Most Wildlife Rehabilitation Centers are not large like the ones you see on the character programs on T.V.. The majority of us run from our houses and backyards. We do it without any Federal or State funding. We do it out of love for nature. We are a few of the Division of Wildlife’s biggest volunteers; we do thousands of hours a year. Funding our centers is our responsibility. Our education is our duty also. In most states you need to be licensed by the state and sometimes also the Federal Government. This is for the critter’s wellbeing, because he then goes to a person trained to handle that species.
It requires long hours and lots of money (that you do not have). In one day you will be shown something amazing, and 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 is strictly for the love of these animals. You shoot all the coyotes, and then you have population problems with species that they eat, such as the cottontails or gophers. It’s the delicate balance of nature.
What we do as Wildlife Rehabbers is to try and help keep the balance between man and wildlife. Virtually everything we get in is because of some kind of human conflict. As we move farther and farther into”critter land” we will have a growing number of conflicts with character, your garden is that raccoon’s backyard too. We simply need to learn to co-exist, not take over but co-exist. If everything in nature has its place and has learned to coexist except for us, well why? Why do we want to change the behavior of everything so as to get along with it? As Wildlife Rehabilitators we need to be sensitive to that creature or birds needs. This is why if you find wildlife in trouble call your local licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator. They’ve been trained to help. We can all pitch in with the preservation of our own backyards. And if we’re really really lucky, we get to see that critter return to the wild and live as it was intended. That is a job well done! And it takes all of us.