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Love for (Almost) All Animals

By Chris Coulter, Rescue Rebuild Program Manager

This blog takes us to Barnegat, New Jersey after the devastation of Hurricane Sandy. Eight countries were affected by Hurricane Sandy, including the United States and more specifically, Nature’s Wildlife Rescue Center. Nature’s Wildlife Rescue Center is a unique shelter in the fact that it rescue’s and rehab’s undomesticated animals such as raccoons, opossums, squirrels, and skunks. Not the typical shelter or situation that Rescue Rebuild was used to but definitely something we could handle. This all took place several years before I came aboard. However, I’ve been told this story numerous times—even today.

Hurricane Sandy left a path of devastation right through New Jersey. Nature’s Wildlife Rescue Center’s Property had 100+-year-old trees completely uprooted as if they were tiny seedlings. Debris was strewn all over the place rendering the property and the shelter unusable. Nature’s Wildlife Rescue Center prides itself on its extensive work in rescuing and rehabbing wild animals. Without their property cleared of fallen trees and debris, this will not be possible.

Bryna Donnelly and volunteer pose with their enormous chainsaw used in clearing the debris

Rescue Rebuild was able to enlist a large number of volunteers even though this wasn’t your every day, dog and cat type of shelter. It wasn’t the love for just dogs and cats that got everyone out for this buil—it was their love for all animals. Well, almost all animals.

Day in and day out, volunteers were steadily working, cutting up fallen trees into more manageable pieces. Some of these trees were 8-10ft around!! Then head back to their campsite and sleep on the cold, hard ground inside their tent. Yup, inside their tent. You see, these volunteers were willing to forgo a comfy bed inside a hotel so they can use that hotel money for this shelter and all of their animals.

Sleeping arrangements for Rescue Rebuild and volunteers

Obviously, these volunteers love animals; however, there may be one that they could have done without—Chiggers. These pesky pests covered the property, and it didn’t take long for them to get inside of their tents, clothes and bags, making their stay a bit challenging and painful. Through it all, these volunteers made the best out of their circumstances no matter how painful and cleared enormous fallen trees, cleared the property of all the debris and made numerous cages for skunks, raccoons, squirrels, and opossums. Two things are for certain; this build was challenging, but an absolute success and bug spray will never be forgotten again!

YOU can keep Rescue Rebuild helping disaster-affected shelters by clicking HERE

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