PORT ORANGE, Fla. – Nestled in rural Volusia County, East Coast Wildlife Rehab is a refuge for orphaned and injured native wildlife.
Getting Results Award winner, Sherrie Wentworth, started the center in 2012, dedicating herself to rehabilitating and ultimately releasing animals that have been injured.
"It's a 16 hour day for five years, seven days a week," she says between phone calls from people looking for help with injured animals. "We're open from 9 in the morning until midnight every single day."
It seems the calls never stop.
When you pull up to the 2 1/2 acre facility in Port Orange a sign on the fence lets you know the center receives no state or federal funding. Keeping the center open is a hurdle Wentworth says she's barely able to accomplish week to week.
"Our biggest challenge is our finances, this takes so much money."
Wentworth says compassion for the animals keeps her going. She's constantly caring for close to 100 animals often injured by cars, other animals or abandoned. You can find everything from baby squirrels to owls and hawks. All injured or abandoned and brought to the facility.
"These animals need help," she says. "They have nobody."
Wentworth says East Coast Wildlife Rehab is an emergency care facility with class II and III State Wildlife permits, allowing her to care for avian species. The center specializes in caring for Sandhill cranes and birds of prey. She often works with the Florida Wildlife Commission when people report injured animals.
Volunteer, Jennifer Sullivan, wanted Wentwoth to get recognition for her time and effort. "It's great knowing that they wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Sherrie and what she does. When you release them it's amazing."
Wentwoth is looking for volunteers and accepts donations as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit.
If you would like to donate or volunteer visit the East Coast Wildlife Rehab website or call 386-334-2237.