HARKER HEIGHTS – While it’s not uncommon to see raccoons, opossums, foxes or skunks in Texas, it’s not always easy to find the proper help for these animals if you find one in the need.
The non-profit organization All About Exotic Wildlife is a group of volunteers whose mission is to care for orphaned and injured native wildlife and provide them with the best possible medical care and support.
Located in Harker Heights, the organization’s volunteers care for injured, orphaned and displaced wildlife before rehabilitating and releasing them into the wild.
“Through capture, rehabilitation and ultimately release, our volunteer group strives to provide a temporary home complete with medical care before regenerating them when they are able to fend for themselves,” Susan said. Franz, CEO of All About Exotic Wildlife.
Animals that cannot survive in the wild are granted sanctuary forever.
While All About Exotic Wildlife primarily helps animals like deer, skunks, squirrels, raccoons, opossums, rabbits, foxes, ducks, turtles, ring-tailed cats, and lizards, the organization also helps non-native exotic animals and gives them a new home.
“Our facility started with a dream to help wildlife that is being driven out of its habitat by extensive construction in our area,” Franz said. “Since the start of this organization in 2019, our welcome has tripled. Prior to developing this nonprofit, I worked with other rescue groups to learn how to best manage admissions, develop a care plan, and locate discharge sites.
All About Exotic Wildlife relies on donations to purchase medical supplies, food, specific types of milk, and enclosures for animals in need.
“We need lumber, fencing and roofing material to improve our facility,” Franz said. “Small animal enclosures such as Critter Nation or Ferret Nation cages, as well as puppy milk substitutes are particularly needed at this time.”
However, the demand changes as different animals are admitted to the rehabilitation center. Interested donors should contact Franz directly at 254-913-9120 to get an idea of what is needed.
“All donations go directly to support our mission,” Franz said.
The facility is located in Harker Heights on a large lot zoned for a rehabilitation facility. More information is available at www.allaboutexoticwildlife.com.
“Unfortunately, by law, the facility is not open to visitors,” Franz said.
Although animal lovers can’t visit the center, the nonprofit organization often goes to local events to discuss wildlife conservation and rehabilitation.
“We introduce exotic animals that act as the voice of wildlife because state law does not allow the use of native wildlife for events,” she said.
Franz wants people to know that it is essential to take care of local and exotic wildlife, but to treat animals with respect and care.
“We encourage anyone who finds injured or orphaned animals to call the game warden or a rehabilitation specialist for help,” Frank said. “It is illegal to house native wild animals without a permit.”