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Our History

OWR began its existence as merely a hobby for our founders Luke and Ruth Waclawek in their family home situated in Didcot, Oxfordshire.

The pair worked full-time, Ruth being an estate agent and Luke running his own groundworks company. They would often take in wild patients from their local vets to care for them until they were fit and healthy again. 

However, word quickly spread, and when the general public found out that the couple were looking after sick and injured animals, they soon descended and knocked on their front door, often cradling cardboard boxes with unfortunate creatures needing them to help.  

The kitchen was halved, to make way for a make-shift ICU ward and the garden was liberally lined with pens, aviaries and a shed that acted as the wildlife hospital.

With the local demand soon becoming obvious, Luke sold his company and went full-time into looking after the animals. However, the proceeds from the business soon disappeared, and the couple went about looking into how they were going to fund their new venture. 

 

They set up a non-profit organisation called the  Oxfordshire Wildlife Rescue, and in 2017, they were rewarded with charity status in 2021. 

The charity has now progressed from the Waclawek's kitchen and back garden to a rented site in the village of Blewbury. The site, which is now Oxfordshire's first and only wildlife casualty centre, was awarded 'the environmental award' by Didcot Council and was filmed with BBC Countryfile in 2022.

The two founders are still very much involved with the running of the operations of OWR and the two have now expressed that they intend to build Oxfordshire's first and only registered wildlife veterinary hospital. By doing so with the board of trustees, they intend to leave a legacy for wildlife casualties to be treated and cared for in the future years.

How it all began...

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OWR First Patient - Percy

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OWR Founders.

Luke & Ruth Waclawek

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