Background & Mission:
H.O.W.L. was chartered in 1997 by Erin Owens, a Hartford resident and DEP wildlife rehabilitator in response to a serious shortage of funding and support for ‘rehabbers.’
Wildlife rehabilitators, committed to rescuing, rehabilitation and releasing orphaned and injured wildlife are volunteers who must be licensed by and in compliance with state and federal agencies. These agencies, however, do not help defray the cost of medicines, feed, veterinary or housing.
Erin’s first fundraising effort was a 23-mile walk from Hartford to Cheshire in June 1997. The following year, with increased support and H.O.W.L. officers Wanda D’Agostino and Tia “Jade” MacLlyr joining her in full costume, the group president led walkers 7.7 miles from East Hartford to the Glastonbury Audubon Society for the HOWL-a-ween Walk for Wildlife.
One of H.O.W.L.’s chief tasks has been to increase public awareness of the work of wildlife rehabilitation and environmental conservation concerns. Wanda D’Agostino (who has over 29 years of wildlife rehabilitation experience) and Erin recognized an even more pressing need for the establishment of a permanent wildlife rehabilitation and education center. A few Connecticut nature centers or museums harbor a very small number of non releasable wildlife for educational purpose. There is a desperate need, however, for a full care round the clock facility, which can offer a supervised release habitat as well as accommodate those creatures that may prove incapable of survival in the wild. Those animals would live out their days helping to educate young and old, increasing understanding of their species and the need to respect and protect our wildlife.
The support of H.O.W.L.’s friends and donors has not only helped to save the lives of many animals over the past years, but will help the group in its search for a land parcel and eventual construction of such a facility. H.O.W.L is still hoping to find a suitable and affordable property. Wanda, H.O.W.L.’s raptor specialist, erected a new flight cage for recovering rescued birds of prey. This expensive project could not have been undertaken without your help!
The work of raising awareness placed H.O.W.L. member Angela Garano in the spotlight when she was featured in The Hartford Advocate. Angela, who is an accomplished singer/songwriter, often cares for animals many might label ‘nuisance wildlife.’ The featured article highlighted a song of Angela’s inspired by a crow she rehabilitated. Crows, which mate for life and live in large family groups known as ‘murders,’ show more than problem-solving intelligence and have frequently been able to mimic human speech.
The entire Connecticut H.O.W.L. organization is staffed by volunteers who wish to help the cause of rescuing and rehabilitating orphaned and injured wildlife.
Erin Owens, President
Kazik Skoczylas, Vice President
Wanda D’Agostino, Treasurer
Sean Donnelly, Communication Coordinator
If you wish to volunteer your time or services, please contact us at any time.