Screech Owl Inspires Wildlife Refuge Car Donation

One little screech owl in trouble. One compassionate, connected, and quick-thinking human. And, finally, a capable and caring wildlife refuge. That adds up to a whole lot of Goodness!

It all started with a Toyota donation…

…or, so we thought. There was so much more to the story, of course! Canadian car donors have stories. Beautiful, generous, and sometimes heartrending stories. The inspiration to donate in such a unique and BIG way comes in the shape of all kinds of human experience. Illness, faith, trauma, hope…and even feathered critters!

We met Heather through her Corolla donation. The trusty ’05 Toyota had been rolling along for almost 400,000 kilometers. The donor provided her vehicle details and was promptly served by our local tow agents. Then, her gift was disbursed to her charity of choice.

We sent our standard “confirmation of pick-up” email to update Heather’s donation file.

In reply? We received a wonderful note:

Thank you so much. This was a very easy process. Everyone I spoke to was friendly & courteous. The towing folks were very good about keeping in touch when a traffic delay arose. And my car was picked up as soon as possible by (the tow agent). Thanks again for this great service. I loved being able to make a small donation to a wildlife rehabilitation organization that had help with a wounded owl I found a few years ago.

Curiosity piqued! We wanted to know more of the story…

We reached out to the donor and wondered, “Can you say more? What happened?”

Heather was quick to respond,

This…is the little Rufus Screech Owl. I was walking with my dog in the fall of 2017 and I felt like I was being watched as I crossed the street. As I got closer to the other side I saw this little owl, huddled up against the curb and very well camouflaged in the fallen leaves.

Wildlife refuge vehicle donation inspired by Rufus Screech Owl (photo contributed by Toyota donor)

It let me get really close so I suspected there was something wrong. I called a local rescue lady I knew of and she came to pick up the little owl and took her to Shades of Hope Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. The looked after her and after a few weeks brought her back to where I found her and she was released. I wasn’t able to be there but they did send me a video. This has always stuck with me so when I had the opportunity to help them out with the donation of my old car, I was happy to.

Read another donor story here, or a story about another feathered inspiration, Vic the Vulture, here!

I’d like to donate a vehicle for my area wildlife refuge

Here are some of the causes we currently work alongside:

Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area

Alberta Institute for Wildlife Conservation

Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary

BC Parks Foundation

Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society

Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS)

Critter Care Wildlife Society

Friends of Fish Creek Provincial Park Society

Friends of the Saskatoon Afforestation Areas Inc.

Hope for Wildlife Society

Kawartha Wildlife Centre

Lake Winnipeg Foundation

Medicine River Wildlife Centre

Northern Lights Wildlife Society

Northwest Wildlife Preservation Society

Nova Scotia Nature Trust

Peregrine Falcon Recovery Project (Manitoba)

Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre

Shades of Hope Wildlife Refuge

The Land Between

TLC The Land Conservancy of British Columbia

Toronto Wildlife Centre

World Wildlife Fund Canada


It’s as easy as 1-2-3 to donate a car for your wildlife refuge

Every vehicle makes a difference. And in every province, too!

Whatever inspires you to give to wildlife refuge, we are here to make the process as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Fill in our online form. It will take less than 10 minutes and can be done by clicking the big red button below. If you’d rather talk to a funny human, just call in during business hours to 1-877-250-4904!
  2. Wait for your phone to ring. Our towing agent will call you to arrange your free tow.
  3. Watch that inbox for your tax receipt!

We are so excited to serve you and your charity of choice!


About the Author

Sandra McDonald

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