By Shania Alba
The Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center (SWCC) located in Scottsdale is looking for a new home to shelter their furry residences as well as accommodate their growing popularity in the community. The SWCC is requesting proposals from various cities across Arizona for a minimum of 20 acres of land. The donated land must have a large enough land buffer around the center to protect SWCC from neighboring development.
Started in 1994, the Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center rescues, rehabilitates and releases Arizona’s native wildlife. Many are released back into the wild but those that cannot are provided sanctuary. As well as saving animals, SWCC also educates the community about various Arizona wildlife.
Infamously, SWCC has been involved in disputes with an individual neighbor of three years, mostly due to noise complaints. To avoid further conflict and to increase space, it was decided that a change needed to be made. “We’re overjoyed by the response we’ve had from the community in the wake of what was a tough time for Southwest Wildlife Conservation Center,” said Linda Searles, Executive Director and Founder. “As a result we’re housing more animals than ever and we’re outgrowing our current facility. We need a large enough area with a big enough buffer so that we can be sure we won’t have to deal with any complaints about howling, traffic or animals in the future.”
In the future, SWCC would like to have 100 acres of land to give the animals all the space they could ever need. Searles said that she can see one day having three locations. One would be a Nature Center that can handle both visiting crowds and the center’s educational needs. The second and the largest would be a hospital building for medical treatment and sanctuary. Here the rescued animals would be able to heal and thrive until their release. Finally, the Rio Verde location will remain where it is currently located to keep up with the needs of the community.