Wildlife Center seeks volunteers; training in October

Wildlife Center seeks volunteers; training in October

The Wildlife Center of Venice is always looking for new volunteers to help them treat more than 4,500 Florida wildlife patients each year, and they need your help now more than ever.

Two free wildlife training classes for new volunteers will be held in October for rescuers, transporters, fundraising, collecting supplies and on-site support.

The classes are scheduled for:

  • Saturday, Oct. 14 at 10 a.m. at the picnic shelter at Carlton Reserve, located just off Border Road in Venice;
  • Saturday, Oct. 21 at 10 a.m. at Cedar Point Environmental Park, located at 2300 Placida Rd. in Englewood.

Please bring lawn chairs to the event. More than 130 people showed up recently for the Sarasota class.

If you have any questions, give us a call at (941) 484-9657, or if you would like to talk about volunteering in person, visit 3252 Border Road, Venice, FL 34292.

The Wildlife Center of Florida was founded on January 1, 2004. It was the long-time joint dream of Founders Kevin Barton and Linda Schrader. It was officially incorporated in March and became a nonprofit agency in July. WCV has all state and federal permits to care for and rehabilitate sick, injured and orphaned wildlife.

The wildlife hospital, the heart of the Center, is located on five acres of land in Venice belonging to Linda Schrader. Several wildlife hutches, pre-existing animal barns, a squirrel habitat, a songbird aviary, and a raccoon habitat round out the main facility. A pond serves as a water fowl rehabilitation area. The Center’s secluded location is ideal for wildlife recuperation. The Center serves Sarasota, Charlotte and Lee counties.

After renting property for more than 13 years, The WCV finally has the opportunity to own its own land. The new property is a bit less than five acres, which is bigger than the space the 501(c)3 organization occupies now.

“It’s almost right across the street from where are now,” said Kevin Barton, who is also executive director of the WCV. “We put 25 percent down, and we’re about 70 percent of the way to reaching our goal, but we still need help.”

The organization operates without any government funding, and as a nonprofit, it relies on grants, fundraisers, promotional events and private funding.

“Our wonderful volunteers have done a remarkable job of keeping up with the growing demand, but our financial resources are being sorely depleted as we struggle to provide for the ever-increasing population and to cover the growing costs of animal feed, medicines, caging, and electricity,” Barton said.

A GoFundMe page has been created, and every donation is greatly appreciated.

For more information, please visit gofundme.com/venice-wildlife-center-relocation or wildlifecenterofvenice.org or find them on Facebook and look for the “just give” link.