Elizabeth’s Wildlife Center in Abbotsford is being financially impacted after being unable to hold its annual open house for the second year in a row.
Elizabeth Melnick, the centre’s founder, said this year’s event has been cancelled due to the challenge of effectively and safely managing visitors to the site. The event did not go ahead in 2020 either, due to pandemic restrictions.
Melnick said that although COVID restrictions have been eased, the centre is currently operating out of a rental trailer on-site, after they had to demolish the buildings that were their former clinic and nursery.
The buildings have been damaged by weather and time, and the non-profit centre hopes to eventually raise enough money to replace them. In the meantime, they are operating out of the rental trailer.
Past open houses – held every August – have been a substantial source of cash donations and supplies for the non-profit facility.
“With the second year of not being able to hold our open house, we are finding ourselves challenged to keep operating, along with raising funds to build a new clinic,” Melnick said.
Elizabeth’s Wildlife Center receives no provincial or federal funding, and its operations budget is dependent on visitors to the facility – who often donate when they drop off wildlife needing care – and on its fundraising events.
The site is one of B.C.’s main wildlife rehabilitation centres, and focuses on the care and rehabilitation of small mammals and birds. It has been serving the Lower Mainland and beyond for 35 years.
Its services include providing nutrition, medication and veterinary services to small creatures such as rabbits, opossums, squirrels, hummingbirds and crows until they are able to be released back to the wild.
Donations to the centre can be made online at elizabethswildlife.ca