OWL offers animal rehabilitation, education

Lisa Lindsay capturing an ill red-tailed hawk.

Lisa Lindsay capturing an ill red-tailed hawk.

OROVILLE – Lisa Lindsay has started a wildlife education and rehabilitation center in Oroville she calls the Okanogan Wildlife League.

Lindsay, the director of the center, plans on holding a free informational presentation at the Oroville High School Commons on Friday, March 23 at 6 p.m. The presentation is open to the public and Lindsay will speak about wildlife rehabilitation, its usage and opportunities. The presentation will also feature three live raptors.

She says it took her a year to get all the necessary permits to open the Okanogan Wildlife League (OWL) which will offer a safe place for sick, injured and orphaned wildlife in the hopes that they can be rehabilitated for release back to the wild.

“We will treat the animals we can with injuries or illnesses until they are recovered and we can assist orphaned babies with the means to grow into adults so they may survive on their own,” she said. “We also offer unique volunteer opportunities for motivated individuals who have interests in working with animals, biology or ecology.”

As far as education, the center currently has three non-releasable raptors at the facility that will serve as “animal ambassadors” like at the upcoming presentation.

“They help teach the public about the benefits of wildlife rehabilitation and also offers a close encounter to attendees to allow them to see how their individual adaptations that help them survive in the wild.

I would like to expand OWL as much as possible as there are no other wildlife rehabilitation facilities in most of North Central Washington. I plan to file as a 501(c)3 organization by the end of this year so I qualify for various available grants. The ability to apply for grants will allow me to continue building the large and various animal enclosures needed to help a wide range of wildlife. The closest available center is in Colville to the East or Arlington to the West. It will be a slow process, but will be beneficial to our county in offering our injured wildlife a place to heal.” Lindsay has worked in the veterinary field since 2000 and became a licensed veterinary technician in 2007. In 2005 she volunteered and eventually became listed as a sub-permittee in Arizona under another permitted rehabilitator.

“I also had volunteered at a larger facility in Tucson, Arizona in the summer of 2006. Working with the various mammals and raptors in our care was very rewarding for me,.” she said.

Her family moved from Arizona to Oroville last April. Shortly after moving to Okanogan County, she gave up a full time job at a veterinary hospital to spend more time at home with her children.

“It didn’t take long for me to miss working with animals and I discovered that there were no local wildlife rehabilitation centers in the area. I began the application and testing process in 2009 and everything came together in the fall of 2010 so I could officially offer my services to the public. It’s equally rewarding that I can involve my children in this activity and take them with me on our rescue calls.

“OWL is the only permitted wildlife rehabilitation center in Okanogan County. We are unique in that service alone. We also offer great volunteer opportunities that are open to the public that can range from animal care, assisting in fund raising, maintenance and building, office work and various other avenues as the occasions arise.”

Lindsay is married and she and her husband have a four-year-old son and a two-and-a- half-year-old daughter. They also have a large menagerie of pets including cats, dogs, ducks, a horse and a tortoise.

The business doesn’t have regular hours because she feels she has to be on-call night or day to rescue injured wildlife.

“I do not have official “business hours” as I never know when I will receive a call. The necessities needed for this center requires many hours of my personal time, but am happy to set aside time to go on an animal rescue. My kids enjoy it as well.”

For more information contact Lindsay at (509) 560-3828 or visit the OWL website at http://okanoganwildlife.webs.com