Orphaned bear cubs, Seymour and River, were rescued from North Vancouver, and are spending the winter at Critter Care rehabilitation centre in Langley, as is Orca, the sea otter, that is one of three playful and energetic otter babies that have been given a second chance at life because of the local organization. (Special to Black Press)

Langley, have yourself a Critter Care Christmas

Gift shopping and donations will go a long ways towards caring for thousands of wild animals a year

By Monique Tamminga/Times Contributor

It’s the season of giving, and Critter Care Wildlife Society’s manager hopes people choose to do their Christmas shopping with them – so they can continue to help thousands of injured and orphaned B.C. wildlife.

Skip the mall parking lots and store line-ups, suggested Sherry Travis, the sister of Critter Care founder Gail Martin.

“Doing your Christmas shopping at Critter Care is vital to our society and helping animals,” Travis said.

“Any profit we make from the sale of items goes directly into the care of the animals.”

Get all the holiday shopping done at Critter Care’s annual Christmas Shopping Spree event running until Dec. 21 from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day inside the education centre, at 481 216th St.

Critter Care has a variety of sweatshirts, wildlife T-shirts, different kinds of tote bags, hats, critter socks, nighties, PJ bottoms and the popular sweatpants with the paw prints on them, Travis explained.

There is a wide variety of sizes from kids and youth to extra-large adult.

If you are looking for a gift that features some of the animals in care, they have special 20th anniversary prints and 2019 calendars available.

In the five years that she’s been working there, “I’ve been enlightened to just how special and unique our wildlife is. We had a baby bear come in weighing only ounces. He was so tiny. Here, they quickly grow into 200 pound cubs that thrive and can be returned to the wild,” said Travis.

Critter Care helped rescue nearly 2,000 animals this year, including beavers, opossums, deer, coyotes, bear cubs, raccoons, and otters.

RECENT COVERAGE: Animal cruelty probe launched into ‘horrific’ death of raccoon

Currently, Critter Care has dozens of animals in its care, including three bear cubs that will have to stay over the winter months before being released back to the wild next spring.

Each animal has its own story and its own journey, she said. Those journeys of resilience, courage, and often animal antics are caught on videos posted to the Critter Care Facebook page.

On Critter Care’s Christmas wish list this holiday is cash donations, paper, and cleaning products.

“We are always fixing our enclosures and buildings so donations would help,” Travis elaborated.

Critter Care is also looking for volunteer interns to help during the winter months. The society provides on-site accommodations and meals, and in turn interns gain hands-on experience caring for wildlife.

This year marks the 20th year of the Critter Care gala – the single-most important fundraiser for the animal rescue society.

“It’s really amazing to think what Critter Care has done for thousands of injured and orphaned animals over those years,” said Travis.

The black-and-white gala takes place April 27 at Cascades Casino. She suggests tickets to the gala would make a great Christmas present for the animal lovers in anyone’s life.

The Campbell Valley rehabilitation centre relies on generous public support to continue its “amazing” work to save B.C.’s wildlife, Travis said.

For more information, people can call Critter Care at 604-530-2054.

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