4 Ways to help wildlife this holiday season - BC SPCA
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4 Ways to help wildlife this holiday season

November 9, 2023

It may feel as though we just left the warm days of summer behind us, but the winter holiday season is fast approaching. While you’re busy making things merry and bright in the coming weeks, there are lots of ways to incorporate wildlife – and your local wildlife rehabilitation centre (such as BC SPCA’s Wild ARC) – into your celebrations!

It takes more than just Wild ARC’s skilled rehabilitators to care for thousands of wild patients each year. A dedicated team of volunteers and you help to make their work possible every day.

Want to do your part in helping wild animals this holiday season? Check out these four easy ways you can help:

Red squirrel in snow
Photo credit: Craig Thompson

1. Sponsor a wild animal

Buy a critter dinner

Choose your favourite wild animal and buy them dinner. Every meal gets these wild patients one step closer to release back in nature. Wild ARC treats nearly 140 different species each year. Each species needs their own specialized diet prepared fresh each day. Your gift comes with an e-card for your recipient!

Adopt an animal

Sponsor a wild patient today with our symbolic adoption collection. When you adopt a wild animal, you help a patient in need at Wild ARC, and you get a super cute stuffie of your own! Each stuffie also comes with an e-card.

Sponsor a wild animal enclosure

For a gift that keeps on giving, consider sponsoring an enclosure to honour a special animal lover. Your gift means wild patients have a safe space to recover, with plenty of enrichment. Enclosure sponsors will have their name of choice displayed on the enclosure for one, two or three years.

Swallow perched on a cedar branch in a screened enclosure at Wild ARC

2. Make a wild patient care package

It takes a long list of items to help our wildlife centre run smoothly. Take a look at our supplies wish list (PDF) to find out what kind of food, animal care items, office supplies and cleaning products are needed. Bringing in a care package of our most-needed items is a great holiday activity for the family and shows your support for local wildlife.

P.S. – are you doing any holiday shopping on Amazon this year? Consider adding a few items from our Amazon wish list to your order.

A basket of donated items from a supporter

3. Make a donation

Clear the freezer

If you’re busy baking and cooking up a storm to entertain friends and family, you might need a little more storage space in your freezer. Got extra meat, berries or fish such as salmon, herring, trout, halibut, cod or bait fish taking up much-needed room? Wildlife rehabilitation centres greatly appreciate donations of these frozen items in edible condition to help feed their wild patients. To ensure the highest quality nutrition for wild patients, donations should be less than two years old, free from freezer burn, uncooked, unseasoned, unsalted and should not be spoiled or thawed and refrozen. Seasons and needs change depending on the patients these centres have in care – call first to make sure Wild ARC or your local centre can put your donations to good use.


Making a donation online is fast and simple – as a registered charity, you’ll receive a tax receipt for your donation. Whether it’s food, medical supplies, or other care items, a direct donation helps us use funds where they’re needed most for wild patients on the road to recovery.

If you want to help wildlife all year round, consider making a monthly donation. Knowing we have these donations helps us plan ahead for the busy summer season.

 Make a Donation 

*Donate offline by printing our offline donation form (PDF) or mail us a cheque at 1020 Malloch Road, Victoria, BC  V9C 4G9.

Baby river otter held in gloved hands

4. Know your (wild) neighbours

Check out local education opportunities

Spend a little quality time with the family – and throw in a little learning at the same time – by heading out on a nature walk to see what your wild neighbours are up to. Many local nature centres host winter walks highlighting the cold-season habits of birds and mammals. Check out what might be available in your neck of the woods!

Keep gatherings wildlife-friendly

While celebrating the season in style, keep an eye out for ways to make the holidays more wildlife-friendly:

  • Make sure plastic six-pack rings are cut before disposing of them;
  • Avoid using helium balloons that can float off and pose a risk to wildlife;
  • Make sure trash and compost are secure so they don’t attract and unintentionally feed wildlife.


Grizzly bear laying in snow
Photo by Chris Aaron Gale

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