When an individual is injured or deserted, they obtain remedy from a healthcare supplier or licensed caregiver. However injured and deserted wild animals in related conditions typically endure and die with out help.  

That’s the place Dorothy Kaufmann and The Wildlife Sanctuary of Northwest Florida step in, offering a second probability for at-risk wild animals. For 39 years, the Sanctuary, tucked away on North S Avenue in west Pensacola, has quietly and constantly been a protected haven for space animals in want.  

“The Sanctuary receives 3,000 to 4,000 animals annually and is one in all eight within the state of Florida recognized for eagle rehabilitation. Our group, board of administrators, employees and volunteers come collectively to create the right place for us to supply a second probability to wildlife,” Kaufmann mentioned.  

For a steered $3 donation, patrons are welcome to discover the middle between midday and three:30 p.m., Wednesdays by Saturdays. They may simply see deer, bobcats, child flying squirrels and even bears. Birds, from hummingbirds to quite a lot of owls to eagles, all take respite on the middle as nicely.  

Sanctuary rising and thriving

“The Sanctuary was fairly small to start with however now 39 years later we’re nonetheless rising. We’re a well-recognized nonprofit wildlife hospital and sanctuary open seven days every week for injured and orphaned wildlife,” defined Kaufmann, who’s celebrating 25 years heading up the company.  

Whereas working for a dentist in 1994, Kaufmann volunteered to assist when a fireplace devastated the Sanctuary.  

“I used to be hooked,” she recalled. “I then took on the management function in 1995 and have been mesmerized ever since. I felt extremely fortunate to have landed right here on the Wildlife Sanctuary.”  

Her fond recollections are too many to depend.  

“A couple of years in the past, we had the chance to assist two child bear cubs that had been separated from their mother,” Kaufmann mentioned. “OK, all I can say is wow – what a duty. The identical pleasure comes when now we have bald eagle infants – ‘eaglets.’ It’s a enormous duty; it makes you nervous but in addition makes you grin ear to ear every time you see them.”  

Like all good dad and mom, the Wildlife Sanctuary household’s aim is to foster independence.  

“We love all of the a whole lot of infants that come annually but in addition have such a sense of satisfaction when one thing as soon as injured is ready to return to the wild. Your coronary heart simply swells, and that huge grin begins yet again. It’s what retains us going,” Kaufmann mentioned.  

However the proud moments aren’t simply with the animals.  

“I like wanting round throughout open home occasions and seeing who’s right here nonetheless concerned and serving to. We can have 15 to twenty previous employees and volunteers right here who nonetheless imagine in our mission and need to assist. It’s like a household reunion plus a few of our supporters have been with us nicely over 20 years. It provides my coronary heart an enormous hug that we’re nonetheless working collectively for the animals.”  

It takes a village to lift wild animals 

Seems, it takes a village to run a profitable animal rehabilitation middle.  

“This isn’t a one-man or one-woman present or operation,” defined Kaufmann. “Our success is the crew that’s created by everybody from the person who rescues the animal to the employees or volunteer that makes a food regimen that encourages it to eat, or the employees member who works with it day after day attempting to see that it lives and thrives in its short-term habitat.”  

Clearly Kaufmann’s work is far more than a job. She typically brings animals, who she calls her youngsters, residence along with her for additional doses of nurturing. She enjoys cooking, birding, gardening and enjoyable within the nice outdoor. And her organic and wildlife sanctuary households intertwine.  

“I used to be born and raised right here in Pensacola with a big loving household. Think about the gatherings whenever you mix a really Southern group with a really Italian group. Sure, it means we like to get collectively to cook dinner, eat and snort. I do know I’m fortunate as a result of in addition to having a number of loving family members I even have this huge wildlife household.”  

And identical to any household, the wildlife clan enjoys and endures the ups and downs of life collectively. Presently, they’re renovating and repairing the Sanctuary facility following flooding from Hurricane Sally.  

“We undergo good instances and dangerous, go away and are available again and face one other day collectively,” mused Kaufmann.  

One factor is for certain: they all the time unify round their frequent mission – giving Northwest Florida’s injured and deserted wild animals a brand new lease on life.  

“We’re the voices for the animals,” she mentioned. “We’re their mothers and dads attempting to do all we are able to for them.”  

For extra data or to make want checklist or financial donations, try: pensacolawildlife.com.  

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