Walking on the Wild Side at Hillcrest

Recently, we had the pleasure of hosting Dee Newbury from Foster Forest Wildlife Orphanage.  Dee has had her custodian & bird license for 8 years & attends yearly conferences to stay on top of the ever-changing field of wildlife rehab.  Her facility, Foster Forest is an authorized volunteer wildlife orphanage based here in Trenton. They raise and rehabilitate orphaned/ injured small mammals such as squirrels, bats, groundhogs, rabbits, foxes, minks, weasels, and chipmunks. 

Dee had many recommendations for what to do when wildlife is found: determine what species it is, attempt to assess whether or not it is injured or if it is orphaned & avoiding feeding the animal.  Instead, call the Orphanage prior to touching the animal so that proper advice can be given to avoid any unnecessary & potentially harmful interventions.  Often, well- intentioned people ‘kidnap’ baby birds and bunnies thinking that they have been abandoned when mom is simply off gathering food, etc.  If a baby bird is handled, a mother will accept it back despite having a human’s scent on it, conversely a baby fawn would need to be wiped down.

At the Orphanage, Dee is unable to do much with injuries.  Instead, wildlife that is in need of medical intervention is referred to Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre in Napanee for treatment.

Something Dee made clear is that if you are coming into contact with an animal that is considered a Rabies vector species, extreme caution must be used since if a human is bitten, the animal will be euthanized regardless of whether it is exhibiting Rabies symptoms or not, thus defeating the good intentions of the person trying to help.

Though well intentioned, members of the public can not hold wildlife longer than a 24 hour period.  This serves to protect the people as well as the animals themselves as wildlife could be carrying a transferable disease or parasites.

One question Dee often gets is how to prevent squirrels, chipmunks, etc. from benefitting from bird feeders. She laughed and said that when food is offered, you must be prepared to accept whatever comes to eat it!

Dee is only able to operate with the help of donations – her current wishlist is:

  • 1/2″ Plywood, medium length hook and eyes, 1/2″ hardware cloth (wire mesh),
  • heating pads (no auto shut off), Quinte West bag tags, fleece material and blankets
  • gift cards for: grocery stores, Bulk Barn, Costco, pet stores, & hardware stores.
  • Also, fresh vegetables: romaine lettuce, corn, kale, broccoli, dandelions, sweet potatoes, parsley,
  • apples, berries, baby food (sweet potatoes, carrot, apples), eggs, unsalted nuts: walnuts, filberts, almonds, cashews, pecans, etc., & fresh cut branches with leaves.

Any donations are much appreciated.  The Orphanage’s needs vary based on what animals are being cared for at the time so please contact Dee to find her most current needs.

Hillcrest and it’s clients truly enjoyed hosting Dee’s talk. Anyone who may have missed the talk can find it on our Facebook page under videos (along with our Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre talk).

Stayed tuned for future talks here at Hillcrest Animal Hospital by contacting us at (613) 394-4811 or info@hillcrestanimalhospital.ca & we will inform you when we have details on our next event.

Contact Information:

Forest Forest Wildlife Orphanage  (613) 394-6667, fosterforest01@gmail.com

Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre  (613) 354-0264, info@sandypineswildlife.org