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February 26, 2013 > Ohlone Humane Society: Love is in the Air

Ohlone Humane Society: Love is in the Air

By Angela Hartman, Volunteer Coordinator and Wildlife Care Supervisor

The beginning of spring brings baby birds and mammals; it also brings injured and orphaned wildlife. Many caring Tri-City citizens like you have aided in the rescue, rehabilitation and release of these less fortunate wild animals who, because they were found in time, recover in our care at the Ohlone Humane Society Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. But what about the wildlife that we don't find that are in need of assistance during the breeding season? Can we come together as a community and offer them assistance?

Over the past 40 years, Tri-Cities' wildlife has learned to adapt living habits in an ever-growing urban/suburban environment. With loss of habitat comes a loss of wildlife. But even with a loss of habitat our wildlife perseveres and survives in an encroaching human environment. They manage to build nests in our planter boxes, attics, decks, trees and sheds. They help themselves to our fruit trees, vegetable gardens and pet food. And when they are thirsty, they use our swimming pools and garden ponds. Our local wildlife behaves this way because they, just like us all, are trying to live out their lives and raise their young.

Wildlife is something that is admired by so many of us. Unfortunately when they end up in our backyards or homes there are times when things may start to become a little too close for comfort. When our winged and four legged friends come into our yards and homes, it means they are looking for the same things we need, the essentials of survival. We all, wildlife included, need food, water and shelter to survive. Displaced mammals and birds who have taken up residence in your attic or crawlspace are looking for places to raise their young. If that is the case, wildlife and their young should be handled by a wildlife humane exclusion professional.

Wildlife loves a free and easy meal. Cat or dog food is one of their favorite foods. When left outside, you are attracting wildlife particularly during the nighttime hours. Help our wildlife stick to their own natural diets. Discourage them and their young from getting a free meal. Feed your domestic animals in the house, garage or other area to which they can have access; yet you can close your companion animal's doggy door from those uninvited visitors at night.

Realize also that heat and drought are hazardous to our local wildlife. There are a few simple things that you can do at home to help wildlife in times of need and stress. Set up a birdbath or fountain in your garden and faithfully refill it no less than every three days during the hot weather months. A more simple approach is to set up a shallow dish of water under a shady tree. This will help keep them out of swimming pools and garden ponds. Every positive action we make together, as a community, will benefit every living creature on our beautiful planet we all call home.

Got Donations? We Are Not Even Asking For Cash!
We are in need of the following items to keep our wildlife center running for the community. Bleach, copier paper, fruit, gift certificates for pet stores and grocery stores, Kleenex, latex gloves, laundry soap, paper towels, prepaid gas cards, dry and wet cat and dog food, toilet tissue, bottled water and VOLUNTEERS.

Volunteer Opportunities:
Volunteer orientation classes begin in March and run every month through June. New volunteers begin their service after they complete the new volunteer orientation class. For more information email ohswildlife@yahoo.com

New volunteers will be trained to:
Feed our injured and orphaned wildlife.
Clean wildlife habitats.
Prepare meals for our patients.
Do laundry, dishes and gardening.

Requirements to Volunteer:
Complete the OHS application process.
Be at least 16 years of age or older.
Attend and complete the New Volunteer Orientation class.
Complete on-site training.
Commit to a regularly scheduled weekly shift.
Have a positive attitude and a love for all wildlife.
And not be afraid to get dirty!

If you ever find an injured or orphaned wild animal, do not feed it. All wildlife has special diets. Before you bring it to the wildlife center place the animal in a box with a paper towel on the bottom and secure the lid. Put the box in a quiet, stress free area away from noise, pets, and children. Do not send an email to report an injured or orphaned wild animal, call (510) 797-9449. For more information on how to live in harmony with local wildlife, or volunteer opportunities, email us at ohswildlife@yahoo.com.

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