Onward to 2017 and beyond...
As we quickly approach the end of 2016 and are preparing for 2017, we must thank all of you who made this year possible. Whether you supported us with financial contributions, brought us supplies, attended a presentation or fundraiser, volunteered your time, or came upon an animal in distress that you delivered to our wildlife hospital – you all helped us make this year a success.
Over 1900 wildlife patients have come to our center this year. Many were orphaned babies that were raised and eventually released. Sadly, as is the case every year – the majority of the animals we see are here because of some kind of human interaction. Whether it was attacked by a cat or dog, hit by a car, injured by yard equipment, or displaced by development; we cannot deny that most of these patients are here because of us. So, it is wonderful that so many people understand this is a community effort and we have a duty to help our wildlife neighbors.
1. Two juvenile opossums found emaciated in someone's yard. They are recovering and putting on weight. 2. Young Merlin found on the road suffering from head trauma, likely after colliding with a car. It was released and the video can be seen here.
There are countless organizations in need of support and donations. Some are doing great work in other countries saving glamorous animals – lions, giraffes, elephants, rhinos – but, we are working locally helping the apex predators and other wildlife species that play a key role in helping keep the ecosystem healthy in our own backyards. Thank you for supporting our local efforts. We appreciate that with all the great charitable work being done out there – you support us. We truly would not be able to do this without your continued help and ongoing support.
The end of the year is when we start to look ahead to the following year, projected budgets, improvements, maintenance projects, and necessary state and federal reporting requirements. We had a lot of mouths to feed, and medicine and supplies to purchase. Our annual operating budget is approximately $325,000. This would equate to about $200 per animal. Not a bad deal – especially if you have ever taken a pet to your local vet - that can often be the cost for one office visit.
1. Thanks to King 5 news for sharing stories of our recent efforts. You can watch two different segments here
. 2. Anna's hummingbird - she survived a cat attack and is recovering.
We have a very small staff of only 5 people – three are licensed wildlife rehabilitators and we are here 365 days of the year. While we do have a great team of volunteers and interns join us annually – the law requires that we have licensed rehabilitators oversee the work done here. Obviously, that is in the best interest of the patients as well. Our consulting veterinarian, Dr. Lahner, is able to do surgical procedures onsite and we are grateful to her and her colleagues that have donated their time and skills to help our patients get the best care and treatment possible.
This year you have helped us with your generous cash donations but also by donating over $6500 in food. We have had bags of dog food, frozen and fresh fish, game meat, baby food, and other food we use to prepare diets brought to us as In-Kind donations. Some were collection drives by students or families, youth clubs, or others inspired to take up a special fundraising effort. Boxes and bags full of towels, sheets, and other supplies have also made their way here. (some pictured below.)
Many of our animals need special food to give them an appropriate “wild” diet. To this end, we have purchased $19,000 in rodents for our raptors, coyotes, bobcats etc., over 750 lbs of various birdseeds, about 2600 lbs of grains for waterfowl, and 1200 lbs of special feed for squirrels, chipmunks, other small mammals. We went through dozens and dozens of heat lamp bulbs, bales and bales of hay and straw, 10’s of 10’s of thousands of mealworms, pounds and pounds of berries and grapes, jar after jar of applesauce, hundreds of pounds of walnuts, and countless dozens of eggs – just to list a few. Our total food budget alone was $40,000. So, you can just imagine the cost of bandages, syringes, saline, antibiotics, antifungals, and the myriad of other things that are used in triaging and treating our patients.
We look forward to continuing to share our efforts with you in 2017. Each week our website features a Patient of the Week, and stories and videos are uploaded regularly to our FaceBook page. If you can, consider becoming a monthly supporter.
We wish you all the best for the coming year!