By Bonny Burrows
The Bayles Wildlife Shelter faces closure if cash isn’t found to make the facility wheel-chair accessible.
The home-based shelter, operated by Andrena Francey and her husband Dave, has been rescuing and rehabilitating native wildlife for the past nine years.
However, with Ms Francey recently having a below-the-knee amputation, the centre needs modifying to remain open.
Friend Liza Chapple has kick-started a GoFundMe page to assist with the modifications, which at an estimated cost of $25,000 will include the construction of concrete paths around the property to the animal enclosures to allow Ms Francey to continue her work.
“Without these paths she will simply have to close the Bayles Wildlife Shelter for good, and that will be a terrible thing for the animals,” Ms Chapple said.
“People like Andrena that devote their lives to help our native animals are becoming a rare breed, she never asks for anything from anyone, yet she is always there on call anytime of the day to help the animals”.
The self-funded shelter rescues injured animals and rehabilitates them until they are able to be released back into the wild.
“We work with Melbourne Zoo and Healesville sanctuary with endangered animals or birds,” Ms Francey said.
“We also work with Melbourne Zoos marine rescue unit with sea birds.
“This is important work as many other shelters in the area have closed as this work is demanding and self-funded.”
If the shelter were to close, Ms Francey, a former nurse, said she would be devastated.
“There would be no one left in our area to care for these animals so the animals could be left to suffer or perhaps perish,” she said.
Ms Chapple, who is Ms Francey’s hairdresser, said for years her friend had selflessly supported the community through her work, and now she needed help in return.
“People like Andrena who devote their lives to help our native animals are becoming a rare breed,” Ms Chapple said.
“She never asks for anything from anyone, yet she is always there on call anytime of the day to help the animals.
“It would be really lovely if the wider community can now do something to support her and the work she does.”
To donate, visit: www.gofundme.com/50phiag.