We HAVE to move…We NEED your help…
The Wildlife Center of Venice, Inc. has the awesome opportunity to finally own its own property and satisfy long pent up growth demands in the very same neighborhood we’ve resided in and served since 2004. We not only love the neighborhood, we really love the property across the street. The beautiful and open pastures can easily accommodate our multitude of cages and aviaries, while still providing a private and tranquil setting ideal for the recuperation of our patients as they prepare for a return to the wild.
This is our best hope to make the necessary move without loss of service to any of the wildlife communities within our primary service range covering all of Sarasota and west Charlotte Counties. This is not easy as we’ve grown to treat over 4,500 such wildlife patients every year, making us the largest wildlife rescue and rehab center by patient count in our region. The Wildlife Center of Venice, Inc. has struggled to meet this ever growing patient load despite many stated facility shortcomings. Our dedicated staff, volunteers and supporters deserve a lot of credit.
The catch to all of this is that we require $150,000 to secure this property purchase down payment and facilitate necessary moving costs, and we need it fast. If we can pull off the heavy lift on this dream property purchase, our monthly facility rental fees will be reduced from current levels immediately, and at the end of the day the Wildlife Center of Venice, Inc. will finally own its own destiny. We are about 70% of the way to reaching our goal, but we can’t do it without your help.
Please visit our website’s donation page or our GoFundMe page at the link below if you are kind enough to help us help our amazing Florida wildlife.
Thank you to Everyone Who Supported Us
In This Year’s Giving Challenge!
The animals in our area are consistently impacted by sprawl and human activity. Helping these displaced and injured Floridians is our goal, and we need your help to accomplish this.
From noon on September 20 to noon on September 21, the Community Foundation is hosting a charitable event where they will double, or even triple your donation!
How it works:
- If this is your first year taking part in the Giving Challenge, the Community Foundation will triple your donation of $25 to $100!
- If you gave last year, your donation of $25 to $100 will be doubled!
Each family member can give a donation, and each donation from a different family member will count as a separate donation and also qualify for tripling. In other words I can give a hundred dollar donation, my wife can give a hundred dollar donation, and our daughter can give a hundred dollar donation. If none of us gave last year, that means our $300. becomes $900.00 for the WCV. So, you can see how important this event is for the center, and the wildlife we care for. Please tell all of your family and friends about what you are doing so they can help too.
This will help us expand our facilities and increase our rescues and rehabilitations.
The 2016 Giving Challenge is presented by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County with giving strengthened by The Patterson Foundation, as well as support from Manatee Community Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, William G. and Marie Selby Foundation, and the Herald-Tribune Media Group.
In an effort to spread the word about what we do, we have decided to publish our first ad in the Herald Tribune. If you saw our ad in the Tribune, and are visiting us for the first time, then you have our gratitude. If you ever come across a wild animal in need please keep us in mind. It is the caring members of our community that make our work possible and rewarding.
By Pam De Fouw
Over the past several years, our population of striped skunks has been diminishing. As growth and development continues, the skunk has less and less adequate habitat in which to live and traverse. The extension and widening of roads makes it truly difficult to pass from one boundary to the next. Striped skunks are relatively slow moving mammals with poor eyesight, relying on their acute sense of smell and hearing to detect both predator and prey, leaving them ill equipped to deal with modern vehicular traffic. Ironically, many of our neighborhoods’ last interactions with skunks involved road kill incidents, as all but the smell is forgotten.
Thanks to our valued supporters, the Wildlife Center of Venice was able to rescue and raise 8 striped skunks last year, for their eventual return to the wild. Our long term goal is to help species like the striped skunk retain its historic foothold in our community, and hopefully someday to reconnect small isolated pocket populations within our rescue range through the use of a wildlife corridor system. The majority of our striped skunks, and spotted skunks for that matter, come from either the Englewood area or the Myakka City region, with very limited connectivity between these small populations. In addition to loss of habitat and habitat fragmentation, skunks are often persecuted due to their inherent odor, for fear of their defensive spray, or their reputation as a rabies vector species (a rare carrier in Florida). As someone that has worked with many skunks, both young and adult, I’d say this reputation is undeserved, as they tend to keep their distance when allowed and spray only as a last resort in most cases. Even co-founder, Kevin Barton, has only been sprayed a couple times in 18 years of capturing, handling and examining them, and neither case required a tomato bath.
So yes, skunks can and do spray but only as a means of protection. They are mostly nocturnal, but also may be crepuscular (meaning active in early mornings and evenings). As with most mammals, the females are very protective of their young and do not usually venture far from them. This is one major reason the WCV is usually against the trapping and relocation of such species, as it leaves young to starve and adults to unfamiliar turf.
The beneficial fact about skunks is that they eat large quantities of insects and grubs, rodents and moles and even snakes, which I know are so popular in residential developments. Remember, these little critters, unlikely to cause conflict, will wage war on these other pests, free of charge. Also one should remember that many species’ populations have dramatically declined, like the striped skunk, with little notice, not having the protections afforded more notable species through the endangered species act. With your help, we continue to fight for our patients, our community and our biodiversity.