Early in 2008 Dave and I got this hankering to do some sort of charitable thing, something that would be fun to do together but not entirely selfishly motivated. We were inpsired by some friends of ours who had been working with the Ojai Raptor Center for some time, and told awesome stories of transporting and rehabbing raptors of all shapes and sizes. That sounded like almost too much fun to be considered work!
In April, we all went to the Orange County Pet Expo, primarily to watch the SplashDogs competition and ogle all the cool breeds o'dogs. In one of the exhibition buildings a wildlife rehabilitation outfit had a booth with several wild critters on display. Among them a hummingbird and a little tiny itty bitty adorable baby SQUIRREL. I was entranced. The lady at the booth was very nice, and handed me a pamphlet for the California Wildlife Center, which I duly tucked in my purse to take home.
Dave and I had renewed our intent to find someplace like that to volunteer our time. Even if it was just filing paperwork or answering phones, we hoped to contribute to a good, reputable outfit doing work for wildlife! It was important to me to find a professional and well-established outfit, as I've seen too many places with good intentions but poor follow through that do not give the animals the proper care. I visited the website listed on the pamphlet and looked at several other places online - CWC stood out head and shoulders above other rescue and rehab facilities in Southern California!
Ironically enough, their once-a-year Open House was the following weekend. We decided to attend, to scope the place out, see if it fit our style...and to see how that drive to Malibu/Calabasas would work out!
It worked out great. In another moment of fortuitous timing, turned out one of their 3 orientation/training courses was just the following weekend. We signed up, went to class the following weekend, and started on our volunteering shifts the very next week.
The rest is best told in pictures, although some of the tales we've got from interacting with the crazy animals (and often just as crazy humans) at CWC are worth the telling as well - but that's blogfodder!
May and June
July and August
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