Since its founding in 2002, the need for wildlife rehabilitation at Dane County Humane Society's (DCHS's) Wildlife Center has steadily grown. With around 100 patients in our first year, DCHS's Wildlife Center now provides healing, rehabilitation and refuge for over 3,000 wild animals each year. This rise in patients also meant our facility needed to grow. Originally sharing space in our first barn with goats and horses, our Wildlife Center now includes a main building, a reptile recovery center, six flight pens and twenty-eight additional outdoor enclosures.
Now it is time to expand our facilities again! This summer we broke ground on our new bat and duckling building, thanks to a generous grant from Partners for Wildlife. With an enclosed room, floor drains, a workbench and expanded space, this new building will provide space to care for hundreds of ducklings and bats, as well as much needed workspace and storage for food and seasonal caging.
Since 2018, DCHS's Wildlife Center has been the main bat rehabilitation center in southeastern Wisconsin and provides care to hundreds of bats each year. Typically, bats are admitted during the fall and winter and must stay until spring, when it is warm enough for them to find food. This means we could have dozens of bats in our care at one time! The new building will serve as a cold bat ‘cave’ in the winter by housing cave bats that are healthy enough to spend winter months hibernating. As many species of bats are threatened in Wisconsin due to white-nose syndrome, having a dedicated bat space allows us to follow important quarantine guidelines set forth by the Department of Natural Resources. When bats aren’t using the facility in winter months, this space will help other patients such as raptors, mammals and songbirds adjust to the colder weather so they can move to outdoor caging and be ready to return home.
During the summer, this space will house young waterfowl! Mallard and wood ducklings are the most common species admitted to the Wildlife Center, and at one point this summer we had over 200 ducks in our care. Ducklings can be quite messy, and this finished room has a floor drain to allow for easy washing of cage materials. The building also allows for our reptile and amphibian patients to have their own space, providing care to more patients of both groups.
In addition to providing more space for animal care, the bat and duckling building will also provide much needed storage space for tools, caging, food and a workbench. With the new indoor workbench, building and maintenance projects can be completed year-round! The convenient and accessible food storage area will provide easy access to our dried goods such as birdseed, corn and oats. With so many unique species admitted to the Wildlife Center, a large variety of food is always in stock! Seasonable use caging such as duckling and turtle enclosures, bat cages or small mammal cages will be safely stored and easily accessible to accommodate the changing needs of our wildlife patients. New custom shelving will keep cages, tools and other animal care supplies organized year-round.
Please help us prepare our bat and duckling building for wildlife in need. Donate using the form above or purchase a much-needed item from our Amazon Wish List. Please note: Due to privacy restrictions, Amazon.com does not provide us with customer information. If you purchase something from our Amazon Wish List, please forward your receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org so we may properly thank you for your gift.
Dane County Humane Society’s Wildlife Center relies on your support to provide compassion, medical care and new beginnings to native wildlife. Without your support, we couldn’t provide this essential service to our community. Make a gift today to expand our space and provide care to Wisconsin wildlife!