Happy 4th of July!

WildCare Needs Your Vote for The Pepsi Refresh Project Grant!

WildCare, a wildlife rehabilitation facility in Noble, is vying for a $250,000 grant from Pepsi’s Refresh Project. People are encouraged to vote online for WildCare once a day, every day during the month of June. The more votes WildCare receives on the website, the better its chances of receiving the much-needed grant. The web address is www.refresheverything.com/wildcareeducationbuilding.

“We, advocates for WildCare Foundation of Noble, OK, are pleading for a boost in online votes,” said Glenda Peters, WildCare supporter.

WildCare Foundation is a wildlife rehabilitation facility where people can bring Oklahoma-native wild animals — birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians — that have been injured or orphaned and are struggling to survive. WildCare accepts any wild animal with the goal of releasing it back into its natural habitat after being housed and cared for medically.

WildCare believes that all wild species play an important role in keeping the planet healthy and treats approximately 4,000 wild animals yearly. Operating as a nonprofit organization, WildCare is supported solely by donations.

“The Pepsi grant would be the largest one-time donation we’ve ever received,” said Rondi Large, director of WildCare. “We would use the grant for education, and to build a nursery and clinic. Now, everything happens on my front porch.”

Large said 2,700 people a year come to her front porch with animals. “Too many people have seen my pajamas,” she quipped.

“WildCare is not open for tours. We don’t have any space to show people what we do,” she said. “People coming in with animals are the first responders.” She said that all the first responders see is her front porch when the drop an animal off. They don’t see the outside enclosures.

If awarded the grant, Large would like to expand WildCare’s space for animal rehabilitation, build a clinic, and install cameras in an education building so people would be able to see the work done at WildCare remotely. Since the hope is to return the wild animals back to nature, they are nurtured and nursed back to health in quiet enclosures away from an abundance of humans. Cameras would allow visitors to watch the animals while not disturbing them.

During the recent flooding in Oklahoma City, an Edmond man saw four raccoons floating down the street on a limb. “One was hanging on for dear life,” Large said. “The man caught them and brought them to us.”

Large said she got into this by taking in “one animal and then another animal — it has grown up around us. We’ve been doing this for 25 years. I think I need a gold pooper scooper.”

Large encourages readers wishing to help WildCare in its attempt to receive the Pepsi grant to go online at www.refresheverything.com/wildcareeducationbuilding, create a password, and vote every day during June.

Monetary donations may be sent to The WildCare Foundation, 7601 84th St., Noble, OK 73068. For more information about WildCare, www.wildcareoklahoma.org.


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