Howell Nature Center struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic

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HOWELL, Mich. (WLNS)—The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted each area of society in a very unique way. The Howell Nature Center has been negatively impacted by the pandemic, and in response to it’s financial decline in revenue—they are running a fundraiser to support their Wildlife Rehabilitation Program.

The fundraiser will provide money to fund medical supplies, nutrients, and equipment to baby animals in need through their Wildlife Support Program.

“We’re getting unto 200 calls a day just to our wildlife helpline there’s someone managing the intake of the animals,” said Laura Butler, Director of Wildlife Agitation at the Howell Nature Center, “doing the triage, exams, someone providing the care, and then babies need to be fed every couple of hours.”

Every single year the Howell Nature Center rehabilitates over 4,200 animals and returns the baby critters to their natural habitat. However, they are operating at maximum capacity and will not be able to accept more animals. People in charge at the nature center have made a hard decision to shut its doors to new cases of baby animals because of it’s full-capacity, low supplies, and them battling a financial crisis amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Each patient costs on average 80 dollars so if you multiply that by the 2,000 animals you will see in just the next few months it gets very expensive,” Butler said.

The Howell Nature Center runs as a nonprofit and always accepts donations.

“We are still kind of suffering the financial fallout of COVID-19 as a nonprofit we use the revenues from our programs like our school field trips, and people coming out to our events to help fund our mission,” said Elizabeth Lizzy Schultz, “just because of COVID schools couldn’t come out for the last year are just now starting to come out so we’re still just kind of suffering from that.”

There fundraiser they set up to help care for the animals in need, nurse them back to health, and return them to the ecosystem hopes to raise $100,000.00. The funds will go to treat animals, food, medical supplies, and other necessities for staff and animals.

Schultz and Butler say it’s peak baby season and they have hundreds of mouths to feed. They told 6 News the first $25,000.00 would be matched one to one to provide double the support.

To find other licensed Wildlife Rehabilitators visit the Michigan DNR website.

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