The Rideau Valley Wildlife Sanctuary says it's facing financial pressures because of a high number of orphaned and injured wildlife so far this year.


The Rideau Valley Wildlife Sanctuary says it has admitted a higher-than-normal number of mammals and turtles so far this year. (Photo courtesy of Rideau Valley Wildlife Sanctuary)

In all of 2012, the sanctuary admitted 480 mammals and turtles. So far this year, more than 620 have been admitted, according to a news release issued Monday.

"And the year's not over yet," said board member Heather Badenoch.

The sanctuary attributes the increase to more treatment rooms and outdoor enclosures, which were built this year thanks to donated construction materials and volunteer labour, as well as a grant from the Community Foundation of Ottawa.

"We're seeing an increase in food costs, formula costs, we also need to have more volunteers on site, vet bills have gone up dramatically, we need to keep the lights on, we're caring for more turtles — their tanks take electricity — so we're seeing an increase in cost all around," said Badenoch.

She said she is "thrilled" about the expansion even though it has meant escalating costs.

"We're entirely confident that people will donate supplies and donate money to keep it going," said Badenoch.

"We definitely want people to continue to phone us if they have a question about animals, if they find an injured or orphaned animal," she said.

Many mammals and recuperating turtles will need to spend the winter at the sanctuary before release next spring.

The sanctuary is a registered charity and mainly volunteer-based organization that runs on public donations. It's the only licensed rehabilitator of wild mammals and turtles serving the Ottawa and Rideau valleys.