From Bonnie Dell, WRSOS Co-President
The Wildlife Rehabilitation Society of Saskatchewan (WRSOS) is an entirely volunteer run organization but despite our name, we do not do the actual rehabilitation. We operate the provincial Wildlife 911 hotline for injured and orphaned wildlife. This hotline is staffed by volunteers from 9 – 9 every day of the year – yes we answer the phone on Christmas Day! Through this hotline, we facilitate the rescue of injured and orphaned wildlife and arrange transportation for these animals through our network of volunteers throughout the province from north to south. We work with 10 licensed wildlife rehabilitators and numerous target veterinarians who provide the actual care, as well as Conservation Officers and other government agencies.
When our organization began in 2006 we had 177 calls to our hotline and in 2018 we had over 3200! We have established ourselves as an essential service and with calls up by 30% this year, the need for our services is evident. We receive no funding and depend on donations as well as the fundraising efforts of our volunteers.
Because of this increase in demand, we are actively recruiting volunteers. You can work the hotline from home or pretty much anywhere, because calls are retrieved by calling a message manager system. A lot of our calls are education only, with many just being told to leave the animal in the wild for its’ parents to take care of, while other calls are much more in depth. All training and information will be provided and we pair all new volunteers with a mentor for their first few shifts or until they feel comfortable.
We also need rescue and transport people in every corner of the province. If you live rurally, you might not be called upon very often and may be required to keep an animal overnight depending on the circumstances. As a transport volunteer, we ask that you keep track of your mileage in order to receive a tax receipt at the end of the year for .50 per kilometer.
We offer online training as well as several in person orientations throughout the year. A minimum commitment of four hours per month is required in order to remain an active volunteer. This is a great way to get a glimpse in to a world that most don’t get to see, not to mention helping wildlife and adding something unique to your resume. It’s also a great way to meet the rehabbers and see what they do.
If this sounds like something you might be interested please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or check out our website wrsos.org.