DUNROBIN – Business has tripled during the COVID-19 pandemic for the Holly’s Haven Wildlife Rescue just outside of Dunrobin. Unfortunately for the wildlife rescue centre, its clients aren’t known for paying their bills.

Holly’s Haven is named after the centre’s first permanent resident, a racoon named Holly found by the side of the road in 2018. Her injuries prevent her from being re-released back in to the wild.

Holly’s Haven Wildlife Rescue (HHWR) is your local non-profit organization dedicated to serving our community by responding to wildlife issues as licensed by the Ministry of Natural Resources,” centre volunteers released in a statement. “Approximately 50 volunteers collaborate to provide excellent rehabilitation for orphaned and injured wild mammals such as squirrels, porcupines, raccoons, bats, skunks, foxes, groundhogs, chipmunks and fawns.”

The pandemic has put additional pressure on Holly’s Haven.

“Last year, with the pandemic, demand for their help tripled,” organizers said. “We went from a usual annual intake of 100 animals to an intake of more than 300. We do most of our work through foster care of animals, so volunteers take in a few babies and care for them in their homes until they are ready for an outdoor enclosure. They establish enclosures at widespread soft release sites for the animals to move to when old enough.”

HHWR admitted animals are fed species specific foods and are given vaccinations to ensure they will be released healthy and will not spread any disease. The 50 volunteers took in and treated the 300 intakes of last year on a budget of less than $20,000. The budget is made from individual donations from supporters.

“HHWR are getting ready for the upcoming spring when the calls for help with wildlife orphans will start coming in,” volunteers said. “HHWR needs to prepare by ordering the supplies they will need to do their job well.”

If you would like to support their work by donating to HHWR, this can be done through their PayPal account or by e-transfer to donate@hhwr.ca. They also have a GoFundMe campaign and can receive cheques made out to Holly’s Haven Wildlife Rescue, 2494 Dunrobin Rd, Ottawa, ON, K0A 1T0.

“The old construction trailer on site was useful as HHWR’s main building and clinic for several years, but is no longer in useable condition,” the HHWR said. “They are looking for options to have it removed and have a new building or trailer to take its place. Please contact them directly if you have any suggestions. You can message the Holly’s Haven Facebook page, email lynne@hhwr.ca, or text 613-222-4719.”