CROW's 50th Anniversary Celebration Underway
Jan 18, 2018 07:25PM ● Published by Kevin
Gallery: CROW 50th Anniversary - January 2018 [15 Images] Click any image to expand.
On Sunday, Jan. 14, CROW held a free open house at its Visitor Education Center, where guests could explore the venue and meet the animal ambassadors, as well as a behind-the-scenes experience at the hospital and its signature guided tour.
The organization started up in 1968 when founder Shirley Walter came across an injured royal tern on the Sanibel Causeway. She took it upon herself to help the injured bird, but as there were no wildlife clinics around, she ended up rehabilitating the bird herself with the help of a veterinarian friend. Word spread quickly of her act of kindness and operating out of her home, she received more than 500 calls to help distressed animals in the first year.
CROW's 50th Anniversary: Remaining Schedule of Events
Join us for a Conversation about "A Day in the Life of a Wildlife Veterinarian" presented by Heather W. Barron, DVM, Diplomate, ABVP (Avian) from the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wild... Read More »
Q&A With CROW's Hospital DirectorAdditionally, we caught up with Heather W. Barron, DVM, Dipl. ABVP-avian, and hospital director at CROW, who shared her background, information about the organization's patients, an update on the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, and more.
TOTI Magazine: What is CROW's mission?
Barron: CROW’s mission is to save wildlife through state-of-the-art veterinary care, research, education and conservation medicine.
TOTI Magazine: I see CROW has "patients" you care for. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Barron: CROW provides veterinary care for over 4,000 wildlife patients every year. These patients represent approximately 150 species of native and migratory wildlife that can be found here in Southwest Florida.
TOTI Magazine: How have things been after Irma? Was there any damage? Increase in patients? Change in hours? Anything else?
Barron: With the help of our dedicated volunteers, staff, students and the Sanibel community, CROW managed to “weather” Irma fairly well. Evacuation from Sanibel was mandatory, but the hospital was only closed one day and we continued to receive patients through our amazing partners at Specialized Veterinary Services in Fort Myers.
There was some damage to the grounds and facilities at CROW, but all was quickly put to rights with the help of the community. The patients were all given the best possible care. Many more wild animals were brought to CROW after the storm. CROW continues to see wildlife emergencies 365 days per year!
TOTI Magazines: Are there any volunteer opportunities available? What about donors?
Barron: Yes! CROW relies on a dedicated team of over 200 volunteers which provide over 19,000 hours of service in areas such as baby care, laundry, tortoise grazing and visitor center/gift shop. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, CROW does not receive any federal, state, or local funding. It’s annual operating costs are funded mainly through private support from individuals, corporations, businesses and foundations. Fundraising events, grants and planned giving also contribute to finance the day-to-day operations with Memberships being a key fundraising effort. Visit www.crowclinic.org to make a donation or learn how to become a member!
TOTI Magazine: What are your goals for the future? Where do you see CROW headed?
Barron: We envision CROW as a center of excellence for education, collaboration, research and treatment of native wildlife. We have a commitment to the One World/One Health concept, which emphasizes a collaborative approach to the interrelated health of animals, people, and the ecosystem.
TOTI Magazine: Is there anything else we should know about -- upcoming events, you, etc?
Barron: CROW has a number of programs available for visitors to learn more. Our Visitor Education Center is open Monday through Friday (Open Saturdays January through April) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. There are daily presentations at 11 a.m. (also at 2 p.m., January through April) on a range of topics including “Wildlife Rescue 101,” “Owls of Southwest Florida,” and “Baby Care at CROW.”
In addition, we also offer Wildlife Walk hospital tours and seasonal programs including our Speaker Series and Lunch & Learn with me.