As amazed as I am that we are at the end of 2019, I am equally amazed at what you have helped us accomplish in the last 12 months.  

In January we took full possession and ownership of our buildings and land at the Barnstable facility. We are now officially part of the New England Wildlife Center. This was a huge step that was three years in the making. It has given us the ability to care for wildlife from Boston to Cape Cod, and reach thousands of students in the process. 

One of our primary goals has always been education.  We only have the resources to care for a limited number of wildlife patients each year, but teaching students and the public gives us the opportunity to show others how to also help wildlife.  This expands the impact well beyond the doors of our facility.  This year we presented educational programs to over 2000 school children, and have partnered with local schools to supplement their curriculum. We have high school interns who come to learn on site as well as college and veterinary interns.  Our college intern program is international, and we have veterinarians visit from all over the world to learn wildlife medicine.

This year we got our first educational ambassador animal to help further our educational mission. It is a non-releasable Eastern Screech Owl named Loki.  Loki’s gender reveal party this week showed us that Loki is actually a girl!!!  Loki is only 5 months old but has already traveled to classrooms, and assisted 70 middle schoolers from Brewster in learning about owls at our facility. We are very grateful to have her as a part of our team. 

Here are some other statistics that show the work that has taken place at the Center this year: 

2250 animals admitted and treated in the wildlife hospital through December 1st

-Comprised of 200 different species 

75volunteers working in all capacities from direct animal care to building and maintenance

12,000hours donated by dedicated volunteers 

40High school, Undergraduate, and professional interns trained onsite

3independent research collaborations with local institutions and universities. 

10,000wildlife and environment related phone calls answered.

-122wildlife birch ornaments decorated and donated by 18 volunteer artists 

1partridge in a pear tree…………….Just kidding. 

Without your support none of this would be possible. We are so grateful to everyone who has given their time and resources this year, but we still need your help.  Here are a few things you can do this month to help us carry forward with our mission of helping wildlife and people in 2020.  

Come to our Holiday Open House! On December 7, from 1-4pm, we are having our first open house for the public.  We are combining it with a holiday event that includes pictures with Santa and Loki, crafts, a demonstration by Barnstable Fish and Wildlife, a bake sale and a stocked gift shop.  Because we are a wildlife hospital, we generally cannot give tours or let the public behind the scenes for the safety and comfort of our animals.  The winter is a slow time for in house patients so we can finally give guided, educational tours of all our buildings, enclosures, surgical suites and treatment rooms.  We want the community to know who we are and what we do.  This is a great time to find out, and get all your questions answered.

Join Cape Wildlife Center 100.  This is a newly established group of people who commit to donating $100 each quarter to CWC.  This will yield $40,000 per year from this group alone.  Please help us reach the magic 100 number by year’s end.

Follow us on Instagram and Facebook to keep up with what is happening at CWC, and attend our events, especially our Holiday Open House December 7.

Volunteer your time and skills. Not everyone can work directly with animals, but everyone has a talent that can help them.  A local contractor is donating his time and materials to build Loki’s new outdoor aviary. 

Be environmentally aware: eliminate plastics, re-cycle, re-purpose, never use rat poisons, or lead in hunting or fishing.  Help clean up the habitat around you and educate others.

If you own a business, donate a percentage of sales to CWC once or twice a year.  It really adds up.

Individuals can collect and donate supplies and money.  You can have a yard sale and donate the profits.  There are endless small ways to help that add up to a tremendous impact.

This giving time of year, you can purchase gift cards from CWC to make a donation in someone’s name as their holiday gift.

Lastly, know where to get help for wildlife in need.  We are open 7 days a week 9-4.  Call 508 362 -0111. 

Have a wonderful holiday season and help us help the wild animals who give us so much back all year long!

To learn more about the Cape Wildlife Center or help in their mission, visit or call 508 362-0111.  Stop in to visit our gift shop open 7 days a week 9-4.

Caryn Ritchie is the volunteer coordinator for the Cape Wildlife Center and holds both a Massachusetts rehabilitator’s license and a federal permit to rehabilitate migratory birds.