Much to be thankful for
At Peace River Wildlife Center we have a lot to be thankful for this year. While we have seen an increase in admissions, our positive outcome numbers are also rising. A positive outcome occurs when an animal is able to be released or placed into a permanent education facility. One of the main factors in whether or not an animal lives after it is injured or orphaned is the amount of time it takes to get it to PRWC. Since we have gotten so much great publicity lately with the Sun newspaper and many local television stations, more people now know who to call when they find an injured or orphaned animal and the word is spreading. The faster the animal gets the help it needs, the better it chances of survival.
We are grateful for our volunteers. We have a herd of people who come into PRWC every morning to clean and repair every habitat and cage. Truth be told, some mornings it’s just the one poor bedraggled guy, but other mornings it’s a lively group. One of the comments we hear from visitors every day is, “This place doesn’t stink!” They always sound so surprised. We consider that a compliment anyway. And it is all thanks to the tireless efforts of our band of merry cleaners. We can always use more folks to help with various volunteer jobs.
Our hospital volunteers help us with food preparation, slicing and dicing fruits and veggies for our patients and residents. They thaw frozen rats, mice and fish for our meat-eaters. They soak dry dog and cat food and scramble eggs as protein sources for many of our birds and mammals. They wash a mountain of dishes every day and help us keep the hospital cages and incubators clean.
In the gift shop our wonderful volunteers are responsible for a huge portion of PRWC’s funding. A special thanks to gift shop manager Connie Ferris for running such a tight ship and generating over a quarter of PRWC’s income with her remarkable selection of t-shirts, toys, ornaments, artwork, books, guides and souvenirs. One of her biggest sellers at this time of year is the symbolic adoption of our residents with a beautiful certificate bearing a picture of the adopted animal and the name of the adopter.
Our supporters are what make the magic happen. Without our members and sponsors we would not be able to continue to treat and release the injured or care for our educational animals on display. Receiving no federal or state funding, PRWC depends on the generosity of the community for its support. And the community has been very compassionate. People drop cash in our donation jug when they come to visit; they bring us food items from our wish list; they purchase cleaning supplies for us. We have people who check out our Amazon Smile wish list and add a gift for us when placing their holiday orders for family and friends, that way we not only get items we need, but 0.5% of all purchases is donated to PRWC as your chosen charity. As a 501c3 nonprofit PRWC is also a great place to make those year-end donations to help ease the burden at tax time.
Those of you who are not already on Facebook, do your selves the favour of creating an account and follow PRWC. There you will be kept up to date with all of our patients, interesting cases and fun (and sometimes sad) stories. We have followers from all over the area, the country and the world. As a Charlotte County resident I am thrilled that we have such a unique facility in our midst. And as a PRWC staff member, I am even more grateful for the support that we have received from a loving and giving community. Wishing a happy Thanksgiving to all.
by-Robin Jenkins, DVM