On Tuesday, the ground-breaking ceremony occurred for the Peace River Wildlife Center, an animal rehabilitation clinic in Charlotte County.
That means the only wildlife rehabilitation center in Charlotte County is getting a makeover and a new location.
The Peace River Wildlife Center is one of the few interactive education facilities in Southwest Florida.
“People are coming from miles and miles around to not only bring animals who need help, but they are coming to see the wonderful animals that are here in their housing units. We’re just so excited to keep them here,” said Punta Gorda’s mayor, Lynn Mathews.
On Tuesday morning, city leaders, board members and staff gathered for the ground-breaking. Interactive displays, a kitchen and more space for public programs will all be a part of the new center.
More than 2,500 of Florida’s native wildlife that gets injured or is orphaned and rescued is brought to the Pece River Wildlife Center. Charlotte County is rapidly growing, and whether it is a coincidence or not, the number of injured or orphaned animals is growing too.
“It’s very sad when you see any kind of an animal in distress, so this place is just so phenomenal,” said Mayor Matthews. “They will take in any animal they can help not only here in the facility and the park, and they also have their hospital in downtown Punta Gorda where they can do surgical procedures.”
Mayor Matthews explained the new facility will open depending on how much the public donates to fund the project. So far, they have enough to get started and are hopeful the center will be completed within the next few years.
It will open next to the Hounds on Henry Dog Park on Henry Avenue, just West of downtown Punta gorda.