CRITTER CHATTER: Wildlife sanctuary is still going strong after co-founder’s passing

Carleen Cote holds the "Spirit of America Award" presented to the Duck Pond Wildlife Care Center in 2015. (Submitted photo)

By Amy Messier

Greetings fellow wildlife enthusiasts! Many of you know me as Amy — the volunteer with the apron — who showed up at the Wildlife Care Center in Vassalboro about 14 years ago and never left.
This has been a very sad year for us at the center since we lost our beloved co-founder Carleen Cote. She passed away from a heart illness April 27 (her birthday), not long after she had decided to stop writing the monthly Critter Chatter articles that were enjoyed by so many.

Her husband Donald and I have discovered many people are under the impression we are no longer in business. This could not be farther from the truth. We are still here doing what we’ve always done, which is taking in injured and orphaned wildlife mammals, young and old, healing them when possible and releasing them back to the wild. Our passion for what we do is just as strong and dynamic as it has ever been.
For those and various other reasons, I have decided to take up the pen and bring you information, anecdotes, pictures and stories from the center. Please also note the email address at the bottom of this article. Feel free to write with comments and questions. If there is a particular Maine wild animal you would like more information on, you can request it, and I will do my best to write about it.
I would like the articles to be yours and ours. After all, we wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for all of you. Donald, Debbie, Jeff, all of our wonderful volunteers and I thank you so very much for your past and continuing support.
I hope you will look for next month’s article. I have decided to start, where else, at the beginning — what to do when you find an animal from the animal’s viewpoint. See you then.

Donald Cote operates the Wildlife Care Center, along with volunteer Amy Messier and other volunteers. The Center, located on Rt. 3 in Vassalboro, is a nonprofit facility, supported entirely by the Cotes’ own resources and outside donations. Call them at 207-445-4326, email or write to 1787 N. Belfast Ave., Vassalboro, ME 04989