February 2, 2023


pets keep it coming

Missoula duo trying to get nonprofit status for exotic animal rescue project | Local News

3 min read

A lone leopard tortoise, native to japanese and southern Africa, was discovered ambling across the fast paced Highway 93 close to Arlee north of Missoula not too long ago, exhibiting indications of abuse and no proprietor to be uncovered.

A family noticed the animal, rescued it from the pavement and brought it to Zootown Exotics in Missoula, where by it now happily munches grass and strolls around easily under a lamp.

Wyatt Wildey and Kadie Lovrien began their unique animal rescue operation three years back, and now they’ve acquired about 100 animals. From rosy boas to Chinese pond turtles to blue iguanas to frogs, they operate diligently every working day to treatment for and feed the creatures.

Toto, the aforementioned leopard tortoise, was a distinctive rescue.

“When they discovered him he had stickers all around him and they had to scrape sticker residue off,” Lovrien described. “Clearly from his problem he was not cared for pretty effectively. And even if an proprietor stepped up he was not heading to again to him. His backbone was all curved. He’s just a super shy guy.”

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Kadie Lovrien and Wyatt Wildey estimate they have approximately 90 rescued exotic animals at their store.

Their animals are mostly rescues, and occur to them in a wide range of methods. An elderly lady died in Helena, so they took in a blue-and-yellow macaw named Sissy. Often kids simply cannot just take care of snakes or lizards or a mother or father gets far too occupied or receives unwell. As soon as, the Bitterroot Humane Modern society identified a tortoise in an deserted house. A mate of Wildey’s asked him to just take care of a substantial clown knifefish. The other working day, somebody found rabbits that appeared to be 4-H project releases wandering close to the Kelly Island location.

“We’re truly gearing up for summer months,” Lovrien spelled out. “There’s actually like rarely ever a day we can go devoid of obtaining an animal.”

The duo work with community veterinarian Dr. Mark Klietz to make guaranteed the animals have the appropriate care. They’ve had individuals present donations but numerous of those gives have been rescinded since they’re not a nonprofit. So not long ago, they elevated over $1,000 on GoFundMe to employ the service of a lawyer to try out to transform to a 501(c)(3) organization. They’ve also experienced issues having to pay their energy invoice recently because of to an influx of rescues and vet visits.

“We steadily shell out all-around $200 to $400 regular monthly on the electrical power bill,” Wildey reported.

Lovrien reported they are really the only business unique animal rescue in Montana, whilst there’s a assortment of small companies that do similar do the job. Wildey has a significant bus that he uses to take some of the far more properly-modified animals to exhibit to youngsters for educational functions.

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Kadie Lovrien admires Richard the inexperienced iguana at Zootown Exotics on Thursday.

They give animals up for adoption, but the couple states they test not to present any animals to people today who don’t surface able to take very long-time period treatment of a pet.

“We really don’t adopt to kids in basic,” he claimed. “These are grownup animals.”

Some boas can are living for 25 to 30 yrs, he observed, as do some forms of turtles and other reptiles. So a child that graduates substantial college and goes off to higher education would have no way to consider care of a pet.

The two Wildey and Lovrien say they donate a ton of their personalized time and funds to the venture, and they hope to be equipped to grow into a even bigger place inevitably and carry on with their mission.

“We actually think there’s a want,” Wildey explained. “You know, there is an insectarium. There requirements to be a thing for reptiles and minor tiny mammals way too, you know?”

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