manned by a collection of dedicated volunteers. “I had spent time at another center and really felt there was a need for one in Stanislaus County,” said Burt, who in addition to being a founding member, is also the center’s executive director. “We were all committed to the mission of caring for the animals so that they could eventually be released back into their natural habitat.” From the humble starts in a garage, where they could only care for a few animals, the center has grown to a point where each year sees more than a thousand animals pass through the doors. In 2014, the Stanislaus Wildlife Care Center admitted 2,061 animals representing 113 different species. The center includes a mammal complex, an aviary for raptors, a
coyote enclosure and a deer yard. The center is in the process of growing again with the addition of all new bird cages and an eagle aviary. The eagle aviary was a planned expense the center had been fundraising for, but the need for new cages was a surprise, which comes with a hefty cost. The center is hopeful that the unexpected costs will be covered through donations and from their annual baby shower fundraiser, planned for May 16. The Stanislaus Wildlife Care Center will be opening their doors to the public and providing information about the many creatures that find refuge at the facility. The festivities will include special presentations, children’s games, and food and refreshments. “This is a good opportunity for
people to learn about the wildlife center, the animals we care for, and the volunteers who work here,” Burk said. Just like other baby showers, the wildlife center is hoping that guests will come with presents in hand. Items that are most in need by the center are: paper towels, Dawn dish soap, unflavored Pedialyte, hand soap, Playtex gloves, Simple Green, bleach, new heating pads that are not auto shut-off, large trash bags, printer paper, toilet paper, unscented laundry soap, and money. The center takes in animals year round, with the busy season running from the end of the April to the start of September. The Stanislaus Wildlife Care Center is located at 1220 Geer Rd. in Hughson, next to the Fox Grove Fishing Access. ■
Donna Burt holds a Golden Eagle recovering from surgery at the Stanislaus Wildlife Care Center in February 2014.
PHOTOS BY CANDY PADILLA/ 209 Magazine
Donna Burt, director of Stanislaus Wildlife Care Center, feeds a red shouldered hawk in 2011. 209MAGAZINE