Animal Allies: Service at Cedar Run

On Earth Day weekend, my club Animal Advocacy and I had the pleasure of visiting and volunteering at Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge. Located in Medford, NJ, Cedar Run Wildlife Refuge takes in animals that are unable to survive in the wild and cares for them. They also help injured or sick animals in their many facilities and return them to the wild once they are ready.

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I was saddened by the number of animals that were permanent residents there, and that the majority of them were once someone’s pet. People attempt to domesticate different types of wild birds, raccoons, squirrels, and even deer. Clearly, when the domestication failed, these animals were too habituated to humans and too dependent on their care to ever be able to return to their natural habitats. Cedar Run, thankfully, takes them in and is able to properly care for the animals. If they are not too habituated, they can even rehabilitate them and release them. After learning more about what they do and seeing the different precautions they take to help each type of animal, I was eager to help them in any way I could.

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My team and I were shown the new faun pen that had recently been constructed in order to help injured faun heal and be able to return to the forests, all without ever coming in contact with a human. There, we helped seal the fences with a water-resistant substance in order to preserve the pens, so that they would be around for a long time. While working, we were also able to have a great conversation with some of the part-time and full-time volunteers that work there and about how they got involved with the Refuge. Others volunteering helped clean pens or rake leaves off of the trail ways. After completing our task and taking one last tour of the facility, we departed back to Rowan.

Being able to take three hours of my day to give to an animal refuge and help them improve their facility for the animals they serve was an easy and fun way to celebrate Earth Day. Although humans have caused great damage to this earth that cannot be fixed with one easy, small solution, there are all small things each of us can do to help the animals we live with and the environment we live in to be that much healthier and happier. These small actions should not just be taken one day of the year either, but at every opportunity you can!

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Tyra Gwalthney is a Freshman Law/Justice major with a minor in Psychology in the Honors Concentration. Alongside HerCampus- and being a HerCampus Trendsetter- she also is the Secretary of the Animal Advocacy Club, and enjoys volunteering as often as she can. She loves dogs, summer, the beach, and anything involving chocolate. Want to chat? Email: [email protected] Instagram: tyra_727

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