Sarvey Wildlife Care Center looking to modernize clinic, animal enclosures

Tammie Rohr, administrative director for the Sarvey Wildlife Care Center, shows off the dark, cramped animal enclosures of its current educational facilities. - Kirk Boxleitner
Tammie Rohr, administrative director for the Sarvey Wildlife Care Center, shows off the dark, cramped animal enclosures of its current educational facilities.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

ARLINGTON —The Sarvey Wildlife Care Center is hoping to bring its facilities into the 21st century, but it needs the community's help to do it.

"Before 1994, we didn't have any educational facilities," said Tammie Rohr, administrative director for Sarvey. "Our educational animals were sharing space with our rehabilitation animals, which wasn't ideal. Thanks to a donation from the Chris Smith family, which was matched by Microsoft, we were able to make our non-releasable birds visible to the public."

While this represented a step up for Sarvey, they've struggled ever since with the fact that the educational facilities' hallways and animal display enclosures are so small that they can only accommodate as many as 10 people at a time for viewings.

"The typical Washington weather has also taken its toll," said Rohr, who explained that Sarvey has already secured wildlife trust fund dollars to start construction this past winter on an "educational meadow," which will allow groups of 20 or more visitors at a time to check out the animals.

"The roofs of the new structures won't be solid coverings, so plants will be able to grow inside them with natural light," Rohr said. "We also have a local Boy Scout who's going to be helping build amphitheater seating for an educational pavilion at that site."

The four animal enclosures that have already been built cost approximately $8,000 each, and Rohr estimated that the total cost of the educational meadow would be about $118,000 simply to install all the structures, before any other educational materials are purchased.

"This is part of a multi-step plan," Rohr said. "Our clinic for treating sick, injured and orphaned animals has also outlived its usefulness, but we need to empty out the current educational facilities before we can replace the clinic."

To that end, Sarvey is inviting the community to attend a fundraiser for these facilities at Craven Farms in Snohomish on Sept. 18 from 4-7 p.m. Tickets for this "Whiskey Barbecue" are only $50 each and are available by contacting Sarvey by phone at 360-435-4817 or via email at Included in the ticket price are hors d'oeuvres, two drink tickets and a barbecue dinner. Additional drink tickets will be available for purchase.

"Think what a difference you can make in our animals' lives by helping to provide our resident animals with improved housing in a more natural setting," Rohr said. "Not only will you be creating an environment our education animals can call 'home,' but you'll be opening other enclosures within our facility to help rehabilitate releasable patients that come to Sarvey."

Donations in lieu of ticket purchases will also be accepted. For more information, visit Sarvey's website at or on Facebook, or email

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