The Humane Society of New Orleans is in the process of fund-raising and developing a wildlife rehabilitation center in the City of New Orleans. We have partnered with the Louisiana Wildlife Rehabilitators Association and Humane Society of Louisiana in creating a short-term facility plan which is in constant development by our group.

Humane Society of New Orleans Wildlife Rehabilitation Facility Plan

 

Mission Statement: The mission of the Humane Society of New Orleans shall be to provide the means for the prevention of cruelty to animals, to enforce all laws designated for the protection of animals, to promote responsible pet ownership, to place adoptable animals into responsible homes when available, and to strengthen the human/animal bond.

Vision: It is the vision of the Humane Society of New Orleans (HSNO) to create a Wildlife Rehabilitation facility in the City of New Orleans to provide care for injured, orphaned and displaced wildlife. The HSNO will additionally provide response to injured wild animals on a seven day a week basis as funding and volunteer staffing allows.

Overview: The Humane Society of New Orleans (HSNO) currently responds to injured, orphaned and displaced wild animals throughout New Orleans.

In the past, the HSNO has worked with Clearwater Wildlife Sanctuary in Covington, LA to place these animals with a Wildlife Rehabilitator. Clearwater is now permanently closed leaving approximately 2,500 animals and 10,000 phone calls without a rehabilitation facility to be admitted to.

The New Orleans region currently has a few home-based rehabbers specializing in one specific species who have quickly filled their facilities due to the closure of Clearwater. It should also be noted that no open-admission wildlife rehabilitation facility now exists in the greater New Orleans area.

The HSNO's Board of Directors has established the construction and daily operation of a wildlife rehabilitation facility to be a critical part of our 2013 operations and strategic plan.

Background: The Humane Society of New Orleans' (HSNO) is currently led by a Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator and has two additional wildlife rehabilitators on the Board. In addition we are working hand-in-hand with Clearwater Wildlife Sanctuary's former President Nancy Torcson who currently functions as our Wildlife Rehabilitation Consultant.

Creating a Wildlife Rehabilitation Facility

The Humane Society of New Orleans (HSNO) expects to have a makeshift decentralized network of permitted state wildlife rehabilitators in place by Q2 of 2013. The HSNO is currently working in partnership with the Louisiana Wildlife Rehabilitators Association (LAWRA) and Humane Society of Louisiana (HSL) to host training classes in New Orleans. Immediately following these classes the participants will take their state wildlife rehabilitation test online through LAWRA and become state-permitted.

The last class held in Metairie in Q4 of 2010 by a joint partnership of LAWRA and HSL drew over 350 individuals wishing to become involved in some way with wildlife rehabilitation. The overwhelming majority of those in attendance wanted to work at a facility on a scheduled shift and not operate as a home-based rehabilitator.

The HSNO plans to retro-fit and operate a building as an open-admission wildlife rehabilitation facility. The facility will be staffed by volunteers and monitored by our veterinarian who also houses his veterinary hospital and boarding facility in adjacent buildings.

Facility Operations

The facility will be open on a daily basis as volunteers permit and allow for the intake and housing of birds, mammals and reptiles. At all times a LAWRA-trained and state/federally permitted or sub-permitted wildlife rehabilitator will be on-site to ensure continuity of care for admitted animals. We expect this facility at full operations to admit approximately 2500-3500 animals annually and handle approximately 10,000 phone calls.

Our facility operations will be compliant with the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association (NWRA) and International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council (IWRC) jointly-published Minimum Standards for Wildlife Rehabilitation.

Transition-To-The-Wild Operations

The transition operations will be closed to the public and entail significant cooperation of resources from other area rehabilitators and release site owners. Until HSNO builds a flight cage we will be forced to transfer some raptors to other facilities such as the LSU Wildlife Hospital of Louisiana. Donations given with those animals will also go to those facilities. The HSNO has already identified suitable transition sites in the New Orleans region for mammals and birds which allow for a "soft-release" (such as continued feeding for an extended period of time) to ensure success in re-introduction to the wild.

Field Operations

The HSNO already maintains response personnel trained in wildlife capture and restraint who will respond as a Wildlife Rescue team. This team will continue to operate as normal. The HSNO will additionally train these personnel in humane wildlife control and has obtained a nuisance wildlife control operator license from the State of Louisiana to assist homeowners and businesses in the area with humane wildlife removal & rescue. These wild animals will be relocated in accordance with Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries policy and procedure or the owner of the property will be advised of humane exclusion methods recognized by national humane standards.

Office Operations

Our phone system, already in operation, is designed to funnel callers into the appropriate extension and to the appropriate personnel. Our volunteer phone counselors will be trained in humane wildlife control and able to provide counseling to callers in that respect. Statistics and recordings of calls are collected and reviewed by the Board on a weekly basis to ensure quality control and appropriate instructions are being given by the phone counselors to the public. The new facility will allow for volunteers to answer calls as they are received instead of responding to voicemails as time permits.

Education Operations

The HSNO's mission is closely tied to education. Our phone counselors will continue to educate callers on humane ways to control wildlife and help them determine when to bring wildlife in to the shelter.

Our education operations will be extended with presentations to the public at various functions and events about our Louisiana wildlife utilizing non-releasable wild animals. Small groups will be able to come on-site to the rehabilitation facility to learn about our operations and we will make presentations directly to schools to allow inner-city children the opportunity to appreciate wild animals.

Our HSNO Wildlife Rehabilitation Overall Goal

The Humane Society of New Orleans' ultimate goal in the creation of a wildlife rehabilitation facility is to decrease the suffering of wild animals in the Greater New Orleans region and increase the education and appreciation of our wild neighbors to all we come in contact with.