Mission, History, Ethic
To rescue, rehabilitate, and release native wildlife and to provide sanctuary, individualized care, and a voice for other animals in need.
WRR rescues orphaned, injured, and displaced wildlife and returns the majority to the wild. We also provide permanent care in large natural enclosures to farmed and unreleasable wildlife. Among the latter are native and nonnative wild animals who were victimized by the pet trade, held in roadside zoos or used in research. These include black bears, primates, mountain lions, other mammals, and numerous species of birds and reptiles.
In addition, WRR offers assistance, on a limited basis, to homeless companion animals and feral cats and provides advice and assistance for dealing with human-wildlife conflicts in a nonlethal manner. WRR staff work to educate the public about more appropriate and respectful relations with nature and wildlife. Whether through training, education, advocacy, or direct animal care, WRR fulfills its commitment to wildlife protection and ethical, sustainable relations between humans and the natural world. Because of our commitment to respect the rights and needs of wildlife, the main WRR facilities and grounds are not open to the public.
We have received over 160,000 native wild animals since inception. Annually, we rescue from 6-7,000 animals brought to us for rehabilitation and respond to 10,000 phone inquiries and requests for help. Around 300 wild animals are permanent residents because they are unreleasable due either to permanent injuries or the fact that they are nonnative species with no place to go. In addition, over 300 farmed animals have found refuge at the WRR Sanctuary. Twenty-two full-time staff, as many as eighteen interns and apprentices, and numerous volunteers carry out our programs every day. We are accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS).
WRR was founded in 1977 in San Antonio, Texas. Since 2001 its primary base of operations has been located on 212 acres near Kendalia, Texas, a property which was purchased through the generosity of three of our supporters. WRR serves San Antonio, Austin, surrounding counties, and occasionally other parts of Texas as well. We also provide assistance on a national basis to wild animals in need of sanctuary.
Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation began as the vision of a young woman in her mid-twenties in 1977 in San Antonio. Lynn Cuny saw that many wild animals suffered and died after encounters with humans and that many could be saved and, with help, returned to the wild. She also saw that some could not be released due to the nature of their injuries or other factors, and that they could live satisfactory lives in a sanctuary. It was her vision when founding WRR to one day have a 200 acre sanctuary in the Texas Hill Country. This vision became a reality with the help, donations and hard work of many people over the years.
Although WRR began in Lynn’s San Antonio backyard, demand for its services increased so rapidly that by 1980 it had to move from her home to a four-acre site outside of San Antonio. In 1986 it became necessary to move again, this time to a 21-acre facility.
In 1999 a large gift from an individual supporter enabled purchase of a 187-acre site in the Texas Hill Country northwest of San Antonio onto which WRR moved after several years of fundraising and construction. An adjacent 25 acres were purchased in 2013-14 through gifts from two other supporters. These 212 acres are now our permanent home.
WRR rescues and cares for all wildlife, including native and nonnative species. We believe that all animals — rare or common, regardless of species — are deserving of our care, attention, and respect.
Animals are intelligent, sentient individuals. We refer to them as “he/she” or “them/they,” or by species. The words “it” or “thing” are never used to refer to an animal, and “who” is used rather than “that.” If you do not know the gender, choose one: “he” or “she.” Even if your gender choice is wrong, it is more respectful than “it.” This is an important way of demonstrating the respect we ask others to afford all animals.
The Wildlife Rescue Sanctuary was fashioned after what wildlife have in their natural habitats—large open areas with trees, boulders and native grasses. The wild animals are never named, tamed or placed on exhibit.
WRR is not open to the public and does not use animals in education programs. We do not keep wild animals in captivity for the purpose of subjecting them to the stress of public display even when that display is in the classroom. The use of animals in this manner sends a message to the public that animals can or should be tamed, or kept as “pets” or that they are objects for human diversion, recreation or educational tools.