Thursday’s here again—time to roll out another edition of our Innovation Bank. These short, pre-recorded webinars feature successful, model programs from your colleagues in the field. Today, Barb Haney of the SPCA Serving Erie County shares insights learned from running the 2nd largest wildlife rehabilitation facilities in New York State, taking in 3,400 animals annually.
Find Out What’s Happening Outside Your Facility
The initial step is to identify the wildlife rehabilitators in your area—and if you don’t know them, get to know them. “Shelters can set good examples for rehabbers,” says Haney, “as we are constantly learning and thinking and growing in compassion.” Helping them grow in best practices, she stresses, “requires listening, building coalitions, building relationships.”
Find Out What’s Happening Inside Your Facility
First, you’ll want to determine what to do if wildlife comes to you—do you have channels in place to get them to a rehabber? It’s also important to take a look at the choices you are making in your shelter. Discontinuing rodenticide is an easy place to start, suggests Haney, and understanding the scope of its impact: “It does more than just kill rats—it gets into the foodchain and kills owls and eagles.”
Consider Creating a Wildlife Committee
This team can explore such topics as:
- Planting native species on your grounds
- Reducing use of plastics
- Adding electric/hybrid cars to your fleet
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