Assembly Bill 1031, which I introduced in 2017, is having a big impact on the welfare of California’s native wildlife. The bill provides funding to help injured, orphaned or sick wildlife receive care and rehabilitation provided by non-profit, rehabilitation organizations throughout the state. Through the Native California Wildlife Rehabilitation Fund set up under AB 1031, taxpayers can voluntarily check off a deductible contribution when they file their individual state tax returns.
On a daily basis, California’s animal rehabilitation organizations rescue injured, sick or orphaned wildlife and provide them with medical treatment, care, protection and nourishment with the ultimate aim of reintroducing them to the wild. Like all nonprofits, animal rehabilitation organizations need funding to serve our state. While the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) sometimes provides veterinary treatment to wild animals such as bears injured in wildfires, it cannot provide ongoing rehab care to animals statewide. This is where California’s 84 permitted wildlife rehab facilities step in. 47 of these facilities will receive funding totaling $547,000 in 2022.
Most of these facilities assist native wildlife such as songbirds, small mammals, raptors, marine birds, amphibians and reptiles, and a few provide care for larger animals including black bears, deer and mountain lions. The new Wildlife Rehabilitation Fund has been a big help.
Animal welfare is one of my priorities. I am a trained Project Wildlife Native Songbird Rehabilitator and my experiences raising orphaned or injured songbirds and returning them to the wild has guided me in the legislation I introduce and support, including AB 1031.
For a list of wildlife rehab facilities, please click here.
To learn more about making a deductible donation to support this program, please visit the CDFW tax check-off webpage