Tri-Cities Voice Newspaper - What's Happening - Fremont, Union City, Newark California

March 28, 2006 > Rehabilitation Center readies for friends in need; holds open house

Rehabilitation Center readies for friends in need; holds open house

Hickory Street in Newark appears to end at a driveway and parking lot behind a large business. For those in the know, however, this is simply the entrance to a small road leading out from the other side of the lot to a low-slung building that houses the Ohlone Humane Society's (OHS) Wildlife Rehabilitation Center - a plethora of animals in need and a host of volunteers with big hearts and helping hands. Although much of the life-saving work that goes on here is done in a quiet style with little fanfare, the stream of people helping injured and orphaned wildlife is unending.

Each season brings different animals to the shelter, but Paul Avin, a volunteer who has been working here since the center's inception says there are always animals in need and requests for information, local and long-distance. "We work closely with government agencies and other rescue centers," says Arvin. The center often receives calls from other rescue organizations for advice. For example, OHS Wildlife Rehabilitation has received calls from Chicago for advice on raccoons, from Modesto about Ruddy Ducks and Southern California about ravens.

Education has become a large part of what goes on at the center. Helping volunteers to understand and protect animals in rehabilitation as well as notifying the public of what to do when an injured or abandoned baby is found. Many volunteers have focused on a particular animal and work almost exclusively with them. This allows a high degree of knowledge and competency when caring for them.

For instance, at an open house held on a blustery Saturday, March 25, volunteer Lila Travis cradled a baby squirrel in her hands and readied the little furry guy for his feeding. She is one of the squirrel experts at the center and knew exactly what to do for this youngster of about six weeks that, along with his brothers and sisters, had just matured enough to open his eyes. Although eagerly drinking from a syringe, he has now begun to gnaw at solid food. During his growth process, he will love to be cuddled until becoming a "teenager" when handling and direction is shunned in a bid for freedom. He and his siblings will be released when ready to face the world on their own.

OHS Wildlife Rehabilitation is a department of the Ohlone Humane Society, a non-profit organization. It does not receive government funds and is supported by memberships and donations.

The rehabilitation center is operated seven days a week 8:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. April 1st - September 30th. It accepts injured, ill, or orphaned wild animals (sorry, no domestic animals). Native wild animals consist of birds, reptiles, raptors, and mammals. The facility includes an exam room, three nursery rooms, and 10 outside aviaries. Approximately 1000 animals a year are rehabilitated.

You can volunteer:

Wildlife rehabilitation is not just assisting animals at the center. Volunteers are needed who can do administrative tasks, fund-raising, build cages, or provide animal rehabilitation homecare.

Volunteering at a wildlife rehabilitation center provides a personal connection with nature and offers an avenue to give back to the community. It provides an on-going opportunity for personal growth, problem solving, decision-making, and crisis management. The greatest reward of all is to assist in rehabilitating an orphaned or injured animal and release it back into the wild to live out its life. Our #1 goal - Rescue-Rehabilitate-Release! We provide hands on training to all volunteers.

Baby birds and animals begin arriving at our center from April through September.

You are in store for a wonderful experience! We look forward to meeting you!

Ohlone Humane Society Wildlife Rehabilitation Center
37175 Hickory Street
Newark, CA 94560
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