Probst wildlife rehab center grant bill passes House

HARRISBURG, Oct. 16 – A bill sponsored by Rep. Tarah Probst that would allow Pennsylvania to help fund wildlife rehabilitation centers passed the state House of Representatives today.

“Wildlife rehabilitators are essential in treating and temporarily caring for injured, diseased and displaced wildlife. They also provide essential education in order to mitigate human-wildlife conflicts, which is a health and safety factor, and they promote stewardship of wildlife,” said Probst, D-Monroe/Pike.

Probst said they do not receive state or federal funding and primarily rely on donations from individuals or other entities to fund rehabilitation efforts.

To provide support for the facilities, Probst authored legislation that would establish the Wildlife Rehabilitation Grant Program to provide wildlife rehabilitators with the opportunity to apply for a grant that could be used to cover the costs associated with the recovery and rehabilitation of injured, sick or orphaned wildlife, and the improvement of rehabilitation facilities.

Probst said the Pennsylvania Game Commission would determine the amount of each grant based on the number of wildlife the rehabilitator takes in from the previous fiscal year. Grant amounts would be between $2,500 and $75,000.

The program would be funded by an appropriation in the annual state budget.

The legislation (H.B. 1522) moves to the state Senate for consideration.