SACRAMENTO – Wildlife Care Association (WCA) is a non-profit association in Sacramento that cares for sick, orphaned and injured animals. Sadly, after more than three decades, the facility will be forced to close its doors in August without badly needed funding, and thousands of animals will be turned away, with nowhere to go.
“It’s difficult… these animals are birds are amazing they deserve to be cared for, they deserve an excellent quality of life,” Wildlife Care Association’s Facility Manager Brianna Abeyta said through tears. “Come August 31 we will close the doors. We cannot take animals anymore because we will not have the funds to care for them,”
The only facility of its kind in Northern California, WCA cares for upwards of 6,000 animals every year.
Many animals are brought in by concerned citizens or agencies like Animal Control. Inside of these walls, the animals are nursed back to life in a thorough rehabilitation process before being released back into the wild.
That process requires hundreds of gallons of food each month, medicine to treat the injured animals and plenty of volunteers.
“It takes about $100,000 to operate every year, and we only had about $30,000 this year to operate,” Abeyta explained.
The organization relies solely on public donations and is running out of funds to keep the lights on. Consequently, these animals that deserve a second chance at life will face a slim chance of survival.
“There will be no place for people to take the animals that they find, they’ll most likely go to the shelters and they won’t get care, they will just be euthanized,” Abeyta said.
These birds play a critical role not only in nature, but also to our health. Many birds that have been dropped off at this facility have tested positive for the West Nile Virus, giving vector control a clear indication where the disease has surfaced.
Wildlife Care Association is also partly responsible for bringing back the yellow-billed Magpie, an endemic species nearly wiped-out from West Nile.
“When a bird like that is affected so horribly by a disease, it’s really important the work that we do to rehabilitate those guys and get them back in the wild,” said Abeyta.
Wildlife Care Association is permitted by the California Department of Fish and Game and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, but receives no state or federal funding.
Now, the group who has helped keep these birds in flight is depending on the public’s help to keep them soaring.
“It’s a very difficult issue to face, because this place is so important to all these animals.”