South Florida’s wildlife is being displaced by a growing population and encroaching development, which results in sick, injured, and orphaned animals coming to our hospital in terrible distress.
We save wildlife through trained volunteers and staff who can rescue out in the community, clinic triage during admission, state-of-the-art diagnostics, and expert veterinary treatment.
Our hospital is overseen by our Medical Director and consists of 2 full-time veterinarians, 3 veterinary assistants, rotational relief veterinarians, veterinary externs, wildlife hospital externs, rotational interns and clinic Volunteers.
Saving the life of an animal begins the rehabilitation process for injured and orphaned wildlife. Our staff provides specialized therapy and treatment to support an animal’s full recovery in preparation for release back to its natural habitat.
Our nursery team provides neonatal-like care for orphaned animals, and our habitats are designed to facilitate conditioning so that upon release, our wildlife patients leave in the healthiest condition possible.
Our goal is to release rehabilitated wild animals back to their natural habitats. SFWC is committed to doing what is right for every individual animal who enters our hospital. Our release work includes re-nesting baby animals back with their parents and facilitating releases back home for animals once they have fully recovered from their injuries.
Ninety percent of the animals who come into our center suffer from injuries that are the result of negative interactions with people. We work to educate the community about wildlife and how each of us can peacefully co-exist with our wild neighbors. In addition, SFWC is a teaching hospital that provides an intern/extern program for veterinary students, future rehabilitators, and others looking to pursue a career in any of the life sciences.
On average, our wildlife hospital sees 10,000 patients per year ranging from over 250 different species and accepts both native and non-native wildlife. The SFWC provides quality, professional care to sick and injured native and non-native birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians from throughout the tri-county area. From impact injuries, abandonment to animal attacks, the cases we receive at the Center are extremely diverse. Each patient receives care based on their individual recovery treatment programs for a few days, weeks, or up to several months. This involves several hours a day for feeding, medical care, caging development, exercise, and behavior monitoring and enhancement.
We have a standard intake process for each patient, including a full examination with radiographs and lab work if needed. Once completed, we determine the animal’s appropriate fluid therapy and nutritional support, as well as any medical treatment or follow-up that may be needed. Depending on the condition of the patient, once the intake process is complete it will either go into our Clinic intensive care unit, Wildlife Ward supportive holding, or out into our specialized habitats. We closely monitor all patients in rehabilitation as they recover and provide ongoing care and checkups as needed. Each patient’s rehabilitation plan is rooted in the natural history of the species and release criteria is based on what abilities the animal will need to survive in the wild. The patient is released once it meets all our health and behavioral criteria, and their finders are welcome to join us.