My niece recently graduated from nursing school, and I thought: I know she's learned such a lot in these years, but, really, all her patients are the same species! They all have about the same body temperature, pretty much the same blood and generally similar diets. BUT THE NURSES AT SECOND CHANCE? Dozens of species with dozens of temperatures and diet requirements, and specific housing needs that can aid in their recoveries. Reptilian patients don't have warm blood at all, and need special quarters. Calculating dosages for a patient who weighs 22 grams? Easily done at Second Chance. And feathers! Feathers are not a decoration -- they are an organ. Their state of repair is a matter life or death. Birds' blood carries oxygen differently than mammals' does. And though birds' eyesight is superior to humans', they cannot see glass. Second Chance is a crucial facility in helping to counter the enormous loss of wild life to entanglement with human stuff and activity. Their dedicated staff and volunteers deserve all the moral and monetary support that can be poured upon them.
I am so proud to have a facility like Second Chance Wildlife Center in our community. It is open every day of the year, even through blizzards and hurricanes, and offers, without charge, excellent care for orphaned or injured wildlife. I have been a volunteer for about ten years, because when I was young, there was no such rehab facility, and injured animals were often either euthanized by the family vet or, worse, orphaned animals were inexpertly treated by amateurs, and ended up malnourished and/or human imprinted. The dedicated and professional staff at SCWC treat all the animals humanely and help to educate the compassionate people who bring in animal patients.
I first heard of Second Chance from the Montgomery County Volunteers Office. I had just retired after working in telecommunications for 31 years. I wanted to do something different, and volunteering at SCWC certainly is! When I was growing up, in Washington, DC, my friends and I often found injured squirrels, and occasionally found baby birds. We once tried to keep a baby robin alive on our own. I’m not sure what we used as bird formula. I think it was some concoction of raw hamburger and diluted oatmeal, which we fed to him from a medicine dropper. He lived for several days, but he must have been in misery. We took the squirrel to my dog’s vet, loving and gentle, but unprepared to treat a wild animal. He, kindly, euthanized the squirrel, and consoled us children. In the 1960s, we didn’t know of any wildlife rehabilitators. I was happy to commit a few hours each week to SCWC, partly as penance for my youthful failures. I thought there would be tedium, as well as joys. Boy, was I wrong! I actually enjoy cleaning cages and kennels, even those of such unremarkable critters as starlings or pigeons. And there are opportunities to see the animals that most of us diurnal species miss, like flying squirrels, night herons and owls. We also see the common raptors, like Red Tailed hawks, cooper’s hawks, and kestrels, up close and personal. And we have occasional treats, like coots, soras, or indigo buntings. I find it therapeutic to help make even the most mundane opossums, groundhogs, and squirrels more comfortable during their short stays at the center. The greatest pleasure in volunteering at SCWC is working with the highly skilled, experienced, and dedicated staff. They, of course, are committed to treating the animals, and they save at least 60%, but they also show amazing compassion toward the people who bring the animals in, and patience with the volunteers and the public. If there had been a Second Chance Wildlife Center in my neighborhood fifty years ago, I’d probably still be a volunteer here, but I’d also, I hope, have memories of animals saved from painful death.
I brought two birds and was dismayed at how much they were handled by Polly. I know they needed to be examined, but she keeps holding them even though they are obviously distressed, and one bird she was gesticulating with it in her hand! I may not be an expert, but I think stressed wildlife should be handled as little as possible. I think she was showing off. "Big, important bird expert". Who is Polly and what training has she had?
I first saw SCWC on FaceBook talking about what they faced moment by moment during our 2 record breaking blizzards and I saw such dedication and love on minimal resources. I had to do something, I have very little but I sent what I had and I continue to do so each month after my bills are paid. I believe in everything they do and everything they stand for. Any monies and supplies they can get donated through awards and word of mouth is beyond priceless. Keep the faith SCWC!!
I first found Second Chance when I found a newborn squirrel. Immediately I fell in love with the place, the people and their purpose. This is a unique place -- the only one of its kind in the MD/DC region. It takes in around 5000 animals (mammals and birds) a year. They never turn down a citizen bringing in wildlife of any kind. They give their full selves, the staff works *a minimum* of 10 hours a day in spring and summer and often bring their work home with them. And usually it is a thankless job, as when the animals feel better, they usually just start to hate their caregivers. Luckily, many of the citizens are appreciative. Over the years I've volunteered, but I've also brought in animals myself. The wonderful staff and other volunteers there are selfless and compassionate.
I can't even tell you how wonderful Second Chance is. I've brought many animals to them. I found three baby squirrels on the ground and two of them were bleeding. Second Chance saved them and even took the time to explain to me that they were probably orphans because they were so dehydrated and had climbed out of their nest looking for water. I also brought them two baby birds knocked out of a nest by a storm and injured. Second Chance put them in an incubator and again explained everything to me. I'm so thankful for Second Chance!
The staff and volunteers at SCWC are awesome and I can't say enough good things about their services. I brought an injured animal I found outside to them, and they provided the best care possible for her. They were caring, committed, responsive, and make a huge difference in the community. SCWC, thank you for the great work you do!
All I can say is that they are doing an awesome job, and it is a pleasure to know people who dedicate so much time to our wildlife. great Job!!!!!!!!!! We need more Institution like this!
I don't know what people who don't live near this kind of terrific resource do when they come across an injured animal but I know that its existence in our community is a blessing. I have taken injured wildlife there many times and I know the animal will have a chance to get back to nature or die gently there. That is quite a gift.
I am so glad we have Second Chance Wildlife Center in our community!! I have taken injured birds and small mammals to their facility on numerous occasions and have been SO IMPRESSED with their responsiveness, dedication, and abilities. I live in a heavily wooded are and find injured critters and occasionally abandoned babies. A soon as I walk in the door with an animal, someone is immediately on the case providing care and explaining their diagnosis and how they plan on treating the animal or bird. Second Chance Wildlife Center enables me to help animals in need who would likely not survive otherwise. I know of no other facility that takes in injured wildlife, rehabilitates them, and then returns them safely to the wild -- what a wonderful, humane, and caring community service they provide. I make a donation every time I bring in an animal.