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Wildlife Response, Inc (WRI) is dedicated to the preservation of wildlife through rehabilitation and education.
One of the most widespread challenges today in the struggle to save wild things and wild places is how to bond people to the physical world in a powerful enough way to give them the motivation to want to protect and preserve it. It is especially important in our growing suburban and urban communities to increase significant associations connecting people and nature, especially where natural environments and natural experiences are less and less common.
On a local level, the steady arrival of new residents to the Hampton Roads area is having an overwhelming impact on our wildlife and natural environment. As we accommodate this progression, it is essential that people who now call the Hampton Roads area home understand the sensitive balance of human and non-human populations, the affect we have on the natural environment, and the best ways in which we can coexist.
Purposes and Goals
Wildlife Response, Inc. has two associated, yet distinct, purposes or goals.
Our primary purpose is:
To treat and rehabilitate sick, injured, and foster orphaned wild animals with the goal of releasing them back into the wild.
We accomplish this by:
Maintaining a network of dedicated permitted Wildlife Rehabilitators to properly care for wildlife in need of assistance
Offering the latest training for our members and other permitted Wildlife Rehabilitators
In light of the fact that most problems wild animals encounter are related to people, either directly or indirectly, our second purpose is:
To give assistance and advice in matters involving wildlife by promoting humane treatment of all wildlife through information, education, and community programs, so we can coexist with our wild neighbors.
More explicitly, our goals are to:
Enhance people's understanding of nature and habitats and our wild neighbors that depend on those places for their continued existence.
Make the case for why protecting wild things and wild places is not only ethically sound but will also help to safeguard our own survival.
Increase awareness about how our natural and man made environments interconnect.
WRI began in 1992 and is the oldest wildlife rehabilitation and rescue organization in Hampton Roads. Currently there are 40 permitted (as required by the VDGIF and U.S.) wildlife rehabilitators in our organization. While our focus is rehabilitation, WRI members are also veterinarians, business professionals, and volunteers from all walks of life.
WRI represents the region of southeastern Virginia, with licensed and permitted wildlife rehabilitators, transporters, and members in municipalities from Virginia Beach to Franklin, on the peninsula including James City County and Gloucester, and also on the Eastern Shore of Virginia. This coverage enables wildlife found in its own area to be rehabilitated and released back into its own area and minimizes crossing county lines, as required by VA State law. This minimizes the spread of disease from one county to the next and also quickly highlights where a disease is popping up.
WRI rehabilitators rehabilitated and released back into the wild over 3000 birds, mammals, and reptiles in 2011, bringing the total to over 25,000 in the past 20 years. We are the only wildlife rehabilitation organization in Hampton Roads that offers consistent wildlife transport with permitted wildlife transporters to residents with a wildlife emergency.
WRI has active working relationships, with the following organizations and individuals of note in southeastern Virginia, whose Directors and staff in many cases are also WRI members:
- The Virginia Living Museum, Newport News
- Sandy Bottom Nature Center, Hampton
- The Discovery Center - Newport News Park
- The Virginia Zoo, Norfolk
- A.R.K. (Area Rehabbers Klub), Westpoint
- Virginia Aquarium, Virginia Beach
- Reese Lukei, volunteer & Raptor Expert from the Wildlife Biology Center at William & Mary
- Dominion Power
- Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge
- The Wildlife Center of Virginia, Waynesboro
- The Norfolk Botanical Gardens
- All Hampton Roads' Municipal Animal Control and Police Departments, especially on the south side, including Isle of Wight County.
Volunteers man a hotline for residents to call in with their wildlife emergencies. In 2011, the hotline received over 12,000 calls.
Community Outreach volunteers are out in the community speaking to Scouts, churches, Civic Organizations, as well as holding educational conferences for rehabilitators, and other groups and events monthly.
- Lisa Barlow, LVT
- (757) 543-7000
- Need admin access?