2021 Winter Newsletter | Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue
"Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished."
- Lao Tzu
A Message from our Executive Director
Working Together into the Future
Dear Supporters,

We wanted to share another area of wildlife conservation and education where your donations are making a difference in the past and into the future.

Since 2003, Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue has had the unique opportunity to be able to work in the fields of wildlife exclusion, housing for barn owls and protecting farm animals and pets from wildlife predation. All of these services help fund our mission and work directly to reduce wildlife conflict with humans and educate our community on the value wildlife serves. When we started, these are things we learned from trial and error. Our successes made us feel amazing, because it empowered us to do more for our local wildlife and the people who lived alongside of these beautiful animals. Our mistakes were unforgettable and would not want to be repeated, but taught us more then we could have ever imagined.

When we first began learning what we needed in order to help these animals, there were no training manuals or YouTube videos to learn from. For our exclusion services and predator prevention techniques, we started with the premise that if we could build enclosures to keep animals that needed care inside, then we can take that knowledge and use it to keep wild animals out. Our Barn Owl Maintenance Program started with a deep understanding of the conditions barn owls need to thrive and their great benefits to landowners in Sonoma County. From there, we began building a foundation of knowledge on how to provide resolution to varying conflicts that were beneficial to both wildlife and humans.

Now, we can share these years of experience with our wildlife partners. This is not only in Sonoma County, but in other counties in California and now Illinois. As members of a professional wildlife community, it is hard to see others struggling or knowing they could have it better if they just got a little more support where they need help. Sometimes that help can only come from experiences we have as wildlife pioneers. This is when we can go past our county and state borders to help each other. We have been honored to be able to work and train with the following organizations and their counties thanks to your donations. Our work together in these areas will continue into future years and generations and we wanted you to know how grateful we all are for your continued support into a great new 2021.

Wildlife Exclusion & Barn Owl Maintenance Programs-WildCare in Marin County, CA
Wildlife Exclusion & Barn Owl Maintenance Programs-WildRescue in Santa Cruz County, CA
Wildlife Exclusion-Wildlife Out in Napa County, CA
Wildlife Exclusion-Humboldt Wildlife Care Center in Humboldt County, CA
Barn Owl Maintenance Programs-Napa Wildlife Center in Napa County, CA
Wildlife Exclusion-Board of Supervisors in Mendocino County, CA
Wildlife Exclusion-Fox Valley Wildlife Center in Kane County, IL

Thank you,
Doris Duncan
Executive Director
Upcoming Events & Announcements
Summer Internships

Interns wanted! Are you considering pursuing a career in the animal care field? Do you want to know what it's like to work in wildlife rehabilitation?

Follow the link to our website below to find out more information and to start the application process! Summer applications are due by March 31st! Apply today!
Website Update

Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue's website has a brand new look in 2021!

Learn all about Sonoma County Wildilfe Rescue's mission, what to do if you find an animal in need and ways you can get involved.
Public and Private Tours Reopen at SCWR

We're happy to announce that public and private tours will reopen on February 6th at Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue! Our fall/winter tour times are at 2 PM. Tour groups will be limited to 10 people per time slot and reservations are required. Please call 707-992-0274 to make your reservation today!

To keep everyone as safe as possible during the pandemic, we have created a set of guidelines for both public and private tours that can be viewed here.
Medical Equipment Fundraiser
Help us update our medical equipment in time for baby season!

Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue is looking for financial support to upgrade some of our medical equipment and help improve the scope of care we can provide to our wildlife patients. Last year, with your help, we were able to upgrade all incubators for our wildlife orphans, purchase a pulse oximeter for sedated procedures, upgrade our oxygen therapy chamber to accommodate larger raptors and mammals and purchase a new laptop for medical record keeping. Throughout 2020, we were able to see firsthand as wildlife patients thrived as a direct result of your generosity.

This year, we are looking to increase the number of procedures that we can provide on-site in our wildlife hospital. The first and largest upgrade we are looking to make is our exam table, also known as the heart of the hospital. Every animal that comes through our doors begins their journey with an intake exam conducted at this very table. We are hoping to purchase a brand-new exam table for our wildlife hospital called a “wet table”. This specialized table would provide water and drainage during procedures allowing us to clean abscesses and large wounds, vastly improving our wound care abilities. The intake table is also height adjustable, helping accommodate the varying sizes of our wildlife patients. As an added benefit, once replaced, our current intake table would then be relocated to our Raptor Recovery Center’s Hospital where our staff is currently using a small counter and a stool for exams and treatment. The cost to upgrade to the most effective intake table is $3,800.

The second piece of equipment we would like to purchase is our doppler ultrasound to monitor the blood pressure of our wildlife patients. The doppler ultrasound allows our medical team to track patient vitals, handsfree, during our most intense procedures and exams. This is a critical tool, as blood pressure is not easy to gauge without proper equipment. The doppler ultrasound will provide more accuracy in tracking vitals and critical signs resulting in higher survival and quicker recovery time. The cost to purchase this piece of equipment is $1,150.

Both purchases of the wet table and the doppler ultrasound will vastly improve the scope of care we can provide to our wildlife patients on-site at Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue. This is critical for our wildlife patients as the additional handling and time spent near humans is extremely stressful and can be detrimental to a patient’s outcome. By improving the scope of care we provide on-site, we can reduce human interaction by 2-5 hours for some of our most medically fragile wildlife patients.

These combined upgrades to our wildlife hospital will help our wildlife patients thrive for years to come.
Please consider donating what you can to help fund this much needed equipment.
Photos of equipment we were able to purchase thanks to last year's fundraiser!
Our Educational Amabassador Bobcat is closely monitored during a sedated exam using a pulse oximeter.
A wet, cold and injured Great Horned Owl dries off and warms up in an incubator.
Community Spotlight
North Bay Animal Services

Serving as local Animal Control in Petaluma, Windsor, Healdsburg, Cloverdale and Calistoga, North Bay Animal Services has been assisting Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue with rescue and transportation of sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife in these locations for the past two years. In 2020, they rescued and transported over 50 animals into care! As a fellow nonprofit, their commitment to helping animals of all species is truly admirable.

In 2021, Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue and North Bay Animal Services will work together to train NBAS officers in wildlife rescue techniques and provide introductory training into our policies and procedures at SCWR.

Cheers to our growing relationship and thank you to North Bay Animal Services for their continued help and dedication to helping animals of all shapes and sizes!
BOMP Corner
Looking Back at 2020

Last year, Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue's BOMP Program serviced 577 Barn Owl Boxes throughout Sonoma County. From installing new boxes to monitoring and maintaining existing boxes, our BOMP team was as busy as ever caring for the needs of our local barn owls.

In addition to servicing these boxes, BOMP fostered 12 barn owls that came into care at Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue. Every year, thanks to the data collected during our monitoring services, we can place orphaned owlets back into the wild to be raised by wild owl mothers, drastically improving their quality of care and ability survive in the wild.

This year, we were also honored to work with UC Davis to study the impacts of rodenticide poisons in barn owls. During this study, we assembled a medical field team and one day a week, they went out into vineyards collecting blood samples from wild owls. This study was in addition to our continued work with Humboldt State University, studying how Barn Owls select nesting boxes and their role in winegrape vineyards.

Cheers to another successful year of BOMP and to our clients for their dedication to sustainable and wildlife friendly pest control!
SCWR Volunteer, Tory Monticello, repairing an active barn owl box.
Barn owlets discovered in their box during spring monitoring services.
Animal Care Spotlight
Two Rescues, One Beaver
On December 14, 2020 Napa Wildlife Rescue received a call about a beaver that was found underneath a car and was believed to be injured. During the intake exam, Napa Wildlife Rescue discovered a deep puncture wound and a patch of greasy fur. The skilled team at Napa Wildlife Rescue stabilized the beaver and prepared it for transport to Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue for treatment and continued care in our Aquatic Mammal Enclosure.

Upon arrival, the beaver received a full sedated exam, had radiographs taken and the wound to its left hip area was closed by our staff veterinarian, Dr. Dan Famini. The radiographs revealed no skeletal damage, meaning that our care would be focused on the wound closure and addressing the oiled patch of fur on the beaver's right haunch.

With beavers, an oil patch on the fur can be deadly, as it prevents the beaver's fur from properly waterproofing, leading to a high potential for hypothermia among other issues. Properly cleaning an oiled animal is quite laborious, and our animal care team must be meticulous in cleaning the oiled fur while balancing the needs of our wildlife patient. Thankfully, Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue is a member organization of the Oiled Wildlife Network, and both Executive Director, Doris Duncan and Animal Care Director, Danielle McGuire, have been trained in oil spill response. Therefore this beaver was able to be cleaned by our skilled team at the rescue.
Photos of the cleaning process to remove the oil from the beaver's fur.
After his bath and while the wound continued to heal, the beaver spent time in our brand-new nursery pond since the large pond in our Aquatic Mammal Enclosure continues to be occupied by three orphaned beavers that arrived last year. The new addition of the nursery pond in our Aquatic Mammal Enclosure proved to be especially helpful for this patient. Since the pond is much smaller, we were able to drain and refill the pond as needed to keep the wound clean and dry while also balancing the beaver's need for a large source of water. Even though this addition to our Aquatic Mammal Enclosure was built for orphaned otters, we were able to get a good sense of how this smaller pond could also work for our more critical care aquatic mammals.

After nearly three weeks in care, the beaver received its release evaluation on January 1, 2021. Observing that the wound was closed, and the fur was properly waterproofed after cleaning, we were able to return the beaver to Napa Wildlife Rescue for release on January 2nd, marking both rescue's first release of the new year!
Photos of release in Napa, CA, taken by Napa Wildlife Rescue's Executive Director, John Comisky.
Support Your Local Wildlife!
Donate Today!
Sonoma County Wildlife Rescue is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization that relies on donations from the public to rehabilitate the 1,000+ animals we receive each year. We do not receive any government funding. Our annual operating budget is $950,000, which means it costs almost $2,600 per day to keep our doors open.  Any donation helps!
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