Wildlife in Richmond Hill need your help this Tuesday

By September 24, 2015News


Andrew carrying swan

To all residents of Richmond Hill:

There is a pending final decision by Richmond Hill Council that will have a great impact on Richmond Hill’s wildlife and those who care about them.

Currently the Town of Richmond Hill does not provide wildlife services to its residents, including pick up, capture and rescue, an emergency and educational wildlife hotline, medical care, or rehabilitation for sick, injured and orphaned wildlife. But they have made the commendable and very progressive decision to change that!

In May 2015, the Town of Richmond Hill created a Request for Proposals (No. RFP-60-15), seeking candidates to deliver services for both domestic and wild animals. As Toronto Wildlife Centre is the only licensed wildlife rehabilitation centre in the Greater Toronto Area providing all the needed services, we were confident that the Town would seriously consider us as a candidate.

Unfortunately, the staff report recommends awarding the contracts for field response, hotline and wildlife rehabilitation to organizations that are not licensed, trained or experienced in wildlife rehabilitation, and don’t have the equipment or facilities to work with wildlife.

As a result:

  • When captures/rescue of wildlife are required, there will be no provider capable of providing this service – despite the Town of Richmond Hill paying for the service
  • When sick, injured and orphaned wild animals need emergency medical care or rehabilitation, the Town will be paying for a provider who has no wildlife rehabilitation facility, qualified staff or the permits legally required to rehabilitate wildlife

If you are concerned about this matter, your help is needed now! Your mayor and council need to hear from you – that you want quality wildlife services; services that you will be paying for.

Our recommendations are as follows:

    1. That Category 1 of the RFP (field response) be separated into
      1. Patrol and capture of domestic animals
      2. Wildlife services field response (pick up, capture and rescue), and that potential candidates for wildlife services be required to be trained, experienced and equipped to carry out difficult captures and complex rescues
    2. To be awarded the contract for wildlife rehabilitation, the candidate must be operating legally, including
      1. Wildlife custodian authorization from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources; compliance with the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act
      2. Wildlife rehabilitation permit from Canadian Wildlife Service; compliance with the Migratory Bird Convention Act
    3. To be awarded the contract for wildlife rehabilitation, the candidate must have appropriate wildlife rehabilitation facilities, and Richmond Hill staff should carry out site visits to confirm this
    4. For Categories 1 and 3, candidates should have a minimum of 5 years’ experience running a wildlife hotline, wildlife rehabilitation program, and carrying out capture and rescue of wildlife

How can you help?

1. Email the mayor and councilors to express your concern
2. Phone the mayor and councilors to express your concern
3. Attend the council meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 29th at 7:30pm and speak
4. Share this information with friends, family, co-workers and anyone else who lives in Richmond Hill that is concerned for the welfare of wildlife, and ask if they can help too

Your emails and phone calls to Richmond Hill council and especially speaking at the meeting on Tuesday, September 29th at 7:30pm can make a powerful statement regarding your concern for wildlife in Richmond Hill. Although we do not yet have confirmation that this topic is on the agenda for Tuesday (the agenda won’t be confirmed until tomorrow), there is a public forum at the beginning of each meeting; attendees are given 5 minutes to speak on any topic even if it is not a part of the agenda.  If you would like to raise your concerns at this meeting, please email [email protected] and identify what you would like to speak to.

If you are planning on attending the meeting on Tuesday, please let us know by emailing Victoria.  We will contact you before the meeting.

In closing, it is not our intention to create negative relations with other organizations that deal with animals. Our main concern is that all animals in Richmond Hill , both domestic and wild, are dealt with legally, compassionately and with their best interests at heart!


Nathalie Karvonen, Executive Director

Email, Phone: (416) 631-0662 x3201


Richmond Hill Council

Mayor, Dave Barrow

Telephone: (905) 771-8800, ext. 3123

Fax: (905) 771-2500

E-mail: [email protected]

Deputy Mayor, Vito Spatafora

Telephone – office: 905-771-2517

Fax – office: 905-771-2500

E-mail: [email protected]

Regional & Local Councillor Brenda Hogg

Telephone – office: 905-771-2498

Fax – office: 905-771-2500

E-mail: [email protected]

Councillor, Ward 1 – Greg Beros

Telephone – office: 905-771-2530

Fax – office: 905-771-2500

E-mail: [email protected]

Councillor, Ward 2 – Tom Muench

Telephone – office: 905-771-2549

Fax – office: 905-771-2500

E-mail: [email protected]

Councillor, Ward 3 – Castro Liu

Telephone – office: 905-771-5497

Fax – office: 905-771-2500

E-mail: [email protected]

Councillor, Ward 4 – David West

Telephone – office: 905-771-2480

Fax – office: 905-771-2500

E-mail: [email protected]

Councillor, Ward 5 – Karen Cilevitz

Telephone – office: 905-771-2510

Telephone – cellular: 416-806-7582

Fax – office: 905-771-2500

E-mail: [email protected]

Councillor, Ward 6 – Godwin Chan

Telephone – office: 905-771-2509

Fax – office: 905-771-2500

E-mail: [email protected]