Raccoon rescue centre issues plea for help amid influx of furry patients
Raccoons: They make us laugh with their silly antics, blow our minds with their clever tricks, and give Toronto an identity point in the form of an unofficial mascot.
There's no animal so mischievous yet still absolutely adorable— and right now, they need our help.
Mally's Third Chance Raccoon Rescue & Rehabilitation Sanctuary, an authorized wildlife centre near Peterborough, Ontario, has been inundated with sick and injured animals amid the COVID-19 pandemic, in part on account of this year's warmer-than-usual winter weather.
Baby season is also hitting early, presenting serious concerns for rehabilitators who rescue hundreds of orphaned raccoons every year with zero funding from the government.
"We have the space but we are exceeding our funding capabilities. Bottom line," reads a GoFundMe campaign launched by Mally's this week. "For this reason, we may be reaching capacity within a few days."
"Treating these animals comes with an expense and we have only so much money to work with, including our own," notes the fundraiser. "Planning for baby season also comes with a stock up of items like further medications and formula. We have just ordered 10 pails of formula at a cost of just under $3000.00."
Medications and care staff cost over $10,000 per month alone, says the rescue, which has so far raised just under $2,000 of its $35,000 goal.
"Mally's has been and will always be here for the community and our precious animals," says the organization. "The amount we can do is only limited by our resources."
While wildlife centres like Mally's are regulated by the province's Ministry of Natural Resources, they receive no financial assistance from any level of government.
Dozens of these facilities across the province are authorized to care for sick, injured, orphaned and abandoned animals, all of them with their own strengths and specialties.
Many, like Toronto Wildlife Centre and Erie Wildlife Rescue, take in all types of species, from tiny bats to majestic beavers to skunks, foxes, chipmunks and deer. Others, like Mally's, specialize in specific species, such turtles, raptors, songbirds, and even bears.
What they all have in common is that their operations rely solely on public donations, fundraisers and volunteers.
"A Wildlife Center in Ontario receives absolutely no funding from our government to help animals in need. It is entirely up to us, the people, to take care of our sick, injured and helpless wildlife," reads the caption of a recent update from Mally's on Instagram.
"In our case, every animal we rehabilitate here at Mally's costs between $400.00 and $1500.00 pending their circumstance, and length of stay. Sadly, there is no way around this expense."
"As many of you know, trying to find a place for raccoons to go is near impossible at any time of year. Wildlife centres that work with raccoons fill to capacity quickly or they don't work with raccoons at all," it continues.
Mally's just cannot fund this facility without your support.
We just can't... If a lot of us can help with a little, together we can do a lot. In return, we, as a community save lives."
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