Closure update: June 28, 2021

It’s been two weeks since we made the decision to close our wildlife hospital to new patient admissions. We won’t beat around the bush – this has been, without a doubt, one of the most difficult decisions we have had to make in our organization’s history. Our staff and volunteers want nothing more than to help every single animal in need. Their passion and commitment to serving Oregon’s wildlife run deep, and our inability to help the many additional animals needing care this year has been a hard reality to accept.

The last 15 days have been a whirlwind. To sum it up, the days have been long, but the weeks, short. We’re left feeling many things as we work through our continued closure – exhaustion, uncertainty, frustration, grief. Though it’s easy to let those negative emotions take hold, we can’t help but feel a sense of hope growing. While we are focused on overcoming this scarcity of resources, we’ve been humbled by an overwhelming abundance of support flowing in from our community. New volunteer applications, donations, and other offers of aid have begun to roll in. We are grateful to local media outlets for helping us share our story, and we are so touched by the responses we’ve gotten from supporters, both new and returning. If nothing else, it helps to know that we are not alone in this endeavor.

There is a way out of this struggle, and with help from our community, we are confident we will find it. One note we received last week, accompanied by a donation, reads: “I realize this is small, but I want to help.” When we step back, it is easy to see that there are so many people helping us, each in their own “small” way.

It’s hard to read a note like the one mentioned above with dry eyes, because the feeling is all too familiar to us. We all have moments where we worry that our contributions are too small to matter. We feel that somehow, though we are on the edge of exhaustion, that our efforts have not been enough. If there is one thing that this work has taught me over the years, it’s that every ounce of effort, no matter how small, matters. From the tiniest of patients, to the smallest of donations, to the youngest of children, to the shortest of phone calls. All of these “small” things matter quite a bit. After all, aren’t all great things made up of many small ones?

So, as we continue to build our capacity and work tirelessly to re-open, we ask for your continued support and patience. Please have faith that at every moment we are taking small steps to resume admitting injured and orphaned animals at our facility. When our phone lines are back up and running, when our doors open back up, you can best help us by offering your compassion to our staff and volunteers. Thank you. We are looking forward to reopening as soon as we possibly can.

Sarah Spangler

Sarah Spangler

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