Animal Updates March 2024

Article by Jen Howard; photos by Kylee Hinde and Jen Howard

Approximate read time: Two minutes

Winter to spring has brought such ups and downs weather wise. We have two releases on hold because it’s been too cold and unstable. However, one little owl did manage to go home.

Screech owl

This is a wonderful update to share with you. A little screech owl came in March 10th.  He looked in rough shape after flying into a car. He had some suspected head trauma, and was also treated for a parasite called Trichomoniasis. He bounced back incredibly fast and keeping him down became quite a job as he was ready to fly the coop. He was released back to the wild on March 22nd. One very lucky little owl. 

It’s barely spring, but babies started to arrive a bit early this year.

Little Pinky Squirrels – Frizzel, Cricket and Blink

Four little baby eastern grey squirrels came in on Friday, March 8th from Kleinberg. A woman cleaned leaves out of her BBQ not knowing it was a nest. Three days later she heard frantic crying in her garage. She found four little pink bundles in the leaves she had gathered. She got them warm and called us right away, I took the call. She did everything right; got them into a warm secure bin, did not attempt to feed or give fluids. Then she brought them right in.  One passed but the other three are thriving and soon their eyes will be open to see the world for the first time. 

Just a reminder:

Never ever feed infants, always call us immediately. Your only job, is to secure and keep those babies warm and in a quiet place. Always transport any wildlife in a quiet car to reduce stress levels, please. No music, NO PETS. 

Tory the Fox

Tory came in with mange and her poor face was hardly recognizable. Once with us and treatment had started, it didn’t take long for her to start healing. She was put on a slow feed protocol; small protein meals a few times a day until we were certain her system was not rejecting anything. And now she is healing, her eyes are fully open and fur growing back on her beautiful face. She is still shedding the crusties from mange, but what a beautiful fox she is going to be again.  

We have twelve little infant eyes closed raccoons in our care at the moment and all are doing well. 

On March 25th our first infant eyes closed cottontails came in. Earliest yet.  Baby rabbits grow fast and leave the nest at three weeks of age. Mother rabbits only come at dusk and dawn to feed. Three weeks is a short time to wait to give babies their best chance at life. Let’s all work together.

And please, do not relocate other wildlife as the moms will move their young to another site on their own. Call us at 905-729-0033 for assistance if you are unsure if an animal is injured or in distress.


The Troubles Wildlife Get Into

Article and images by Jen Howard

Reading time: 3 minutes

Wildlife can be just like two-year-olds. Curious, adventurous and playful. If trouble lurks, they will find it. It’s up to us to keep them safe. I have created a list for you to follow to ensure our wildlife comes to no harm.

One primary objective is to make sure your property is safe, unless you don’t mind mothers using your home, sheds or outbuildings as a nursery. Please do not relocate adults as babes may be awaiting their mother’s return. Life is precious no matter what it is, and starving to death is a horrible way to go for these innocent little beings.

Wildlife Checklist to Make the Environment Safer

Balloons (regular and helium) – Never ever release them, they are deadly – they can ensnare birds and wildlife and fish may accidentally ingest them, causing certain death.

Bottles and jars – wash well and replace lids as wildlife from small to large may get their heads caught in these.

Fishing line – Never discard, animals and birds get caught up in this and can lose their lives.

Any plastic rings & bags – CUT before you toss. Turtles, fish, animals all can get caught in these. Discard bags safely.

Secure garbage – Make sure your garbage is properly secured and lids tight. Put out morning of pickup.

Rope – like fishing line, never discard improperly or leave in trees after camping. Always remove.

Old Wood – Always remove nails from wood from old decks or fences etc. And remember, stacked wood piles can be inviting to wildlife. Mink like to hide and play in them, wood piles or brush piles attract many things for shelter as well, or nurseries. Always make certain no life is in there if you plan to burn, there could be babies.

Construction sites – Please keep these clean, so many dangers here. Red sticky tape, holes, open areas, nails, wood, metal, bags, the list goes on. Keeping a construction site tidy and clean also keeps it safe for you. 

Lead Sinkers – STOP using lead sinkers for fishing. Go lead free. Too often, our fish, loons, swans and other waterfowl ingest these. Over time, the lead poisons their bodies with a slow and horrible death a certain outcome if not caught in time.

Bait traps – NEVER use these. Rat poison is deadly. Recently a family of screech owlets were found dead in a nest. Parents were seen bringing rats to feed their little ones. This stuff is DEADLY to all who consume it. Adult foxes, owls, coyotes, and other apex animals higher on the food chain, bring rats and mice as food for their young. The adults are not eating these rodents as often however it is deadly when this poisoned food is fed to their young. A poisoned animal is an easy catch. STOP. Use live traps to trap these animals humanely.

Glue traps – STOP. They catch everything as well. Bats, snakes, chipmunks. Even pollinators like bees and butterflies. These are extremely inhumane death traps.

Tires – Be mindful of storing tires. Curious wildlife can get caught in the rims. No, not kidding.

Antifreeze, oil, etc – Please never leave these things out, make sure they are stored safely. Covered tightly. All liquids stored with lids. Antifreeze for example is sweet tasting and irresistible to wildlife.

Pesticides – STOP using. This is a big NO. Our butterflies and bees are declining, our insects are critical for feeding our insect eaters, are declining, we need our pollinators for our food. Our frogs are also declining when pesticides are used close by, they are an important indicator species to predict changes in our ecosystem.

Pond – Always make sure any water features you have, provide a way out for anything that may fall in. A log works well. 

Please be mindful of our everyday living, garbage belongs in a garbage can not at the side of the roads or wetland areas. We share our world with other lives all of whom are important to us, our environment and ecosystem. Please. Keep it safe.

Jen Howard

Please support our 2ND Annual Procyon Wildlife Fundraising Gala

Are you interested in Helping Wildlife in Need AND Promoting your Business? Then We Need YOU to Keep Our Centre Running! Please consider supporting our Second Annual Procyon Wildlife Fundraising Gala to be held on Saturday, November 23, 2024, at Caesar’s Centre in Bolton, Ontario!

Contact us at in**@pr*************.com to learn more or call 905-729-0033. We look forward to hearing from you!

Guide To Awesomeness – Podcast

From Rescue to Release: The Journey with Procyon Wildlife Guide To Awesomeness ( Sarah Peters (Mills) of Coldwell Banker – Ronan Realty Brokerage interviews Debra Spilar, Director/Custodian of Procyon Wildlife.

In this episode of the Guide to Awesomeness podcast Debra Spilar, the Director/Custodian of Procyon Wildlife, was interviewed by Sarah Peters (Mills). Debra discusses the origins and operations of Procyon Wildlife, a sanctuary for orphaned and injured wild animals. She explains the process of rescuing and rehabilitating animals, from guiding the public on how to safely bring distressed animals to the facility to providing the necessary care and attention for their recovery. Debra also highlights the importance of volunteers in the day-to-day operations of Procyon Wildlife and encourages listeners to get involved in supporting their mission through volunteering, donations, or spreading awareness within our community.

We at, Procyon Wildlife, extend our heartfelt thanks to Sarah of Guide to Awesomeness for giving us the opportunity to talk about the work that we do in our community. If you are interested in volunteering go to

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