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Ogden wildlife center ramps up relocation of furniture, animals to temporary site

By Rob Nielsen - | Mar 20, 2024

Rob Nielsen, Standard-Examiner

Workers with Two Men and a Truck assist in moving furniture and other items from the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah's former building on Park Boulevard to its temporary headquarters on Washington Boulevard on Tuesday, March 19, 2024.

OGDEN — The Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah is officially moving into its temporary headquarters almost a year after being served an eviction notice by the City of Ogden.

Heavily assisted by Two Men and a Truck, moving commenced on Tuesday.

“We have to move 10,000 square feet of furniture, cages, perches, food, equipment, freezers and fridges, and washers and driers,” WRCNU Executive Director DaLyn Marthaler told the Standard-Examiner.

As for the group’s temporary headquarters on Washington Boulevard, which utilizes a former residence and commercial property, she said renovations to make the location animal-ready are nearing completion.

“It’s so close to being finished,” she said. “Our flooring is in, the walls are painted, we have a couple more things to repair, but it’s super, super close. Once we get all of this moved in, we’re going to immediately start getting set up and to accommodate the animals we still have.”

She said the there are about 20 animals to move to the new location in the coming days.

But the process of readying the temporary structure hasn’t always been easy, Marthaler added.

“We have affectionately named the new place ‘Pandora’ because every time we go to do something, it turns out that it’s a lot bigger project or a lot worse than what we thought it was going to be,” she said. “I hate trying to predict anything, but I’m really hoping in the next month we’ll be opened up. We’re going to try our darnedest to get it as quickly as we can.”

Marthaler said the temporary location will not be able to care for aquatic creatures when it does open up.

“There’s no way to set up a pool,” she said. “It’s an old home that can’t accommodate a pool in it. There’s already a lot of water damage we had to repair.”

As for the future, the WRCNU is looking to get into a permanent home as soon as possible — a prospect Marthaler will still take a lot of time and resources.

“It’s literally going to cost us millions,” she said. “The cost of property is sky high. The cost of building things is sky high. We’re going to continue fundraising until we can get property. We’re looking for property currently. We’re always on the watch for that good deal to come up — something that we can afford — and as soon as something comes up, we’re going to nab it and keep raising money to build.”

However, she said there’s no set plans for a major organized fundraising effort yet, citing the need to come up with a strategy.

“Fundraising is going to be really hard for us for a while,” she said. “In this building, we had a big education room where the public could come in and have events right here. We’re going to have to rethink all of that. Right now, currently, we’re just laser focused on getting up and open.”

Marthaler said, in the meantime, the community has stepped up in a big way for the wildlife center — especially when it comes to the facility’s moving needs.

“We want to give a huge shoutout to Two Men and a Truck,” she said. “Day one of the announcement that we had to move, they were on the phone with us saying, ‘We’re here for you.’ They’ve accomplished in an amount of hours what would’ve taken us weeks to accomplish.”

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