ENVIRONMENT

Ogden’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Center gets a 6 month extension to leave old building

Sep 6, 2023, 6:54 PM | Updated: 7:02 pm

OGDEN, Utah — For a place that is normally full of life, DaLyn Marthaler can now confidently say there is nothing louder than silence.

“All these kennels should be full. I walk back here, and it is just so eerily quiet and so empty, and it is heart-wrenching,” she said.

Marthaler runs the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah. It’s where about 4000 injured animals a year get help.

However, only a few remain there after Ogden City officials told them a few months ago they had to leave the building to make room for a parking lot. It meant wildlife staff could no longer take in any more injured animals when people stopped by or called.

“We estimate over 3,000 animals this year so far have died because of this decision,” Marthaler said. “I actually “had to get a private number because I cannot answer my phone. Turning those people away is not something that I can handle.”

Kennels lined up inside of the wildlife center. (KSLTV)

On Wednesday, workers were supposed to leave the building, but city officials gave them a six-month extension on Tuesday. It buys them time to move into another nearby building.

“Last night, I actually had a good night’s sleep for the first time in a long night’sMarthaler said. “This move has been the only thing on my mind.”

That rest is just temporary, though, just “like the next building they are moving into. Marthaler knows to keep doing this work, and they must buy another property and build a facility.

“We have to start from scratch,” she said.

Marthaler estimates the cost might be about $4 million. Lots of people have donated, but it is nowhere near the amount of money needed.

Even comedian Bill Engvall agreed to do a benefit show in Salt Lake City next month after Marthaler called him.

“Without hesitation, he is like, ‘Yeah. I will do it.’ He retired last year. He is coming out of retirement to help us. To help wildlife,” Marthaler said.

She met Engvall a few years ago when he brought in an injured owl and fell in love with their mission.

“Over the years, he has called a couple of t “mes about wildlife questions. We’ve kind of kept in touch,” she said.”

If there was ever a sign she was doing the right thing, it was the comfort of knowing many people supported her in this move. And they can’t wait until all she has to worry about is helping animals.

“It’s the end of a chapter, but it is not the end of the book,” said Marthaler. “Taking care of the animals is the most important thing. It’s all about them.”

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Ogden’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Center gets a 6 month extension to leave old building