Wildlife Care and Rescue Center cuts ribbon on new intake facility

GAUTIER, MS (WLOX) - A ribbon cutting was held today at the new Wildlife Care and Rescue Center in Gautier.  The first facility was destroyed by hurricane Katrina. The new building, which was donated by Gautier, will be used to help injured wild animals. Christina Garcia was at the ceremony and tells us more about the organization.

Wild animals now have a new place to be brought if they are found injured. The wildlife care and rescue center cut the ribbon on their new wildlife intake center in Gautier.

"We had a fully functioning wildlife rehabilitation center in Woolmarket and we lost that facility shortly after the storm," said Randall Hines the Wildlife Care and Rescue Center Vice President.

This new facility will be used as a triage center for hurt animals. Then they'll be brought to the volunteers who will rehabilitate those animals. This great horned owl was the first in a long list of animals rescued by the director of the organization Alison Sharpe.

"Ollie is our great horned owl. And he is actually the reason why I started this organization. Back in 1994, I picked him up. He was the first animal I actually rescued," said Alison Sharpe Director of the Wildlife Care and Rescue Center.

The Wildlife Care and Rescue Center also provides education to area schools. Animals like a speckled king snake are one of the many animals they use to teach children about wildlife. The nonprofit cares for roughly 600 to 1,000 injured animals each year. That amount of animal rescues  wouldn't be possible without the help of more than a dozen volunteers like new recruit Kevin Rademacher.

"I've recently gone to help rescue a hawk. So that was my first experience after volunteering," volunteer Rademacher said.

"I just basically clean out. Help clean hold animals with my grandma is trying to take blood or something," said Sharpe's grandson and volunteer Alex Zdenek.

Beyond offering your time to volunteer there is one thing just about anyone can do to help wildlife.

"If we take care of our environment our wildlife will do much better," Hines said.

Jackson County is leasing the location for that building off of Audubon Lane in Gautier next to the Jackson County Animal Shelter. Anyone interested in volunteering can "Like" the Wildlife Care and Rescue Center's Facebook page or call the center at 228-669-2737.

Copyright 2013 WLOX. All rights reserved.