Old mascara wands serve big purpose for local wild animals

SKYLAND, NC (WSPA) — A small item that almost every woman has is making a big difference for wildlife rehabilitators.

After a post made by Appalachian Wild Refuge went viral, thousands of people from across the country are cleaning off their old mascara wands and dropping them in the mail.

Viral post by Savannah Trantham with Appalachian Wildlife Refuge

Appalachian Wild Refuge is a non-profit, based in Skyland, that takes care of wild animals in need.  Some have been abandoned and others have been injured.

“She gets one syringe of banana but she doesn’t get that until the end because it’s like giving her the chocolate,” said Janice Burleson while carefully feeding a squirrel with a syringe.

The squirrel gets round-the-clock human care along with hundreds of other animals that can’t be released.

“I’ve also done bear, crow, beaver, possums, cottontail,” Burleson said.

After the meal, a mascara wand is used to brush the squirrel’s fur.

“Because the bristles are so close together, it’s perfect for gently removing fly eggs and fleas,” Burleson explained.

Their recent Facebook post, asking for people to send in brushes, is getting global attention.  Already, it has more than 59.9 thousand shares.

Their story has been published by Allure, Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Teen Vogue, and many others.

“The rest is history,” rehabilitator Janice Burleson says enthusiastically.

The packages are pouring in with mascara wands, handwritten notes, but also much needed supplies the non-profit needs to open a new triage facility.  It will be located in Candler, North Carolina.

You can mail donations to: P.O. Box 1211, Skyland, NC 28776

For more information, click here for the ‘Wands for Wildlife’ website.

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