By Andrea Bolt
The Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Coalition of The Woodlands opened its doors to the furry, scaled and feathered creatures in need of assistance and rehabilitation on July 23. Nestled in a dense copse of trees off Pruitt Road, the facility looks every bit a part of the nature it pledges to serve, nurture, and protect.
The Woodlands facility is a smaller campus than its predecessor, which is located at 10801 Hammerly Road in Houston. The organization was established in 1979 after an oil spill, then in 1 992, TWRC Wildlife Center began operations as a wildlife emergency center and educational facility, establishing it as Houston's first wildlife rehabilitation organization operating an emergency room to which the public could bring ill, injured and orphaned wildlife.
Volunteer Belinda Melder said TWRC Wildlife Center of The Woodlands may be small, but they have dreams to expand and help as many animals as possible.
“We don't have a set number of animals to help or a goal to reach,” she said. “If we did, we'd exceed every month.”
Opened just two and a half weeks, the facility already has a host of opossums, woodpeckers, sparrows, squirrels, and a red-tailed hawk that have either been orphaned or injured and then brought by Woodlands-area residents to the facility for help, treatment, rehabilitation and potentially re-release.
Volunteer Lynn Morris said the goal of the rehabilitation efforts is to be able to release the animals back into their original habitats.
“We will try to re-release into the area they were found, if we know where. It depends on how young, how small and what species the animal is,” Morris said.
Morris and volunteer Gina Moore explained the TWRCWC will not accept certain kinds of animals, such as deer, poisonous snakes, foxes, coyotes, or domestic animals like cats or dogs. Moore said they will often refer such animals to other organizations or veterinary clinics.
Vice President Cheryl Meyer-Conley said they are eventually hoping to partner with veterinarians in The Woodlands to assist them with larger or severely injured animals.
Meyer-Conley also said they are hoping to expand in the “very near future.”
“We want to either add another building or tear down and start again. The goal is to have a full rehabilitation center with some educational animals on display with an educational training room as well,” Meyer-Conley said.
Morris said the organization is happy with its starting spot, for now.
“Everything we do is off of donations,” Melder said. “We just do the best we can and try to help one animal at a time.”