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Wildlife Rehabilitation Center looking for a second chance
Photo courtesy

By Joshua Pilkington

Pueblo’s wildlife non-profit needs donations to keep doors open in 2018

Everyone deserves a second chance. It’s a refrain often used as the year approaches its end and people are left to look back on where they were, contemplate where they are, and visualize where they are going. Animals also deserve that second chance and Second Chance Wildlife Rehabilitation in Pueblo dedicates itself to that cause.

“We rely entirely on donations to pay for food, medical treatment and all aspects of animal care,” the 25-year-old Southern Colorado non-profit professes. “The public’s generosity makes possible the successful release of healthy animals. Besides much needed monetary donations, people donate fresh produce, bird seed, cleaning supplies and their time and gasoline to transport animals.”

Second Chance Wildlife Rehabilitation is just that, a non-profit focused on giving Colorado’s wildlife another chance at life. In 2016 the organization received more than 600 animals of more than 60 different species and they expect similar numbers in 2017.

Successful Releases

Among the successfully rescued animals of 2017 was “Mrs. Duck” - a Pekin duck with bite wounds in her back and abdomen courtesy of an unleashed dog. She was nursed back to health at the facility and now lives on a farm sanctuary. A rare case of a baby brown bat also came to the attention of Second Chance. The bat had been left behind by its mother with no source of food and no ability to fly. Volunteers and staff at Second Chance fed the baby bat a specialized milk replacement formula and trained it to fly before being releasing it into the wild.

“They have so much compassion for each animal that comes through their doors,” said Lori Acevedo, a former volunteer at Second Chance Wildlife Rehabilitation. “Every year we volunteers were reminded of how important our responsibilities are to the facility, to our community and to each individual animal.”

A friend in need

Aside from healing and releasing wildlife to a rate of 74 percent - one of the highest release rates in Colorado - Second Change Wildlife also provides public educational programs to schools, nature center and events. That said, with no local, state or federal government funding, the organization depends exclusively on donations, making it truly a community-run operation.

“[We] provide these services free of charge, yet we receive no government funding relying on donations to operate,” said Nancy Kelly, Executive Director, Second Chance Wildlife Rehabilitation.

Kelly wrote an appeal at the beginning of 2017 stating that the organization needed to reach $30,000 in donations this year in order to hire licensed staff and keep its doors open.

“We need staff every day of the years as we have wildlife on the premises every day of the year,” she wrote. “Second Change Wildlife Rehabilitation is the only wildlife rehabilitation facility south of El Paso County, east of Pueblo to the Kansas state line, south of Pueblo to the New Mexico state line and west of Pueblo to Archuleta or Rio Grande counties that is licensed to care for migratory songbirds, waterfowl, and bats. If we are no longer in operation hundreds of wild animals will die.”

Goal attained

Through public contributions, Second Chance Wildlife Rehabilitation managed to reach and surpass its goal of $30,000 for 2017 - as of press the organization has raised $30,295. That said, organization will still need help going into 2018.

With the Wild Forever Foundation in the Pikes Peak region accepting only orphaned fawns and porcupines, Kelly said that Second Chance Wildlife Rehabilitation expects its “volume to increase exponentially as we will be the only operational facility between Boulder and the southern border of the state. This is compounded by the fact that the Boulder facility reaches capacity in early May and no longer accepts animals into their facility.”

To make a donation to Second Chance Wildlife Rehabilitation visit or call
719-543-1946. The facility is located at 2730 Colfax Ave., in Pueblo.





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