Wildlife rescue nonprofit needs donations or it will stay closed

Wild Florida Rescue of Melbourne responds to thousands of emergency calls yearly

By James Sparvero - Reporter

MELBOURNE, Fla. - A small group of wild animal experts are having trouble paying for their rescue efforts. 

Heather Pepe and Wild Florida Rescue answered 4,000 emergency calls in 2018 involving birds, mammals and reptiles.

This summer, the calls for help continue, but answering them just got a lot more difficult.

"We just don't know how we're going to keep running," Pepe said. "How we're going to get the gas -- the insurance is $3,500 a year -- how we can keep going if we don't have an income."

Pepe said financially, it's been tough for her volunteers since she started the group in 2017.

Recently, the nonprofit became so close to having to maybe break up the rescue that they're taking a month off to try and get back on their feet.

"Finally decided to be open and honest, tell everybody we need help and hope that somebody comes to our aid," Pepe said.

Wild Florida is immediately accepting donations.

Later, Pepe said, they'll apply for grants.

The good news, according to Wild Florida Rescue, is the donations are coming in fast and if that continues, the rescue will reopen July 6.

Wild Florida Rescue is accepting donations through its Facebook page.  

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