Devotion

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Tracy Leaver has devoted her life as the founder and Executive Director for Woodlands Wildlife Refuge for over 30 years. The organization has grown from Tracy's spare bedroom and the care of two raccoons to now an 11 acre facility which cares for over 1,000 animals annually with the help of 3 staff, 50 volunteers, and 10 interns. Since its inception in 1986, 15,000 wild animals have been rehabilitated. Tracy not only built Woodlands Wildlife Refuge from the ground up, but was willing to change her entire life to devote it to the care of orphaned and injured wildlife. Most wildlife rehabilitation facilities do not last more than a few years. However, despite these odds, Tracy has always found a way to not only keep Woodlands running, but also to expand it along with the ever increasing need for its services.

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To receive, rehabilitate and release injured and orphaned native wildlife. To educate people about wild animal habits and habitats. To protect and create natural environments where people and animals exist in harmony.

As the only facility in the state licensed to rehabilitate venomous snakes and endangered bobcats, and as the primary bear rehabilitation facility, the services Woodlands provides are essential to the public’s unexpected encounters with wildlife, the Division of Fish and Wildlife, animal professionals, and New Jersey’s wildlife. Woodlands is available 365 days a year and for over 30 years has remained determined to never turn away an animal in need. The wildlife advice hotline is available 7 days a week and is used annually by thousands of people nationwide looking for assistance and advice regarding wildlife concerns. Tracy continues to inspire others in the field of animal care through her selflessness and devotion to caring for orphaned and injured wildlife. Over the past 30 years, hundreds of volunteers have gained valuable skills under Tracy’s guidance and many have gone on to pursue careers in biology, ecology, conservation, and veterinary medicine.

I admire Tracy's devotion to the field of wildlife rehabilitation. She is always willing to help and never turns away from a difficult case. Tracy always strives to go beyond wildlife care in our state. She has helped create and influence rehabilitation programs in our state and around the world. Woodlands is now recognized internationally for its black bear rehabilitation and release program which Tracy began in 1995. In 2015, this research was presented by Tracy at the International Advancing Bear Care Conference in Vietnam. She has shown everyone that one person can truly make an impact.

The biggest challenge that Woodlands faces is the ever increasing demand for its services. A $50,000 donation to Woodlands Wildlife Refuge would make an incredible difference in the operations and future of the facility. Just last year, Woodlands saw an incredible 45% increase in the animal admissions. These significant increases in the number of animals requiring care have steadily risen over the past several years and are only expected to continue. A portion of funds will be used for direct care needs such as essential medical supplies including vaccines and antibiotics, lifesaving fluid therapies, species special nutritional needs and formula, and veterinary care. $5,000 in funds will be used directly for husbandry needs such as additional intensive care units for our wild infants which cost up to $500 each, specialized reptile housing ranging from $100-$800 depending on the species size, and specific needs. It will also enable us to increase our inventory of feeding implements, heating equipment, bedding and other general care and husbandry items needed in our day to day operations. The additional funding will support improvements to existing enclosures and construction of additional indoor and outdoor housing for a variety of wildlife species.

She's awesome!

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