by Kevin Barton
I am happy to report that the Wildlife Center of Venice finally has a clear path forward to secure the future of our organization. Linda Schrader, WCV co-founder and property owner has agreed to finance a five year lease with an option to buy, at a reduced $2,500 per month rental fee, (with all $2500/month rent for the first 2 years going toward principal and with $1500/month rent going toward principal for the remaining 3 years of the contract) and a sale price of $425,000, for this one of a kind 5 acre lot.
To many this sounds high, but being the only permitted wildlife rehabilitation facility on private land within Sarasota County, zoned as an animal hospital through special exception makes this property, well, special. Preserving our numerous aviaries and animal enclosures, the largest assembly in the area dedicated to reconditioning wildlife for return to the wild, is also critically important. Our well positioned location helped the WCV grow to be the largest wildlife rescue and rehabilitation facility in the tri-county region, despite being one of the youngest of peer organizations in the area. Besides, we had nowhere else to go, and really never wanted to move anyway.
This property purchase agreement will ultimately allow the WCV to expand into the house, which will enable an increase in patient housing facilities, medical capabilities and office space, as well as, allow us to have a front door patient reception area and gift shop. This mutually beneficial agreement will also give Linda and Bobby the opportunity to move away from the center, which has grown significantly from its inception, in their back yard. Linda’s goal is to again have a tranquil residence with a nice yard to enjoy her pets and wildlife observation, which she sacrificed for our community’s imperiled wildlife over 13 years ago. This agreement took a long time to achieve because of emotional and financial investments made by both sides, but on behalf of the WCV and myself, I can’t thank Linda enough for her years of dedication and for making our dreams of a rehab facility, a reality. Now, thanks to Linda again, the Wildlife Center of Venice has finally been given a fair path to secure it’s future for the long term benefit of the area’s sick, injured and orphaned wildlife.