Elizabeth Melnick checks in on one of the creatures inhabiting Elizabeth’s Wildlife Centre. (Vikki Hopes/Abbotsford News)

VIDEO: Elizabeth’s Wildlife Centre sees busiest season yet

Donations needed to help with supplies and operation of Fraser Valley site

The inhabitants of Elizabeth’s Wildlife Centre in Abbotsford can be demanding little creatures.

They require constant feeding, medical checks and cage cleanings.

Just when Elizabeth Melnick and her helpers get through all the birds, bunnies, squirrels and opossums that need attention, they have to start all over again.

Melnick is on her feet seven days a week from 6 a.m. to midnight, just trying to stay caught up – and the phone keeps ringing.

She said in her three decades of running the wildlife centre, she’s never seen it so busy.

“You release them (back into the wild) but then you get a whole handful more. It’s chaos,” Melnick said.

The centre, located off Downes Road in central Abbotsford, is the only one of its kind in the Fraser Valley, and takes in abandoned, sick and injured small animals from areas that include Chilliwack, Agassiz, Hope, Mission and Langley. (Critter Care in Langley does similar work, but handles larger animals such as bears, raccoons and deer.)

The creatures are nursed to health and then released back into the wild whenever possible.

Melnick said she is currently receiving about 25 new animals a day that come from circumstances such as their homes being destroyed by development, birds being wounded by cats, and ducks getting entangled in fishing line.

Melnick can’t bear to turn any creature away, even crows and pigeons.

“I just can’t bring myself to discriminate. Everybody has a place … I think they’re all majestic,” she said.

But these demands mean that Melnick could always use more help to keep the facility running. She said the clinic needs to be staffed daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

She applied for government funding this year for eight full-time interns through the summer, but was approved for only three half-time spots and only until the first week of July.

But that’s when she expects another surge in animals brought to the centre, due to a new population of “babies” being born.

Melnick does have some volunteers, but it’s difficult to keep them and time-consuming to train new ones.

She relies mainly on donations to fund the expenses at the centre – about $130,000 in the last fiscal year – and this summer hopes to increase that funding in order to keep on her summer interns longer.

Those interested in making a donation can do so online at elizabethswildlifecenter.org. The centre also accepts donations of items such as puppy pads (for cage liners), bird seed, baby food, paper towels, Kleenex, garbage bags and dry cat/dog food.

Call 604-852-9173 for more information or to arrange drop-off. (Melnick prefers not to publish the address of the facility, because she doesn’t want people leaving animals there without first calling.)

Visit elizabethswildlifecenter.org for more information.

 

Elizabeth Melnick holds two young opossums being cared for at Elizabeth’s Wildlife Centre in Abbotsford. (Vikki Hopes/Abbotsford News)

These baby opossums are being cared for at Elizabeth’s Wildlife Centre in Abbotsford. (Vikki Hopes/Abbotsford News)

Just Posted

VIDEO: Burned Jeep matches suspect vehicle in two shooting incidents

Police discovered vehicle on fire overnight in Yorkson neighbourhood in Langley

VIDEO: One man suffers serious injuries in crash that closed Fraser Highway in Langley (updated)

One vehicle ends up in ditch after car and SUV collide, air ambulance called in

UPDATED: Gunfire erupts in quiet Langley neighbourhood early this morning

Police have 79A Avenue cordoned off after reports of shots just before 5 a.m.

Upgrades could be coming to popular Penzer Park in Langley City (with video)

Council considers a staff proposal that would move up construction of planned washroom, benches picnic tables and shelter

VIDEO: celebrating Diwali in Langley

Muriel Arnason library marks event for 14th time

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

Justin Timberlake invited back to Super Bowl halftime show

A ‘wardrobe malfunction’ with Janet Jackson caused a national controversy during his last appearance

A scary box office weekend for everyone but Tyler Perry

‘Boo 2! A Madea Halloween’ scared up a healthy $21.7 million in its first weekend in theatres

Even as long-form census data returns, Statcan readies for day without it

Wednesday’s release is expected to show immigrants making up a larger share of the population

WATCH: 10,000 signatures gained to stop ‘no pets’ rental policy

Pets OK BC said about 1,700 animals were surrendered to the BC SPCA last year due to housing issues

Silver Creek reacts after remains found, man arrested

Neighbours of property where remains were found say man arrested was sweet and polite

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Most Read