What We Do
Our work starts when a concerned member of the public contacts us regarding an animal in distress. If it is determined that the animal is in need of care, the CWRC will facilitate transportation of the animal for further assessment. Once the animal is in our care, we will determine the steps necessary to rehabilitate the animal ad reintroduce it into the wild.
If the animal is unable to return to its natural habitat, the CWRC will arrange for transportation to a nearby provincial wildlife park.
The CWRC was founded as a registered charity in 2001, but our story began much earlier. While working in a veterinary clinic in St. John’s, Newfoundlnd, Dr. Helene Van Doninck saw numerous admissions of wild animals who would be euthanized simply due to the expense of treatment. Deciding that she had not become a veterinarian to ‘dispose of’ animals who still had a chance at life, Helene began to bring the injured wildlife home. Along with her partner and CWRC co-founder Murdo Messer, Helene provided the care and rehabilitation needed for these animals to return to the wild.
A decade later the Cobequid Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre was officially opened. Over the last 20 years the CWRC has continued to grow, slowly adding facilities such as: small animal enclosures, a songbird enclosure, a small nursery building, and The Big Jeezley - Canada’s largest continuous flyway designed specifically for rehabilitating eagles.
In 2018 we lost Helene to cancer, but her compassion for wildlife lives on. We now are able to rehabilitate hundreds of animals each year, and our specialization in large raptor rehabilitation has gained international recognition. Our volunteers and staff work hard to ensure the animals in our care receive the treatment that they need. Every successful release is only possible because one day, 30 years ago, Helene decided to make a difference.