Local News

Wayne County Woman Runs Modern Day 'Noah's Ark'

Posted September 7, 1998

— Most of us have already gotten a jump on cleaning up the damage left behind byHurricane Bonnie, but some Hurricane victims may have been overlooked. Big storms often leave wild animals homeless, but even they have a place to go for help.

For most of us, the idea of a full-grown hawk in the house is terrifying, but for Emily Barfield, it is a way of life. Barfield's Wayne County house is a temporary home to dozens of wild animals that are not yet ready for the wild.

Many animals come in after hurricanes. Whatever the reason, Barfield's non-profit animal hospital is often their only hope for survival.

"A lot of the loggers know us," said Barfield "The word has been passed from one to another that if you accidentally cut a tree down and there's a nest of birds or there's you know squirrels or whatever, take it to Miss Emily."

Barfield started nursing animals as a hobby 12 years ago in Chapel Hill. But she is about to move out west, and that means changes for her non-profit group called "Emily's Ark."

"This is my last year," Barfield said. "I am retiring out of it and going to move away, but I have trained a lot of people."

One of those people is 15-year-old Virginia Macha who will continue to volunteer.

"I know how much I love it as a young person who's growing up doing this," Macha said. "So, I hope when I have my own kids that I'll be able to teach them as they grow up."

Barfield will leave lots of supporters behind, but if her training pays off, this labor of love will continue to grow.

Barfield says she is looking for someone to take over the job, but she has one warning. If you want to make a lot of money, do not apply.

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