As the situation with coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to raise concerns, we wanted to assure you that South Florida Wildlife Center will continue to fulfill its commitment to sick and injured wildlife while dealing with reduced staffing and the critical need for social distancing. Our wildlife patients rely on us each day for medical care, food, rehabilitation, and clean, healthy habitats. We will continue to uphold our commitment to their recovery, without compromising our commitment to our staff and volunteers for a safe and secure workplace.
We will be open to receive sick and injured wildlife daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. We have designated a “clean space” to conduct intakes. Climate permitting, this small workspace will continue outside in an area that can easily be disinfected after each rescuer drops off an animal(s). To comply with social distancing recommendations, we have suspended dispatch of our rescue vehicles. Rescuers may still bring the animals to us, to Coral Springs Animal Hospital, or via Uber. When available, volunteer drivers may be dispatched from their homes and will follow the same intake process as the public, although this will not be the norm. We have developed and posted a resource guide online to direct rescuers to other centers that may be closer to them.
As the pandemic situation progresses, we may close our gates and ask rescuers to use the patient night boxes in front of the Center. An intercom has been installed at the front gate. Individuals who rescue animals will be able to speak with staff. To provide information vital for treating and releasing wildlife, rescuers will be asked to complete an intake form and use those boxes to securely hold wildlife. Staff will be monitoring and, after animals are dropped off, will bring them into the building for care.
We will be maintaining normal schedules for core staff members required to provide essential animal care. Administrative staff will telecommute part of the week, coming onsite for critical functions such as processing donations and invoices. Leadership will be readily accessible and/or present onsite.
While other animal care facilities have suspended their volunteer program, we are continuing to encourage volunteer support. With staff shortages, we depend on our volunteers in caring for the animals. We will remain vigilant to everyone’s medical safety and may need to adjust this as the situation progresses.
Meetings, events, trainings, site visits, and speaking engagements have been canceled through the end of April.
To the best of our ability, we will continue to provide quality care to the wildlife in our community, while also protecting staff, volunteers and rescuers. Like other community-supported businesses and nonprofit organizations, we hope we can count on your continued friendship and patronage to keep our doors open.
Our hearts go out to everyone who will be impacted in some way by this worldwide crisis. Please take care and stay safe.
Jeffrey J. Arciniaco, Board Chair