Help Keep Kawartha Wild!
Want to know more about the Kawartha Wildlife Centre and how you can help keep Kawartha wild? Read our FAQ below.
What is the Kawartha Wildlife Centre (KWC)?
The Kawartha Wildlife Centre (KWC), founded in 2017, is a volunteer-run, charitable wildlife rehabilitation organization located in the heart of the Kawarthas. Our mission is to support conservation efforts through public education and ecologically responsible rehabilitation of native wildlife in the Kawarthas and surrounding areas.
Although our facility is located in Ennismore, we have provided service to animals in need as far north as Apsley, as south as Port Hope, as west as Lindsay, and as east as Norwood. Since the organization began caring for wildlife patients in 2019, we have accepted over 2,000 wildlife patients (134 species) under authorization from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. From the time of our authorization, our annual number of patients increased by 349%, with every indication that this trend will continue in subsequent years given increasing pressures on wildlife from human activities, climate change, and more.
Why did KWC stop accepting patients? And what additional factors led to KWC’s closure?
In Ontario, only wildlife custodians (authorized wildlife rehabilitators) are legally able to provide wildlife rehabilitation. In June 2023, KWC temporarily closed its doors due to volunteer shortfall, and the resignation of our Authorized Wildlife Custodian.
There is no government funding for wildlife rehabilitation in the province of Ontario, so all of our bills, treatment, medication, and food are paid for by donations received from the public and our community.
Because of this, KWC has always run on a volunteer-only model, which over time became increasingly ineffective, given the increasing patient demand (25% annual consecutive increase in patient load, 2000+ patients) coupled with the effects of the pandemic and social-economic conditions that have reduced volunteerism. This created an additional burden on our existing volunteer pool, leading to burnout and compassion fatigue.
Now that we’ve had time to regroup following our closure, we’ve evaluated all conditions and determined that given the scope of effort and the need to be available to support our communities, the centre needs to shift to have some paid staff to lead the rehabilitation efforts, manage a group of volunteers, and allow for organizational sustainability. Wildlife rehabilitation work is hard; there is physical and emotional toil, with constant stresses related to feeding, medicating, and treating patients (sometimes for 24 hours a day), all while interacting with the public in a positive and educational manner.
Our goal is to reopen the centre with the proper foundation to have a sustainable future that provides top-quality care to patients and is open and available to support the community with wildlife emergencies. We are fortunate that we have a fully functioning wildlife centre, equipped and supplied through careful effort over the last six years and we do not need equipment, a facility, or supplies to reopen the centre. What we need is a paid team to run it.
How expensive is it to maintain a rehabilitation centre?
Average operational costs as of 2023: approx. $35,000 per year.
Expense breakdown per year:
$2,000 advertising and promotion.
$1,000 office supplies
$1,000 repairs and maintenance
$3,500 professional fees
$1,200 vet supplies
$1,300 bank service charges/fees.
In addition to the expenses listed above, we will also need to cover the cost of having paid staff on-site to lead the rehabilitation efforts, manage the volunteers, and allow for organizational sustainability.
How can business owners and community members help the centre reopen?
In October, KWC launched a two-pronged fundraising campaign – one part focused on a personal donation campaign being promoted through social media, and the second part focused on engaging with local business owners who are willing to support KWC’s reopening.
The total funds looking to be raised from the two campaigns is $250,000, with a minimum goal of $200,000.
If we do not reach our minimum fundraising goal, KWC will close its doors permanently. If this should happen, any money raised during the campaign will be donated to the next closest local wildlife centres to assist with their rehabilitation efforts.
Here’s where you come in! This giving season, we encourage you to donate to our campaign and help save Kawartha wildlife. If you would like to make a personal donation, you can do so by visiting our Canada Helps page, where you will also get a donation receipt. Click here to donate.
If you’re a business owner and/or dedicated supporter of wildlife, you can visit our ‘pledge’ page for more information. Click here to learn more about pledges.
When will KWC Re-Open?
With the campaign underway, our goal is to achieve our target as quickly as possible to re-open the centre for wildlife care. Since the campaign funds raised are a combination of donations and pledges, June 30, 2024 is the date when pledges are turned in, making July 1, 2024 a natural target date for KWC to re-open for wildlife services once we hit the funding target. However, if the target funds are achieved earlier, then the centre will re-open earlier than this target once staffing is completed as it is staff funding that is currently limiting the operations of the centre.