Canadian Marine Mammal Rescue Network
Disaster Response

OERS and Its Emergency Response Efforts

Originally OERS was organized to rescue, treat and rehabilitate marine animals that were involved in emergencies such as oil spills or strandings. To that end, funds were raised, volunteers were trained and equipment organized to deal with such emergencies. OERS also created the Canadian Marine Animal Rescue Network or CMARN that brought together both national and international marine animal experts to lend their knowledge and expertise as well as offering assistance to other like minded organizations.

However, Hurricane Katrina emphasized the need to also have a system in place to evacuate, rescue and house the land based wildlife or pets and livestock of those unfortunate owners who become victims of a natural or man-made emergency. Therefore, OERS has expanded to also accomodate this need by creating a Disaster Response Division or DRD that deals specifically with the rescuing, treating and housing of all species animals trapped in any emergency situation.

- OERS Disaster Response Division -

Recent Rescue's

Water/Migratory Birds

Sea Birds



Disaster/Emegency Responses

September 2005 - Hurricane Katrina (Operation Chewie) - Mississippi

Dr. Carin Wittnich and OERS volunteer Stjephan Soric were part of the Hurricane Relief Efforts in Mississippi. This initiative was spearheaded through OERS, where Dr Wittnich is a Director. This was financially co-supported by the Faculty of Medicine (University of Toronto) and the Michener Institute with additional supplies from the Ontario Veterinary College (Guelph).

Under FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), the HSUS (Humane Society of the USA) and the Mississippi Department of Public Health, they were deployed to Hattiesburg Mississippi initially for one week of relief work to focus on rescue and care of the animals caught up in this disaster and issues related to public health.

OERS was asked by the coordinating agencies to extend their deployment by an extra week to go to ground zero in Gulfport, Mississippi to help organize local groups. It was hard work with long hours in 110oF weather, limited resources and ongoing adverse weather (Rita came through) but rewarding and appreciated.

- Full Story -

Longterm Rehabilitation

Sea Birds

Summer 2007 - Mighty the Sea Gull

MightyIt was twenty minutes past ten at night when the emergency cell call came in. A couple were walking in a nearby ball park when they stumbled upon a sea gull with a dragging wing. It was clear that although he tried, he was unable to fly away. They wanted to know what they could do, since everyone else they had called recommended euthanasia, an option they were not happy with. As it is our policy to always try as long as the bird is happy and not suffering, OERS staff advised them on how to safely capture him and then temporarily house him until pickup, which was arranged for the next morning. OERS Rescue headed to Whitby bright and early the next morning, to pick up our latest patient. The family had done a great job and after a quick on scene check, the young sea gull was safely placed in our transport vehicle for the ride to the OERS facility. Upon arrival at the OERS facility and a full veterinary exam, it was determined that Mighty, as the family’s children had named him, had a broken left wing.

After reduction and immobilization, Mighty was moved into a recovery pen, where he spent the next few days gorging on yummy fresh fish and other treats as he adapted to the new environment. It was clear from the beginning that Mighty was not shy and in record time had figured out that this was a great situation, and was integrated into the “OERS flock”. So far he has adapted well, is eating and socializing. Stay tuned, updates will be posted as available.

August 2007 Update

Mighty’s wing break is still early in the process of healing and after only a few weeks only recently has he begin to lift it.  Despite this, Mighty continues to integrate well and doesn’t let his wing slow him down and he gives as good as he gets!!  His youthful exuberance is infectious and his personality adds another dimension to the group. Mighty has a great appetite and he has settled in well to the rehab flock. Updates to follow as wing healing continues to progress.

October 2007 Update

Mighty is continuing to do very well and his broken wing has knit. Some contracture has occurred and the OERS rehab staff are working daily on him to reverse this. He is responding positively and use of his wing has become visibly improved. Time and further aggressive rehab will further assist him in our hope for his complete recovery. More as we see whether this occurs.

February 2008 Update

Mighty’s wing break has now fully healed. Unfortunately some contracture has occurred. Fortunately physiotherapy by the volunteers is helping to lossen this contracture and Mighty is now flapping more and in the last week some lift has been noted. Mighty’s health is excellent, appetite great and thus patience and time are needed to allow Mighty to undergo further wing therapy. Stay tuned!

June 2008 Update

Mighty’s wing is on a slow road to use. Mighty is more and more involved in the flights going on within the rehab flock building. Ongoing physiotherapy by the volunteers has indeed helped to sretch the wing and Mighty is regularily getting lift. Mighty’s health continues as excellent. We are thrilled to see progress and so we continue to do everything to get the wing functional again, though we realize this will take time.


Summer 2006 - Seamor the Third

Semour the ThirdThis young seagull was found injured in a parking lot by some caring animal lovers who were just driving by from the Meaford area. They took the time to stop and realizing he was hurt, captured him brought him to their home for the night. After calling around through the night and next morning they finally called OERS.Since the bird was contained (they had set him up in a transport cage) and they had to travel, arrangements were made for a drop point mid-way between OERS’s rehabiliation facility in Barrie.

Upon arrival at the rehabilitation facility, OERS’s veterinarian gave the bird a preliminary examination finding a compound fracture of the left wing, bones exposed and wing dragging. Otherwise he was a healthy young gull! Preliminary treatments were begun to clean the wound, immobilize the wing and prevent any possible infection. Clean comfortable housing with yummy food was provided and within a few days our latest patient had perked up and the injury was contained, permitting further treatment as needed. Seamor the 3rd was responding very well, became naturally feisty and by the second week, a small floating tub could be provided, preventing foot or keel injury. With flight feathers trimmed, bandages were no longer needed. By the third week he had graduated to the exercise wading pool and small tentative wing flapping became evident.

Seamor the 3rd was moved to a larger enclosure to permit more exercise and has continued to progress very well. He has developed into a nice young adult with a solid wing. Only a small bump remains from his terrible break and even that is disappearing with each week of rehabilitation. He is ready for release, now he just needs to re-grow fully his flight feathers and when the days are warmer he will once again fly the skies and look down on us humans, hopefully appreciating that there are some who care. Thanks to the efforts of a family who took the time from their busy day to stop and help “just a seagull”, another free spirit is able to soar again. Good for you!Seamor the 3rd was moved to a larger enclosure to permit more exercise and has continued to progress very well. He has developed into a nice young adult with a solid wing. Only a small bump remains from his terrible break and even that is disappearing with each week of rehabilitation. He is ready for release, now he just needs to re-grow fully his flight feathers and when the days are warmer he will once again fly the skies and look down on us humans, hopefully appreciating that there are some who care. Thanks to the efforts of a family who took the time from their busy day to stop and help “just a seagull”, another free spirit is able to soar again. Good for you!

August 2007 Update

Seymore is finally beginning to shed his flight feathers on his broken wing side. This wing is fully functional and he has been using the full size of his pen to practice. His socializing skills have also been put to the test. As more patients have arrived, their emergency care and recoveries done and after appropriate healing time, they are integrated to the OERS rehab flock. He seems to adjust well and it probably is a good experience for him. His coloration is now almost fully adult and he is maturing well. The serious wing fracture callus has completely remodeled and realigned, Plans are being made for his release.

October 2007 Update

Seymore’s behavior is as a fully normal seagull with normal flight patterns and body weight profiles are excellent. The only improvement we can anticipate is strength and endurance for longer flight. His release will be planned to ensure the cold weather does not adversely affect the chances for successful release to wild. In the meantime Seymore is eating well and enjoying is OERS flock pals. Stay tuned.

February 2008 Update

Seymore now has all his flight feathers back and is in fine condition. He now is doing low flights from one end of the flock room to the other. Full wing spans and strength is evident. A great appetite, fantastic personality and full recovery has been confirmed by the OERS veterinarian. He is slated for release this spring as soon as the weather conditions are optimal for his re-introduction to the wild.

June 2008 Update

Seymore is doing full flights and also enjoying a larger pool where full bathing has restored waterproofing.  Diet has been adjusted to that which would be available in the wild and plans are now in motion for release in the very near future.

Water/Migratory Birds

February 2007 - Gracy the Goose

Gracy the GooseIt is minus 8 degrees outside, snow is on the ground and the caller from the Alcona area is worried. Across the road on a neighbor’s property they saw a goose, which on initial look appeared dead. When they went over it raised its head and hissed. Wing appears broken and dragging, they say it is bad and no one will come. They have been calling various groups for help all afternoon and now in the evening the goose is still there, sitting in a depression of dirty water.

We hit the road in the OERS Rescue Vehicle, arriving on scene finding two amazingly caring individuals waiting outside to flag us down. Initial recon of the area reveals the goose is sitting in the middle of a pool of septic fluid. The team organizes and before you know it the goose is netted, bundled into a clean warm dry cage and brought to the OERS rehabilitation facility. 

After a good cleanup from the sewage, Gracy the goose gets a thorough veterinary check confirming that the left wing is indeed broken, but is otherwise healthy. After preliminary care and wing immobilization Gracy the goose is settled into a nice dry well bedded cage to enjoy clean water and food and rest up from the ordeal. More to come and we anticipate Gracy will ultimately do well thanks again to caring people who took the time to persist and get help!

August 2007 Update

Gracy has been practicing wing flapping and strength is improving daily. Gracy is able to generate modest lift, despite absence of flight feathers on the broken wing side. Good news on that front, the old cut flight feathers are shedding slowly and new ones coming in. OERS staff hope that Gracy too will be heading for the sky but it will take a bit longer. The vet says the fracture site has healed well, but the remodeling and strengthening has a way to go yet. So until Gracy is ready its practice, practice, practice!!  Gracy has adjusted well to the rehab flock and has a large area now in which to practice flight. More to come as progress is made. In the meantime Gracy is plump, happy and safe.

October 2007 Update

Gracy has achieved sufficient lift of late such that she has found herself on the other side of fencing a few time and in her new area, ‘flies’ from one elevated perch to another a number of feet away. Great news for coming closer to a successful release. Wing strength is excellent and the fracture site callus is realigning toward a more streamlined natural bone orientation. Her appetite is great and all is proceeding to plan.

February 2008 Update

Gracey has fully replaced all flight feathers and now has flight strength. Full flights from one end of the flock room to the other are becoming more frequent and in between practice flapping is a regular occurrence. The OERS veterinarian has given Gracey a clean bill of health and release to wild awaits spring and optimal weather conditions. In the meantime lots of good food and exercise is keeping Gracey in the pink!!

June 2008 Update

Goosie continues to rehab well, we have changed diet to be more reflective of what is available in the wild and providing a pond of water for bathing on a regular basis has furthered Goosies waterproofing. Wing use continues and plans are now in works to test Gossies full flight capabilities.

Past Rescue's & Rehabilitaion

Water/Migratory Birds

Summer 2006 - Daisy Duck the Second

Daisy Duck the SecondA somewhat frustrated voice is coming from the other end of the telephone. A duck with a dragging wing has been spotted at a pond on a property outside Bradford. Hard to approach and skittish this duck is not letting anyone near. However, with dogs and other predators close by it is only a matter of time. Apparently this has been going on for at least 1-2 weeks, but no one will come to help.

OERS agrees to respond and not only does this caring individual verify that indeed the duck is there but with her groundskeeper manages to corral the duck into a transport cage ready and waiting for us when we arrive.  Our first response with the new OERS Rescue Vehicle. A quick on site exam confirms the broken wing in our newest patient.

Upon arrival, a full veterinary exam reveals that aside from the right wing break, Daisy Duck the 2nd is healthy. So after preliminary care and wing immobilization Daisy is set-up in a comfortable cage to begin her recuperation. Within a week, Daisy 2nd is strong, and can actually retract her wing to her body again. A floating pool prevents foot and keel injury and provides cooling during the heat of the summer.

Moving to our exercise pen with a wading pool as her recovery progressed allowed her full rehabilitation and release back to the wild within one month of her arrival. Happy quacking Daisy 2nd. 

May 2004 - Daisy Duck and her family rescue

Daisy DuckSeems like some moms have figured out that a highway media in downtown is predator free and a great place to have a family .

In May 2004, OERS Rescue received a call about a female duck who had made a nest in the middle of a very busy city street in Barrie. A nest had been created and the female had laid and was guarding her eggs, unfortunately in such close proximity to traffic it was only a matter of time before she was either killer or injured. Though risky, it was decided to intervene due to the proximity to trReturn to Natureaffic, the public and businesses in the area. OERS volunteers went to the scene.

Pictures documented the environment and then with patience the mother duck was captured the nest carefully gathered up. All were relocated safely to the waterfront park near the berm built by the city for waterfowl. Mother was left washing herself in the lake and upon 2 further visits to Collier street the mother did not re-appear.

Sea Birds

Summer 2008 - Captain Crunch

The call for help came over the OERS 24/7 emergency number from a family vacationing in Tiny Township area in mid-august 2008. Their son had seen an injured seagull on a beach while kayaking. He and his friend pulled up on shore and noted that while all the other gulls flew away, this on seemed unable to get lift and one wing was dragging. The teenagers smartly corralled the bird into the edge of the water and then using a towel scooped it up and brought it home. Then after setting the bird up in a makeshift pen with bedding and water, they began calling around trying to find help. Finally through the internet they called OERS Rescue. As no one offered any help to them, OERS volunteers headed out to pick up our newest patient.

On scene it was clear that the boys had done a great job, even providing live minnows for the bird to snack on in addition to other staples. The bird, named Captain Crunch by the family, was carefully bundled into a transport cage and brought to the OERS facility. There, a full veterinary exam determined that Captain Crunch had an intact left wing but some nerve and probably tendon injury. The wing was immobilized for rest and Captain Crunch was given comfortable accommodations in the isolation area for the first week to ensure no transfer of latent infections, though the vet seemed sure Captain Crunch was fine. After one week the bandage was removed and the bird began to fully stretch the wing and flap. That was great news and after another vet check, all looks positive for a fast and complete recovery. Stay tuned for more news.

September 2008

1Captain Crunch’s wing was fully healed and strong as could be seen when constant flying was seen by all with the rehab flock. So, with remarkably summer-like warm weather and no storms in the forecast for at least 1-2 weeks it was decided this would be the opportune time for Captain Crunch to get back to the wild. After a final veterinary check and getting a clean bill of health, Captain Crunch was released following MNR rules and regulations. The release went very well, with Captain Crunch first doing a low flight and then taking to the skies showing stronger and stronger flight until full gliding and flight was seen as Captain Crunch flew off into the skies. All who attended the release were sad to see Captain Crunch go but glad to see the healed bird have a new chance for life in the great outdoors.

Summer 2008 - Jewel

3OERS received a call from a lady in Toronto who found a seagull with a broken wing in an alleyway. She had tried calling other places, most told her the bird would be put down. She wondered whether she should try to capture the bird. The OERS volunteer manning the emergency line gave her appropriate instructions on how to safely capture the injured seagull and after the bird was caught they dropped it off with OERS at a mutually agreed to location.

Upon arrival to the facility, the OERS veterinarian conducted an initial examination. Findings included a severe and open fracture of the right wing. Otherwise the bird, that the folks who found named Jewel, was in apparent good health. Treatments were initiated to immediately reduce and immobilize the fractured wing and administer antibiotics to curb any infection. As the vet wanted to restrict jewel’s activity for at least the first week, comfortable but appropriate housing was provided. Jewel was offered a wide selection of food but soon showed the caregivers that it was cooked chicken, cheese and salmon, in that order that was suitable for the pallet! It took Jewel a few days to get used to the bandages and restricted movement that accompanies this, but soon jewel was scooting around the pen and during cleaning took every opportunity to try to slip out into the other areas of the OERS rehabilitation facility!  Updates will be made available as appropriate.

June 2008 Update

2After one week, the OERS veterinarian removed the bandaging one the good side so Jewel could once again stretch out the unaffected wing. Needless to say, Jewel was in full agreement that this was great. Also the living area was extended to allow Jewel more exercise. Yup that also received full Jewel approval. So far all is going according to plan and Jewel is eating and behaving as one hopes for a seagull! After 2 weeks, the bandage on the broken wing was removed and the OERS vet proclaimed that the wing was healing beautifully. Immediately after careful bandage removal and clipping of the flight feathers to remove excess strain on the newly healed wing, Jewel began to stretch the affected wing.

The OERS veterinarian allowed jewel to go into our large full size housing with a shallow bath. Well, within 2 minutes, Jewel got into the shallow bowl, squatted down and proceeded to have a full bath. My oh my - the water was flying everywhere! The vet is extremely pleased and feels barring any other complications, Jewel will fly again! Within a few days sure enough, Jewel is already getting lift and the wing is fully spread. As a matter of fact everyone is having trouble identifying which wing was indeed broken. Jewel has now been integrated into our rehabilitation flock and is making friends. This also affords Jewel much more space to exercise and work the wings.

September 2008 Update

With the wing fully healed and controlled flight in evidence with the rehab flock it was clear that Jewel needed to get back to the wild! With remarkably summer-like warm weather and no storms in the forecast for at least 1-2 weeks it was decided this would be the opportune time for Jewel’s release. After a final veterinary check and getting a clean bill of health, Jewel was released following MNR rules and regulations. The release went very well, with Jewel taking to the skies immediately, showing strong flight and gliding. Everyone was sad as they had grown fond of Jewel yet glad to see Jewel fly off the continue life in the great outdoors.

Fall 2007 - Dumper the Sea Gull

1It was 830 at night when the emergency cell call came in. A caring man had what appeared to be a seagull with an injured wing walk right up to him at his friend’s garage in an industrial complex in Toronto. Well that is indeed a first! Who says they aren’t resourceful. Apparently the gull was unable to use its wing and wanted help. 


The caller wanted to know what to do. OERS staff advised him on how to safely temporarily house him until pickup, which was arranged for the next morning. OERS Rescue picked up our latest victim who had spent a comfortable night indoors sheltered and safe. Once at the OERS facility, a full veterinary exam occurred for ‘Dumper’, as the individual aptly named the gull following his overnight experience with the lil guy!! Dumper was lucky as the left wing appeared to only have suffered some blunt trauma with no serious fracture evident.

Aside from that the young adolescent appeared healthy. After immobilizing the injured wing, Dumper was moved into an isolation pen just as a precaution. Dumper’s appetite is great and no wonder, dining on fish and other delights as the wing rests. So far all is going well. Once again, kudos to the individual who took time out of his routine to care for the lil guy and thereby giving him a second chance. Stay tuned as our veterinarian feels Dumper will recover quick and be back in the wild in no time.

December  2007 Update

Dumper gained some weight and is responding well to rehabilitation exercises to strengthen his wing. He is able to fully flap his wings and does get a bit of lift from it. However, despite all this success, the veterinarian has some concerns as Dumper does not appear to want to fly. It appears that he has lost his sense of positioning and will not use his wings to slow down or cushion his landing.  Well there still does not seem to be any obvious health issues so the volunteers are continuing to work with him and he has been integrated into the rehab flock to see if this will help. Stay tuned as we continue to work with him.

January 2008 Update

Despite early progress, Dumper’s condition has slipped despite all treatments. Then one morning, Dumper was found wedged under one of the ramps in the flock compound. After extraction, it was painfully clear he had experienced a massive neurological event. Intensive care was instituted but no improvement was seen. The OERS Veterinarian reluctantly recommended the kindest thing to do was to euthanize him. It was clear that to do anything else would only prolong the situation.

Dumper passed away in the arms of one of the OERS volunteers after falling asleep subsequent to an anesthetic overdose. A necropsy will be conducted to attempt to clarify what was the cause of his troubles as the wing fracture had healed and was strong. We all are saddened by this loss but we know that everything that could have been done for him was; it was just not to be. No regrets and thanks once again to the kind individual that found him and called us. We never know and so we will always try to help!

Fall 2007 - Sam the Sea Gull

2OERS received a call from a lady and her son in Parry Sound who found a seagull with a broken wing on a busy street. She had tried calling other places, most told her the bird would be put down. Since she had already housed the bird trying to find help, instructions were given for feeding and care until the following day, when arrangements were made for her to drop off the bird to OERS at that time.

Upon arrival, the OERS vet conducted an initial examination. Findings included an open fracture of the right wing, but more worrisome the bird was extremely thin, almost emaciated and was infested with what was confirmed to be bird mites and had bumblefoot. Treatments were initiated to immediately reduce and immobilize the fractured wing, rehydrate the bird and administer antibiotics to curb any infection. A multivitamin-Bcomplex injection and foot-cream rounded out his care. Then it was off to rest up in our cosy recovery isolation section and a wide selection of food. In the beginning, Sam as the family named him, was not eating enough food, so the OERS staff began tube feeding a fortified fish puree. After a few days, his appetite had improved and he was strong enough to get his first mite treatment. This would further strengthen him as mites can have adverse effects. 

After a week he appeared to take a liking to cheese and worms, hey whatever the patient wants – they get!! Ongoing care was occurring for the broken wing. Despite an obvious initial improvement, lil Sam has an uphill battle. The overall condition of the bird concerns our Vet as she thinks it is a sign of deeper problems. He is not bouncing back as expected and his condition is at best stable.

However, we believe in trying our best and giving each patient a chance. It is our policy to always try as long as the bird is happy and not suffering. So far he is hanging in there but he is still critical. OERS staff are trying everything…Stay tuned..

September 2007 Update

Today September 24, 2007 the OERS Vet gave Sam a full exam. On the good news side, the bumblefoot is gone and he is walking normal again. One for the good guys! Also on the good side no sign of bird mites, these too are gone, which is good for Sam! However, Sam’s appetite is still off and he is not healing as he should. He is lacking energy despite multivitamin treatments and has not put on the weight he should. His fractured wing is also not as advanced in its healing as it should be, according to the OERS vet, and his demeanor is off. 

Tests are being run and some additional treatments will be tried. It seems that Sam has a lot more trouble than just a broken wing. Well OERS feels ever animal should be given a chance and so we continue to do our best to give him every chance. As long as it is obvious he is not suffering we will continue to fight for him! More to come.

October 2007 Update

Sam, despite a valiant try, has not recovered and sadly, a decision was made to euthanize him as it was clear to do anything else would be unfair to him. Though OERS believes in giving every creature all the chances it was the opinion of the OERS Veterinarian that to go on would just be cruel and the lil guy would be suffering needlessly. The care team agreed and so we euthanized him with an overdose of anesthetic. Though it was quick and painless everyone shed a tear as everyone had put in enormous effort to try to pull him through. We will not soon forget you Sam.

Summer 2007 - Bubba the Sea Gull

BubbaThe caller was upset, she had found a sea gull with its wing dragging in a parking lot near Collingwood, picked it up, brought it home and tried to find a group who would care and help her. Despite numerous calls to government and private wildlife groups, no one appeared interested in assisting. After discussions with OERS staff, an agreed to drop off point was decided upon, where the concerned citizen delivered the injured sea gull. Upon arrival to the OERS facility, a full veterinary examination revealed an adult gull with a seriously broken left wing (open fracture), fractured upper beak with the tip also broken off. Obviuosly he did not win the fight with a motorized vehicle!

The wing fracture was debrided, fracture reduced, and wing immobilized. The broken beak edges were smoothed and a tissue glue used to bond the split. After a week to adapt to the facility, bandaging was reduced and finally removed completely. Bubba is now fully integrated into the living space with others as he continues to heal, and is doing very well. He has asserted his dominance rapidly and quickly earned the name “Bubba” for his tough guy attitude and bruiser behavior. Stay tuned for updates.

October 2007 Update

Bubba’s wing healing has proceeded very well since the last veterinary intervention. The skin has fully healed over and the bone ends have more fully stabilized through callus formation. This is great news for Bubba and the vet is now satisfied with his progress. No further veterinary intervention is needed and now it is time to allow his wing to fully heal and strengthen. He has been seen flapping with more vigor lately, which is a good sign. Updates to follow.

August 2007 Update

Bubba’s beak has healed and because the wing break was significant it is no surprise it is taking much longer to heal. The vet has been monitoring his progress closely but will require a follow-up intervention. His progress has been steady and he is beginning to use his wing for balance. It is most likely that the vet will do some additional work on his wing over the long weekend and then final healing will begin. He has continued to assert his bossyness and has quite the voice when he wants to! His appetite is great and he has settled in well to the rehab flock. Updates to follow as soon as the OERS vet has completed the work on the wing.

February 2008 Update

Bubba’s wing is continuing to slowly heal. It is probably the worst break we have seen and so we are not surprised by the delays. The OERS veterinarian is satisfied with the progress. Other than this wing, Bubba is in fine health, full of attitude and love of life!! It is expected that Bubba will be with us of awhile yet and as long as progress is seen we are patient. Experience shows us that given time and proper intervention, these wings can and do return to function. We are not giving up on him especially as he is not giving up either. Bubba loves to tease the others and gets lots of exercise in the rehab flock! Stay tuned for more updates.

April 2008 Update

Unfortunately, Bubba appears to have developed other systemic problems. He has suffered a decrease in appetite and is not participating in flock activities as he has in the past. The vet is concerned that the wing is not his main problem at this point and has taken blood samples for analysis and put Bubba on a medical regimen to try to help. Unfortunately, despite all possible care, Bubba continues to decline and we are faced with a tough decision. Despite massive odds against, Bubba’s wind was healing and he was makin great strides to only suddenly face this. However, it is OERS’s mandate to continue to fight for the animal unless it becomes clear that suffering far outweighs any possible hope. This is where the OERS vet felt things had gotten to and so it was felt that the kindest thing to do was to euthanize Bubba. So, with all the staff around who had cared so much for bubba throughout, Bubba was given an injection, and he went to sleep quietly, after which the vet gave the final drug and Bubba was gone. It is always difficult but necessary id we are to be responsible custodians of the animals we take care of.

2000 - Seymor the Second - broken wing rescued & treated, & released successfully

This wayward seagull was found by the side of parking lot in Barrie Ontario, Canada, dragging his right wing and unable to fly. He was captured, treated by our OERS Veterinarian and then taken home by one of the OERS volunteers. The first week consisted of cage rest with his wing bandaged and by the second week, his wing already began to show improvement and gentle physiotherapy began.

By the end of the week, outside exercise sessions were initiated and by the third week, he began bathing in the garden pool (picture) and was no longer restricted to the cage. At one month from the rescue he began to fly around his pen with some control. It was now clear he wanted to return to his life in the wild and on a cool fall morning, we went to a local park in the vicinity of where he was found and gave him his freedom.

After an initial hesitation, probably more from fear and uncertainty on his abilities he took one tentative short flight, landed, looked back at us and took off soaring once again the skies to which he was intended. He never looked back - the ingrate!!! Go Seymor, have a safe and happy life.


1999 - Seymor the First - broken wing, rescued & treated, not able to fly

This injured seagull had a broken compound fracture of the left wing, and was found huddled against the side of a building in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. After bundling him carefully into a transport cage, he was brought to the OERS Veterinarian and the open fracture was treated.

After recovery from the anaesthetic, the seagull nicknamed Seymor the first was brought home by an OERS volunteer to be cared for. Hand feeding of delectable morsels of vitamin enriched raw fish (salmon favourite) helped get the road to recovery started. It wasn't long before he was exploring every corner of his pen (picture).

His appetite knew no bounds and regular bandage changes followed the progress of healing. Physical therapy was initiated once it was apparent he could provide some support for the injured wing. Stretching helped in returning some of the suppleness to the wing and by week four flapping was in evidence.

He began bathing in a kiddy pool and things were looking up (picture). However, despite extensive therapy, he could never generate enough lift to actually fly. It was clear that Seymor would be grounded forever.


Summer 2007 - Rocky the Squirrel

RockyRocky, a young recently weaned black squirrel, was found by OERS staff at the base of a tree in Toronto, weak and barely moving, while his siblings were playing around him.  After getting the necessary equipment, he was captured and brought to our treatment center, where he was examined by our Veterinarian. It was determined that his main problem was an extensive abscess on his left side of the top of his head behind his ear and an apparent eye injury on the right.  After stabilization with fluids and antibiotics, Rocky underwent surgery to lance, drain and flush the abscess. After this, long acting wide spectrum antibiotics and daily wound cleaning and care were instituted.Slowly over a period of 2 weeks the abscess healed over and Rocky went from liquid diet to the more normal fruit, nuts and berries. 

Once daily care was no longer needed, Rocky was moved to a more natural habitat, and after approximately one month when he was fully recovered and had more than gained back all his weight, he was released back to nature. OERS staff have kept an eye out and continued to leave food for him. There continue to be sightings that indicate he has adapted well back to the wild!! Go Rocky go.

1997 - Kermit the Frog - adopted & living in terarium with room to hunt and hide

Kermit the FrogFound as a youngster in a plant at a garden store, peering pathetically from under a leaf with an injured right eye, he was adopted by one of OERS volunteers, who created a natural habitat for him. He adapted well and grew rapidly into a stout young male with quite a croak. Turns out he is a spring peeper and his song continues to entertain. Kermit passed away of old age in June 2004. He will be missed.

To date, a number of seabirds, waterfowl and other water creatures have been rescued by our volunteers, rehabilitated and some successfully returned to the wild.


Summer 2007 - Skidmark

SkidmarkYou never know when and where a furry or feathered friend will need help. This was no exception. Two OERS Directors were heading home on a July weeknight during rush hour. It was a very busy 2 lane street. Suddenly, they noticed something small and furry on the white line separating the passing from the second lane. At first they thought it was some sort of dead animal. But then a tiny head lifted up and its mouth opened up just as their car drove by. Quick thinking, the driver pulled the car over to the side as quickly as was safe and both bailed out of the car and ran to the scene. Waving their arms to slow traffic they finally resorted to carefully stepping into the road. While one kept the traffic at bay, the other plucked the victim out of harms’ way. Phew not a moment to soon. More amazing was there was not a scratch on the small less than one month old kitten. He was just scared out of his wits. Bundled into a blanket and now safe in the car, slowly he stopped shaking and relaxed as they headed to the OERS facility. Upon arrival, the OERS vet gave him a thorough check-up and aside from possible internal parasites typical of any feral cat, he was in fine shape. A good meal and comfi cage settled him in for the night.    

Although normally OERS would have brought him in to the local animal shelter, since it is not routine for OERS to handle domestic animals, unless OERS-DRD was initially involved. However, Skids has stayed, since his rescuers decided to give him a home. OERS-DRD is mandated for this so DRD staff have taken over his care. Since that time, ‘Skids’ has adjusted slowly but surely and is growing like a weed. Staff have been working hard at socializing him and he is rapidly adapting to the civil life. Stay tuned for further updates! 

September 2007 Update

‘Skids’ has continued to make progress and has now doubled his weight and has moved in with his rescuers. Though still a little skittish, we are told that he is learning very quickly about domestic life and all its perks. He has become more vocal, and demanding to play at every opportunity! Toys are littered all around the room and Skid-mark is in the middle having a ball. Although the family dog is starting to grow on him, the other family cats are a different matter – hopefully this will sort itself out with time!! His color as he matures is a wonderful golden tiger stripe and his picture says it all. Another OERS success story!

October 2007 Update

2Skid-mark has settled well into domestic house life according to his new mom and dad. His newest best friend and key playmate has become the family dog, a yellow Labrador with enormous patience!. The family adult cats are still trying to adjust to Skids enormous energy and boundless will to play. He is learning appropriate social behavior both with humans and the animals in the household. OERS-DRD is thrilled to hear how well this is going. Have a great life Skids!



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