Category Archives: News
Wolf Hollow welcomes our Seasonal Wildlife Rehabilitator, Elizabeth Bukovec. Elizabeth travelled all the way from New Jersey to join us for the summer, and will be with us through September. Before travelling west, Elizabeth worked at Mercer County Wildlife Center in New Jersey. She has expressed interest in moving to the Pacific Northwest to continue to learn about different species and to eventually work towards getting her wildlife rehabilitator’s license in Washington State. She will be an essential part of our staff this summer and will be involved in rescues, intake exams, all aspects of daily animal care, and training our summer interns. Welcome Elizabeth!
Celebrate Local Wildlife!
We are so lucky to live in a place where there is so much wildlife all around us. During April, grab your camera or smart phone, go outside, enjoy watching the birds in your yard, an eagle soaring overhead, or a bee in your garden, then share your best photos with us.
We’ll award prizes for the best photos in several categories and share the winning photos on our web site, newsletters and social media so that everyone can enjoy them. Please only submit photos taken during April 2021.
Invertebrates (insects, spiders, slugs and snails etc)
Email photos (1 MB or less) to Wolfhollow@wolfhollowwildlife.org. Please include your name and photo category, and where and when you took the photo. Limit of 2 photos in each category per person.
Entries will be accepted through April 30th2021.
Wildlife Photography Ethics – please respect these wild creatures and abide by the rules of ethical wildlife photography. Keep your distance so you don’t disturb animals or cause them to change their behavior.
We look forward to seeing your wonderful wildlife photographs.
Three young deer that had been cared for at Wolf Hollow since early summer were released on November 24th. When they arrived at the rehab center in May, they were tiny, spotted fawns that had been orphaned or separated from their mothers. Over the summer and fall they grew into strong, healthy young deer that are now ready for life in the wild.
When we opened the door of the transport trailer, they cautiously emerged, took a few moments to look around, then gradually moved off into the trees.
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Our final (we hope!) seal of the year was released back into the wild on October 27th. She was a late season surprise when she was brought to Wolf Hollow in early September. People who live near Eagle Cove on San Juan Island heard a pup crying on the shore and found this youngster tangled in fishing line, with a large hook imbedded in her front flipper. The San Juan County Marine Mammal Stranding Network brought her to Wolf Hollow where we were able to remove the hook and treat other wounds on her nose, chest and tail. Although she was thin, Edison was alert, feisty and had a nice set of sharp teeth, so it didn’t take her long to work out how to eat fish on her own. After only 6 weeks of care she had grown from a skinny 19-pound pup to a fat, healthy 51-pound seal.
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As of today, the Salish Sea Harbor seal pups will receive $15,220 due to your generous support. We are all truly humbled and grateful to all of you who contributed during this virtual opportunity and to everyone who has supported us along the way. The monetary support, in kind donations or your volunteer effort are all deeply appreciated.
The funds raised come just in time to purchase more fish, cover the doubled electricity bill and the veterinarian costs. A huge thank you to San Juan Island Community Foundation for developing this special opportunity for the community to come together to support nonprofits. Wolf Hollow is honored to be among such wonderful organizations helping people and animals.
We thank you again and again for supporting this life saving work!
Chanda Stone Executive Director
Shona Aitken Education Coordinator
Penny Harner Wildlife Rehabilitator
Abby Fuhriman Wildlife Rehabilitator
Marc Brown President – Board of Directors
Susan Waters Vice President – Board of Directors
Bex Bishop Secretary – Board of Directors
Chris Minney Board of Directors
Cindy Hansen Board of Directors
Sarah Boden Board of Directors
Albert Barsocchini Board of Directors
Have you ever seen a Bald Eagle that looks like this? In our 36 years of operation, we had never seen one with such pale cream/brown body and wing feathers. A bird like this is described as Leucistic. The pale coloration is a result of partial loss of pigmentation in the feathers. Its eyes and feet are the normal color, but the feathers are very pale.
This eagle was seen sitting on the ground in a field in Skagit County. One of our Animal Transport Volunteers was able to capture it and send it over to Wolf Hollow. In addition to its unusual color, there were other mysteries about the bird. It had a bulging crop, so it had just eaten an enormous meal, the feathers on its underside were matted and oily with what smelled like fryer oil, and it had swelling around one elbow. What had it been up to?
Luckily the wing injury was minor, so after a day to digest its meal we gave it a bath to clean the oily feathers and were able to move it into an outdoor enclosure. It quickly progressed to flying further and up to higher perches, so after just 6 days in care, the eagle was sent back for release. I’m sure many people were glad to see this distinctive bird back in its home area again.
Our first Harbor Seal pup of 2020 arrived at Wolf Hollow on May 31st. This is 3-4 weeks earlier than we usually see seal pups at the rehab center, because she came from Ocean Shores on the Olympic Peninsula where pupping season is earlier than it is around the San Juans.
She was seen alone for several days, and over the busy Memorial Day weekend, was constantly harassed by people trying to take photos or get her back into the water. A Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist rescued the pup and took her to a vet clinic for initial care. When she arrived at Wolf Hollow, we discovered that she was emaciated (only weighed 14 pounds), dehydrated, had wounds on her flippers and had an umbilical infection, but she was active and had a very loud voice.
She started off in our seal nursery, being fed a special high-fat formula while she regained her strength, but has now progressed to swimming in a pool and learning to eat fish. Our naming theme this year is scientists, so she was named Fossey, after Dian Fossey, the American primatologist famous for her research on Mountain Gorillas.
Wolf Hollow is still open and willing to help wildlife!
With the recent Washington State “Stay Home Stay Healthy” mandate, we have made further changes to our operation, but we are still available to take care of injured and orphaned wildlife, and to answer your wildlife questions over the phone.
For at least the next 2 weeks staff members will be alternating who is on-site and on call, so that only one person is at the center each day. Staff will answer the regular 360-378-5000 number. If you call when we are not at the rehab center you will receive instructions on how to reach the on call staff person. We will be operating without on-site animal care volunteers.
We are asking people on San Juan Island to call ahead if they have an injured or orphaned wild creature so that we can gather all the necessary information over the phone and arrange to receive the animal while maintaining social distancing.
On other islands and the mainland, some vet clinics are willing to continue working with us and a limited number of animal transport volunteers are available to collect animals. They too will be taking precautions in order to minimize contact and reduce risks.
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We realize that it will be more challenging to transport animals to our rehab center and to provide care with limited personnel, but we will do our best to maintain this essential service to wild creatures in need and to our local community.
With your help we’ll get through this and we’ll keep helping wildlife.
Celebrate Spring Wildlife
When so much is uncertain, it’s good to know that nature is continuing as normal. Spring is here, new, fresh leaves are sprouting, flowers are blooming and birds are singing. To celebrate the beauty of spring we invite you to share your photos of local wildlife. Whether you’re out for a walk, working in your yard, or watching from your window, take a moment to enjoy the antics of your local wild creatures, then take a photo and email it to us. We’ll share the best and funniest on our Facebook page and web site.
This is the time of year when many birds are arriving back in our area for the summer, so each week we’ll have a special category for photos of a particular bird, starting this week with the Rufous Hummingbird. To inspire you, we have included a photo taken by Richard Foxenberger a few years ago.
Please email your photos to email@example.com, and don’t forget to include your name and where and when you took the shot.
We look forward to seeing all your beautiful photos.
Baby season at Wolf Hollow officially started on March 1st with the arrival of a batch of tiny infant squirrels that were found on the ground in a yard in Sedro Woolley. This is the earliest we have ever received baby mammals. When they arrived, the little squirrels were only a few days old and were pink and furless, but in just 2 weeks they have almost doubled their weight and have grown a soft down of grey fuzz. Their ears and eyes should open soon, so stay tuned for more photos of these youngsters.
We wanted to reach out and let you know what Wolf Hollow’s plans are in the event that COVID-19 has a major impact on our local area.
First, we have made the decision to cancel our annual Open House. Of course we never want to cancel events, but we felt this was the right decision in the current circumstances. The health of our members, donors, volunteers and community has been and remains a top priority.
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Second, we plan to continue normal operations as much as possible. Our rehabilitation staff will continue to be on site seven days a week and be available by phone after hours for emergencies. If staff members become sick, we have experienced volunteers who are available to fill in so that our wild patients continue to receive care.
We rely heavily on our network of Animal Transport Volunteers on other islands and the mainland to get animals to us for care. As long as our volunteers are able and willing to do this, and the ferries to the islands are running, we plan to continue serving all of San Juan and Skagit Counties and Northern Whidbey Island.
Wildlife “baby season” is here and you can rest assured that we will do our best to continue to provide care for all the injured and orphaned wild creatures that need our help at this time of year.
We are grateful for all the support you have shown our organization throughout the years. We hope you and your loved ones remain well.
Our last two seals of the year were released in mid-October, bringing a successful seal season to a close. We received seven young, thin, orphaned or separated pups in July and early August, and all seven grew to be big , fat, healthy youngsters that were released in September and October. Some of the earlier seals were slow to leave their transport carriers, but the final two were so eager to leave that the carriers were rocking back and forth on the beach. When the doors were opened they quickly splashed into the water and swam out across the bay until they were just tiny specks in the distance.
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Take a look at our float in San Juan Island’s Fourth of July Parade!
This year’s theme was “Stars, Past and Present”, so the stars of our float were a Bald Eagle pair and their nest. Interns Hayley (Harbor Seal) and Missy (Great Horned Owl) had fun handing out the candy.
Seasonal Rehabilitator – Sara Reszutek.
Sara is excited to be back at Wolf Hollow after working as an intern here in the summer of 2016. She graduated in 2016 with a BA in Biology from the University of Pennsylvania and has since earned her Master’s in Wildlife Health and Population Management from the University of Sydney. Sara has worked with animals in settings ranging from small animal shelters and vet clinics to zoos and exotic and wildlife animal hospitals. Her experiences studying wildlife and caring for animals have inspired her to return for this year’s busy baby season to work with and learn from Wolf Hollow’s dedicated staff, volunteers, and interns.
Rehab Intern – Kallie Feldhaus
Our first intern of 2019 is Kallie Feldhaus, who graduated from the University of Denver, CO in June 2018, with a BS in Biology and Psychology and minors in Chemistry and Mathematics. Her previous animal care experience includes volunteer work at an animal shelter and as a veterinary assistant. Kallie hopes that her internship at Wolf Hollow will provide her with hands-on experience working with wildlife, which will compliment her domestic animal experience and take her one step further towards her career goal of becoming a veterinarian focusing on wildlife rehabilitation.
Rehab Intern – Elizabeth Jessmore
Liz joined us in mid-May as our second intern of 2019. She was raised on a farm in Idaho where she helped care for goats, llamas, pigs, chickens and rabbits, then continued her animal care experience with internships at a local zoo. She is currently a student at the University of Montana, majoring in Wildlife Biology and plans to follow a career in conservation.
Rehab Intern – Brett Bohnert
In early June Brett joined the rehab team as our third intern of 2019. Brett’s home is in Bend, Oregon but she is currently attending Grinnell College in Iowa, where she is working towards a BA in Biology, with a primary focus on conservation work. She has a range of animal-related experience including caring for her own pets, assisting with a spay/neuter project, caring for cats at an animal shelter and travelling to Costa Rica to help gather data on Leatherback Turtles. She is enjoying watching and photographing birds on the San Juans.
Education Intern – Hayley Deti
Hayley’s home is in Kent, WA and she is currently a student at Western Washington University, studying environmental education and studio art. She has always been interested in nature and enjoyed volunteering at an aquarium and a wildlife rehab center so much that she decided to pursue a career in environmental education. She sees her 3-month internship at Wolf Hollow as a perfect next step towards becoming a positive and passionate educator who can inspire youth so they can learn how to care for and love our environment.
Rehab Intern – Missy Melvin
Missy is from Urbana, IL and in 2017 she graduated from Parkland College, IL with a degree in Biology. Her involvement in animal care started in high school when she volunteered at a humane society, a zoo and an animal hospital. This continued throughout her college years when she worked as an animal caretaker at a nature center, as an intern at an elephant sanctuary and as a vet assistant at a small animal clinic in St Croix, US Virgin Islands. Missy hopes that her internship at Wolf Hollow will help bring together the skills she has learned in previous positions and take her another step towards her goal of managing a sanctuary or wildlife rehabilitation center of her own.
Rehab Intern – Josie Jensen-Pineda
Josie arrived at Wolf Hollow in early July as our fifth rehab intern of 2019. Her home is in Maple Falls, WA and she is currently pursuing a Biology Degree at Western Washington University. She spent most of her childhood on a farm in Skagit Valley, WA, where she helped care for horses, sheep, goats, ducks, chickens and rabbits, and enjoyed watching the wild birds living in the area. Her goal is to become a Wildlife Biologist and work in the Pacific Northwest.
Rehab Intern – Ann Elyse Kelsey
Her animal experience includes caring for a wide range of pets and domestic animals, and volunteering for Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s mountain goat relocation program. Her long-term career goal is to become a wildlife biologist.
Rehab Intern – Allison Weindorf
Allison traveled all the way from South Carolina to be our final intern of the year. In spring 2019 she graduated from the College of Charleston with a degree in biology and emphasis on wildlife studies. Allison grew up in Washington State and spent much of her childhood exploring the forests around her home and watching local wildlife. Her animal care experience includes working with domestic pets and farm animals, and volunteering with an animal society. At this point she’s not sure exactly what career she will pursue, but knows it will involve wildlife conservation.
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THANK YOU GIRL SCOUTS!
In mid-March, Girl Scout Troop 41873 from Snohomish carried out their spring work weekend at Wolf Hollow for the 12th year in a row. With lots of smiles, enthusiasm and hard work, they cleaned carriers and enclosures, planted flowers, weeded, cleared debris from paths, pressure washed concrete walkways and helped spruce up our facility in preparation for our coming busy summer season. The girls also donated all kinds of great items from our Wish List
For a couple of hours on Saturday afternoon, they were joined by youngsters from San Juan Island’s new Girl Scout Troop 46486, who enjoyed scrubbing an aviary, digging up thistles and picking up fallen twigs around our front yard.
THANK YOU SO MUCH GIRLS!
We welcomed Megan Perry to our staff team in January 2019.
Megan first visited San Juan Island in 2010 for an internship with Wolf Hollow. The experience sparked her interest in wildlife rehabilitation, and she returned in the summers of 2013 and 2017 as our seasonal Wildlife Rehabilitator. She graduated with a BA in Human Development from Long Beach State University in 2009, and returned to school to earn her AS in Veterinary Technology from Carrington College, California in 2015. She holds a Veterinary Technician’s license in both California and Washington State, and has worked at several veterinary hospitals. As a staff rehabilitator, Megan will be involved in all aspects of animal care, and in training and supervising rehab staff, interns and volunteers.
Madrona, a Red-tailed Hawk, is one of our unreleasable education birds. She has been with us for over 20 years and has made numerous appearances at presentations and children’s activities in the local area. Volunteers built her a nice enclosure when she first arrived, but, over the years, our damp climate had taken its toll and the cage was starting to fall apart.
Thanks to funding provided by the ANDAH Foundation, our Facilities Manager Mark Billington and volunteer Jerry McElyea were able to take down the old cage and build her a beautiful new enclosure. It is 24 feet long and 8 feet high to give her plenty of space to move around, and a choice of perches so she can sit in the sun and watch what’s going on, or take shelter from the wind and rain.
As his community project, local student Merritt DeShon decided to lead a guided walk up Mt Young and invite participants to make donations to support Wolf Hollow’s work. The weather didn’t cooperate, but we all had fun, and learned all kinds of interesting facts about local plants and animals from our knowledgeable guide.
Our thanks to Merritt for all the time and effort he put into gathering information and perfecting his guided walk, and to everyone who braved the rain to take part. We were delighted to receive $590 in donations from walk participants. Thank You!
A native of southern California, Chanda has many years of experience as an arborist, wetland restoration coordinator and volunteer specialist. She earned a graduate degree from Portland State University and created TEAM Tualatin, a summer program for teens to restore natural wildlife habitats. Volunteering in the community is her passion. Chanda is a past board president for Nursing Mother’s Council of Oregon, a Girl Scout Leader, and she currently serves on the board of the Friday Harbor Film Festival.
Chanda moved with her husband and two children to San Juan Island in 2017 after living and working for five years in Saudi Arabia. Having traveled the world, she and her family feel lucky to now call San Juan Island their forever home.
After 4 months of care at Wolf Hollow, four young otters were released on the shores of a sheltered bay. They ran along the shore, investigated the rocks and seaweed, explored the driftwood and splashed in and out of the water.
When they arrived at Wolf Hollow in June and early July the kits were about 3 months old and had been orphaned or become separated from their mothers. Each was found alone in a different place, but they quickly became inseparable and swam together, fell asleep on top of each other and learned how to catch live fish and crabs. By fall they were well grown and ready to tackle life in the wild.
On Tuesday August 28, we released our first three seals of the season–Muenster, Danbo, and Brie. After our seal pups reach a healthy weight, we are able to let them back into the ocean to experience life back in the wild Pacific.
Muenster was found alone in bustling Roche Harbor and hauled out on July 21, on some paddleboards. He was slightly dehydrated, weighed just over 22 lbs. When he was released he weighed 40.3 lbs.
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Danbo was seen alone on shore at Semiahmoo Resort for two days. After being picked up by the Whatcom County Marine Mammal Stranding Network on July 6, he received overnight care at Whatcom Wildlife Center before being flown to Wolf Hollow. He was very thin and dehydrated, weighted 16.4 lbs, had an umbilical infection and puncture wounds on his flippers. When he was released he weighed almost 47 lbs.
Brie was our first seal pup received this season, picked up by a kayaker somewhere on Orcas island on June 27, and kept with a friend overnight. When we got her on June 28, she was alert and active, only slightly dehydrated, and weighed 22.2 lbs. By the time we released her, Brie weighed nearly 60 lbs.
Watch this video to see how it all happened down at Kansas Cove.
And remember … if you see a Harbor Seal on the beach, leave it alone and call the Marine Mammal Stranding Network (1-866-767-6114)!
Wolf Hollow’s education team “flew” over to the mainland to participate in the Anacortes Children’s Festival. To honor the Year of the Bird, kids colored hummingbird flyers, tested their knowledge with our build-a-bird game, and practiced their bird watching skills with our scavenger hunt. Thanks to a grant from the Skagit Community Foundation, we were able to provide all kinds of great activities so kids and parents alike could have fun, learn about Wolf Hollow and notice all our native birds!
This 4th of July, some of our animals went for a rockin’ ride in intern Erin’s truck as part of our Wolf Hollow float. The parade theme of “music through the decades” inspired us to equip the animals with guitars, trumpets, drums, and the like, to bring Friday Harbor a debut rendition of Springsteen’s “Born in the USA”. With the help of interns Sophia and Hannah, and volunteer Anna, the float was a fine-tuned success!
At the end of May this female Elephant Seal pup was brought to Wolf Hollow for care. She was found stranded on shore near an RV park in Ocean Shores, WA.
When she arrived she was extremely emaciated, weighing only 35 kg, and was very weak, so she needed intensive care. We provided the necessary medications and treatments and tube-fed her fluids initially before gradually introducing a special high-calorie fish slurry formula.
Since then she has made slow, steady progress and has received excellent care from our rehab staff and team of marine mammal vets (Dr. Jenny Ladd and Dr. Joe Gaydos of SeaDoc Society). After two weeks of care, she was stronger and more active, eating whole fish and spending time swimming in her pool.
On June 9th she was transported to The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, CA. There, she’ll be with other Elephant Seal pups to receive long-term care until she’s ready for release back to the wild.
Ren DiBona is an accomplished young artist who lives on Lopez. She has always loved animals, so decided to create a piece of art that could be made into cards and prints and sold to raise funds to support Wolf Hollow’s work. She created this beautiful image of a young Red Fox and more than tripled her original goal of selling 30 cards, raising $500 for Wolf Hollow. Thank you so much Ren!
Local students Lucas Chevalier and Marshall Clark were concerned about the number of collisions between vehicles and deer on San Juan Island so they decided to take action. After carrying out interviews and doing research they decided to purchase deer whistles and sell them in the local community. These devices can be attached to cars and emit a sound when it is moving so deer have warning when a vehicle is approaching. They originally intended to sell 100 whistles, but there was so much demand that they actually sold twice as many and donated $400 to Wolf Hollow. Thank You Lucas and Marshall for your great idea!
Our Open House on March 31st was a great success thanks to more than 200 guests who came for a guided tour of our facility, to chat with staff and board members, meet our education birds and enjoy a slice of our 35th Anniversary Cake.
A special thank you to Kraig Hansen of San Juan Transit for supplying the shuttle bus from Friday Harbor to Wolf Hollow and to volunteers Nikki Ruggiero, Parin Columna, Erin Braybrook and Jill Berger for setting out food, parking cars, manning our merchandise booth and taking great photos of the event. THANK YOU ALL!
Girl Scout Troop 41873 carried out a work weekend at Wolf Hollow for the 11th year in a row. They worked hard, with lots of enthusiasm and completed an amazing amount of work in a short time, including pressure washing, digging up thistles, cleaning pet carriers and enclosures, planting flowers, oiling benches and clearing blackberries.
…..and they donated all kinds of great items from our Wish List.
THANK YOU SO MUCH GIRLS!
A group of students from Arizona State University decided to carry out projects on the San Juan Islands for their alternative spring break. We were delighted to have them spend a day at Wolf Hollow building a songbird aviary and a deck for waterfowl tubs. They were a great work crew and helped us make a lot of progress on these projects in a short time. THANK YOU to all the students and the organizers of the trip.
This winter, while we have few animals in care, our Facilities Manager, Mark Billington, and volunteer Jerry McElyea, are hard at work rebuilding some of our older enclosures. Wet weather and constant use had taken their toll on wood and netting, so the enclosures needed to be replaced.
In our woodland area we have three raptor mews that provide housing for small owls, or initial outdoor accommodation for larger birds of prey before they are ready to move into larger enclosures. Thanks to funds provided as a result of San Juan Community Foundation’s matching gift program at San Juan County Fair, we are able to replace these three enclosures this winter.
We provide care for large numbers of songbirds each year, and house them in 4 aviaries located in woodland clearings. In 2016 we replaced one of our old songbird aviaries and are currently dismantling a second aviary, with the aim of replacing it before spring. This work was made possible by a generous donation in memory of Raymond Van Buskirk.
The sole surviving young heron from the injured chicks that were brought to Wolf Hollow after strong winds damaged nests at the Skagit Land Trust heronry in late May, was successfully rehabilitated and released back into the wild on Monday, 8/21.
Many thanks to the volunteers at the Skagit Land Trust heronry and the Skagit Heron Foraging Study team for their assistance in bringing this bird back to his home near Padilla Bay. Please enjoy this video of his flight to freedom!
Our new Heron Cage is complete and ready for it’s first occupant. A grant from Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife enabled us to build this new enclosure, which is 36 feet long, 16 feet wide and 12 feet high.
Scouts Help to Rebuild Aviary
Local Scout, Max Mattox, and his family, friends and fellow scouts in Troop 4090 helped rebuild a Songbird Aviary at Wolf Hollow as Max’s Eagle Scout Project. They had fun taking down the old aviary and rebuilding the new one, which is now completed and ready for our busy summer season. Funds for this project were generously donated in memory of Raymond Van Buskirk.
We have added a new section to the website called “Human Impacts on Wildlife” where you can find information, statistics, and suggestions about hazards to wildlife caused by human activity. Although this section is currently under construction, our page about domestic cats is ready for viewing.
Do you know how many wild birds are killed by domestic house cats each year?
Click here to learn about the effect of cats on wildlife.
Check out our new section called Living With Wildlife under “Education.”
In this section we explore common wildlife related issues that people run into at their home or workplace. You will find helpful hints for a variety of wildlife, from Raccoons to Raptors!
If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, or you have found injured or orphaned wildlife, please call us at 360-378-5000.
Take a look at our new Video section, to watch a crazy heron chick, bouncing fawns and night activity of flying squirrels.
Wolf Hollow on AmazonSmile
Wolf Hollow is registered with AmazonSmile, so if you shop at smile.amazon.com, you can select Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center as the charitable organization that will benefit. We will receive a donation of 0.5% of the price of your eligible purchases from the AmazonSmile Foundation.
Lots of small donations can quickly add up, so tell your friends!