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Sanctuary Seeks Animal Lovers "Wild About Art"

March 16, 2013

Flying squirrels, raccoons and snapping turtles are just some of the creatures Rockfish Wildlife Sanctuary helped save in 2012. This year, the organization is hoping to expand to an even bigger location to help even more animals.

Dozens of people flocked to CitySpace in Charlottesville Saturday evening for the third annual "Wild About Art" silent auction. Several local artists donated photographs, paintings, ceramics and other artwork for the sanctuary's biggest fundraiser of the year.

"We rescue and we rehabilitate and then we release the animals and we do a lot of orphans," said vice president Nathou Attinger.

The organization, which was founded in 2004, saves and releases about 700 animals each year.

"It's hard," said wildlife rehabilitator Jessica Cole. "Some animals that come in, you want to get attached to them and you want to play with them, like the baby squirrels, but we have to keep in mind that's not our goal."

Cole, who has been with the organization since 2008, says the goal is getting them back out into the wild. Soon, they will be able to accommodate even more animals.

The group has purchased 20 acres in Nelson County to build a new, larger sanctuary.

"It's absolutely perfect. It's got a stream, it's got mature trees and it's just beautiful, " said Attinger.

Attigner says they are hoping to raise enough money to move into the new space by spring of 2014.

They are hoping to bring in at least $10,000 at the fundraiser. That money will help purchase food and medical supplies for the animals.

For more information about Rockfish Wildlife Sanctuary and to learn how you can help, CLICK HERE.

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