Rescue group in danger of closing
INDIAN TRAIL, N.C. -- Carolina
Waterfowl Rescue is a victim of its own success. The group that rescued
oil-soaked birds from a Steele Creek industrial park in June is now a resource
for people who find injured birds all over North and South Carolina.
Since word got out about its unique services -- cleaning up and helping the
state's injured water birds -- hundred of ducks, geese, and even egrets have
found their way to the rescue group's door. Until now, that door moved from one
volunteer's home to another.
Now the Waterfowl Rescue has a permanent
home of its own -- a former turkey barn in Indian Trail, with free-range pens
where the birds can walk, play in water, and even fly, if they can. It has
shelter, electricity, and fresh running water.
"It's really good and
there's a lot of room for them to roam," said volunteer Louise Bhavnani. "There
are not a lot of issues with them being too close in confined quarters."
However, with the birds' new home has come more "bills" than the group can
handle. They severely underestimated the costs of utilities that volunteers had
previously paid when the birds were housed in people's backyards.
budgeted for a certain amount each month and unfortunately, it's larger than we
anticipated," said Bhavnani.
The rent and utilities for the new space
run about $650 a month -- about $400 more than they budgeted for. Food and
medical care are often donated, helping them make ends meet.
other non-profit organizations, they have no organized way to raise money.
They've existed by relying on volunteers to "foster" the birds, and a few other
bird-lovers who hear about the organization. They're afraid they'll lose their
new home before they can get their fundraising activities in order.
"Unfortunately there's nothing more we can do," said Bhavnani. "We will have to
shut down and that's sad because we've saved so many birds."
Some of the
ducks and geese can be re-introduced into the wild once they're rehabilitated.
Others never can because they're injured, or have become so domesticated that
they'd never be able to care for themselves. Some even harbor harmful bacteria
that could make wild bird populations sick.
So the group is turning to the
same people who helped them out before -- the community. They're networking with
other rescue groups, zoos, and larger non-profits, but also hoping a grass-roots
effort by bird lovers nearby will help them make ends meet.
"Even $10 a
month to help us pay the rent and the medical supplies and food and water for
these birds," said Bhavnani, who points out that there is no paid staff. "Every
single dollar that goes to this organization is going directly towards the care
of the bird, the housing of the birds and the things that they need."
find out more about Carolina Waterfowl Rescue, visit