The ECWR rescues over 2,000 injured and orphaned wild mammals, reptiles, and birds every year including infant and adult dolphins, whales, and sea turtles. ECWR reached a point where limitations of medical equipment and available rehab space for wildlife patients, created an urgent need for increased capacity and additional equipment. ECWR purchased a veterinary hospital that provides optimum treatment for the increasing numbers of patients they rescue.
Since the oil spill of 2010 the number of wildlife patients they take in has increased dramatically. Because of the limited amount of equipment in their current treatment area, they were forced to decide which animal, out of several who require it, is most in need of the IV infusion pump, for example. These were heartbreaking decisions that were mitigated with the ability to provide the best of care to all of the animals that come through their door.
The Florida-style cottage served not only as a fully functioning wildlife hospital but also as an educational venue for the community. It is outfitted with one-way windows whereby visitors are able to view the exam room, ICU, and nursery to observe and learn about the wildlife rehabilitation process and treatment techniques without the animals in the hospital being disturbed. The wildlife hospital is centrally located on Okaloosa Island adjacent to the Emerald Coast Convention Center.