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Wildlife sanctuary may have to turn away sick, injured animals amid funding crisis

Possumwood Acres Wildlife Sanctuary in Hubert is facing a crisis as the number of sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife seeking care continues to climb. Credit: Possumwood Acres Wildlife Sanctuary

HUBERT, Onslow County (WLOS) — Possumwood Acres Wildlife Sanctuary in Hubert is facing a crisis as the number of sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife seeking care continues to climb.

Last year, officials say the sanctuary helped over 1,700 animals, raising more than 1,000 orphaned babies that were returned to the wild.

In 2020, though, they say recent closings of other rehabilitation facilities, changes in North Carolina wildlife legislation, and the skyrocketing demand for services threaten to overtake the organization.

In addition, managers say soaring costs of medical supplies, formula, equipment, and care have placed a huge strain on the organization’s financial reserves.

The organization has had to make what they call “the difficult decision” of letting staff go in order to cover the rising costs the food and medicine the sick and injured animals need, and say they are preparing to do even more with even less than ever before.

For the first time in its 15 year history, they say the sanctuary is contemplating having to turn animals away during peak season.

Despite caring for most of the wildlife calls in a five-county area, Possumwood Acres receives no assistance from the municipal, county, state, or federal funds.

They’ve started an online fundraiser to bring in more cash to help rehabilitate sick and injured animals.

In addition, a portion of the proceeds from Possumwood Acres Wildlife Sanctuary’s online store – selling a variety of merchandise from bumper stickers to coffee cups, t-shirts, and more – will also be used to help the organization with its mission.

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