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Saving our little friends

Mountain View Voice
July 8, 2005 - Mountain View, CA

Apparently, no one bothered to tell the injured and sick birds at Wildlife Rescue how hard it is to balance a $194 million city budget.

Take as an example the five black phoebes found in a bag in a Springer Road garage in late June after a resident had mistakenly chased away their mother. Piled on top of each other in a plastic strawberry basket lined with a few squares of toilet paper, they see the door to their climate-controlled box open, so they wiggle their heads free and start gaping.

What they don't realize is that it's still 11 minutes before feeding time, and director Terry Keible is only opening the door to show off the animals to a reporter.

At its final budget hearing in mid-June, Mountain View canceled its $16,000-a-year contract with Wildlife Rescue, managed through the police department. That same week, Palo Alto hit the nonprofit with a $19,000 cut. Both cities cited the budget crunch.

In the span of one week, the nonprofit had lost nearly a fifth of its funding, and Keible was warning that it might no longer be able to afford food and medicine for injured phoebes and others in the future.

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