Elizabeth’s Wildlife Center faces uncertain future

(This is an appeal from the Center)

ELIZABETH’S Wildlife Center is one of BC’s main wildlife rehabilitation centers, serving communities in the Lower Mainland and beyond, in the care and rehabilitation of small mammals and birds. The Center has remained open, accepting and caring for injured and abandoned wildlife, but for how long?

Over the past 34 years, this registered non-profit organization’s popularity has grown from a small local sanctuary, to serving Abbotsford and the Lower Mainland, and many other British Columbia communities. Elizabeth’s Wildlife Center has rescued and cared for wild animals and birds, providing expert services, nutrition, medication, and protection, until these animals are able to be released back to the wild.

Elizabeth Melnick, the Center’s founder, takes in hundreds of sick, injured and abandoned wildlife every year, from hummingbirds to crows and ravens, baby rabbits, opossums, squirrels and any other small wildlife needing care. The food, medical supplies, medications, veterinary care and other essentials – which are needed to keep each creature clean and warm – are always provided. But the cost of these services keeps rising, and during this year of crisis, donations have fallen and two of our critical fund-raisers were cancelled.

Elizabeth’s Wildlife Center receives no federal or provincial funding, and relies entirely on donations and grants. We are at a pivotal point in continuing to provide this valuable service, and are making this urgent special appeal so that this vital care for our native wildlife can continue.

The Center’s buildings are at a stage where they need to be demolished and replaced and funding just does not exist for this at the present time.

COVID-19 offering new challenges

As the coronavirus has left its wave of destruction across Canada, many wildlife sanctuaries have faced challenges. Elizabeth’s Wildlife Center is no different. 

The Center’s operations budget is dependent on visitors to the facility, who often donate when they drop off wildlife needing care, and on the two critical annual fundraising events. Although the Center continues to accept wildlife, it is, in effect, closed to the public, severely impacting our income. “Our goal is to keep everybody working”, says Melnick, explaining that it is critical that staff are there to care for the animals each day.

She notes: “BC weather and time have not been kind to our wooden rehabilitation buildings.  Fundraising for new buildings has been put on hold due to COVID19 restrictions, and the Center is struggling to find a viable solution to replacing them. In the meantime, in order to continue operating, a temporary solution is to rent a commercial trailer(s) and adapt it to our needs, while the exiting buildings are demolished and funds can, hopefully be raised, for new buildings.”

Can you assist our Wildlife Center?

We are hoping that our community will respond, and enable us to purchase a refurbished commercial trailer that can be adapted as a wildlife center to continue to operate and provide this vital service.

All donations, large or small, will be so gratefully received, and will directly help to ensure that Elizabeth’s Wildlife Center can continue in our mission:

To provide medical care to sick, injured and orphaned wildlife, with the ultimate goal of rehabilitation.

Subject to COVID-related restrictions, we will still need the donated assistance of carpenters, plumbers and other able-bodied individuals to put it all together. If you are able to help, please call Elizabeth’s Wildlife Center at 604-852-1973.

Are you able to help us? Donations (which are tax-deductible) can be made on our website at elizabethswildlife.ca by using PayPal, OR by mailing directly to PO Box 15015, Abbotsford, BC V2S 8P1.