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Drought draining funds at Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre

Letter To the Editor:
This severe drought has had an impact on our local wildlife and Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre is feeling the strain.

chipmunk spwcOur native wildlife are struggling to find food and water which leads them to be hit by vehicles, and easier prey for cats and dogs. We have exceeded the number of patients admitted this year over last year by over 400.

On top of having an extra 400 patients to care for, we have also had to hold onto other patients for longer. Patients that are ready for release have been held back because we are concerned about putting them out when the food sources and water are scarce.

Some of the patients we are currently holding onto due to the drought are Red Foxes, Ruffed Grouse, and Wild Turkeys. All of these animals came in as orphans, and have been in our care for a couple of months. Their success after release would be greatly diminished if we put them out to fend for themselves when their resources are limited.

The drought has also put extra pressure on our water supply and water treatment system, leading to more unforeseen expenses. Due to the additional expenses and the increase in patients, we are running extremely low on funds.

Spring and summer are very busy seasons for Sandy Pines, and we do not have time to host fundraisers to keep the financial support flowing. With our funds dwindling, and no fundraising initiatives on the immediate horizon we are very concerned that we will have to turn away patients. This would be heartbreaking given the struggle wildlife are currently facing during this drought.

We need to get the word out to our communities that SPWC is in dire need of financial support. We would like to encourage wildlife supporters to donate to SPWC and help us continue to provide the excellent care for wildlife that Sandy Pines is known for.

We are also hoping to reach out and find members of our community that would be willing to participate in (or lead) a volunteer fundraising committee and brain storm fundraising ideas and help organize them as well. We had several volunteers that participated in the fundraising initiative for Sandy Pines retire or move away over the last two years leaving us with very little activity in regards to fundraising.

Anyone that is not interested in the level of commitment involved with working with our committee, but would like to run their own fundraiser on behalf of SPWC, is also greatly appreciated, and we can help with promotions of those events.

If you can help, contact Leah Birmingham, assistant director, at

For more, visit Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre at their website or call 613-354-0264

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