What We Do:
Napa Wildlife Rescue (NWR) is the only organization in Napa County that is permitted to rescue, rehabilitate and release wildlife back to the Napa wild. NWR operates under permits from the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. NWR accepts all species of Napa County wildlife that are orphaned, injured or sick, except for some large game animals e.g. bears, lions, and full-grown deer (we do rescue and care for fawns). If they are orphaned, we raise them. If they are sick or injured, we heal them. Throughout the year, hundreds of bird, raptor and mammal species are returned to the wild following the specialized care of NWR’s staff and volunteers. Our average number of intakes annually is approximately 1200 patients. 2020 is currently trending to exceed previous years by as much as 20%. We have already passed the 1200 mark in 2020 and still have 4 months to go.
Our process begins when members of the public inform us of wildlife they believe to be in distress and needing help. Ideally this is a phone call to our Hawkline (707 224-Hawk), which is manned 7 days a week. Hawkline volunteers assess the situation remotely by species, behavior, visible evidence of injuries, etc. to determine the next steps. Sometimes the instruction is to leave animals that are actually exhibiting normal behavior (whether it seems so to humans or not) where they are. Other times we dispatch rescuers or instruct the finder how to handle the animal for transport to our intake center at Silverado Veterinary Hospital. Trained NWR volunteers check the intake center for animals (three times a day in high season and once a day in low season) and either transport patients to the Clinic or contact the appropriate home care person for the assessment of the patient. In the future, intake will be augmented with our new Middle Avenue location when it comes online . After rehabilitative care, healthy animals are released back into their native habitats in accordance with strict species-specific release criteria.
In addition to our rehabilitation efforts, NWR has grown significantly in our school and community outreach in the last 3 years. These programs are aimed at:
- Building wildlife appreciation and prevention – through awareness of human activities that might help wildlife or put it at risk.
- Promoting the Hawkline and NWR as the places to go when help is needed.
- Building wonder and love for wildlife, particularly in the schools, which we hope will develop into lasting support for Napa’s wildlife community
- Attracting new volunteers.
Our educational programs are often enhanced by the presence of our two Ambassador Animals (an Opossum and a Red-tailed hawk), in addition to compelling photographic and video displays, engaging signage and informative presentations. We created a new curriculum in 2019 based on the scientific principles of learning, which was presented free and in person to 790 school children in 2019 and 516 in 2020 before the program was halted due to virus-related closures.
Napa Wildlife Rescue was founded in 1991 as a nonprofit corporation under the direction of local veterinarian Shirley Harmon. Napa Wildlife Rescue is licensed through the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to possess and provide temporary care for sick, orphaned, or injured California wildlife pursuant to Section 679, Title 14, Code of Regulations (CCR). Additionally, we are permitted through the US Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Division to rehabilitate migratory birds.
Board of Directors:
John Comisky – President
Carol Poole – Vice President
Debra Brown – Treasurer
Linda Howard – Secretary
Eve-Ann Wilkes – Board Member
Tom Clark – Board Member
Phyllis Hunt – Board Member
Elizabeth Monk – Board Member
Lee Loban – Board Member
Monty Sander – Board Member
We invite you to join us in helping make the center a reality. For more information on becoming a volunteer, please call (707) 685-5411 or email the Wildlife Administrator at firstname.lastname@example.org
At Shafer Vineyards we believe the work of Napa Wildlife Rescue helps to preserve an integral part of what keeps Napa Valley beautiful, healthy, and special – our wildlife. We believe so strongly in the importance of the organization that in 2016 we donated a five-acre parcel of land to house the center’s first permanent rehabilitation aviary for wild birds.Doug ShaferShafer Vineyards
It has been Shafer’s privilege to support the work of Napa Wildlife Rescue for a number of years and we look forward to continuing to contribute to their success in the future.
I have been an avid supporter of the Napa Wildlife Rescue organization for many years. The work that they do is unmatched and unparalleled in the County from animal rescue and rehabilitation to public education.
We have been grape growers for over 50 years and know the importance of a healthy environment. That environment includes the natural animals and birds that contribute to the circle of life in the vineyards.Morgan MorganOak Knoll Vineyards
Our 6 member practicum group of Leadership Napa Valley class #33 researched different ways that we could help make a difference for Napa Valley, and chose to partner with Napa Wildlife Rescue (NWR) on the construction of a wildlife garden. Our team members have a strong affinity towards animals, and it seemed like a natural fit to help NWR. We heard about their planned move to a new site, and an apparent need to have a sustainable garden that would benefit their operations & the animals they serve. Immediately all members of the team jumped into the project with excitement and enthusiasm. To create such a lasting improvement to the Napa Valley community and our wildlife neighbors has been a very meaningful project.Leadership Napa Valley class #33Claudia Sonder & Matthew Garcia
What the Napa Wildlife Rescue offers injured wildlife in our community is extraordinary, and as passionate environmentalists I feel we have a moral obligation to be stewards of our land and of our flora and fauna. Not only does NWR take in injured wildlife, but they maintain and monitor barn owl boxes (we have three, with two barn owls ready to fledge), and offer volunteer opportunities (my two sons, now 21 and 19, volunteered at their center below Rector Dam at different times).
Napa Wildlife Rescue offers a great (I would even call it essential) service to our community.Beth MillikenSpottswoode Estate Vineyard & Winery
Brian and I are thrilled to support the work of Napa Wildlife Rescue. After all, the wildlife is an essential and wonderful part of life in the Valley. We personally “enrolled” in their Barn Owl Maintenance Program, which has been very successful in attracting barn owls to raise their families in our vineyards. It’s a wonderful form of natural rodent control, and we love providing nesting boxes for these magnificent raptors.
When I first visited the trailers where NWR was housed, bringing the volunteers an injured bird I found on our property, I was so impressed with the dedication of everyone involved. These people were obviously doing this work because they were passionate about the wildlife of our Valley.
With the natural disasters that Northern CA has endured over the last several years, and the spread of COVID throughout our planet, one of the true joys in life is observing a bird take a bath in a puddle of water, a red-tail hawk soaring above, or a fox trotting down a gravel road. What would our lives be without these wild creatures sharing this planet. Napa Wildlife Rescue is leading the charge in protecting this wildlife!Brian and Nancy MalkMalk Family Vineyards & the Malk Nature Fund
The Napa Valley is a diverse ecosystem, which offers beautiful scenery, paired with a vast array of wildlife. The Napa Wildlife Rescue works tirelessly to aid in the protection of our wildlife, for everyone of us to enjoy.Tom BougetzBougetz Cellars
I absolutely LOVE you all at Napa Wildlife!! Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU ALL!! 💋💋Regina M. Lutz
Thank you for all you do. The animals are so worthy of any care they are provided. Harm to the animals is one of the worst parts of our fire season.Terri Wallacker
You ROCK for these wild ones! Thanx so much much for all you do!Laurie J Ehlers