April through September is considered “baby season” at the PAWS Wildlife Center, when staff and volunteers have their hands full caring for adorable (and hungry) baby birds, squirrels, raccoons, chipmunks, opossums and many more.
According to volunteer coordinator Frances Boyens, baby robins and sparrows are usually the first to arrive at the PAWS Wildlife Center, and baby season officially ends when the final baby raccoon is strong enough to scamper out the door. Last baby season, the PAWS team even cared for several bear cubs and baby Harbor Seals.
The first few months of life are a tenuous time for newborns in the wild, and most of these young ones come to PAWS injured, orphaned and unable to care for themselves. A great number of babies coming through the doors are the survivors of attacks from cats and dogs, or the unfortunate victims of human interference.
PAWS staff and volunteers spend months rehabilitating them so they can make a successful transition back to their natural habitats. It’s a busy and exciting time, and one of the best times to be a volunteer at PAWS. Volunteers work hands-on with the animals, feeding them and helping nurse them back to health.
“It’s a rewarding and life changing experience,” says one volunteer. “There’s nothing quite like feeding a tiny squirrel, and knowing you’re making the difference between life and death.”
Baby season is only a few weeks away, and PAWS needs all the help it can get to ensure the resources are available to care for these small, defenseless creatures.
“Our volunteers go through orientation and training, ensuring they are able to act with minimal supervision and really take ownership in their work with the animals,” Boyens said.
For more information on volunteering see www.paws.org.