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RAPS gone wild! Domestic animals aren’t the only ones we care for

While our adoptable animals at the RAPS Animal Shelter typically include dogs, cats, small animals and occasionally domesticated fowl, we also receive our fair share of injured or orphaned wildlife. While we can provide temporary warmth, quiet and protection from predators to injured birds and mammals, wild animals are transferred to the experts at Wildlife Rescue Association of B.C., in Burnaby, and Critter Care Wildlife Society, in Langley, to receive specialized treatment and rehabilitation with the goal of releasing them back into the wild.  

RAPS has received its fair share of injured and orphaned skunks, raccoons, squirrels, bunnies and songbirds either brought in by the public or picked up by our Animal Control Officer. Richmond is a city rich in wildlife and sometimes sharing the City with humans, cars and buildings doesn’t work out well for wild critters.  

Recently, a community member heard a bang on her kitchen window and found a dazed, tiny songbird on the deck below. She learned later from birder friends that he was a Ruby Crowned Kinglet. She crafted an open box with soft paper towel for the bird to recuperate in and hoped he would fly off once he recovered from being stunned. Later that day he did fly off, but only to the next door neighbour’s patio where he remained for another four hours. As it was nighttime at this point and fearing something wasn’t right with the little guy, she contacted a friend who is a RAPS employee. Little Grape (as named by the finder’s daughter) spent the night at the RAPS’ employee’s home and was driven to Wildlife Rescue the next morning. Sadly, despite the very best care, Grape passed during the night. The medical team at Wildlife suspect the bird received massive head trauma when he hit the window. 

The RAPS Animal Shelter also received a tiny baby squirrel brought in a week ago by a Burkeville resident who heard noises in his chimney, investigated and suspects the tiny squirrel was an orphan as no mama squirrel was in sight for 24 hours. Baby squirrel was brought to the Shelter where he remained a short time until a Critter Care volunteer came to pick him up. We are told that, so far, the little guy is hanging in and gaining strength slowly. We hope he makes a full recovery with the caring hands at Critter Care and grows into a strong, acorn collecting teen squirrel.  

We share a lot of stories about cats and dogs, but we thought you would be interested in the variety of animals that come into our care. No matter what species, we try our best to save and improve the lives of all animals. All our successes are possible because of your support and the caring commitment of people like the ones who discovered Grape and the young squirrel.