Contact: Julie Willmot
(609) 278-7137

TRENTON,N.J.  - Mercer County Wildlife Center, which accepted nearly 2,000 birds and mammals in 2007, is seeking individuals who would like to volunteer their time to care for wildlife brought to the Hopewell Township facility.

The Center's staff and volunteers care for wild birds and animals that become injured, ill, or displaced, and provide medical treatment and a temporary refuge to prepare the animals for release into an appropriate, wild habitat. The Center is staffed 365 days a year by one full-time licensed wildlife rehabilitator and two part-time assistants and receives more than 11,000 phone calls annually.

"Without its dedicated volunteers, including three veterinarians, our Wildlife Center could not exist, and that is why I am asking animal lovers who are willing to give of their time to consider assisting us,'' said Mercer County Executive Brian M. Hughes.

The Mercer County Wildlife Center, a facility of the Mercer County Park Commission, has scheduled its 2007 volunteer orientation and training days for Sunday, Feb. 24, and Saturday, March 1, from 10 a.m. to noon at the center.

To work directly with the animals, volunteers must be at least 18 years of age and are required to attend either session; no other sessions will be offered this year. The Center requires that volunteers that work with animals make a commitment to a regular, once-a-week, four-hour shift from April through October. This commitment is necessary because of the feeding schedule requirements and housing demands of the animals.

The Mercer County Wildlife Center is located on Route 29, approximately 3 miles south of Lambertville and 12 miles north of Trenton. Anyone interested in registering for either orientation and training session or needing more information can call Volunteer Coordinator Nicole Bencivengo at (609) 397-8435.