The TWRC Wildlife Center is located in Houston,
Texas, USA. The center functions as an emergency room for wildlife. The animals are brought here by the people who find them.
The wildlife patient is admitted and undergoes a physical examination to determine what the problem is and how its general health is. It is then treated for its problem and stabilized. When the animal is out of danger it is sent home with a rehabilitator, who will care for it during its recovery period. It is sent home with the rehabilitator who is best qualified to handle that species and problem. Usually, an animal is ready to go to its rehabilitator within a few hours.
Since the center is located inside the city limits of Houston, they specialize in urban wildlife and urban wildlife issues. Because Houston is also on a migratory flyway, TWRC also gets in a very wide variety of avian species. They can expect to see everything from pelagic (ocean-dwelling) to neotropical (migratory) birds. Because Houston has a very mild winter climate, the center deals with wildlife orphans practically year-round. Baby squirrels begin to arrive in early January. Baby pigeons are always around.
The center employs a full-time director, a part-time manager, and a part-time veterinarian. Everyone else who helps at the center is a volunteer. TWRC receives an average of between 5,000-6,000 wildlife patients each year.
We hope you enjoy the virtual tour of TWRC and get a first-hand look at the wonderful work being done there.
Because we have so many pictures, and some of them are large, we have used thumbnail images on this page. Simply click on a thumbnail image to see the full-sized picture.
|The staff and volunteers at TWRC take care of all kinds of injured and orphaned animals.||TWRC is a very busy place.|
|When someone finds a wild animal in need of help, they bring it to TWRC.||A wildlife rehabilitator like Beverly Sandvik examines the animal and decides what needs to be done to help it return to the wild.|
Jazz, our shelter cat, greets visitors and protects our patients from rats and mice.
Webster is our shelter mascot and ambassador. She is a former pet who wasn't fed correctly as a duckling, so her wings are deformed. Now she helps people understand why wild animals don't make good pets.
Dr. Fred Soifer is our veterinarian.
This Barred Owl needs help from both Dr. Soifer and rehabilitator Rebecca McKeever.
|Sometimes when animals arrive at the Shelter, they are covered with fleas and other parasites. This Barred Owl is being dusted with flea powder.||Rebecca and Shelter Manager Cindi Crigler discuss how best to care for the owl while it recovers.|
|Sometimes an animal is too young or weak or scared to eat on its own. Then it must be fed by the rehabilitators. No one should ever try to feed an animal without special training.||Even giving a baby squirrel a bottle takes training. Every species of animal has unique nutritional requirements to grow up strong and healthy.|
|Many young mammals are unable to go to the bathroom without help. A rehabilitator must tickle them with a tissue, in much the same way that their mother would use her tongue.||Animals that are very young or very sick must be kept warm in an incubator.|
|As orphaned animals get older, they become more independent. Elaine Long will soon release this swamp rabbit back to the wild where he belongs. This is the best part of being a wildlife rehabilitator!||There's more to working at a wildlife shelter than caring for animals. Cindi and Shelter Director Lisa Haase keep day-to-day shelter operations running smoothly.|
|Dennis Walden makes sure that records are kept on every animal TWRC receives - and we receive over 5,000 animals each year!||TWRC receives thousands of calls on our Wildlife Hotline. Sharon and Jerry Pyle are just two of the dedicated volunteers who answer our phones.|
|It takes many volunteers and rehabilitators to run the TWRC Wildlife Shelter.||Here's Peggy Shanler signing up for work.|
|Volunteers prepare food, clean cages, and wash towels and cover sheets in our kitchen/laundry room.||Equipment is stored within easy reach. You never know when you'll need a net or catch pole!|
|Education is an important part of TWRC's work. Our rehabilitators are always learning, and we give lots of lectures about wildlife to people young and old.||Learning about wild animals is fun!|
would like to thank
But the most important thing we do is help wild animals return to their life in the wild. Rehabilitator Charlona Ingram knows that's what TWRC is all about.