Rescue U spent Dec. 31-Jan.13 renovating Carolina Waterfowl Rescue in Indian Trail, N.C. Previously, we’d focused on shelters that care for dogs and cats. On this last build, we worked to improve the lives of ducks, pigeons, swans and other adoptable birds.
When CWR was hit by a tornado in spring 2012, wind destroyed many of the structures that housed the adoptable and wild birds the rescue cares for. Kennels, cages and full sheds were blown across the property; feeding areas and barns lost their roofs; and several birds were injured. Rescue director Jennifer Gordon remembers the day the storms hit: “I was outside scrambling to get supplies in the shed, and the roof was lifted off, just like you see in tornado movies.”
Local volunteers made initial repairs (CWR is an all-volunteer organization), but the rescue still needed help. So Rescue U volunteers from Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arizona, Washington and North Carolina took time off work or gave up their school vacations to renovate the facility.
Our projects included a new barn to store supplies and serve as a bird habitat, privacy fencing around the goat enclosure (CWR is also home to rescued goats!), more than 1,500 feet of chain-link fencing surrounding the property to keep out foxes, raccoons and other predators, repair on the existing fencing and gates, and several habitat and feeding structures around the property, including one on an island that can be reached only by kayak.
The barn, in particular, is a godsend. Many of the cage-free waterfowl prefer to roost inside when it is cold or rainy. Rescue U volunteers built several of the raised beds they normally build for dogs to keep the birds off the ground, since birds lose a lot of body heat through their feet. Most importantly, the barn provides protection for all the birds in the case of another terrible storm. “We get a lot of storms here,” Gordon says. “It will be nice to know we have a safe place to protect our birds when another one hits.”
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