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Past Featured Rehabilitation Centers:
The Squirrel Sanctuary, Inc. (of Westbury, New York)
(from 1997) (NOTE: Information may be out of
Earlier this year, a collective of New York State licensed wildlife
rehabilitators working exclusively with tree squirrels, decided it was time
to fill a longstanding void in the New York metropolitan area - particularly
on Long Island - with respect to squirrels. The handful of existing wildlife
centers, all with high profiles and readily recognizable names, devoted most
of their attention to raptors and songbirds, making squirrels, in effect, an
With an eye toward providing a place where these small mammals could be
assured proper emergency and rehabilitative care,
we created a network known as Squirrel Sanctuary, filing
incorporation papers with the State of New York, and spreading the word to
area veterinarians and animal hospitals, as well as to the established
wildlife centers, who were encouraged to phone this all-volunteer network
whenever they were presented with a squirrel in distress.
So far this year the Sanctuary has cared for more than 175 squirrels
largely in the homes of the participating rehabbers and board members. But
the numbers alone do not tell the whole story: Squirrel Sanctuary also
believes in educating the public, including members of the medical
community, to provide a better transition for the animals who are presented
for care. Earlier this summer, the Sanctuary publicly met with the Long
Island Veterinary Hospital Managers group - at the group's invitation - to explain
proper ways of emergency intake and stabilization of squirrels in distress,
until a rehabber can be contacted.
Squirrel Sanctuary has attempted to standardize this protocol for local animal hospitals, many
of whom are not familiar with the needs of distressed wildlife, and has even
offered to provide "starter" supplies, such as nursing formulas, to facilities needing them.
Squirrel Sanctuary also networks with the community of aspiring wildlife
squirrel rehabilitators...offering a volunteer program conducted by a Class 11 Wildlife Rehabilitator.
Still in its "neonate" stages, the Sanctuary shows promise - by virtue of
its energy, its imagination and its goals. It is only at the very beginning
of its lifetime now but, like any juvenile, it will be given the best
nurturing possible to make it - and the squirrels in its care - thrive.
A non for profit endeavour, are a collective of volunteers; state Licensed
Wildlife Rehabilitators and Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator Assistants who
have formed this network to devote our efforts exclusively to the
rehabilitation, protection, and preservation of ALL Tree squirrels.
Unprecedented on Long Island, we have focused on the Tree Squirrel
to directly address needs unmet by existing wildlife centers, where a higher
priority is given to avian and other species. We offer rehabilitative
care, rescue, and intervention to ALL squirrels that are orphaned, ill, or
injured, thus in need of specialized attention, with the objective of returning
them back to their natural environment. We offer the public prompt response
and the squirrels a safe haven and temporary refuge until release.
By attending state and national wildlife conferences and IWRC continuing
education classes approved by the American Veterinary Medical Association, we
are striving to broaden the ever evolving knowledge base of Wildlife
Rehabilitation and to promote professionalism in that field. We expect that
our efforts will establish ourselves as a role model for current squirrel
rehabilitation protocol within the Wildlife Rehabilitation community and we
hope that our work will also serve as an educational tool for those who may
consider squirrels nothing more than nuisance animals. By returning them back
to their rightful homes in nature, healthy and free, they are once again
allowed to continue their purpose.. helping to restore the balance of nature
that we so vigorously have unbalanced through land development, clear
cutting of trees for highway widening, and artificial lawn maintainance. We
can show by our own example and by other's participation and cooperation, that
there is a place for each of us in the community of nature.
I need to look no further than my own backyard to see our beloved gray
squirrel foraging for an acorn and clinging to the tree of life.
Membership is open to ALL who wish to help foster appreciation and respect
for our favourite arboreal dweller.
"Ye of the tree shall be healthy and free"--Father McAcorn
Barbara Bellens -Picon
Founder -Squirrel Sanctuary,Inc
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