By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Creature comfort zone
HUGHSON - At four weeks old Bella, a red fox, was brought to the Stanislaus Wildlife Care Center by the Lodi Humane Society after found wandering aimlessly around a park.

Since red foxes are not native to the area, Bella was prohibited from the California Department of Fish and Game to be released into the wild. Bella is now one of the newest members of the SWCC being used to educate clubs, organizations, schools and the public about wildlife.

The SWCC has been specializing in California native wildlife since 1984. The center is a local nonprofit organization serving Stanislaus and six surrounding counties. The center is located on two acres of land along the Tuolumne River in Fox Grove Regional Park. Last year alone the center received approximately 2,000 animals that were rehabilitated and cared for including songbirds, waterfowls, reptiles, mammals, corvids, raptors and ground birds.

SWCC's goal is to promote respect for wildlife and educate the public about wildlife.

"Our purpose is to rehabilitate orphaned and injured California native wildlife," according to the SWCC. "To achieve our goals, we care for a multitude of sick, injured, and orphaned California native wildlife in order to release them back into their native habitat as healthy wild animals."

The center depends on public contributions and grants to pay for the expenses of running the center. SWCC is a nonprofit organization and donations are tax deductible. Besides public contributions and grants, memberships are also a major source of funding. Donations received are used to pay for food, medicines, caging, utilities and supplies. Members also receive the Stanislaus Flyer, a quarterly newsletter, sent invitations to events and monthly critter E-cards.

SWCC is a volunteer-based organization encouraging anyone over 17 years of age with an interest in wildlife to volunteer. Volunteers will help prepare food, clean cages, wash dishes and laundry, feed baby birds, work on construction projects and fundraisers.

"I am studying biology because I want to be a veterinarian and I get good experience here by examining animals," Margaret Axiak, part-time employee at SWCC said.

Although many of the animals brought in suffer from broken bones, concussions, disease, malnutrition, dehydration and other problems, the most difficult challenge Executive Director Christina Nicasio faces includes receiving new species or cases that have never been seen at the center.

"When we get new species or see something we haven't seen before we have to do a lot of research," Nicasio said.

On Saturday, Aug. 18 the SWCC will be holding their annual fundraising event, a day with wildlife.

"Educational information will be provided and a number of animals will be on display," according to the SWCC. Children's games, activities, prize drawings, animal presentations will also be available and food and baked goods will be available for purchase.

The SWCC is located at the Fox Grove Fishing Access at 1220 Geer Road in Hughson. The hours for the event are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. To contact the Stanislaus Wildlife Care Center call 883-9414 or visit