Durham, N.C. — Directors cited the struggling economy as the reason for their decision to close the Piedmont Wildlife Center's clinic as July 31.
Despite the efforts of staff members and volunteers, the center faces a nearly $200,000 budget shortfall in the coming year, PWC officials said.
"If dedication, commitment, heart, and a desire to help wildlife were the only ingredients necessary to maintain a wildlife clinic, our clinic would also be thriving," Executive Director Gail Abrams said in a release.
The center's education program will continue, and enrollment in its summer camp is higher than expected, officials said.
The closure of the area's only wildlife clinic with a dedicated veterinarian, though, "will create a huge, regrettable gap," Abrams said.
The clinic has treated over 12,000 animals and released half of them back to the wild. The animals represented over 130 species from 30 counties and four states. The clinic also helped train wildlife rehabilitators, interns and veterinary students.
The center is going to re-group and make plans to re-open the clinic, Abrams said.
"We will strive to create a new clinic that will have broad community support in order to provide financial resources to build and sustain a state-of-the-art facility," Abrams said. "We need your financial support now more than ever to help us build a new dream for wildlife."
Donations can be on the group's Web site or mailed to Piedmont Wildlife Center, 364 Leigh Farm Road, Durham, NC 27707.