Every year, tens of thousands of animals are rescued and rehabilitated by the dozens of wildlife rescues and animal sanctuaries that operate in Canada. From coast-to-coast, here are 10 of our favourite organizations that are helping to save Canadian wildlife.
Critter Care Wildlife Society, Langley, B.C.
Annually, Critter Care helps hundreds of animals that have been injured, often as the result of conflicts with humans. From a beaver that was chased by humans into salt water (which can be toxic to beavers) to an opossum that arrived at the centre with a broken jaw, the society helps rehabilitate animals so they can return to the wild.
Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary, Cochrane, Alberta
Many wildlife sanctuaries are closed to the public, but that’s not the case for the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary. Located outside of Calgary, the facility offers tours Thursday through Monday, with the goal of educating the public on wolfdogs and the importance of wolf conservation.
Salthaven West Wildlife Rehabilitation & Education Centre, Regina, Saskatchewan
Salthaven West made national news in 2014 when it removed 310 snakes from a Saskatchewan home. However, it’s actually the second location for this wildlife rescue — the first operates just outside of London, Ontario.
Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Prairie Wildlife was founded by Lisa Tretiak and Sheila Smith; the first and second people in Canada, respectively, to be certified as wildlife rehabilitators by the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council. In addition to rehabilitating wildlife, the PWRC regularly presents in schools.
Bear With Us Sanctuary & Rehabilitation Centre for Bears, Sprucedale, Ontario
Since 1992, Bear With Us has been helping orphaned bear cubs and injured bears, as well as aiding with “nuisance” bears through bear-human conflict resolution. There are a handful of permanent residents — including former circus performers — but the majority of bears are returned to the wild, which is why this facility is closed to the public.
Ottawa Valley Wild Bird Care Centre, Nepean, ON
Located within the Stony Swamp Conservation Area, the Wild Bird Care Centre takes in around 3,000 birds annually, all of them brought to the centre by caring citizens. With a resource centre — complete with observation windows — it’s also open to the public daily from noon until 3pm.
Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, Roseau, Ontario
A mainstay in the wildlife rescue community, Aspen Valley’s 460-acre facility has been operating for an incredible 40 years. Every year, the sanctuary rehabilitates around 500 animals. Tours to meet its dozen permanent residents — including Jinx the Canadian Lynx and Spirit, an arctic fox — are available by appointment.
Le Nichoir Wild Bird Rehabilitation Centre, Hudson, Quebec
Founded in 1996, Le Nichoir is now the largest rehabilitation centre for songbirds in Canada, receiving thousands of birds and over 100 different species every year. Unfortunately, nearly ever admission to the centre is the result of human impact. That’s why Le Nichoir offers regular hands-on programs about bird conservation, many geared to younger learners.
Hope for Wildlife, Seaforth, Nova Scotia
“I’m the luckiest person in the world because every day is exciting and different,” Hope for Wildlife founder Hope Swinimer once told Cottage Life. We can’t blame her — who would complain about getting to spend their time with seal pups and baby moose? She’s also the star of Hope TV, where viewers can learn more about the facility’s work.
Atlantic Wildlife Institute, Cookville, New Brunswick
Set amidst a backdrop of mix forests, open fields and wetlands just outside Sackville, the Atlantic Wildlife Institute is the only wildlife centre in licensed to handle injured or distressed migratory birds in Atlantic Canada. With 120 acres, its work is dedicated to both rehabilitating animals and education the public on the links between ecosystem health and human well being.