Today we interviewed Linda from Procyon Wildlife Veterinarian and Rehabilitation Services to learn more about what they do as volunteers, their experiences, the good times and the bad.
Procyon Wildlife is a non-profit wildlife rehabilitation center committed to helping wildlife in need. Their hardworking, passionate and caring volunteers spend their time caring for wildlife like raccoons, coyotes, foxes etc. and don’t gain a single cent from it. Their operations are run with the help of donations from people like you!
- How long have you been a volunteer at Procyon Wildlife?
- What types of animals do you handle?
Every type of wildlife that is native to our area. Coyotes, foxes, squirrels, fawns, opossums, groundhogs, weasels and raccoons
- What kind of services does Procyon Wildlife offer?
We are a rescue, rehabilitation and release center. We take in injured and sick wildlife but we deal mostly with orphaned babies.
- Approximately how many volunteers does Procyon have and how many are needed?
At the minute, we have approximately 90 volunteers but to run efficiently we really need 120.
- What do you feel is the most difficult thing wildlife is facing right now?
Loss of their natural habitat has negative and extensive consequences.
- Do you feel like there is a certain type of wildlife making more of an appearance at the rehabilitation center than others? What animal and why do you think so?
Yes. At Procyon, we deal with a lot of squirrels and raccoons. Again it is because we are taking away their natural habitat. Many rescues do not rehab raccoons so we take as many as possible. Raccoons are very clever and can outwit many of the guards put in place to keep them out of an area.
- What kind of jobs are there available for volunteers?
Animal care is our most popular, however we need volunteers for our education program, fundraising, site maintenance, drivers and answering phones.
- Describe your daily routine as a volunteer
We have 3 shifts 5 am-9 am Noon-4:00 pm and Evening 7-11 pm. When a volunteer arrives they first read the observations made from the previous shift. This way we are aware if there are problems with any particular animal or litter. Then it is preparing formula/food for the babies. Each orphan is weighed to calculate the amount they are to be fed. Their enclosures are cleaned each shift. After all the babies are fed, the dirty dishes and laundry must be done and then the floors must be mopped. This is an animal hospital so care must be taken that it remains as clean as possible.
- What made you decide to volunteer at Procyon Wildlife?
My whole life I have been surround by animals, although they were horses, dogs and cats, not wildlife. When I came across an ad for Procyon, it just seemed natural to become a volunteer.
- What is your favorite part about volunteering at Procyon Wildlife?
When orphans arrive at Procyon, they are basically dying. If we didn’t rescue them then they could not survive at such a young age. To watch them being released gives volunteers a feeling of pride that they helped these babies survive.
- Describe your most memorable experience you’ve had while volunteering at Procyon Wildlife
There are many memorable times in a volunteer’s shift, and it really depends on the volunteer and the animal involved. I have so many but for me it was a raccoon who had a case number but we called him Andy. That was in 2011 and to this day I put Andy’s picture on any poster I’m involved in. He was just special and I often wonder if he is still out there enjoying the good life.
- What is the most difficult part about volunteering with Procyon Wildlife?
I think everyone would agree that it is when we lose animals. Whether is is from illness or injuries it is difficult to see their loss.
- What is the most rewarding thing about working with Procyon Wildlife?
Saving the animals is the most rewarding, but working with other same minded volunteers is something that makes you look forward to your next shift.
- Describe your overall experience with volunteering with Procyon Wildlife in 5 words
Joy, Anger, tenderness, pride and sadness
- How can people help Procyon Wildlife continue to aid wildlife in need?
We must learn to live with wildlife in every way that we can. Secure places that they find attractive to have their litters. Do not litter and keep garbage cans covered. Help your wildlife facilities by donating items from their wish lists to monetary donations. Procyon is run strictly on donations. There is no government funding and every cent brought in goes towards formula, medications, vaccines and veterinary care. No one at our facility receives a penny.
- Would you and why would you recommend volunteering at Procyon Wildlife
As I have said, it can be hard work as the babies get bigger, but there is nothing more rewarding then knowing that you have been part of a team that gives these babies a chance at the life they should have. That is payment in itself.
- Additional Comments you would like to share?
Volunteering with Procyon might not be for everyone, but for those with a love for animals and our environment, it is very satisfying. Working with wildlife gives you knowledge about the beauty of these creatures and you are in a position to be able to inform people in your community about their importance.
Thank you Linda, for sharing your experiences with Procyon Wildlife to us. We along with wildlife that has been affected are greatly appreciative and in awe of what wildlife rehabilitators like Procyon Wildlife does for animals out there. If you would like to volunteer or donate to Procyon Wildlife, visit their website here