Wild ARC’s senior wildlife rehabilitator wins staff excellence award
Christina Carrieres is a living, breathing encyclopedia for all things “wildlife”. The senior wildlife rehabilitator at Wild ARC, the BC SPCA’s wildlife rehabilitation centre in Metchosin, was honoured with a 2012 BC SPCA Staff Excellence award during a special ceremony in Vancouver on June 2.
Carrieres first became involved with Wild ARC six years ago in 2005 when she applied as a summer intern. “I was so impressed with her enthusiasm and passion for wildlife,” says Sara Dubois, BC SPCA manager of wildlife services. “She absolutely excelled during her intensive internship, and her skills as an animal health technologist were an invaluable asset.” Carrieres has held successive positions with the organization, from volunteer to part-time rehabilitator, and now enjoys her challenging role as senior wildlife rehabilitator, commencing in 2009. In fact, Carrieres is the longest-serving rehabilitator at Wild ARC.
“Christina is known to staff and volunteers as the person who knows everything,” says Dubois. When necessary information cannot be found in books, Christina relies on her innovative approach. “She demonstrates exceptional creativity on a daily basis, developing new cage designs, enrichment strategies, and care protocols. Her inventiveness is essential in an emerging professional field where few solutions are documented in literature.”
Carrieres is devoted to advancing her great wealth of wildlife knowledge as well as passing it on to others. Equipped with her degree in biology and environmental studies, she spends a significant amount of personal time to her professional development, attending international wildlife conferences at her own cost. In addition, Carrieres continually works with the Wild ARC management staff to develop and implement volunteer training programs for interns, volunteers and experienced trainers. She even coordinated the hosting of international wildlife rehabilitation basis skills training in Victoria in 2010 and again 2011. This year, she is organizing the advanced skills training courses in nutrition and parasitology.
“As if Christina wasn’t dedicated enough, she is also a board member of the Rocky Point Bird Observatory and the Wildlife Rehabilitators Network of BC,” adds Dubois. “Not only that, she serves on the WRNBC’s First Response Committee and last April she planned the first oiled wildlife spill response course for the public. She also works Saturdays at Juan de Fuca Veterinary Clinic as an animal health technologist. If there is something Christina doesn’t do regarding wildlife welfare, I have yet to know about it.”
The BC SPCA Awards Program honours both people and animals who have made outstanding contributions to animal welfare during the past year. Recipients include veterinarians, staff, volunteers and animal heroes. The non-profit BC SPCA cares for nearly 32,000 abused, abandoned, injured and neglected animals each year in British Columbia.
The BC SPCA is a non-profit organization funded primarily by public
donations. Our mission is to prevent cruelty and to promote the welfare
of animals through a wide range of services, including cruelty
investigations, emergency rescue and treatment, sheltering and adoption
of homeless and abused animals, humane education, advocacy, farm animal
welfare, spay/neuter programs, and wildlife rescue and rehabilitation.