Welcome to the Meetup fan page of the South Florida Wildlife Center, which has been serving the South Florida Tri-County Region since 1969. The purpose of the group is to showcase this wonderful wildlife gem and to invite everyone to join this extraordinary center in saving animals.
The South Florida Wildlife Center’s mission is to rescue, rehabilitate, and release native wildlife that has been harmed or displaced; to treat and place certain needy domestic and exotic animals; and to educate the public toward coexistence with all animals.
Bea Humphries, the Founder, began rescuing and caring for animals long before the Center’s incorporation, October 9, 1969. For 19 years she worked from her home, where her garage served as the first wildlife rehabilitation center. As the number of animal patients increased, Bea realized that a larger facility was needed. After incredible growth, the Center became an affiliate of the Humane Society of the United States in June 2009. In January 2011, the name was changed to The South Florida Wildlife Center.
Presently, the Center serves the South Florida Tri-County region with rescue, rehabilitation, and release services for our native wildlife at no cost to citizens. The Center admits approximately 13,000 injured, orphaned, abandoned, or abused native wild animals or exotic domestic animals per year. In furtherance of its unyielding commitment to wildlife, the Center is open 365 days per year.
The Center has up to 60 employees, up to 400 active volunteers, three full-time ambulances, and serves the entire Southeast Florida Region. The 4.1 acre property houses up to 875 animals at any given time in dozens of habitats and rehabilitation areas. With its goal to release those animals that have responded successfully to treatment back to the wild, the Center is completely funded by private donations.
The Center's impressively sophisticated baby nursery admits up to 120 orphaned, abandoned, or displaced baby animals per day during baby season. Once admitted, the baby animals are treated and hand feed in the nursery, which is fully staffed with trained rehabilitators and veterinary technicians. This is no small task given the destruction of natural habitats here in South Florida to make way for unprecedented land development. In turn, this has caused an undesirable intersection of human and wildlife populations.
EDUCATING THE PUBLIC
The Center may receive up to 150 phone calls each day reporting injured wildlife and requesting information about animals and the environment. Trained staff informs the public about environmental concerns, wildlife problems, and ways in which people and wildlife can peacefully coexist. The Center regularly participates in public events with displays, exhibits, and literature. The Education Program reaches thousands of individuals each year.
FINDING HOMES FOR ABANDONED ANIMALS
In addition to treating injured wildlife, the Center assists certain domestic/exotic animals in finding just the right home. Because these animals were kept as pets and/or are not native to Florida, they cannot be released into the wild. While the Center does not accept dogs or cats, it has an extensive adoption program that was developed to offer a second chance to a wide variety of surrendered/abandoned animals. The Center aims to find a life-long loving home for each reptile, parakeet, exotic bird, and others which are cared for by the Center.
***INCREDIBLE VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES***
Volunteers are a vital and valuable component of the Center’s mission to rescue, rehabilitate, and release Florida’s native wildlife. The Center is inspired by its volunteers’ dedication to the community responsibility of caring for native wildlife. The volunteers' passion for and allegiance to animals is truly contagious. About 18,000 hours of volunteer time is donated to help the Center care for the over 12,000 animals it treats every year!
Admissions Assistant: Communicate by phone and in person with the public, complete intake of animals in need of assistance, provide education regarding humane coexistence with wildlife and responsible pet ownership, comfort the public when bringing in or reporting an animal in distress, and assist with data entry.
Animal Care Assistant: Assist with the care of our sick and injured adult wildlife and certain domestics by helping with dishes, laundry, general clean-up, diet prep, and cleaning cages; consistent volunteers are able to work hands-on with the animals.
Nursery Assistant: Care for the baby animals during "Baby Season" from March to October by helping with dishes, laundry, general clean-up, diet prep, and cleaning cages; consistent volunteers are able to work hands-on with the animals.
Data Entry/Medical Notes: Enter medical notes from animals’ cage cards into computer database.
Emergency Response Team: Join our on-call list of individuals willing to assist the center in the event of an emergency.
Grounds Maintenance and Landscaping: Assist in grounds keeping activities such as mulch, planting new plants, trimming and pruning, general gardening maintenance.
Housekeeping: Assist in folding clean laundry, putting away clean laundry, and help with general tidying.
Rescue Team: Use your own method of transportation to locate, securely contain, and bring injured orphaned wildlife to the Center to be treated.
Volunteer Leadership: Help develop the volunteer program at the Center by participating in a volunteer leadership team, helping to deliver volunteer orientations and training, and helping to engage volunteers more fully in the work at the Center.
Location: 3200 SW 4th Avenue, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33315
Admissions/Hospital: (954) 524-4302 ext. 10
Volunteer Coordinator: Amber McPherson(also this Meetup group's Organizer)