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Tour Our Facility

Wilderness Haven--A Tour of Our Facility

     Wilderness Haven is not a large facility, staffed by a huge number of people. We are a small organization, consisting of one New York State Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator, and two Licensed Wildlife Assistants. We also can boast of three small fuzzy mascots at the Center, whose photos will appear later in this tour.


Admissions and Treatment

     When an animal first comes into the Center, we will place it in a holding cage in a dark quiet corner of our admissions area. The animal will be allowed to rest and relax awhile before we start treatment. This minimizes the amount of stress the animal will experience.


     The first step in treatment is a good physical exam to determine the exact extent of the illness or injury. This will be done in our treatment area.

     After we are sure we know what the problem is, we will know how to proceed with treatment. The most crucial step in treatment is rehydration, since 90% of the animals brought in for rehabilitation are dehydrated. Note the IV bag in the treatment area. Many animals can take fluids orally, but some need subcutaneous injection of fluids. At the Center we are prepared for both methods of rehydration. We use the IV fluids thatare used in human hospitals, including Lactated Ringer's and Normal Saline solutions

                                                                                                                                                        Many animals need medications for infections and often local medications for wounds. We work with an excellent veterinarian for this purpose and medications are sometimes compounded at the local pharmacy, according to the vet's instructions. Medications needing refrigeration (such as liquid antibiotics) are stored in the refrigerator in the facility kitchen.

Any treatments needed by the rescued animal, such as wound care, immobilization of fractures, fluid replacement, are all done in the treatment area.


Treatment table in Admissions. Here we examine all new patients, and decide on treatment.
Another view of the treatment area. This section contains space for more caging and an elevated sink for any needed cleansing.

Kitchen Facilities

Our kitchen area is equipped with a refrigerator, microwave and a large countertop for food preparation, complete with a good size cutting board.  Storage shelves for dishes and dry food products are located under the counter.


We actually spend a lot of time in the food prep area since good nutrition is fundamental to health and the healing process. We chop fruits and vegetables, mix formulas, measure portions and dish food into bowls for distribution to the current assortment of patients. We care for quite a few orphans during the course of the rehab season and preparing the formulas for the different species can be time consuming. 

 Opossums in particular have very specific needs, and the formula needs to address all these needs. Even when they start solid foods, opossums demand special feeding care.


Our kitchen also houses all the specific foods needed by squirrels, from formula, to nuts, to fruits and vegetables. Our refrigerator is always stocked with these fruits & vegetables, along with the formulas and a good supply of fresh dandelion greens for all those baby bunnies.


Kitchen area with food prep in progress. Note the microwave and refrigerator.
Closer view of food prep. Note the fruits and vegetables.


 As an animal heals and begins to be more active, or as baby animals grow, they will need larger cages and more space to move around. Exercise is essential to keep limbs flexible and to strengthen injured body parts. We have larger caging both indoors and outdoors, and we move our patients as the need arises. The photos below show some of our additional indoor caging.

Admission Area-cage for new patients. Here new patients rest before examination.
Another admission cage-note the newly arrived gray squirrel here.
Here's Woody, one of our resident mascots, waiting patiently for his breakfast.
This is a cottontail that was hit by a car. Note the severe head tilt.

This is a 4X8 cage with a smaller cage inside. The smaller cage is used to introduce new squirrels when others already inhabit the large cage. The squirrels seem to enjoy climbing on the branches and rings.

Note the young gray squirrel having a snack at the bottom of this cage. There is a wooden hide box at the top center of the photo.
This is Patch, named for the white patch on his head, scouting around for a treat.  Patch was successfully released in the Spring.
Pigeon admitted due to ingestion of some type of poison. He did recover.