I have to admit, I did not know there was such a thing until about ten years ago. When I did learn of this endeavor, I knew that I had to do this. Due to logistics, I had to wait almost five years to obtain all my permits. I have always had an appreciation for nature and all animals and had been channeling that interest through volunteering at our local zoo since 1999. After obtaining state and federal permits, I was shocked to experience such a high volume of calls requesting my assistance. We were certainly filling a void. Although the required classes were beneficial to rehabbing, experience is the best teacher. You can never really understand a raccoon or skunk or opossum until you work with them. I still learn every day. Knowing their body language and taking time to listen really aids in the help that I can give them. I have been amazed by these animals’ intelligence, varied personalities, and affection. Wildlife is the most misunderstood and underestimated animals on this planet. As I type this, a baby skunk is curled up on my lap sleeping while occasionally gazing into my eyes and kissing my hand. Love.
I often get asked if I think I am making a impact on wildlife and why shouldn’t I let “nature takes it’s course”. Well, would you let nature takes its course on your dog? Of course not. We naturally relate more to dogs than wild animals. If people were to observe and experience a baby squirrel or beaver cry for their mamas, we’d all look at them differently. I might not make a difference to group of animals with a huge population, but I am making a difference to each life I save. Do rehabbers make a difference to endangered or threatened animals? Absolutely. An upcoming blog will discuss the benefits of rehabbing. As far as messing up the cycle of life…I feel that we humans are effecting wildlife in a negative way. We are overpopulated and improaching on what was once their homes: shopping malls, neighborhoods, coffee shops, gas stations. We also have a much larger number of cars on the road therefore making it more likely for an animal to get hit.
Along with the actual rehabilitation part of what Second Chances does, we also feel very strongly about our mission to educate. If people better understand wildlife and the truths about them, they will respect them a bit more, and possible spare their life. With the use of our education ambassadors, people form connections with them and look at them in a different light. We also hope to foster compassion for wildlife, other people, and nature itself.
There is a poem about a man and a star fish. It’s a short poem that I love and will reference to answer the question of why I rehabilitate wildlife. I have the poem posted on our donation page, just a click away. Check it out.
Feel free to post your thoughts on here.