Philadelphia Metro Wildlife Center
400 E. Dekalb Pike, King of Prussia.
9 a.m.-7p.m. daily
For info and to donate: phillywildlife.org
Wildlife rehabilitators are known for working magic with resources as well as with animals. Rick Shubert, former director of the Schuylkill Center Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic, has proven his ability to work resource magic again, recently announcing the opening of the newly created Philadelphia Metro Wildlife Center at 400 E. Dekalb Pike, King of Prussia.
Everyone needs to save this phone number: 267-416-WILD (9453).
Following the unexpected closing of the Schuylkill Center’s facility in January 2018, only a month or two before the onset of “baby season,” Rick and his devoted team of volunteers had to find a space quickly where they could accept orphans, care for the sick and injured, provide phone advice and referrals and offer educational wildlife programs. (A search is still under way for a suitable permanent location.
The sudden closing of the Schuylkill Center Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic, Philadelphia’s only “full-service” rehab center and one of only two in Southeastern Pennsylvania, was a blow to humans and non-humans alike. I was a volunteer and a sub-permittee at the wildlife clinic for the past 30 years, and I was sick knowing how many animals would suffer and be left without anywhere to go. The Pennsylvania Game Commission prohibits veterinarians from treating wildlife, except to stabilize the animal and transfer it within 24 hours to a licensed wildlife rehabilitator.
Rick held his former position for 13 years at the Schuylkill Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic, which operated 365 days of the year. During that time, he and his 50-plus volunteers treated an average of 4,000 animals free of charge. Rick created a vibrant, successful volunteer program and I can tell you firsthand that animal volunteers are a very loyal bunch. I served for a while as volunteer coordinator, and what amazed me most about the volunteers was the diversity, the dedication and the focus. No one asked what anyone did for a living, where they lived or what kind of car they drove. The only question was, “What does this animal need?” Friendships were made that will never be broken.
Like volunteers, professional wildlife rehabbers are hard to find. There is little incentive other than the love of animals — the work is physically and emotionally exhausting, human clients can be demanding and the phones never stop ringing.
There is no state or county financial support to help orphaned, sick or injured wildlife. Most wildlife rehabbers work exclusively on donations. (It always amazes me how often people will drop off an animal and never think about leaving a donation to help with its care. )
The new Philly Metro Wildlife Clinic is starting from scratch since all equipment and supplies remain at Rick’s former and closed rehab facility. Interested in helping PWMC get on with the business of saving injured, orphaned and sick wildlife? Make a donation at Phillywildlife.org. And if you have an idea for a permanent location, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be sure to share this information on neighborhood sites and Facebook pages. Our wildlife are counting on you!