Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre is a sanctuary for animals injured in the wild. Once a year on Mother’s Day, the centre opens its hospital doors to the public so people can see the work that comes from their donations. Volunteers say the event is a great time for families to learn about wild animals that live in the region.
The centre is still an operating veterinary clinic during the fundraiser and there are some animals that are not ready for the attention of the crowds.
“Any animals that would be stressed, we have to make sure they’re in a quiet area. That’s our priority, not to stress the wildlife,” says Sue Meech, director of SWPC.
Along with its usual costs of operation, the organization is trying to raise money to replace a barn that burned down in January. So the fundraiser is also about looking forward.
Meech says the centre is focusing on building a new barn with an aquatic centre attached to support animals who need an aqueous habitat.
“That is to house our water birds, great blue herons, swans, canada geese and some of our water loving mammals like beavers and otters,” Meech said.
According to centre staff, this fundraiser usually raises $15,000 to $20,000, which goes towards infrastructure for the new building.
Construction is set to begin this month and the goal is to have the new centre operational by winter.