BYRON, Ill. (September 2, 2011) - For nearly 30 years Karen and Steven Herdklotz have been rehabilitating injured animals on their property in Durand, Ill. What started as a small labor of love in their house has blossomed into "Hoo" Haven - a 4-acre non-profit facility that treats all kinds of injured animals, from squirrels and snakes to owls and eagles.
Now, with a $35,000 donation from Exelon Nuclear's Byron Station, "Hoo" Haven will begin building an aquatic wildlife pen that will add considerable space to its facility. More importantly, the aquatic pen will given injured water animals - like otters, beavers and pelicans - the proper space and environment in which to rehabilitate.
"We can accommodate many things, but carrying of buckets of water in and out to a little store-bought pool was difficult," Karen said. "For animals that need a pond to swim in and need constant climate control, this new addition is going to be a very cool thing. It's going to make our jobs easier and also give the animals a better living condition in which to get better."
Karen and Steven and their volunteers have never turned down an injured animal brought to their facility. But their space has never been perfect in regards to treating aquatic animals and the special needs they have. The new addition will include a large pool and areas where the animals can "sun" themselves under special lights.
Byron Station's relationship with "Hoo" Haven has been strong for years. Over the past 18 months the two groups have combined efforts in their visits to local elementary schools. At school assemblies, Byron employees have taught students about conservation and being environmentally friendly through Exelon's "Gabby Green" program. The "Hoo" Haven workers would then follow with a message about animal rescue - and would show some of the facility's rescued wildlife.
"This group does so much to help the wildlife in Northern Illinois that we knew we could make a donation that would have a positive impact on their rehabilitation efforts," said Byron Station Site Vice President Tim Tulon. "A number of our employees are volunteers at â€˜Hoo' Haven and we were pleased some of them could be on hand for the monetary presentation."