While a lot has changed in the wake of the COVID-19 Pandemic, a lot has stayed the same here at Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue as we have been deemed an “essential business.” We have had to close our doors to the public tours and all other public visiting, as well as our community service volunteers who provide much needed facility maintenance support. Our regularly scheduled animal care volunteers have also been cut in half with our , written and upheld to protect both staff and volunteers.
However, COVID-19 has not stopped wildlife orphans from coming into care. Baby season has officially begun with a handful of infant squirrels, a few litters of opossums and a couple of down-covered mourning doves currently dispersed between our hospital and nursery.
While tours and our PEEP student program have been suspended, our staff is using any spare moment to cultivate the wildlife education garden for feeding our wildlife patients, volunteers and staff. We have already been told we may lose some of our produce and eggs that we so badly need to provide nutrition to our patients that are in the process of healing and waiting to return to their homes in the wild.
Michael McGuire, our AWES director is taking extra precautions to protect himself and his family, while trying to help people in our community resolve their issues with our local wildlife, as they look for opportunities where ever they can find them to shelter and raise their babies. A Wildlife Exclusion Service provides life-saving alternatives to the raccoons, skunks, opossums, bats and even an occasional river otter who have taken up residency in some of our community members' homes and businesses. It is a self-funded program and only provides a very marginal amount of funding to our rehabilitation efforts.
Our Barn Owl Maintenance Program is up and running and we are grateful for the much-needed revenue this provides for funding our charity work. While Pints for Paws was cancelled due to COVID-19, we were able to host a virtual fundraiser and those funds went directly towards our baby season efforts as they usually do. Thank you to all of you who contributed.
We are keenly aware of how the world is suffering and none of us in our community are exempt from the potential loss of life or well-being. With that in mind and the work that is looming in front of us now, we ask for your help to continue saving wild lives as they need us more than ever. Our staff and select volunteers are all giving everything it takes to keep our doors open.
Our annual Spring Season appeal is at the printers now and should be in your mail boxes by the end of the month. Please consider sending your donation to provide the much needed help if you can afford to at this time. We are grateful to all of you no matter what!
Some great news we would like to share is, we received over 30 intern applications amid the current pandemic and we should have a new crew of 8-10 interns beginning in May. Victoria Harris, our staff Intern Director and Animal Care Assistant has done everything she could think of to make this possible for us this year.