YORK COUNTY, Pa. (WHTM)– When we talk about Midstate wildlife rescues we kind of always talk about the same few organizations. That’s because there are only a few, and the only one in all of York County got some scary news.
“We got a notice from the township that we really outgrown our residential space, which I can’t say that we disagree with,” founder and executive director for West Shore Wildlife Center Emily Garrigan said.
It is a big job at what used to be a small place. Not anymore.
“We’ve taken in already 2,100 animals so far this year,” Garrigan said.
Not all at once. The point is to treat, rehabilitate and release them.
“We usually have anywhere from like 150, maybe up to 200 animals at any given time,” Garrigan said.
“A quick stay might be for an eastern box turtle who has like an oral abscess, an ear infection,” Rehabilitation coordinator Trista Morgan said. “So, like, sometimes they will heal very quickly. so they might just be here for a month and then be released.”
And a small group that’ll never be released because they wouldn’t make it in the wild.
“We have a soft spot for them,” Garrigan said. “We have Jack, which is one of our non-releasable possums who is missing an eye. Searcy is a red-tailed hawk who also has an eye injury that she can’t see out of one eye.”
So they’ll move with the center’s people to – well, wherever they move. Garrigan isn’t sure exactly where yet. She just knows – because the number of animals they’re helping has grown so much but their property in the neighborhood where they are hasn’t – they have to go.
“We have to be out of here before the end of the year or we’ll have to close our doors,” Garrigan said. “Which is why we launched the capital campaign to raise some funds to be able to put a down payment on a place.”
Which would be good news too for some rather chatty pigeons.
“Most of it is the two males talking to each other, fussing about the one female that’s in there,” Garrigan said about the pigeons.
A light moment, but this is serious stuff.
“There was a mallard duck that was hit with like a crossbow bolt and was found in a county park and been shot,” Garrigan said. “And, you know, without centers like this, he wouldn’t have had a chance.”
Garrigan hopes that the chance is that the center will continue growing – but in a new location.