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Feast for Beasts raises $16,000 in Wild Night


Non-Profit Raises $16,000, Rescues Injured Wildlife at New Event

AUBURN - A unique summer party took flight on Saturday, July 8, when Gold Country Wildlife Rescue hosted their first annual "Feast for Beasts" event.

The fundraiser included a strolling dinner, music, and an auction. Guests were also able to rub shoulders with the non-profit's wildlife ambassadors, including a great horned owl, red-tailed hawk, and a greeter goose named "Gerdie." The event generated $16,000 to support the non-profit's mission to rescue, rehabilitate, and release injured and orphaned wildlife.

"As residents of Placer County, we need to protect those lives that are the most vulnerable, the most defenseless," said Jim Holmes, County Supervisor and emcee of the event. "Gold Country Wildlife Rescue is an organization that does that every single day of the year."

Feast for Beasts was held at the Ceronix facility on New Airport Road in Auburn. Don Whitaker, the founder of Ceronix, is a local wildlife lover. "Ceronix is committed to a healthy and vibrant community, and our native wildlife are an important part of that community," said Whitaker, who also gave private "champagne tours" of his exotic bird habitat during the event.

As guests settled in for the evening, a few of them were pulled away in order to save animals in need of help. First, a local woman appeared at the event door with a dehydrated baby bird tucked snugly into a Wienerschnitzel hot dog wrapper. The bird had been found at the base of a tree; sadly, it's two siblings had already died. Gold Country Wildlife Rescue volunteers Deb and John Kirkpatrick took the bird home. "He was in pretty bad shape and severely dehydrated," said Deb Kirkpatrick. "But he's doing great now and has just gathered enough energy to start perching. We'll be housing him with another blackbird from Wild Care Association (in Sacramento) and they will be raised and released together."

Later, Gold Country Wildlife Rescue volunteer John Irwin received an unexpected call about a dehydrated Cooper's Hawk found in Citrus Heights. This hawk had also been found at the base of a tree next to a dead sibling. "When heat waves like the one we've been having coincide with the nesting season, we see a tremendous number of birds 'fleeing' their nests," explained Irwin. "This is especially true with hawks, whose nests are at the top of the trees and exposed to the sun. Without their full feathers, the nestlings risk being baked by the sun, and so these dehydrated birds tumble from the nest seeking shade."

 "Feast for Beasts" is the group's first fundraiser since relocating to the site of the former Placer County Animal Services facility on B Avenue in Auburn. "The new facility has the potential to become Northern California's premier wildlife rescue," said Sallysue Stein, Gold Country Wildlife Rescue founder and Board Chairman. "The money raised during our 'Feast' event will be used to renovate the building and grounds, so that we can improve the care and welfare of the thousands of animals we rescue each year, including the animals saved during the event by our wonderful volunteers."

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