RHINELANDER, WI (OnFocus) – The COVID-19 pandemic affected many businesses which in turn has affected funding for non-profits all over the world. This rings true for an animal hospital/rehabilitation center in Rhinelander, Wisconsin as well.
Wild Instincts has been in business since 2011 and has rehabilitated almost 20,000 animals back to health. Mark and his wife Sharon, started the organization in their garage until they were able to purchase the land that Wild Instincts resides on.
The organization recently purchased 53 acres of adjacent land and a lot of the funding from the Dream Big Campaign will go towards the land.
Wild Instincts has been predicated on not only taking care of injured and sick animals, but they also work to educate the public on how to approach and help wildlife. The new building and property is slated to help Wild Instincts improve its ability to educate those willing to learn about animals.
The crew at Wild Instincts also said buying the land keeps it from being developed into buildings.
“Not only is it a perfect place for our nature center plans, this purchase will protect the parcel from subdivision and development that would encroach and endanger our established borders and patients,” the group said in a release.
Owner and operator Mark Naniot said when he and his wife bought the facility, they wanted to get into more of the education side of things but didn’t have the space to do so.
“We initially bought this facility back in 2011,” Naniot said. “The initial thought was rehab and of course, we’d do some public education and other things as well. We wanted to expand into a nature center but we didn’t have much of the land space or the layout to really be able to do that.”
Naniot said 100 percent of the organization’s funding comes from donations. When COVID hit, a majority of people all over the world felt the financial hardship of the pandemic. It hit a little harder for Wild Instincts as their four or five fundraisers were unable to be held.
The group’s education programs, making appearances at schools, libraries, clubs or other places were all cancelled as well so they were unable to make a profit.
The nature center development has been put on hold for now until the organization can pay off the land, pay a naturalist and eventually pay for a building. Naniot said he plans to have trails in the new area with education stations and much more.
If you are willing and able to donate to the cause, you can head over to the Wild Instincts website to donate online.
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