Caring for Critters

Support the Center and "adopt" an education animal through the Center's Caring for Critters program.

The Wildlife Center of Virginia cares for thousands of animals each year, including about two dozen permanent animal residents whose injuries or behavioral modifications mean they cannot be returned to the wild.

These animals – including hawks, owls, opossums, and snakes – are important ambassadors for the Center. Many appear with our outreach staff at school assemblies, in classrooms, and at other events across Virginia. Other animals greet visitors to the Center’s hospital clinic in Waynesboro.

A six-month Caring for Critters sponsorship is $25. A full-year sponsorship is $50. Academic-year sponsorships are available to teachers and classrooms for $35 [generally a nine-month sponsorship] (see below).

Your Caring for Critters donation helps provide food, shelter, and medical care for the sponsored animal … supports the Center’s educational outreach programs … and helps provide state-of-the-art emergency care to thousands of animals admitted to the Wildlife Center each year.

Caring for Critters also makes a unique and memorable gift … for a child … student … friends and family.

As a Caring for Critters sponsor, you, or your gift recipient, will receive a special Caring for Critters sponsorship packet, including:

  • The sponsored animal’s biography;
  • A photo of the animal;
  • Detailed information about the characteristic of the animal’s species, and
  • A personalized certificate of sponsorship. 

If you provide an email address, you will also receive periodic updates about your sponsored animal.

Caring for Bears

Or ... become a "Bear Care" sponsor. Each year, the Center admits about 20-30 Black Bears, most of which are cubs. These long-term patients require a lot of resources since they typically stay at the Wildlife Center for about a year prior to release. "Bear Care" sponsors will help support the Center's care of bears that we admit during 2021. You [or your gift recipient] will receive a special Caring for Critters Bear Care sponsorship packet now, plus email updates in the months ahead.

Caring for Babies 2021

Celebrate Spring with the Wildlife Center of Virginia's special Caring for Babies program, launching in April 2021!

Spring is the busiest time for patient admissions at the Wildlife Center; every year between April - June, the Center will admit about half of its annual caseload. Most of these patients are young injured and orphaned wildlife, including squirrels, opossums, rabbits, bears, owlets, songbirds, ducklings, and more.

Caring for these young, growing animals is demanding; the staff work hard to ensure each animal has everything it needs to grow into a healthy, mature adult ready for life in the wild.  Our veterinarians and rehabilitators care for these young wild patients from dawn to well after dusk, trying to replicate the natural parental care these animals would receive from their biological parents in the wild.

What better way to say "Happy Spring" than with a special Caring for Critters sponsorship of these Wildlife Center patients? 

Academic-year Sponsorships

Caring for Critters sponsorships can be wonderful educational tools for classrooms. Teachers can incorporate the education animal’s story into art, math, science, and writing lessons. In addition to the Caring for Critters sponsorship packet and email updates, teachers will receive email alerts for Critter Cam events. The outreach department is happy to provide additional education animal information [e.g., weights, additional photos, information on enclosures] for classroom use upon request. Some caring individuals are willing to underwrite the cost of a Caring for Critters sponsorship for a classroom. Contact us at for more information.

Please help support the Wildlife Center by adopting one -- or more -- or more ... of these wonderful Center animals. Meet the education animals and choose which one -- or ones -- you'd like to adopt.

Include a Wildlife Center t-shirt or tote bag with your Caring for Critters sponsorship!

Adopt an Animal

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