By: Brittany Bedi
January 11, 2017
QUINCY, Fla. (WCTV) -- The Saint Francis Wildlife Association rehabilitates more than 3,000 injured and orphaned animals each year. Now, the group that helps animals needs some help from the community.
Saint Francis Wildlife is trying to raise $20,000 for improvements to the facility.
“Every year we try to upgrade the building a little bit- as we can- by painting the walls, painting the floors, restocking,” said Pat Simmons, board chair of St. Francis Wildlife.
The first major task is to repair the gravel road that leads up to the animal hospital. By improving the road and drainage, people will be able to bring injured animals to their door.
“We have received small grants that we use to keep the road open, but what we’d like to do is have a large donation so that we can re-grade it, put in the drainage, and re-gravel it,” says Simmons.
The buildings also need rewiring to ensure safety. Workers at St. Francis Wildlife say that more than a hundred additional animals are brought into their care each year. They’ve received donated appliances and other items that can be put to use.
“We run a lot of electrical appliances here, including incubators and refrigerators,” said Simmons. “We need to make sure the electrical load can handle all that.”
Nancy Thomas is a long-time volunteer at St. Francis Wildlife. She is beginning some indoor upgrades. Thomas is painting the walls and floors with antimicrobial paint that she purchased out-of-pocket.
“I donated to St. Francis because they have such a great need and it makes me feel good and it helps them a lot,” said Thomas. “My motivation is my love for nature, and my belief that it is very important to the human species as well.”
Other repairs to the facility include fixing an outdoor holding pen that was damaged by a tree, painting indoor areas, and refurbishing the intensive care unit.
Volunteers say the repairs would enable them to care for more animals, potentially saving lives.
“If you were to go to the vet, you would have top equipment to take care of the animals, and you would want that here,” said Bianca Fox, an intern at St. Francis Wildlife. “If people care about the wildlife, they will be able to donate and make those improvements here at the facility.”
St. Francis Wildlife is trying to make the necessary improvements before baby season, which lasts from March to October.
A GoFundMe page has been set up for the facility improvements. Click here to donate. Donations are also accepted on the St. Francis Wildlife Association website.
The St. Francis Wildlife Association is the oldest and largest animal rehabilitation agency in North Florida. The organizations serves 15 different counties through North Florida and South Georgia. They are a nonprofit organization, so any donation is tax deductible.