South Plains Wildlife Center Overrun with Animals after Early Morning Storms - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

6/26/03

South Plains Wildlife Center Overrun with Animals after Early Morning Storms

The madness at the South Plains Wildlife Rehabilitation Center started shortly after the storms hit Lubbock early this morning and it hasn't stopped since.

Volunteers say it's been nothing short of a zoo, taking in animals that were brought in after last night's storms. Including a family of doves that were found in someone's yard after being blown out of their nest and pelted with hail. They're just one example of the animals that are still coming in to the shelter.

Debbie Tennyson is what you might call an above average animal lover, but more than 400 animals call her mom.

"It's all right buddy, he's all intact just wet, cold, and hungry," says Debbie Tennyson, manager of the rehabilitation center, to a cold sparrow.

And after Thursday morning's storm she has 40 new mouths to feed and counting.

"Well we could go over my list," says Tennyson.

Injured animals come in every hour.

"People have found them and brought them in and we warmed them and now we're bottle feeding them and they're doing really well," says Tennyson.

But others suffered more serious injuries.

"That's just the tip of the iceberg. The squirrels the adult squirrels most of them have been songbirds and it's mostly these guys over here," says Tennyson.

One group of orphaned doves, just days old, are already fighting for their lives.

"A rough start you can see the one there, she may have been pelted by hail where she's missing so many feathers and stuff," says Tennyson.

One squirrel suffered an eye injury and ducklings now call an incubator home after getting soaked by rain and left in the cold.

"These two were wet and miserable this morning so I put them in incubators," says Tennyson.

One duckling shows some progress, but even after a day's worth of tender loving care unfortunately Debbie can't save them all.

"This one's not gonna make it, I don't think," says Tennyson.

Sadly one is lost, but Debbie keeps her focus to save the next one.

"Ooh, you're coming around aren't you," says Tennyson.

Debbie also says saving animals isn't only her job, it's her life.

"Give them a second chance at life and put them back out there where they belong," says Tennyson.

And with more than 400 animals here there's always plenty to do and that's why you can come help feed the animals. If you find an animal that needs help you can call 799-2142. They are always in need of volunteers to help care for the influx of hurting animals, but you must be 18 years of age and attend a brief orientation.

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