By Jill Bellefontaine
“Our mission here at Hope for Wildlife is to connect people back to their natural world. It can be so easy to become disconnected sometimes, and when you are disconnected from the nature around you, people can be fearful and less caring. We want to replace that fear with understanding and knowledge so people can live comfortably” said Hope Swinimer, founder and director of Hope for Wildlife. “We want people to enjoy what they can in their natural world, all while understanding what to be careful about”.
In the run of a year, Hope for Wildlife receives approximately 20 000 phone calls to their wildlife helpline and rescues/rehabilitates up to 4000 wild animals. They cover five districts, have an online dispatch page with over 300 volunteer members, have approximately 120 people who are rotated through a volunteer schedule that work on site at HFW, as well as 15 paid staff. “Without our volunteers, it would be impossible to accomplish what we do in the run of a day. Sometimes companies like Nova Scotia Power will send a crew of about 30 people to volunteer for the day. This means that something that may have taken a month to accomplish by one person… gets accomplished in one day. It really amazes me” said Swinimer.
Hope for Wildlife has already rescued more than 2200 wild animals in 2018, and currently tends to more than 600 animals on site during their busiest time of the year, Spring.
On June 28th, HFW generously gave The Cooperator a guided tour of their animal rehabilitation grounds. We had the opportunity to explore rooms and see animals that everyone gets to enjoy on their tour, as well as some behind the scenes work and animals that are not open to the public. To list just a few of the animals currently on site at HFW; turtles, snakes, raccoons, foxes, peacocks, seal pups, porcupines, groundhogs, ravens, owls and many more.
Don’t forget to save the date for Hope for Wildlife’s Open House on August 26th, 2018 from 12pm – 4pm. This open house takes place rain or shine and admission is free. This is a great way to learn more about wildlife rescue and rehabilitation. There will also be wildlife displays and demonstrations, kids’ activities, live music, barbeque, and silent auction, as well as local exhibitors, crafts, and food.
All funds raised during the open house go towards Hope for Wildlife’s efforts to help injured and orphaned wildlife in Nova Scotia