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Tamala

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Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary
October 15, 2009

I have been going to Antler Ridge one day a week for over a year now. It is still as exciting now, as it was a year ago. To be given a chance to make a difference in these wild animals lives is very empowering. I have been trained by the Director, Kelly, to know which type of food to feed each species of infant, and how to care for them. In a few months, I will be eligible to be licensed as a wildlife rehabilitator, myself. This is very exciting. We care for raccoons, squirrels, chipmunks, rabbits, fawns, opossums, skunks and wood chucks. Many times we are given an adult animal that needs to recover from a life threatening incident. Usually this is caused by cars or our dogs and cats. Being able to help these animals and return them to the wild is very satisfying.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

being allowed to release some of the animals we have rescued back into the wild. Seeing a tiny baby come into the sanctuary, that is totally hairless with its eyes still closed, and later seeing it released as a 'teenager' back to roam free, is great!

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

train the volunteers more extensively and correct errors they make. Example: when charts for each animal say "gave them food and water" instead of specifying what food they were fed. If the animal gets sick, we need to know what they ate.

More feedback

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

being totally hands-on. Where else would you have the opportunity to care for so many wild babies. Most people see them in a zoo, or a glimpse in the backyard. I get to feed them (and clean them-lol).

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

all very kind hearted and concerned about the safety and well being of these animals. They all give freely of thier time and expect nothing but self-satisfaction in return.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

triple in size and help even more animals. We could also afford to have one full time employee there everyday, to facilitate passing information from shift to shift. We could build new cages that have full height doors so that I stop wacking my head!

Ways to make it better...

we had enough volunteers to have two on at a time. Because most people work days, I am there alone all day. Having someone else to talk to and help during the spring when we have the most bottle fed infants would be a big bonus.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

finding quality, reliable volunteers. People don't realize that we depend on them being there every day. If they don't show up just because they didn't feel like it today, the animals may go hungry until a substitute is found. It creates stress.

One thing I'd also say is that...

it takes a very kind hearted, special person to put so much of their own time and money into opening a sanctuary. The invasion of personal privacy is tremendous. Some people have no respect that this is also someone's home.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & I have the wonderful job of fedding and caring for all the baby animals and injured adults that come to our sanctuary.