Animal rehab center rebuilding as donations pour in - Tucson News Now

Animal rehab center rebuilding as donations pour in

Source: KOLD Source: KOLD
Source: KOLD Source: KOLD
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The Northwest Fire District is still looking into how a fire started, that destroyed an animal rehab center on the northwest side.

But the fire has not destroyed the spirits of the volunteers, as they are rebuilding now one week later. Not much has changed structurally after the flames devastated the Wildlife Rehab in Northwest Tucson home. Windows are boarded up and melted cages still rest in the backyard, where 30 birds died in the flames.

But there is certainly more hope than ever before.

"It's hard to even describe. It was heartbreaking," said volunteer Nancy Chilton, describing the week that was regarding the recovery effort.

Volunteers spent much of Saturday, March 31, helping to clean up at the rehab center on W. Hills of Gold Drive in Tucson. They also took the more than 30 surviving birds and small mammals to temporary homes.

On Saturday, April 8, Chilton spoke with Tucson News Now about how much has changed since a fundraising page had been set up. Chilton noted the huge outpouring of support from the community. 

Since the crowd-funding website was established by Chilton, more than $12,000 had been raised in a span of five days. The group exceeded its goal of $10,000 and will continue to accept new donations.

"It's really encouraging and it's really heartwarming to see how much people out there care. I mean, we all know how much we care. But to see that people in the community really value what we're doing and they really care - they want us to keep doing it," Chilton said.

86-year-old Janet Miller has been running the animal rehab in her home for more than 20 years and is funded by those private donations. She lives in the home, too. The funding will help rebuild the part of her home that was destroyed, including the prep kitchen that burned down and the rehab room for the birds. Miller said she does not receive any public funding.

If you would prefer to donate via check or money order, they can be made out to WRNT/Janet Miller and sent to WRNT c/o Dee Roberts, PO Box 86045, Tucson, AZ 85754.

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