Wildlife rehabilitators dedicated to the cause

17 years ago

To the editor:
At the A. E. Howell Wildlife Conservation Center in Amity, the first order of business is the rehabilitation of sick or injured wildlife and the release of these animals back into the wild. In this way, these wild creatures, some of them classified as threatened or endangered, are nurtured and preserved for the continuation of their species. In this way, the diversity of the natural world is protected.
    Arthur and Dorothy Howell are the driving force behind the work that goes on at the center. As registered rehabilitators, they have dedicated over 25 years to the animals that come through their center. The high success rate that the Howells have achieved is due to the thoroughness of their care. Countless hours are spent in applying first aid, making trips to the Veterinarians who work with the center, scheduling and giving medications when needed, supplying an appropriate diet for each animal and providing shelter and ongoing care until the animal is ready for release. Depending on the needs of the particular animal, a release site is carefully chosen, one that gives each animal the best chance of reintegrating into it’s natural habitat.
Although almost all of the wildlife that come through the center are released back into the wild, in reality, a small number cannot, either because their injuries cause permanent disability or because prior contact with humans has rendered them unable to re-establish natural behaviors that would promote their safety. But rather than being unfortunate creatures who’s spirits have been broken by captivity, the resident wildlife at the A. E. Howell Wildlife Conservation Center thrive on the good care, healthy diets, and ample space for physical activity.
The built-in wading pool for the bears, the airy, sunlit perches for the birds of prey, and the expansive, well treed enclosure for the deer, are just a few examples of the work that has made the center a sanctuary rather than a prison. The many visitors who come through the serene grounds also called Spruce Acres are given a personal tour by appointment and the benefit of the years of experience that have made Arthur Howell an exceptional wildlife educator.
The work done at the center, whether it is providing rehabilitation and sanctuary for the animals or education for the local schools and community, requires the kind of commitment that can only be described as a “calling”. For the past 25 years, Arthur and Dorothy Howell have given their lives over to running the center. With the help of volunteers and their board of directors, they have been directly involved in all aspects of supporting the center. Most of their time and energy is spent each year caring for the animals, giving tours, writing grant proposals, soliciting membership and donations, encouraging public interest through news letters and open houses, and by participating in public venues such as school programs and regional fairs. Every dollar that has come into this non-profit center has gone into the care, protection and preservation of the animals that have come through the center.
For all of us who have an appreciation for the beauty, the necessity and the continuity of wildlife, the A. E. Howell Wildlife Conservation Center represents a real life example of how truly dedicated and inspired individuals can make a difference.

Janet Easter
Fort Kent