Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre in Napanee is a place where injured and orphaned wildlife are treated and released back into the wild. The centre sees over 3,400 mammals, bird and reptiles on a yearly basis.
But after losing the barn to a fire in January, the centre’s owner is scrambling to get the new barn finished before winter.
“When there is a foot of snow on the ground and it’s minus 20 Celsius, you can’t put a sick fox outside,” said owner Sue Meech. “You have to have them in a sheltered, heated area.”
After the barn burned to the ground, Meech had no other option but to build a new one. Her insurance company covered one-fourth of the cost and she managed to raise funds for the rest. A contractor had also stepped up and decided to help Meech through this tough time by giving her a break in costs, but since June, he has been in the hospital after suffering an accident.
WATCH: Fire destroys barn at Sandy Pines Wildlife Centre in Napanee
The wildlife centre says it is in a real bind because the number of animals in the centre’s care is increasing.
“Our facility, when we built it, we were only doing 2,000 animals and birds a year now,” Meech said. “We’re doing four already were going to be up to 5,000 by the end of the year. We need more room.”
Time is not on her side either, as the winter season is right around the corner.
“Working at a wildlife centre is like working at the emergency at a hospital,” Meech said. “You don’t know what’s coming, but you have to be prepared”.
Meech is reaching out to the community in hopes of finding another contractor who can pick up where the other worker left off. The centre also has a number of fundraisers lined up before the end of the year to help pay for any additional costs.