Animal Friends Blog
About The Wildlife Aid Foundation:
The Wildlife Aid Foundation is a registered charity dedicated to the rescue, care and rehabilitation of sick, injured and orphaned British wildlife. Based in Leatherhead, Surrey, since its opening over 30 years ago the centre has grown to be one of the largest wildlife rehabilitation hospitals in the country, dealing with in excess of 20,000 incidents each year. With a success rate for returning animals to the wild of over 70%, it is also one of the most successful. Staffed by more than 280 volunteers, the charity’s overheads are kept to an absolute minimum to allow as much as possible of the donated money to go directly to the care of the animals.
The Wildlife Aid Foundation is featured in the long-running, critically acclaimed, TV series Wildlife SOS, which is now in its 15th year of broadcast. Airing daily on The Discovery Channel’s ‘Animal Planet’, the show is currently in its 10th series. Whilst the TV series has been an amazing platform for communicating with the public and raising awareness about the plight of British wildlife, it has not secured any funding for the charity – a fact which often surprises people, who assume that in having its own TV show the charity must be very rich! This is unfortunately very far from the truth; the charity does not benefit from this potentially lucrative income stream.
Why we need The Wildlife Aid Foundation:
In Britain we are fortunate to enjoy a huge diversity of native animals but every year millions of these animals are killed, injured or suffer some trauma, either as a result of direct contact with man, or the impact that we have on the environment. At The Wildlife Aid Foundation our aim is to help redress the balance between man and nature and to play our part in preserving our heritage for future generations to enjoy. While there are many organisations and schemes dedicated to the vital work of preserving natural habitats, there are still very few who help preserve the species that live within them. At The Wildlife Aid Foundation, no British animal or bird of any species, is ever turned away if it needs our help.
The Wildlife Aid Foundation promotes biodiversity; the conservation, protection and improvement of the natural environment for the benefit of the public. With a strong educational remit pertaining to animal welfare and the protection of our natural heritage, The Wildlife Aid Foundation provide advice, assistance, training and support to the public in all areas concerning British wildlife and undertake research into matters affecting animal welfare in general and the protection of wild animals in their natural habitat.
How you can help British wildlife:
All the animals that come into our care are treated and rehabilitated completely free of charge. Our aim is to return every animal that is capable of surviving back into its natural environment. Every day at The Wildlife Foundation, our volunteers’ dedication and care allow us to see remarkable recoveries made where others may have given up.
But without your support The Wildlife Aid Foundation could not continue its vital work in protecting our national heritage. As the charity receives no government funding or corporate sponsorship, we rely entirely on the generosity of the public to raise the £1000 it costs every day just to keep our doors open. By becoming a member, adopting an animal, making a donation or remembering us in your Will, you can make a real difference in helping us to protect British wildlife and in stopping needless cruelty and suffering.
Every winter The Wildlife Aid Foundation looks after more than 120 orphaned hedgehogs which have been born in the late summer. These youngsters have been separated from their parents for the usual reasons: road traffic accidents killing a parent, strimmer accidents in the garden, dogs unearthing the nest and causing the mother to abandon the youngsters, and many more. Each time we admit a youngster that has lost its mother it’s a real heartbreak, but at least we have the confidence and experience to know that we can hand-rear them successfully to adulthood, and release them back to have a second chance in the wild.
However, hand-rearing over 100 hoglets is a big outlay for the charity. Each hoglet eats one third of a can of puppy food each day, and they are with us for at least 150 days. That’s 6000 cans of food! Each youngster is also wormed when it arrives and the worming programme costs £30 per animal. Add into this equation the bedding for their pens and the heat needed to keep them warm over the cold winter months; looking after our prickly friends is a pretty expensive business!
If The Wildlife Aid Foundation won a prize we would spend it on this winter’s hedgehogs. The hedgehog is a precious British mammal and has in fact, just been voted as the iconic British mammal by readers of the BBC Wildlife Magazine. Add to this that in the past 60 years – no time at all in evolutionary terms – the UK’s hedgehog population has declined from over 36 million to just under 1 million. These hedgehogs need our help, and The Wildlife Aid Foundation is determined to help as much as possible to get these creatures back into the wild in safe and healthy environments so that numbers can start to grow again.
On behalf of the thousands of animals we care for every year, thank you.