Oct. blizzard hit Spearfish wildlife sanctuary; still needs help - KOTA Territory News

Oct. blizzard hit Spearfish wildlife sanctuary; still needs help


Taking care of the 300 animals at the Spirit of the Hills Wildlife Sanctuary is a feat, but with October's blizzard clean up on top of that, volunteers face a challenge.

Lanny Erdman has been volunteering at the sanctuary for four years. "If you haven't been here it's incredible. It's a place for refuge for animals that are just unwanted, abused, not taken care of, so they come here and this is where we give them a safe place to live for the rest of their life," said Erdman

After October's storm, Erdman and others who help, have the task of getting the sanctuary ready for summer tour groups.   "Just like everyone there was extensive damage also here," said Erdman.  

Building structures, fences, and animal housing were damaged. "Seasonal volunteers like myself came in and took care of that but we have a hay shelter that the roof was damaged pretty bad," said Erdman. 

Workers and funding are very much needed to get this wildlife refuge ready.  "We are a non–profit organization and we have no paid positions, so funding is always an issue especially this time of year - when it's cold out of people won't necessarily volunteer. We have our committed ones that are here all the time," said Erdman.   

It's committed volunteers like Erdman who see the importance of taking care of these animals and at the same time making it safe for animal admirers.  "Even though our relationship is between a perimeter, thank God, they're thankful and it's such an amazing opportunity to just be able to help them out and give them a safe place," said Erdman. 

Summer tours at the Spirit of the Hills Wildlife Sanctuary will be begin June 1, 2014.

If you would like to volunteer or donate you can click on the link below.


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