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December 28, 2014
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Wild about wildlife?

Colarusso holds a grey squirrel.


For those who find wildlife that truly is in need of assistance, a listing of licensed wildlife rehabilitators can be found on the Pennsylvania Association of Wildlife Rehabilitators website at www.pawr.com. If unable to identify a wildlife rehabilitator in your area, contact the PGC region office (www.pgc.state.pa.us) for a referral.

Without doubt, rehabilitating wildlife is a labor of love. Funding is scarce and the hours are endless. Some animals need to be fed every two hours to four hours and it’s a 24/7/365 responsibility. For the first time in 20 years, Colarusso managed a vacation last year, then couldn’t shake a sense of guilt over leaving the animals in the care of others.

Still, it’s a calling that Colarusso can’t imagine not being involved with and she hopes to continue accepting orphaned and injured wild mammals for care, rehabilitation and eventual release back into the wild.

SCWC is supported by fundraisers, public and private donations and program fees. Public education programs such as “What to Do in a Wildlife Emergency” are presented throughout Northeastern Pennsylvania for education and fundraising purposes. Funds provide for food, heat, housing and veterinary care as well as center maintenance. Donations are tax-deductible and can be sent to SCWC, P.O. Box 485, Tunkhannock, PA 18657.

Volunteers are needed for off-premise tasks such as chopping vegetables and other foods for the animals. The organization also keeps a wish list of needed items, such as acorns, unsalted peanuts in shells, fencing supplies, flea spray, baby wipes, heating pads and more on its website. Visit secondchancewildlifecenter.org for more information or contact scwc4a@emcs.net or call 570/836-1851.


More reasons not to bring a wild animal home

• Taking wildlife into your home may transmit diseases to people or domestic animals. Wildlife can carry parasites such as fleas, ticks or lice that could infest you, your family, your home or your pets.

• Habituating wildlife to humans and domestic pets can cause wildlife to lose its natural fear of them and pose a safety risk to all.

• Misinformation can lead to improper feeding, dehydration and emaciation. By the time the animal is taken to a rehabilitator, some of these effects are irreversible.