Beyond raptors: P4W and the expansion of excellence
Rob Kulhanek

The Partners for Wildlife (P4W) grant-funded initiative, founded at The Raptor Center (TRC) in 2018, holds excellence in animal care as its core mission and aims to spread that mission beyond TRC and its avian patients.

The initiative seeks to improve standards of care for all wildlife undergoing rehabilitation, no matter the species, and does so through building knowledge, skills, and abilities in rehabilitators and veterinarians; expanding organizational capacity to meet their mission; and promoting community engagement for greater collaboration, communication, and professionalism. Each of these measures is aimed at ensuring that the animals' best interests are the focus of decision-making and achieving the best possible outcomes for all patients.

P4W Research Assistant Dr. Annette Ahlmann demonstrates a scope on a patient
P4W's research assistant Annette Ahlmann, DVM leads the way in world-class animal welfare.
| Photo by Partners for Wildlife

To bolster excellence at all levels, P4W works closely with rehabilitators and wildlife care centers to provide mentoring, expand training, and increase access to resources to improve animal care. Whether an independent rehabilitator needs better medical supplies, a small center needs improved veterinary contribution, or a top-tier facility needs cutting-edge equipment, P4W is there to support the changes required to improve wildlife care and strengthen organizations across the wildlife rehabilitation network.

These collaborative activities are not the only area in which P4W focuses on excellence. Its community-focused programming, including annual fellowship and veterinary internship programs, explicitly spotlights animal welfare in its philosophy and teaching to activate ground-up momentum on reaching new standards of quality care.

P4W is actively developing new opportunities to support excellence in wildlife rehabilitation. In addition to expanding one-on-one work with wildlife rehabilitators, the upcoming rollout of a new virtual platform will allow experts and novices from across the industry to share advice and confirm best practices. Increased efforts to engage veterinary professionals and students will bring greater medical expertise into the sector as well. Building on TRC’s leading expertise, P4W will continue to sustain and advance excellence in animal care across all of wildlife rehabilitation.

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P4W Research Assistant Dr. Annette Ahlmann demonstrates a scope on a patient.