If you have brought in an orphaned sick or injured wild animal to Procyon Wildlife, you may have met some of the remarkable volunteers who care for the wildlife at the Centre. Since our facility is not open to the public to protect wildlife from as much human interaction as possible, there are many volunteers whom you will never meet but who work hard to care for our patients. We are introducing this column for you, our readers, so that you can get acquainted with what makes Procyon work – our volunteers.

The volunteers featured are chosen by their fellow volunteers, which makes the recognition even more special. 🙂

Perhaps, their stories may even inspire you to join us and become a volunteer! If interested, please visit: https://www.procyonwildlife.com/volunteering-at-procyon/

The July Spotlight Shines on Volunteer: Michelle Meandro

Michelle is teaching her dog, Neeji, to swim.

Michelle was nominated by quite a few of her fellow volunteers for her willingness to cover so many shifts, her patient skills in dealing with newer volunteers and her obvious commitment to the health and happiness of the animals in care at Procyon Wildlife.

Q.  How did you become involved with Procyon in the first place?

A. The key start was a young fawn a neighbour  found on a compost heap about 3 feet from a deep wetland area. Procyon guided us on her injured leg and reuniting her with what was thought to be an inexperienced doe

Q. What is your favourite kind of critter to work with?

A. I am a variety person and enjoy working with as many as possible. I like them all but bunnies and fawns do steal my heart.

Q. What do you find the most rewarding part of volunteering here?

A. The most rewarding aspect is watching a youngster come in, maybe in poor health, then they move along to the graduating rooms or bigger crates where they become pesky toddlers, eventually to outdoor pens and then ultimately in someone’s vehicle heading off to their true home.  Although death is also part of this life, at least you know, a chance was given.

Q. What do you think is the most important thing you share with those not involved about helping/living in harmony with wildlife?

A. Education and a place to call.  We need to constantly inform people of their role in why Procyon has to exist.

Q. What is something about you that other volunteers would be surprised if they knew?

A. That’s a tough one because it’s boring. I am a retired tax accountant, pilot, and farm kid where we often had Newfoundland dogs.  Six years ago we rescued a Newf from a difficult situation. Some people asked why did we bother, she was ‘no good’. Given the chance and love, she became one of the top Newfs in Canada in rally and obedience, earned highest level titles in water rescue and draft, and received a breed National award. The Procyon team gives that same valuable opportunity to every critter to be a champion in their own right and in their own habitat. Procyon volunteers are the bridge for each animal to a better life.

The August Spotlight Shines on Volunteer: Sue MacKenzie

Sue MacKenzie pictured at Procyon Wildlife

Sue is endlessly willing to help everyone and share her knowledge. She tirelessly works at everything and truly knows what working as a team means. She created a wonderful learning environment and is always willing to take on challenges. Fellow volunteers agree that Sue exemplifies team spirit.

Q.  How did you become involved with Procyon in the first place?

A. When it came time for me to retire I knew I would need something to keep me busy, interested and young. I have a passion for animals so I started looking around for a place that could use a helping hand and I found Procyon. My first day there I was so surprised because it was not what I expected but I loved it even more.

Q. What is your favourite kind of critter to work with?

A. That is really a hard question because I love them all but if I had to pick it would be a close run between the raccoons and skunks. I love the curiosity of the raccoons and the skunks bold determination

Q. What do you find the most rewarding part of volunteering here?

A. The most rewarding part of working at Procyon would have to be the success stories. Those animals that come in and are so ill you worry about them for days or weeks. Suddenly they are rallying, eating and playing. There is nothing better than knowing they will return to the place they are meant to be.

Q. What do you think is the most important thing you share with those not involved about helping/living in harmony with wildlife?

A. I have learned so much about animal care, their behaviors and their environment. I have found this so helpful in educating those around me about our responsibility for their health and well being. I think knowledge and understanding is key to alleviating the misconceptions and fear people have about wildlife.

Q. What is something about you that other volunteers would be surprised if they knew?

A. I don’t know if there is anything others would find surprising about me. Before my career as a nurse I had a passion for sewing and made my own clothes. I studied fashion merchandising and went on to work at the old Tip Top Tailors head office but eventually moved on to nursing. You would think with the sewing experience I could design better nursing uniforms, who knows maybe one day, Lol.

Meet Some of Our Amazing Procyon Volunteers
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