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Ogden wildlife rehabilitation center finds potential new home

Posted at 9:41 PM, Jun 20, 2023

OGDEN, Utah — The Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah believes it has found its next temporary home.

For 12 years, the non-profit organization has sat next door to the George S. Eccles Dinosaur Park near the mouth of Ogden Canyon. Now, the center could be moving to a property near Washington Boulevard and Third Street.

“We kind of felt like we belonged there. We were very much engulfed in nature,” said executive director DaLyn Marthaler. “Here, we have to talk over traffic.”

A few months ago, the city told the center they would not renew their current lease so the Dinosaur Park could expand. The center was told it had 180 days to move.

Marthaler said they stopped taking in animals May 15.

“This whole situation still doesn’t feel real,” she said. “I can’t make sense of it.”

After weeks of searching, the center found a spot across the street from an Arctic Circle and next to a rock store. It’s an old vacuum shop and the former home of Donny and Marie Osmond’s grandparents.

“We had no fundraising time,” she said. “We have to be able to take out a loan and make payments on that loan and this is what we could afford.”

The building isn’t “for sure” just yet. It’s fate is in the hands of the city planner. If approved, there’s still a long road ahead to prepare the facility and also find another off-site property to house the animals.

“We cannot house them out here. This is not conducive to their rehabilitation. It’s really loud, there’s a lot of pollution going on right here, we don’t want to expose them to that,” said Marthaler.

The property is a contrast from the 10,000 square feet they’re used to. This new location is half that. However, Marthaler said the amount of care and compassion hasn’t changed.

If approved, the location would only be for five years.

“It’s going to take a lot of work to make it what we need it to be, but the foundation’s there,” she said.