Michigan wildlife rehabilitation group needs help avoiding closure

The Wildlife Rehab Center has cared for abandoned and injured wild animals since 2002, and now they need new homes.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Wildlife Rehab Center is calling on the community for help because it faces closure if it doesn’t find a new home.

Peg and Roger Markle founded the organization in 2002. But last spring Roger suffered a serious injury while working in the barn. He is recovering, but according to the organization “it became clear that it was time for the Markles to officially retire”.

This will soon leave the Wildlife Rehab Center without a home. The organization is currently running a campaign urging them to seek monetary donations and a “medium sized plot with water, electricity and sewage. Outbuildings would be a plus, but can also be built”.

The organization wants to build a center like no other in Michigan.

“Our vision is, what if we had a center that could easily accommodate not just volunteers, but also educational opportunities? What if we could partner with local school systems and really help kids get a better sense of what wildlife is and how we can coexist with each other is our dream vision,” said Treasurer Kurtis Carlson.

“And maybe even having pet stores where we, if we needed to do minor surgery, or if we needed to help an animal that maybe needed to be euthanized, if we could do everything on the spot, that would be a vision.”

For all of this to happen, the center will need to receive $200,000 in donations. Anyone interested in helping can visit their fundraiser on Facebook or on the center’s website.

“We’re really happy with the initial response. There’s been a pretty initial response. At the start, I think we’ve already raised close to $20,000, just in the first week or so. So that gave us a feeling of excitement, momentum and encouragement,” said Carlson.

Carlson said fulfilling the center’s purpose would be a great way to honor the Markels’ legacy and help wildlife for many years to come.

“It’s a very special place. I’m not just a board member, but I’m a neighbour. Peg and Roger hold a very special place in my heart, as well as in the surrounding neighborhood here. And I think that we’re all a little sad. It’s a sad transition. But like I said, they’ve earned their retirement and they deserve the opportunity to move on to the next phase of their lives. We so we’d like to help facilitate that.”

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