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Pittsboro Wildlife Sanctuary In Financial Trouble

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PITTSBORO — When the general economy suffers, charities usually suffer as well. The Carnivore Preservation Trust (CTP) in Pittsboro is no exception, and is trying to survive in hard times.

Antietam and Manassas are two tigers CPT rescued from neglect. With its breeding program and sanctuary, the facility is now home for 230 exotic animals.

"We average around $1,000 a day, as far as (our) budget (goes)," said Dave Guss. Guss started as a volunteer and now serves as the executive director without pay.

That's over $300,000 a year for food, medicine and facilities. That also pays for a staff that has dwindled to four keepers, a curator and a part-time vet.

"We would need donations of about $25,000 to $30,000 a month in order to keep our heads above water," said Guss.

That kind of money is not coming in. The board has dipped into savings. And they have cut back on CPT's original mission: breeding endangered and threatened animals.

"We have revised our mission a bit to focus more on the education and sanctuary aspects of our organization," said volunteer and CPT board member Ruth Stalvey.

For many of these exotic animals, CPT is a place of last resort. Zoos are full. Sanctuaries are few. Many who cannot find a home are euthanized.

"That's an unacceptable option for us. We're not going to let that happen But that would have happened to some of these animals if we had not taken them in," said Stalvey.

"This place is a little treasure trove of animals and education opportunities for this community, and I hope that there will be enough people interested in keeping it going," said Stalvey.

For information on donations to the Carnivore Preservation Trust, or if you are interested in volunteering, call 919-542-4684.


Rick Armstrong, Reporter
Rick Armstrong, Photographer
Julian King, Web Editor

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