A Wild animal rescue and sanctuary is forced to close its doors due to mounting financial pressures SaultOnline.com / ONNtv has learned.
Rod Jouppi, President, Wild at Heart issued a statement on their facebook page announcing the closure. “Wild at Heart is no longer sustainable. Our active volunteer base keeps eroding and the backbone of our volunteers –live in interns are also coming to an end since we have been informed that our building will not be able to safely house live in interns. Without adequate volunteer help, Wild at Heart is no longer able to properly care for the hundreds of animals we admit every year.. The other issue is money”
Groups from all over Northern Ontario would often drop off injured wildlife ranging from birds to raccoons, fawns, bears and bobcats just to name a few of the animals seen over the years.Wild at Heart has operated for about 40 years from Lively Ontario. It was the closest animal sanctuary to Sault Ste. Marie.
“This situation is a very sad one for all concerned … after devoting years in order to try and develop a sustainable organization in order to help care for injured, orphaned and sick wild animals as well as providing education and awareness of the environment and wildlife, we have to now bow out.”
The Sault Ste. Marie Humane Society that doesn’t take wildlife animals would often recommend Wild at Heart to residents who may have found an injured animal.
Dr Scott Craig in the Sault does some raptor rehab but is not always available and Turtle Pond Wildlife Rescue in Val Caron which is fairly new is able to do some small mammals and birds as well as turtles.
Wild at Heart were the only refuge in this part of Ontario approved by MNRF to deal with most local species of wildlife.
Wild life rescues do not receive any form of government assistance.