This duck, a type of mallard hen, was temporarily recuperating in the center’s upstairs bathtub because it was too cold outside. Someone brought the duck to the center because it was wobbly as it walked, and blood tests revealed high levels of lead. The duck had been stuck in dirty water in a Baltimore shipyard. He recovered fully and was released in December at a sanctuary, where he joined up with a flock of ducks. Photo by Laura Chase De Formigny
Maureen Smith, the center’s president, reviews a whiteboard with feeding and medication schedules. Each animal is given a case number and file. When an animal is being assessed for treatment, the people who rescued it are not allowed in the triage area as they might be during a regular visit to the vet. They often wait in the intake area or call later to get updates on the animal’s recovery. Photo by Laura Chase De Formigny
Left to right: Clinic technicians Drew Hoover and Holly Mills, with volunteer Elaine Dynes, prepare antibiotics and fluids to be given to the animals. In this room, patients are examined and weighed, and a chart is started that follows them throughout their stay. On average, the cost of care for each animal is about $150, Smith says. In the exam room and other areas at the center, soft songbird sounds play in the background. Silence in the wild is often a signal that a predator is nearby, so having natural chirping helps put the animals at ease, according to the staff. Photo by Laura Chase De Formigny
“Hey, sweet pea,” says Courtney Thomas, clinic tech and assistant clinic manager, as she feeds a mourning dove. To help the bird remain still, she wraps it in a towel. The bird is staying in a quiet room because it can lose its feathers easily if it gets stressed. Birds frequently come to the center with a variety of injuries from flying into windows, and often can be rehabilitated, depending on the severity of the problem. “It’s very rewarding to see these animals that come in down on their luck, watch them pro-gress, have a hand in making them better,” says Thomas, who studied wildlife sciences in college, “and then I get to see them go back to their natural habitat and thrive again.” Photo by Laura Chase De Formigny