City Wildlife protects and advocates for wildlife and wildlife habitat through rehabilitation for release, public education, and community engagement.
Who We Are
City Wildlife was created to address the need for wildlife rescue and rehabilitation in Washington, DC. Over the past several decades, urban development has reduced local wildlife habitat and wild animals have had to adapt to living in close proximity with people. Each year, hundreds of wild animals in DC are unintentionally harmed by people and the urban environment.
Our goals are:
- To manage a rescue center to assist sick, orphaned, and injured wild animals and return them to the wild;
- To promote the enjoyment of native wildlife and harmonious co-existence with wild animals; and
- To protect the District of Columbia’s wild places for animal habitats.
What We Do
Prior to our opening in 2013, there was no wildlife rehabilitation center in Washington, DC. The nearest wildlife rehabilitation center was an hour away and many injured animals in the District were not able to make the journey.
In 2007, City Wildlife founders Anne Lewis and Jim Monsma came together to try and figure out a way to fill this gap in animal care.
Why We Need You
City Wildlife relies upon grants and personal donations to sponsor our work. We need the support of the local and national community to help keep our doors open and fund our education and outreach programs as well as the center itself. We rely heavily on volunteers to help us with Lights Out, Duck Watch, educational outreach, and animal care.
Meet Our Staff and Board
Jim Monsma, Executive Director
Jim Monsma has 25 years of experience in the animal protection field in the Washington, DC area. An avid birder and amateur naturalist, Jim has a keen interest in preserving native birds and other wildlife. He helped launch City Wildlife and the Lights Out DC program for the protection of migratory birds before becoming the director of Second Chance Wildlife Center in Gaithersburg, Maryland, in 2012. He returned to City Wildlife in October 2018.
Cheryl Chooljian, DVM, Clinic Director
Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine (DVM)
University of Texas, Arlington (B.A., Biology)
Dr. Chooljian graduated from the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine with a focus on avian, exotic, and zoological medicine. During veterinary school, she served as the Lead Student Co-chair of the Wildlife Hospital of Louisiana’s raptor rehabilitation program and President of the student club for Wildlife, Avian, Zoo, and Exotic Medicine (WAZEM). Following graduation, she completed a one-year internship in Equine/Zoo Medicine at Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch. Dr. Chooljian has also worked as a small animal emergency medicine relief veterinarian and volunteer veterinarian at the Vervet Monkey Foundation in South Africa.
Dominick Fenech, Animal Care Manager
Dominick Fenech is the newest member of the City Wildlife team. He’s been interested in wildlife since a young age, and this hobby quickly grew to a lifelong passion when he became an intern at the Bird Center of Michigan in 2018. At the Bird Center, a small nonprofit rehab facility for songbirds, he worked his way up to assistant manager, teaching new interns the basics of wildlife rehab. During his time there, he studied the behavior and husbandry requirements of avian patients. He continues to grow as a rehabber by working on his wildlife rehabilitation license.
Bryan Vorbach, VMD
Board of Directors
Anne M. Lewis, President
Maryanna Kieffer, Vice-President
April Linton, Vice-President
Ginny May, Secretary
Gertrude Scanlan, Treasurer
Jim Monsma, Executive Director
Peter S. Glassman, D.V.M.
John Hadidian, PhD
City Wildlife Annual Report 2021
City Wildlife Annual Report 2020
City Wildlife Annual Report 2019
City Wildlife Annual Report 2018