Owensboro family runs animal rehabilitation center

Owensboro family runs animal rehabilitation center
Published: Aug. 19, 2022 at 5:25 PM CDT
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OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - An Owensboro family has spent the last 12 years helping orphaned or injured animals before releasing them back into the wild, but some people believe they should just leave the animals alone.

There’s something wild going on at Yellow Creek Park in Owensboro. It’s all because of the Allen family, who runs the Nurture to Nature Wildlife Rehabilitation Center in town.

The Allens’ love of animals has given them a unique reputation in town.

“People come up to me every single day and say, ‘What new animals have you worked with today?’” said Grant Allen, who started Nurture to Nature with his parents.

12 years ago, the family started the Nurture to Nature Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. Their goal is to help orphaned or injured animals get healthy and then return to the wild, and the family says they have helped thousands so far.

They keep some of the animals at Yellow Creek Park, while the rest live at their home.

“We don’t live in a traditional household,” said family matriarch Kristin Allen.

There you can find a wide variety of animals native to the area. They say some family members have even complained at times their home is more cages than furniture.

The family tells 14 News that some people are critical of what they do, saying nature is cruel and they should just let it take its course. The Allens disagree.

“Nature isn’t the only factor here, humans are. It’s just like, animals are getting hit by cars, it’s not that animal’s fault that it’s getting hit by a car,” said Kristin. “There’s constant conflict between the human race and animals, and we try to just balance it out.”

For example, on Friday morning, one of the Allens saw a possum on the side of the road that had been hit by a car and killed. She stopped to check the possum’s pouch, and sure enough, found two baby possums alive and well.

They say it’s hard not to get attached to the animals, but it’s for the best to send them off once they’re ready.

“It’s sometimes a little tearful, you know, just to see them go, but it’s always rewarding, always,” said RaKara Allen.

That was the case for a Red-Tailed Hawk on Friday morning, who made it back to the wild after a brief stay with the Allens.

For those who would like to learn more about the Nurture to Nature Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, or even see ways to donate, click here.