One of the only wildlife rehabilitation facilities in the state is facing a funding shortfall that could put thousands of animals at risk. Now, the Sarvey Wildlife Care Center is asking for the public's help.
The organization takes in injured or orphaned wildlife and nurses them back to health. Last year alone, Sarvey Wildlife Care Center released 982 animals back to their natural habitats.
It's no easy task. It also isn't cheap.
"It probably costs us about four to five thousand dollars a month for food and medication," said executive director Suzanne West. "We make decisions daily, case by case, as to what we can afford to do."
West says a combination of increased costs and a drop in donations has left them with a $95,000 budget shortfall as Sarvey heads into its busiest season of the year.
"Here within the next two weeks, we'll be completely full with baby birds and baby mammals," she said.
She's asking for the public's help to make up the difference, and says every donation counts.
"If somebody can give anywhere from five to ten dollars a month or more, that adds up," she said.
If the funding crisis isn't resolved soon, the Sarvey Wildlife Care Center could be forced to drastically reduce the number of animals it serves.
The staff is already small at just nine full-time employees, but lay-offs are another possibility.
Employees tell us the animals are their biggest concern.
"It's really worrisome, there's so many people you get calls from that are really concerned about the animals they find, and they want somewhere to take them," said one employee.
If you'd like to donate to the cause, go to Sarvey Wildlife Care Center's website.
The organization's annual operating budget is about $450,000.
That covers food and medical expenses for about 4,000 animals each year, along with the only wildlife ambulance service in the area.
Sarvey Wildlife Care Center