As was the case last year, the COVID pandemic, no help to humans, was very helpful in 2021 to animals needing medical attention.

The Wildlife Rehab Center of Minnesota admitted more than 19,000 animals last year, the most ever. The facility is in Roseville.

"People were home, and they had the time and inclination to help animals in need," said Tami Vogel, the center's communications director.

"I think a lot of people are looking for a shining light through all this COVID stress," she told me in an e-mail summary of the year.

"We've heard time and time again from our clients, donors and social media followers that for them, helping a wild animal in need — just even knowing that we're here to help — is that light."

A total of 197 different animal species were admitted for care. Of those, 143 were birds.

Also, toads, frogs, a salamander, bats, a bear, a bobcat, mice, voles and shrews, three swan species, and eight species of turtles.

COVID was a shining light for turtles, admissions dropping from the average by 25%. Stay-at-home meant fewer vehicles on the roads.

Volunteers help staff the center. It is supported by contributions from people who care about wildlife in all forms.