Five Ways You Can Help Charlotte’s Other Animals
by Addie Rising
"Animals are reliable, many full of love, true in their affections, predictable in their actions, grateful and loyal. Difficult standards for people to live up to." ― Alfred A. Montapert
Many of us have dogs or cats and we just love our furry friends. But these animals aren’t the only creatures in Charlotte who need help … or in some cases provide support for humans. Here are some ways you can help animals other than Fido and Fifi, right here in Charlotte.
Walk with horses
Shining Hope Farms is the only provider of hippotherapy (the use of horseback riding as a therapeutic or rehabilitative treatment) in the Charlotte region. Shining Hope Farms relies on volunteers to help with the horses. This includes acting as a side-walker by holding a child steady on the horse while walking around the arena for a session or as a horse-leader (someone who leads the horse around the arena and is responsible for the horse during a session). They can also use volunteers to help feed and care for horses in the barns.
Fill bird feeders
The Charlotte area is home to many birds of prey. And Carolina Raptor Center cares for them when they are injured. Its ¾-mile Raptor Trail is an educational visitor attraction that displays over 30 different species of raptors in Latta Plantation Nature Preserve. Its Jim Arthur Raptor Medical Center treats over 900 raptors a year, releasing almost 70 percent of the birds that live for the first 24 hours back into the wild. By providing bird seed, Carolina Raptor Center can fill bird feeders along the Raptor Trail to attract songbirds and brighten visitor experiences.
Throw an animal party!
Did you ever attend a birthday party with animals? Help Rescue Ranch throw unique birthday parties featuring all kinds of creatures. Rescue Ranch, founded by NASCAR driver Ryan Newman and his wife Krissie Newman in 2012, boasts a unique 87-acre facility which is home to more than 80 rescued critters including birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, snakes, lizards, steer, pigs, goats and miniature horses. Each animal has been permanently adopted into Rescue Ranch’s humane education program where they meet countless children of all ages through our programs, tours, and fundraising events.
Grow a garden
Wing Haven Garden & Bird Sanctuary was created by Elizabeth and Edwin Clarkson in 1927. The gardens, enclosed on all sides by brick walls, encompass nearly three acres in the heart of Charlotte and include lovely vistas, formal gardens, and woodland areas. Throughout, the emphasis is on plantings for birds and other wildlife -- to provide cover, nesting sites, food, and water. Join Wing Haven’s SEED Garden Group where you can maintain new plantings in the exploratory gardens and outdoor learning space.
Help a parrot find a home
Did you know some species of parrots can live to be over 50 years old? That means sometimes these pets outlive their owners and need new homes. Charlotte-based Companion Parrots Re-Homed has placed more than 350 parrots into homes. Learn more about their work and how you can help!
December's Spotlight Series: #AnimalsofCLT is presented by Parachute Media