HALDIMAND COUNTY -- A wildlife rehabilitation centre in Haldimand County is sending a strong message to treat wildlife with compassion, after several incidents of teens harming and killing animals.

Hobbitstee Wildlife Refuge said in the last two weeks, there have been three incidents where teens harmed wildlife in the Hamilton area.

Two incidents involved people stomping on duck eggs and another was an attempted stabbing of a squirrel.

“These animals were not doing anyone any harm, nor were they bothering anyone. Why do they need to be harmed,” Chantal Theijn, founder of Hobbitstee Wildlife Refuge said.

The squirrel was brought to the rehabilitation centre two days ago for recovery. Theijn said the squirrel fell on his head, broke his front teeth and had a swollen and bloody nose. He is expected to make a full recovery.

Hamilton Animal Services said it does not investigate or have set fines for cruelty of wildlife, and the investigation is now in the hands of the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

A spokesperson for the ministry said these incidents are crimes under the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act and under the Migratory Birds Convention Act.

“Violations are not age dependent; consequences of violations may differ based on age,” Jolanta Kowalski, ministry spokesperson said in a statement.

So far, no charges have been laid.

Some community members are concerned with this behaviour.

“That’s just disgraceful, that’s horrible. They should be reprimanded,” one person told CTV News.

Theijn agrees and said those responsible should be punished.

“Maybe you need to go tell your story to a judge,” she said. 

She is reminding everyone to treat wildlife with compassion.

“They are living, breathing animals and they deserve respect. Just leave them be.”