Dominique, an intern at Critter Care with Freddy, a young raccoon. (Critter Care Wildlife Society)

Langley wildlife shelter could use help during ‘baby season’

Baby animals are arriving by the hundreds at Critter Care

Langley’s Critter Care Wildlife Society is teaming up with a local pizza parlour to collect money – and tissue paper.

It’s baby season again for the wildlife society, which takes in and rehabilitates orphaned and injured animals. That means literally hundreds of raccoons, skunks, squirrels, coyotes, marmots, and bears at the rehab centre, located in Campbell Valley Regional Park in South Langley.

Currently the animals include six bears, including two new cubs dubbed Bubbles and Cinnamon.

There are currently about 120 to 150 more animals at Critter Care right now than there were this time last year, said Winona Reinsma, the assistant executive director of the society.

“We’re able to give them a second chance at life,” she said. All but the most seriously injured animals will eventually be released back into the wild.

But to give them a second chance, they need to clean up after a lot of messes.

“We go through an awful lot of paper towels, toilet paper, and tissue paper,” said Reinsma.

To help with that, as well as funding for food and vet bills, Critter Care has teamed up with Firecrust Pizza for a fundraiser on June 14, 15, and 16.

Anyone wishing to donate can drop paper products off on site.

If they decide to eat in or grab a takeout pizza, they’ll also be helping Critter Care. Firecrust will donate 15 per cent of its proceeds from the weekend to help fund the animal welfare society.

The society needs the money. Metro Vancouver Parks provides the site, but the bulk of Critter Care’s funding comes from donors and sponsors.

“Critter Care is not government funded,” Reinsma noted.

Yet they have big bills to pay, and the huge influx of baby animals this spring will drive those bills higher.

Organizers of the fundraiser are hoping for a mountain of paper products to be dropped off.

Any money raised will be quickly put to good use feeding and caring for the animals.

“Raising mammals is quite expensive,” Reinsma said.

Some of the older animals can eat cat and dog kibble, she said, but for the younger ones, it’s still bottle feeding.

“We’re going through a lot of milk.”

And that’s not cow’s milk from a grocery store. Goat’s milk – already more expensive – has to be used, and then it is mixed with a variety of formulas, specific for each species, which is imported from the United States.

“That can cost us $60,000 a year easy,” said Reinsma.

That’s not even getting into vet bills for animals who often arrive injured or underfed.

“We totally rely on the kindness and generosity of our donors and sponsors,” said Reinsma.

The Firecrust Pizza fundraiser and paper drop off takes place Friday, June 14 and Saturday, June 15 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday June 16th from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Any type of tissue or toilet paper or paper towels are welcome.

As for visiting Critter Care, the centre is closed most of the year to prevent its animals from getting too used to humans before their release.

But the annual open house is coming up on July 13 and 14 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors can sign up for a tour of the grounds and see some of the animals.

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