What We Do

 Founder and director Melissa Stanley prepares to move a red-tailed hawk back to its enclosure after its evening feeding. (Photo by Chet Strange)

Founder and director Melissa Stanley prepares to move a red-tailed hawk back to its enclosure after its evening feeding. (Photo by Chet Strange)

The Richmond Wildlife Center is a program of Animal Services of Richmond, Inc., a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, formerly known as Helping Every Animal Live – (HEAL).  We were founded in 2010 with a mission to ensure all animals receive access to the critical and life-saving veterinary treatment they need. Initially, we offered financial assistance to families who could not afford life-saving veterinary treatment for their beloved pets; with our wildlife program quietly undergoing research and development. With a far greater need for financial assistance to pet owners than donors to support this program, our Board placed this program on hold and we began to focus on the strategic development of our wildlife program.

 Melissa Stanley holds down a guinea pig while Dr. Carolyn Clay gives it an injection. (Photo by Chet Strange)

Melissa Stanley holds down a guinea pig while Dr. Carolyn Clay gives it an injection. (Photo by Chet Strange)

The Richmond Wildlife Center opened April 1, 2013 after determining a great need existed in our community for sick and injured wildlife. Taking two years, we fostered relationships with local in-home rehabilitators and the area veterinary facilities supporting in-home rehabilitators. During this time we were able to ascertain the skill-sets, methodologies, knowledge of governing laws and patient access to veterinary care for wildlife patients admitted into the care of local in-home rehabilitators and their supporting veterinary professionals. We recognized an immediate need for a dedicated professional veterinary facility that would provide direct patient oversight, required quality continuing education of volunteer personnel and formalized veterinary care with rehabilitators and veterinary professionals working in house together for the welfare of our wild populations and individual patients. We work tirelessly to ensure patients in our care receive the best care possible to the benefit of the wild populations in our area in accordance with all applicable state and federal laws.

 Kevin Lippke takes Keegan, an injured hawk, outside for sunlight and fresh air. (Photo by Chet Strange)

Kevin Lippke takes Keegan, an injured hawk, outside for sunlight and fresh air. (Photo by Chet Strange)

The Richmond Wildlife Center is the first and only professional wildlife medical center in the Greater Richmond region providing veterinary and rehabilitative care to sick, injured and orphaned wildlife. We are the only professional veterinary facility in the area permitted to intake, treat and rehabilitate sick, injured and orphaned wildlife beyond their veterinary care through the eventual release of the animal back to the wild. We are also the only facility and wildlife rehabilitators in our area permitted by law to be in possession of,  permitted to transport or treat Bald Eagles, Golden Eagles and other threatened and endangered species.

In addition to our wildlife program, as a full-service nonprofit veterinary facility, we accept and provide veterinary care to non-native, exotic companion animals who find themselves injured, abandoned and/or feral in the wild. After nursing such animals back to health, we are able to find them an adoptive family or relocate them to an appropriate facility based on species requirements and current state laws.

 Stanley feeds a nighthawk. (Photo by Chet Strange)

Stanley feeds a nighthawk. (Photo by Chet Strange)

We are an all volunteer organization to include our veterinary personnel and rely on public support to execute our mission. We receive no government funding. In fact, the government charges us for the ability to care for wild animals. Donations from individuals, small businesses, and corporate sponsors help us care for the animals we admit every day. Your support is critical to our success and to ensure the animals in our community receive the care they need. Please consider donating to our center or becoming a volunteer.