Meet Lynne, the founder of Constance Creek Wildlife Refuge who wears a number of hats on the team and keeps our charity partner running! We were able to ask this busy lady a couple of questions about the charity, and got to know all about their amazing mission to support wildlife.
What is your role at Constance Creek?
I am a bit of everything at CCWR! I started the refuge in 2010 and still act as its director, volunteer coordinator, accounting department, wildlife caregiver, trainer, fundraiser, purchaser of supplies, and maybe a few more roles all of which are as an unpaid volunteer.
What is the mission of Constance Creek?
The mission is to provide wildlife rehabilitation services and sanctuary for rescued farm animals. However, since there will always be more animals in need than resources to care for them, it is crucial that the mission include public education and advocacy. Through education, we can prevent more animals from needing sanctuary and rehabilitation. Through advocacy, we can be a voice for animals and help prevent the situations that disrupt their natural ways.
How did the charity start? Was there a specific event that inspired its founding?
I had a few farm animals on the 10 acre home I share with my daughter. We soon became aware the there are many farm animals in need of sanctuary when we were contacted by the Ottawa Humane Society to see if we could take in a pot-bellied pig. Then one day, I was asked if I could care for an orphaned fawn. The closest licenced wildlife centre that would take in fawns was in Napanee, so after transferring the fawn to Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre, I started the process of becoming a Wildlife Custodian with the Ministry of Natural Resources.
What has been your favourite memory of working at Constance Creek?
Of course, that is tough. I always feel an overwhelming sense of honour to be able to work first hand with little wildlife orphans and many steal my heart. Each first time we receive a new species, it is life-changing because I get to learn so much. This season, our new species was a 1 week old muskrat!
The aspects of this work that I'm most proud of are the community engagement and the educational summer camps that we have run in the past. Connecting with the local community to have volunteers become part of CCWR is very rewarding. And creating opportunities for young people to care about animals through summer camps gives me hope for the future.
How can people support the charity?
There are lots of ways!
Volunteering - we need help building and fixing animal enclosures, putting up fences, doing laundry, cleaning, and helping with animal care
Fostering - people who can provide care for animals at their own homes, either bottle-feeding young orphans or setting up their property as a soft-release site, allow us to take in and rehabilitate more animals
Fundraising - throw a garage sale or bake sale, host an event, have a donation box at your reception, create a fundraiser at work, organize a Paint Night, or any other creative way to help us raise funds to cover our expenses
Donate - items such as used linens, cleaning supplies, pet supplies, and of course cash so we can buy special wildlife formulas and pay for veterinary expenses.