POTTSVILLE, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) Wildlife centers across the commonwealth are feeling the financial pinch due to the pandemic.
During lunch at Helping Hands Wildlife Center, founder Lynn Dierwechter is bottle feeding a raccoon.
“This is where our biggest cost is. A bucket of raccoon formula is over $200,” she said. “We go through at least five buckets a season.”
Each animal needs its own specific formula. A big fundraiser each May typically supports Helping Hands through the season. This year they can’t hold the fundraiser because of social distancing. Donations are also down.
“There is just no funding available. And I understand. I mean people aren’t working. People lost their jobs,” Dierwechter told Eyewitness News.
But the number of wild animals coming in is going up. The non-profit says it’s because more people are finding animals as they explore the great outdoors and do more yard work.
“They’re cleaning up their yards and stuff because they are home and now we are paying the price,” she added.
The crew is rehabbing 10 baby raccoons. One of those families was brought in all the way from the Pittsburgh area. They have about 25 total ranging from a baby bunny, to groundhog, all needing their own formula.
Even though they may struggle this season, Dierwetcher says it’s a labor of love she won’t give up on.
Helping Hands Wildlife Center hopes the state fully opens in the fall so they can hold a fundraiser to cover the for next year.
If you’d like to learn more about Helping Hands Wildlife Center Click Here.