In 1979, the Wildlife Rescue Association opened its doors at “The Nature House” on Burnaby Lake. It operated during the summer months with three part-time staff and several volunteers. In the early days, resources and donors were limited, but over the years “The Nature House” grew, and with that growth, it expanded its facilities, resources and capacity to help. In winter 2017, heavy snow and rainfall damaged the 30-year-old hospital building. The situation forced the organization to close the building, while retrofitting and repurposing other animal buildings and sheds to continue providing services.

In 2020, Wildlife Rescue embarked on an exciting project with funding from Trans Mountain – along with donations from committed volunteers and donors – a new medical treatment centre that will provide care to more than 5,000 animals annually.

“Wildlife Rescue has grown tremendously and has improved its services and facilities to provide injured and orphaned wildlife the best care for a safe return to the wild. In the last 41 years, Wildlife Rescue has seen more than 125,000 patients. We are very thankful for Trans Mountain and our other donors to help us grow our services and allow us to help more wildlife,” says Linda Bakker, Co-Executive Director of Wildlife Rescue Association.

The new medical treatment centre is now fully operational. This facility will be used for primary hospital activities such as examinations, treatments and stabilization procedures, in-house lab diagnostics and personnel training. With this building conversion, the previous exam space has been repurposed as a space for fledgling care, another critical demand for the animal care program.

“The Wildlife Rescue Association plays an important role in the community rehabilitating injured animals and educating people about our valuable wildlife resources. Trans Mountain is excited to see the facility improvements, which will allow the association to help more orphaned and injured animals and meet the growing demand for its services,” says Lexa Hobenshield, Trans Mountain’s Lower Mainland and Community Investment Manager.

Here are some photos provided by the Wildlife Rescue Association of BC of the new space:

Medical Treatment Centre Post-Renovation
Large space for employees and staff to work (and socially distance)

With the new facility, employees and volunteers now have room to complete assessments, conduct lab work and complete reports.

In addition to treatment and rehabilitative care, Wildlife Rescue responds to more than 18,000 helpline calls annually from the public, and this number has increased 70 per cent in the past three years alone. These numbers far exceed any other wildlife rescue organization in BC and make the Wildlife Rescue Association one of the largest centres in Canada.

You can find more information and donate to Wildlife Rescue’s fundraising campaign to help further expand the medical centre for injured and orphaned wildlife here.

You can learn more about Trans Mountain’s Community Investment Program here.