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September 13, 2011 > Ohlone Humane Society: Going with the flow

Ohlone Humane Society: Going with the flow

By David Anderson, RVT, OHS Wildlife Rehabilitation Center Manager

When I am asked what I do for a living, I am always happy to share with others that I manage a wildlife rehabilitation facility. The wildlife rehabilitation center is one of many wonderful programs of the Ohlone Humane Society. Through the support and generosity of our members, the community and the hard work, dedication and compassion of our volunteers we are given this unique opportunity to give back in a very special way. I consider myself blessed to have such a rewarding job.

In this line of work you see some very sad circumstances but many happy ones as well. You also meet some really great people along the way. Although things don't always turn out the way you may have intended them to, each and every day is never like another. The happy moments can be bittersweet and sad moments are often overshadowed by unexpected turn of events with a positive outcome.

For example, Saundra (a wildlife volunteer) and I took a Canada Gosling to Newark to introduce the gosling to a pair of Canada Geese with other goslings about the same age. Canada Goslings readily imprint on humans, so it always in their best interest to get them back out into the wild with an "adoptive" Canada Geese family. While typically this technique works well, the other goslings were slightly larger and began to pick on the introduced gosling and we re-rescued him and began to return to the center in disappointment.

As we returned to our car, we noticed a Snowy Egret that was entangled in fishing line and hook on one of the four islands at the lake which have become rookeries for egrets and herons in recent years. Her wing entangled in line had become snagged by a branch which extended over the water. She hung precariously over the water as she struggled to free herself.

We called the City of Newark and they dispatched two city workers with their boat. We were able to free her from her death trap. Once back at the center, we removed the hook and were thrilled to find out she sustained no significant damage to her wing. After test flying the Egret, we were able to return her to the lake and her nest with two very hungry Snowy Egret chicks.

You just never quite know what a day in wildlife rehabilitation will bring your way. And eventually the Canada Gosling found a new "adoptive" Canada Geese family. It often doesn't go as planned, but sometimes there is a reason for these things.

Every volunteer and caring citizen who walked through our doors in 2011 made an enormous, positive footprint on our planet. About 800 wild animals in your community were given that second chance at life. Some of those animals included owls, squirrels, hawks, raccoons, reptiles, and hundreds of California native birds of all species.

We want to share our success. To celebrate, we will have open house on October 1, 2011 where we open our doors to the public for a behind-the-scenes look at our wildlife rehabilitation facility

The Ohlone Humane Society Wildlife Rehabilitation Center invites you to attend our "Annual Open House Event" which will be held on Saturday, October 1st from 12 p.m. until 4 p.m. We are located at 37175 Hickory Street in Newark. Admission is free. All ages are welcome!

Come meet our creatures who go bump in the night, do nature crafts, or take a tour. Learn more about what goes on behind the scenes, and come experience how we help rehabilitate over 800 injured and orphaned wild animals from our community each year!

Directions: Head west towards the Bay on Thornton Ave in Newark, turn left onto Hickory St., drive up Hickory until it dead ends. Drive through the parking lot, look for the green OHS Rehab Center sign and follow the road to the right.

Got Donations? The items listed are from our wish list:

Ceramic Pet Food Bowls
Unscented Laundry Soap
Unscented Bleach
Advantage or Frontline (please no Advantix)
Office Supply Gift Cards
Grocery Gift Cards
Hardware Store Gift Cards
Pet Store Gift Cards
New Towels
Paper Towels and Toilet Paper
Heating Pads
Wild Bird Seed
Latex Gloves
Heat Lamps
Floor Mops, Dust Pans & Brooms
Bottled Spring Water and Canned Soda - For our hard working volunteers

For more information, call (510) 797-9449 or email us at

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