Silver and Gold Magazine Fall 2016 | Page 16 HOUSE + HOME SAVING OUR CREATURES – By Suzanne Soto-Davies You think you can’t help wildlife? Think again. When Cara Contardi moved to Grimsby in 1996 and found an injured Yellow Shafted Flicker, little did she know she had found her life’s calling. In 2008 and after becoming an Authorized Wildlife Custodian and registering with charitable status, she started Urban Wildlife Care (UWC). With the help of three volunteers, Cara immediately began playing an integral role in the rescue, rehabilitation and release of our native wildlife. Today, a team of over 40 professionally trained local volunteers and professionals, care for approximately 500 animals annually, yet they receive no government funding. In addition to all her wonderful work and dedication, Cara works full-time at an animal hospital, which helps for acquiring the costly supplies and medical care that running UWC requires. Formula for baby animals costs upward of $300 dollars per week… and then there’s the cost for specialty food for other animals, medical care, medications, caging, cleaning supplies, water and hydro bills, latex gloves/masks for all volunteers, and the list goes on… During baby season, UWC handles upwards of forty calls per day from people who have found injured or orphaned animals such as squirrels, fox, raccoons, bats and rabbits, plus answer a ton of email messages asking for advice. Since UWC is governed by the Ministry of Natural Resources, there are high amounts of paperwork to complete and rules to comply by… It’s pain-staking work, and certainly not for the faint at heart! Once animals are healed, or old enough and can handle it, UWC releases them back into the wild – typically to the same location where they were found. 16 More articles, recipes & events online: