Izzie’s Pond, a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization, provides rescue, rehabilitation and refuge for injured or orphaned waterfowl, wildlife, and farm animals. Through community outreach, we raise public awareness and appreciation for animals by educating children and adults to coexist with wildlife and to take their share of responsibility for a thriving ecosystem.
Since forming Izzie’s Pond, we have taken in hundreds of animals every year. Wild animals are rehabbed, then released back into nature. Domestic animals are rehabbed, then adopted out to approved homes.
We seek not only to respond to a growing number of abandoned, injured, and orphaned animals, but also to proactively reduce the number of wild and domestic animals in need and increase their quality of life through proactive education. As our rescue grows, we aspire to:
- Provide volunteer opportunities for children and adults to learn about animals’ place in the wild.
- Participate in events to help educate the public on the plight of the animals we rescue and to promote peaceful coexistence with wildlife.
- Offer individual and corporate community members the opportunity to donate funds or sponsor projects for animal care and rehabilitation.
- Offer individual community members a chance to adopt rehabilitated waterfowl rather than purchase from stores, and to view farm animals as pets rather than commodities.
- Educate children and adults about healthy, meat-free sustainability through our greenhouse garden and food preparation courses.
As the Upstate grows, thousands of new businesses and residents are projected to flow into the region within the next few years. Not all of this development will be positive, particularly for the numerous wildlife and domestic species in our region:
- Human-wildlife encounters will increase as habitats decrease.
- Illegal trapping and relocating activity will increase.
- Increased traffic will pose a greater injury and mortality risk.
- Animal populations will be more vulnerable to disease and injury.
Izzie’s Pond animal sanctuary and education center serves as a vital intervention resource, providing orphaned, injured, and abandoned animals with the modern care and rehabilitation needed to help preserve the Upstate’s delicate ecosystem as it adapts to increased human development.
The results will be:
- More orphaned and injured wild animals rehabilitated and returned to nature.
- A better educated public that can coexist with urban and suburban wildlife, reducing encounters with “nuisance” animals.
- A generation of children taught to understand the role of wildlife in their community, including the value of conservation and sustainable living in a healthy and balanced ecosystem.
Who knew that 4 little pet ducks would change our lives forever? On a summer night in 2009, our journey of caring for orphaned, injured and neglected animals began when our pet domestic duck, Frankie-Lynne, was attacked by a Great Horned Owl. At 1:00 AM, we rushed our terribly battered girl to the local emergency animal hospital… only to be turned away because they did not work with farm animals or wildlife.
Another facility an hour away was willing to stabilize her, and because we could see that Frankie-Lynne was a fighter who was not yet ready to die, we made the trip. Meeting us at 2:30 a.m., this emergency vet cleaned Frankie-Lynne up, gave her pain meds and told us to take her in the morning to a third vet 45 minutes away. As we drove home that night, we realized animals were no longer property, a simple possession or pets…they were now family!
Through our own volunteer work with other rehabbers, we realized a need for a domestic duck rescue and adoption program in our local area. That prompted us to start our own domestic waterfowl rescue on 5.5 acres in Simpsonville, SC — and Izzie’s Pond, named for our daughter Izzie, began.
We soon realized that wild waterfowl needed our rescue and rehab services, too. We took wildlife rehab courses and ended up not only caring for great blue herons, loons, coots, swans, and Canada geese, but also farm critters such as goats, donkeys, cows, chickens, turkeys, quail, domestic geese, and many more ducks, as well as wild mammals such as opossums and squirrels.
Since 2009, we have helped care for 9,000+ animals. Our most recent additions include raccoons, deer, birds of prey, bobcats, rabbits, chipmunks, turtles, snakes, lizards, peacocks, pigeons, doves, emus and even an ostrich.
Needless to say, we have outgrown our current property. We were fortunate to purchase a wonderful 30-acre farm in Liberty, South Carolina and we are blessed to have this opportunity to expand both our Rescue and Children’s Ministry.
Now, Izzie’s Pond is committed to its goal of becoming a free resource to the Upstate, in particular children. Many different factors affect children’s ability to connect meaningfully with the natural world:
- Unstructured playtime is limited as well-intentioned parents, seeking opportunities to help children succeed in life and minimize risks, sign them up for activity after activity.
- Parents themselves, trying to support their families and meet each child’s needs, often lack time to venture into the outdoors with their children.
- Rapidly advancing technology discourages children from interacting with the outside world as well as one another.
We believe that once afforded the opportunity to connect to nature, children steer towards it. By offering its land in the spirit of community outreach, Izzie’s Pond will help Upstate children to appreciate, respect and even love wild animals and the environment in which they live. Doing so, we hope, will train up a new generation of rehabilitation-minded adults with the resources and compassion to coexist peacefully and responsibly alongside wildlife and one another.
Izzie’s Pond is a non-profit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code. All donations to Izzie’s Pond are deductible. Our tax identification number is 80-0922846.