Bedfordshire Wildlife Rescue was set up by Sam Bedford, who has been involved in animal welfare for many years and runs the charity with a small team of volunteers from her home in Houghton Regis.
Sam started her career working in the legal profession. However, a love of animals has always simmered away, so alongside this, in 1994 she also volunteered for the local RSPCA Branch becoming involved in a number of roles which eventually resulted in her leaving the legal profession altogether, as well as embarking upon a BSc in Wildlife Biology and some hands on voluntary work with sick and injured foxes.
It became clear, during this time that there were a real lack of resources for wildlife rehabilitation in the Bedfordshire area. Members of the public would be advised to take injured animals to vets and these vets were being left with no choice but to euthanize as no rehabilitative care was locally available.
So, in 2002 an approach was made to a number of local vets who all said that they would be glad to have a local wildlife rehabilitation service and Sam then spent the next 18 months researching every veterinary book, manual and article on wildlife care and also received training in the administration of drugs and non-surgical treatments.
In late 2003, an appeal was made to the local community for cages and materials for aviaries and by the end of March 2004, the new organisation was ready to open. The charity has grown steadily since 2004 and has become well known as specialists in the rearing of wild birds.
In 2014 the Charity celebrated its 10th Anniversary and took in just over 700 patients, 391 of whom were orphaned wild birds. The charity’s 2014 release rate was 79.9%!