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December 5, 2006 > Wrapping up the 2006 Season at OHS Wildlife Rehabilitation Center

Wrapping up the 2006 Season at OHS Wildlife Rehabilitation Center

by David Anderson

The baby season started later this year than with most years and ran later into the fall as a result.  This late start to our wildlife year was most likely due to unpredictability of the weather and our seasons.  Well over 1200 animals will have come through our doors and into our care by year’s end at the OHS Wildlife Center.  Last year during the 2005 season we managed to increase our release rate by almost 10% due to the hard work, dedication and support of many volunteers, community members and countless others - something to be very proud of.

This was a season of many “firsts” for us at the Wildlife Center. Because of a bequest to our wildlife program, this was the first year we were able to have a paid full-time manager at the Wildlife Center as most other wildlife rehabilitation centers do. I was lucky enough to be considered for the position and am so grateful I was given the opportunity and hope that I am allowed to do so once again next season.  I have been left with some of the biggest shoes to fill.  I don’t know how our previous Directors did it all the years before. Incredible people pioneered the way for what wildlife rehabilitation in this area has become today.   

Some other “firsts” this season included successfully raising shorebird babies at our center, baby Green Herons, a baby Great Egret and baby Black Crowned Night Heron. Before, most of the time shorebirds as general rule are transported right away to International Bird Rescue and Rehabilitation Center, which specializes in birds involved in oil spills. 

With the guidance and knowledge of their wonderful staff and with the determination and willingness of our volunteers, we successfully raised and released many unique birds back into the wild areas of our community where they belong.  We also did the same with Grey Fox this year, another species we often transferred to other centers.

I have been so blessed with the opportunity to work with such an array of species each of which have a unique place on this earth.  How absolutely amazing they all are from pigeons to doves, shorebird to songbird, squirrels to opossums, raccoons to fox, hawks to owls, and bats and yes, even skunks!  With each and every encounter I am awe struck at each and every one.

The work we do both with domestic and wild species and those in between is special work and from the bottom of my heart I thank all those who are a part of this effort!  Our communities and your support are what enable us to continue doing this work year after year and it is so greatly appreciated. 

I know that as with many volunteers, you enter with this frame of mind of how we are helping the animals, but you quickly come to realize that this is not the case – the animals are helping us.  They give back to us something so indescribable, undeniable, and overwhelming to our hearts and souls; they strike deep within our core an unconditional love and the purest most sincere form of gratitude I have ever come to know. 

I truly believe that animals and children are the most innocent beings on our planet.
They come into this world as blank slates; they do no wrong and bear no ill will.  They come to know these only when taught to them as products of their environment. 

Please teach your children to respect nature and all living things.  We are more likely to cherish and protect animals if from an impressionable age we were taught to respect, appreciate, admire, cherish and live in harmony with them. 

I know some of my fondest memories as a child involve memories in which my parents took me outdoors where I learned to appreciate all living things and their habitats.  I urge you all to take a moment to somehow find the time to connect with nature…its beauty, serenity and it’s inhabitants!  It will recharge your soul!

In a season in which we are giving thanks, I have many thanks to extend both personally and on behalf of the OHS Wildlife Family and the critters we care for.
First and foremost, we cannot thank enough the members and supporters of the Ohlone Humane Society and its many programs, and the members of our Tri-City communities and beyond without which any of this would be possible.

To all of the very dedicated, hard working volunteers of the OHS Family, our board members and volunteers past and present - and the best Animal Services officers that we have been privileged to work with – our sincere appreciation! 

Thanks to the entire wildlife volunteer gang past and present.  So much behind the scenes work without which running the wildlife center or having a single volunteer would not be possible. The dedication, the support and constant guidance of our core volunteers - the first season volunteers and those returning!  Know that each and every one of you is so important! 

We are extremely grateful to Dr. Roark Freeman at All About Pets whose support and veterinary guidance, professional services and time donated for many years that he has extended to our wild critters out of the goodness of his heart.  Animal Eye Care and Dr. Smith and her associates for the veterinary ophthalmology expertise they have offered and provided us. Central Veterinary Hospital’s doctors and staff for always being so accommodating to our wildlife needs outside of normal operating hours.  Special thanks to Dr. Speer, his associate Dr. Ford and the staff at the Oakley Medical Center for Birds.  They have always made themselves available to the critters of a feathered nature that we care for. And the countless other veterinary professionals within our community that have offered assistance whenever and wherever possible. 

Also, to Washington Hospital for their continued support through their yearly donation of much needed medical supplies.  Beverly Borsa for establishing another much needed medical supply connection through Coram HealthCare. 

Special thanks to Andy Camacho and Costco Foods for their much appreciated effort, Ellen Huet and her sister Lucie for building some of the greatest houses to meet the needs of critters in our outdoor enclosures.  The park rangers at Lake Elizabeth-what a pleasure getting to know you all!  Special thanks to these companies and their employees for their concern and compassion:  Union Sanitary District, East Bay Regional Parks,  Tri-City Ecology, SF Water District, UPS, JRI, and PG&E and countless supporters that I am forgetting.  You are all so appreciated!  Some special members of the community stick out in my memory although your names I may have forgotten, your kindness demonstrated through your efforts that went above and beyond - these will never be forgotten!

Happy Holidays to each and every one of you!  I hope the compassion demonstrated throughout this year is one that is contagious!

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