Nancy and Gunther Golina, caretakers of the Prince Rupert Wildlife and Rehab Centre. (Aman Parhar / The Northern View)

Heart of Our City: Sheltering and loving wild animals in Rupert

Nancy and Gunther Golina mark 30 years of taking care of wildlife in the area

Nancy and Gunther Golina have always been comfortable working with animals and age has not been a deterrent.

The couple own and run the Prince Rupert Wildlife and Rehab Centre, a non-profit organization, dedicated to taking care of injured wild animals and birds.

“There was a demand for it and we filled it. We had always worked with animals before and we gave our entire life – every waking hour is around animals and birds,” said Nancy, who is the primary caretaker at the shelter.

Nancy always loved animals, even when she was a child.

Where Nancy grew up, they had to make an appointment to have a bath because there were always ducks or something in the bath tub,” Gunther said.

READ MORE: Heart of Our City: A photo says a thousand words

At one point, Nancy as a child, had a ramp up to the bath tub for her ducks and she would put cages of snakes and mice in different cupboard doors.

“When you opened the cupboard door, you didn’t know what was behind it because I would put cages where there was room, you know. Put the dishes to the other side and use that. My poor mother. It was snakes or mice or something else. She never knew when she opened the cupboard door, so she would very gently open it from afar and look,” said Nancy, humoured by her past.

The Golina’s are celebrating 30 years of taking care of animals in and around the Prince Rupert area. The couple have always had animals on their property and it reached a point where other people in the area were getting injured animals to them for their analysis.

“We had no choice. We did have a bedroom in the first year, and then we had the deer come in, we had eagles come in, we had seals come in,” Nancy said. The couple now sleep in their living room to make more space for wildlife.

In terms of community support, Gunther said, people looking to help can donate and the City of Prince Rupert gives them official tax receipts. “We prefer getting cheques or money, because then we can buy things we need, instead of leasing it. We know the kind of food we need to buy for these animals versus people donating food, and us not being able to use all of it,” he said.

The couple have an agreement with Shoppers Drug Mart, Home Hardware and the veterinary doctor for people to make donations in the city itself. Once people make a donation there, they will receive an official tax receipt on their address.

Meanwhile, good volunteers that stay for a longer duration have been difficult to find, Gunther said. They could use a lot of help as they are having difficulties picking up heavier stuff. Both Nancy and Gunther are over 80 years old and with Gunther unable to move around much after a recent surgery. Most of the load is on Nancy.

“Right now we need help with heavy stuff. We are both having a little bit of a problem with any kind of lifting, and we have to take the wheelbarrow, load them on and dump them, it’s a lot of heavy work,” Nancy said.

As long as people are wishing to volunteer, and they are passionate about wildlife, the Golina’s will have less work to do. There is training involved, but the couple don’t have a ton of time for that.

“We have a whole list of volunteers but the first thing we see is that how do they interact with animals and we have had people who have said, how difficult is it to clean a cage? And I say you are right. But even a sparrow can scratch you pretty bad because they are panicked. So you have to respect the animals and we don’t have time right now to train people,” he said.

There is a need to educate children about wildlife and get them to come interact with animals, he said, adding that whenever they have children come to the shelter, it’s always a good time.

“Nature and wildlife needs to be promoted in school. It is our heritage and it makes us more human,” he said.

READ MORE: Heart of our city articles here

To report a typo, email: editor@thenorthernview.com.



Send Newsroom email.
Like the The Northern View on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

 

An injured eagle at the Prince Rupert Wildlife Rehab Centre (Aman Parhar/The Northern View)

The Golina’s have rabbits, owls, eagles and more at the wildlife centre. (Aman Parhar/The Northern View)

Shown are injured eagles at the Prince Rupert Wildlife and Rehab Centre. (Aman Parhar/The Northern View)

Nancy Golina, is shown standing infront of the compound where the injured Eagles are held. (Aman Parhar/The Northern View)

Just Posted

Rupert Runners share memories of beloved volunteer Leslie Peloquin

Distance runner Peloquin was a Learn to Run coach in Prince Rupert for years, inspiring many

‘Ruff week over for canine owners as Prince Rupert dog park reopens

McKay Street dog park was temporarily closed for repairs after a car crashed into fence

Prince Rupert marine business adds second catamaran to its fleet

100-passenger Aurora was launched this year for the Rio Tinto Kemano tunnel project

Sustainble economy flourishing in Haida Gwaii and Great Bear Rainforest thanks to First Nations investments

From 2008-2018, funding initiatives led to more than $286 million in new investments

Cats of Third Avenue fire are safe and sound

Boris, Ben, Boomboom, and Bella were found two days after their home was set ablaze

Kerbrat back in command of Prince Rupert golf scene

Strong putting game helps reclaim the title

WEB POLL: Would you like to see another mural go up where Zorba’s Taverna’s old one used to be?

The iconic quirky mural from Prince Rupert’s Greek restaurant was painted over this week

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

B.C.’s measles vaccination program gains traction in May

More than 15,000 doses of the MMR vaccine has been administered across the province

B.C. farmers concerned Agricultural Land Reserve changes choking their livelihood

Dozens voice concerns at special meeting hosted on Vancouver Island

UPDATE: Two-year-old involved in Chilliwack pool drowning has died

Toddler was reported to not be breathing as air ambulance called out Thursday afternoon

Family frustrated Terrace dad with advanced cancer must wait weeks for treatment

‘We can see his health declining every day,’ daughter says

B.C. high school withdraws notices for temporary dress code

Parents previously told the Interior News they felt there was inadequate consultation over the rules

Most Read