A cat-battered robin was Hope Swinimer’s first rehab animal. That was in 1995, when she was managing the Dartmouth Veterinary Hospital in Nova Scotia. No one knew how to treat the injured bird so Hope took it home and began studying wildlife rehabilitation.
Within a year she had treated 40 animals. The work required a permit Nova Scotia did not offer. But Hope had found her mission and not only managed to acquire a license but also to move to a larger property, and then another, offer education for schools and public, attract funding and volunteers and launch a popular television series. Her Web site is packed with information on how to recognize when an animal is in distress, how to be helpful, and when to back away and understand human intervention is not needed.
It all started with one woman determined to do her best to rehabilitate a robin. Now Hope for Wildlife rehabilitates more than 2500 animals a year, brought in from all over Nova Scotia. Thanks to Hope for Wildlife’s work, a lot more of us will understand how to be better neighbours to our wild relatives.