Programs We Support
We support existing and new projects at the Montana Wildlife Center that need financial assistance and contribute as a sponsor, along with the Helena Forest Service, MT Fish, Wildlife & Parks and the Discovery Foundation, to the Helena elementary school "Adopt-A-Species" Program. Through your donations we are also able to maintain a spay/neuter voucher program and an emergency veterinary care fund to assist low-income pet owners. Your donations my be designated to specific programs or to our general fund which supports as needs exist and our Small Grants Program. All FFA projects and grants are highlighted in our Annual Report Newsletter.
One challenge facing Montana is the growing number of orphaned and injured animals resulting from increased pressures on wildlife and habitat. For many years, wild animals from across the state were brought to the shelter on Custer Avenue in Helena.
While this shelter served its purpose, it was never meant to be a rehabilitation center. Located in a busy, commercial section of town, it lacked appropriate heating and light. The cages were cramped and allowed humans too much contact with the animals, thereby reducing the successful return of the animals to their natural habitat. That's why the Foundation for Animals, in partnership with Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and the USDA Forest Service raised funds to complete a new facility at the south end of Spring Meadow Lake State Park.
The new Montana Wildlife rehabilitation facility is not a zoo. It is more like a halfway house. Animals go here to heal and grow strong so they can be released back to the wild.
A Place to Learn
The new visitor and education center building adjacent to the wildlife rehabilitation facility is now open to the public. Named "Montana Wild," the visitor center offers many educational opportunities, such as interactive interpretive displays and exhibits. A field trip to the new center is a memorable learning experience for school children.
Adults will similarly enjoy visiting the new center devoted to conserving Montana's wildlife and wildlife habitat. For more information regarding seasonal hours and school field trips, please call the center at (406) 444-9944.
Become a partner in wildlife conservation.
The Foundation For Animals participates in fund raising projects that benefit wildlife at the Montana wildlife rehabilitation facility as well as projects that enhance conservation education at "Montana Wild." You can be a partner in these efforts by making a tax-deductible donation to FFA. Simply click here now.
The Spay / Neuter Program is helping to decrease the number of homeless animals
A primary goal of the Foundation for Animals is to reduce the number of litters that are unwanted or abandoned at human society shelters. The Foundation issues vouchers to help defray the cost of spay-neuter surgery when pet owners cannot afford the full cost. Since 1992, over $85,000 has been dedicated to the program and 3,700 pets have been altered through assistance from the program. We also work with other animal groups, helping to fund spay-neuter clinics. These combined efforts have succeeded in dramatically reducing the overpopulation of pets and feral cats.
The Emergency fund helps families and pets stay together. A beloved pet is often considered a family member and sometimes a pet is the only family a person has. Paying the full cost of unexpected veterinary expenses can be difficult or impossible for some low or fixed income pet owners. FFA's emergency funds program is designed to help pet owners in that situation.
The Adopt-a-Species Program exists to increase students’ understanding of ecosystems and appreciation for the natural world through comprehensive study of Montana wildlife species. The Foundation for Animals, the Helena-Lewis & Clark National Forest, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks and Montana Discovery Foundation have provided the program to 19 area schools for many years. The program kicks off the school year with an assembly and unveiling ceremony, then end the year with an art and writing contest that is published in the Helena Independent Record.
Each school receives a trunk with a different species including resources (programs, materials, activities) to help students learn about their animal and its habitat needs. Within this scope, students study and learn about their species, then educate and entertain others with poems, essays, and artwork. They develop exhibits, write songs, produce videos, and design web pages dedicated to their animal and its habitat, sharing their knowledge and vision with others.
Local students’ participation and interest in the Adopt-a-Species Program is evidence that young people care about the natural environment and want to learn more. They realize that the natural environment, from parks and mountains, to water and air, is affected by the actions of people both young and old. On behalf of the partners, students and teachers of the Adopt-a-Species Program, it is our hope that many will learn and enjoy the work this program exhibits throughout the community and in local schools.