The Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge on-site veterinary hospital has come one step closer to reality. Accompanied by architects Terry and Janine McGuire and other members of the TCWR team, contractor Travis Hollaway spent an afternoon recently going over the area where the facility will be built.
The location for the hospital, between the main habitat area and Rescue Ridge, will make it an ideal setting for treating sick animals, rather than having to transport them to the vet, who is located between Berryville and Green Forest.
Now that funding has been completed for the building itself, it is necessary to equip it.
“To fully equip the facility will cost approximately $153,000,” says TCWR Curator Emily McCormack. “We have applied for a grant to cover that, but you never can be certain how that will work out. So we are going to be working to raise that money next.”
When complete, the hospital will include an x-ray/surgery, holding cages for recovery, an office, an enclosed garage/unloading area, a training/media area, and even a place for staffers to sleep if they need to stay with the animals overnight.
“There is a tremendous amount of red tape in making something like this happen,” says McCormack. “However, it will make such a big difference in the care we can extend to these big cats, lions, and bears. It can really stress them out to have to transport them miles away for treatments we haven’t been able to provide here. Now we will be able to, and that’s terrific.”
Construction on the new site is scheduled to begin this summer.