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Behind the Scenes: Reaching Capacity and More

At the Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society, our mission is centred on providing the highest quality care for injured, orphaned, and sick wildlife. However, there are times when we are unable to accept new patients, and we want to explain why.

Baby skunks

Capacity Constraints: As a registered charitable organization, we rely on the generosity of donors and grants to sustain our operations. Unfortunately, recent financial constraints and inflation have placed limitations on the number of animals we can effectively care for. Ensuring each patient receives the attention and resources they require is paramount to us. When we reach capacity, we must make the difficult decision to temporarily halt new admissions until new spots open up. Overcrowding not only compromises the quality of care but also adds stress to both our patients and staff, potentially leading to further problems.

Black-billed magpies

Space Limitations:

Some large animals, such as adult moose or bears, have specific enclosure requirements that we currently cannot accommodate. Taking in such animals without proper facilities would not only endanger them but also pose risks to the public. In such cases, we prioritize the welfare of the animal and refer the public to facilities equipped to handle their needs safely. Furthermore, each patient we take in has specific space requirements, and overloading our enclosures would be irresponsible, unethical and pose a welfare risk.

Canada Geese

Permit Restrictions:

Alberta's Wildlife Act regulates which species of wildlife can be accepted into care and rehabilitated at certified facilities like ours. While we strive to assist as many animals as possible, certain species like coyotes, adult bobcats, adult deer, adult moose, and raccoons fall outside our permitted scope. Special circumstances may warrant exceptions and special permits may be granted on occasion, but we must adhere to these regulations to ensure responsible and ethical rehabilitation practices.


Maintaining high welfare standards for our patients is paramount. Overcrowding not only compromises the quality of care but also adds stress to both our patients and staff, potentially leading to further problems or injuries. We appreciate this can be difficult for those who care about wildlife to hear, and it's equally as hard for our team to handle, however we do the best we can with the resources and space we have.

Bobcat that CalgaryWildlife was given a special permit to rehabilitate

During the busy summer months our patients will ebb and flow, and we do all we can to release them back to the wild as soon as possible to open up extra space for new wildlife. However there are numerous factors we must consider before release like, is the animal medically cleared to be released, is the animal old enough and strong enough to be released, is it the right time of year for it to be released and more. All of these factors are crucial to a successful release, and at Calgary Wildlife we pride ourselves on making sure the welfare of our patients comes first.

We appreciate the understanding and support of our community as we navigate these challenges. Your donations play a crucial role in enabling us to accept and rehabilitate as many animals as possible. By clicking the button below, you can contribute to our efforts to provide compassionate care to wildlife in need. Thank you for your continued support.

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