Help LEARN Stay Open For the Critters!

Louisiana Exotic Animal Resource Network (LEARN) is a nonprofit wildlife rehabilitation center and exotic animal rescue that has been around for almost ten years now.  Our primary focus is on treating and releasing (wild) or rehoming (pet) reptiles and amphibians (though we try to help birds and mammals when we can). In so doing, we fill a large gap in available services for these animals and are a go-to resource for a substantial part of the Gulf Coast states. 

Here is a local newscast about our center: 


Historically, 95% or more of the funds to construct and maintain the facility have come from our President, Micha Petty, through his home remodeling and improvement business, as well as some inherited and borrowed funds. Micha has invested approximately $450,000 to rescue and rehabilitate these animals. However, due to a downturn in the economy, some health issues, and now the acute fallout from COVID-19, Micha has been unable to keep up with the bills and payments required to keep the facility operational. 

LEARN is in very real danger of having to close down, lose our facility to foreclosure, and face an uncertain future for many animals. 

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Here is a summary of LEARN's average monthly expenses:

$1360- note on the mortgage at the facility
$900- electricity (reptile rescues use lots of power)
$650 insect, fish, and rodent feeders
$380 bird and small mammal foods
$450 equine foods/costs
$450 other animal foods (produce, etc.)
$100 water
~$200 medicine, vet bills, etc. (This can be much higher)
$450 fuel and other expenses

This does not include "personal" expenses such as insurance, car notes, and human food and medical bills that are also necessary for Micha and his wife to do what they do.

Many of these bills are several months behind. There are also other critical expenses facing LEARN, such as the need to refill the propane tank that supplies our backup generator (which can mean life or death to some of the animals in an outage) and repairs to our entrance road that was damaged by recent storms. 

All in all, LEARN needs much more than this fundraiser's goal. 

For many years, Micha has been covering all these expenses alone. LEARN does receive periodic donations from the public, but these funds typically comprise only 1%-2% of our operating expenses. However, the time has come where community support has become vital to LEARN's continued existence. 

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It should be noted that new funding sources are being sought and identified. We are hopeful that- if we can just get through the current crisis that was made worse by the pandemic- we will again be able to achieve some financial stability.

In particular, Micha wrote an award-winning textbook about reptile and amphibian conservation which is being expanded into a paid online certification course in herpetology by The Herpetology Collective

The fear is that the facility and all of the work that has gone into it will be tragically lost right before this new initiative bears fruit. This is us asking the community to help us through what is hopefully our last difficult push before we regain our footing. 

Micha has devoted his life to rescuing, rehabilitating, and educating others about these misunderstood animals for some time. Your support may make the difference between whether he is able to continue doing so or not. 

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For those of you that might prefer to receive pro-wildlife swag in return for your money, you are encouraged to visit our shop. All proceeds go to support our mission. 

For anyone who is able, you can also donate directly to LEARN  on our website, which will help us cover some bills that are due right now while we wait for the funds from this campaign. 

We know that many people are struggling right now and not everyone has the ability to contribute. Even if you can't donate, please consider sharing this campaign on social media. The critters really need your help right now. 

You can also follow us on Facebook or check out our online publication about reptiles, amphibians, and conservation called The Natural World

Thanks, and Happy Herping!

Donations

  • Maggie Mathis 
    • $50 
    • 2 d
  • Jenny & Joey 
    • $10 
    • 7 d
  • Anonymous 
    • $500 
    • 10 d
  • Julianna Mello 
    • $50 
    • 12 d
  • Danny Whatley 
    • $10 
    • 12 d
See all

Organizer

Micha Petty 
Organizer
Elm Grove, LA
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