Operating the MARS Wildlife Rescue Centre is not easy or cheap. A Barn owl will eat as many as eight mice/day, an $8 food bill. A Tundra swan is tube fed a mixture of salad greens, cream corn and sweet potatoes as often as 10 times a day, a $50 bill. The Bald eagle’s daily food bill is $5 or more.

We don’t always know the cause of trauma so we wait and watch and look for improvement. Healing takes time.

And time is money …  and effort.

A violet green swallow needs food every 15 minutes throughout daylight hours for up to three weeks, a labour intensive undertaking for volunteers. Fawns are fed a mixture of goat milk and cheese five times a day at a cost of $12, a bill that rises to $15 a day as the fawn gets larger and nearer to the day of its release.

Last year, MARS saw more than 600 patients, some requiring lengthy stays, so these costs can quickly add up.

There’s more … 

In 2016, Comox Valley veterinarians generously donated nearly $20,000 worth of services to help MARS wildlife. However, there are many costs associated with trips to the vet that are not covered. Post-surgery medications, ointments, bandages and other medical supplies used in follow-up treatments are all out of pocket expenses MARS must find.

Then there are the costs and effort associated with the day to day. Towels and bedding are changed daily, cages are regularly cleaned and washed by volunteers as are dishes, kitchen utensils, mixing bowls, measuring cups and blenders.

Everything from rescue vehicles to phone bills, heating and the internet must be paid from donations, retail sales and grants.

“We have seen a significant drop in donations in the post-Christmas 2016 period,” said Paul Jackman, MARS treasurer. “It’s a troubling trend, perhaps donors are tired, nonetheless we are quite concerned about the current shortfall in our operations budget.”


[media-credit name=”Sandy Royer Photo” align=”aligncenter” width=”1000″][/media-credit]
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[media-credit name=”Sandy Royer Photo” align=”aligncenter” width=”1024″]Feeding Very Vocal Baby Barn Owl![/media-credit]