its own place, and it has learned to co-exist except for us, well why? Why do we want to modify the behavior of everything so as to get along with it? As Wildlife Rehabilitators we need to be sensitive to that animal or birds needs. This is the reason if you find wildlife in trouble call your local licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator. They have been trained to help. We can all pitch in together with the preservation of our own backyards. And if we are really really lucky, we get to see that critter return into the wild and live as it was intended. That is a job well done! And it takes us all.