Second Chance Wildlife Center (SCWC) is housed in a historic Gaithersburg farmhouse surrounded by fields, woods, a marsh, and a stream. Several spacious flight cages, small mammal enclosures, and waterfowl pens are located on the adjacent lawns. Many recently released animals share the grounds with the permanent wild residents before moving on to establish their own niches in the surrounding fields and woods. Others are released at special sites such as nature centers and animal sanctuaries that are protected for wildlife.
Each year, concerned citizens bring in thousands of native wildlife for medical treatment, attentive care, and release. Second Chance was founded by Christine Montuori. A licensed wildlife rehabilitator since 1986, Chris supervised the treatment, housing, and feeding of the wild patients. After training as a volunteer at a wildlife center in Bowie, Maryland, Chris obtained her state and federal wildlife rehabilitation permits in 1988 and 1989, respectively. Working out of her home, she cared for as many as 1,200 animals per year and incorporated as Second Chance Wildlife Center in 1995. In June of 1996, Second Chance moved their operations to its present location in Gaithersburg. The facility, owned by the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission, now treats about 3,500 animals per year.
Second Chance rehabilitates orphaned, injured and ill songbirds, raptors, waterfowl, squirrels, groundhogs, chipmunks, bats, rabbits, turtles, and a host of other native species. Our volunteer staff veterinarian performs surgical procedures on site as needed.
We thoroughly test the animals before they are released, to ensure that they have sufficient skills to survive in the wild. As a relatively new science, wildlife rehabilitation is a growing field. Innovations and advancements in care and treatment are constantly being made, and the staff and volunteers of SCWC keep abreast of these developments through networking with other rehabilitators, membership in state, national and international wildlife rehabilitation organizations, and attending conferences and training seminars.
The Center accepts admissions from 9:00AM to 5:00PM every day of the year. Staff, interns, and volunteers work 12 to 14 hours per day caring for patients during the busy spring and summer months. Second Chance Wildlife Center was accredited by the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council in 1997 and was awarded the Governor's Citation in October 1998.
SCWC is a 501(c) non-profit organization and relies on public donations to continue its work. The average cost to rehabilitate a single animal is $75. Take some time to explore our website to learn about what we do and how you can help us make a difference.
Note: Second Chance Wildlife Center does not deal with domestic animals; for example feral/stray cats, domestic ducks, or "egg hatching projects." Please call the Humane Society for issues concerning domestic animals.