Walden's Puddle (WP) is committed to wildlife
rehabilitation, education and conservation. WP provides care and
treatment to sick, injured, orphaned and displaced wildlife that are brought to
us by people from all over Tennessee, with the goal being to return the
rehabilitated animals to the wild. We also provide hands-on environmental,
educational and conservation programs for Middle Tennessee residents including
the Scouts, college students, children and seniors in various settings, that
will help them live with a greater appreciation for the wildlife around
them. These programs educate the public on: wildlife ethics, welfare and
laws; what to do if you find an injured or abandoned animal; and the services
we provide at Walden's Puddle.
Walden's Puddle was
founded in 1989 by a small "back-yard" animal rehabilitator named
Vicky Carder. In 1995, the Louie M. & Betty M. Phillips Foundation
donated a 4,000 sq. ft. building located on 14 picturesque acres in
Joelton, TN where we currently reside. The building was named in memory of
Hazel and Tom Buntin. Betty M. Phillips had a passion for wildlife, and
through Tom, the foundation found out about Walden's Puddle. Continuing
that passion, the property now houses seven pre-release mammal runs, one large
fawn corral, the Kristen Marie Holzapfel Memorial flight barn for large
predator birds, our Flight to Freedom songbird barn, our new flexible use flight barn with six separate holding pens
attached, turtle pond and pen, and nine non-releasable educational animal
ambassador enclosures. And we are steadily expanding. We have seven
full-time and five part-time staff who serve as animal care givers and
administrators, a five member Executive Committee, and an active/functional
Walden's Puddle is
completely unique in that we are the only professionally-staffed wildlife
rehabilitation and education center in Middle Tennessee that cares for orphaned
and injured native Tennessean wildlife. We are small but use our space
and resources very effectively. We
are proud to be a cohesive team of paid positions and in-kind givers, with a
shared vision and passion for Middle TN wildlife.
First, we admitted and provided top quality care for over 3,300 animals of 120 different species. Second, we offer many educational seminars at Walden’s Puddle, but also at schools, social groups, church groups and others throughout middle TN. We continue to maintain a solid relationship with our donors, provide complete transparency and regulatory compliance, and build new relationships with our community and community’s foundations. We send out 4 informative newsletters/appeals yearly to a donor base of over 8,000, which we built from nothing as previous donor files were destroyed. Fourth, through generous donations, we have been able to clean and repair our facilities infrastructure, repair existing animal enclosures and build new pre-release enclosures to accommodate our increasing animal admissions. Finally, we have engaged the Boy Scouts in our endeavors the DC4 participants, interns from area colleges, senior citizens, Hands on Nashville/Clarksville for Volunteers, various civic and church groups and many local businesses which have featured us as their charitable cause for mixer nights and other creative business oriented events.
Our everyday needs can also be found on
Animal Care Supplies: bleach,
produce, paper towels, baby food, dry dog, puppy and cat chow, bird seed,
batteries, liquid dish and liquid laundry soap, tree nuts, walnuts, peanuts
& pecans and apple juice and apple sauce, and gift cards (gas, Lowes, Home
Depot, Tractor Supply, Walmart, Big Lots, Kroger, etc.
Administrative needs: Forever Stamps
Site Needs: Experienced Carpenters, Lumber, Native plants, and Mulch
greatly need and value our VOLUNTEERS! We have a very small staff,
and care for more animals each year. Volunteers are literally
life-savers. You can volunteer no where else and get the thrill of
holding a Great Horned Owl while his cage is cleaned or bottle feed a baby
ground hog or beaver!
I have a long history with Walden’s Puddle. I am well known
as a recording artist but I have been an animal rescuer (wild and domestic)
since childhood as well. In Los Angeles I worked with “Wildlife Waystation”.
When I came to Nashville I found “Walden’s Puddle”. I have been a donor since
it was formed and I took and still take all of my wildlife rescues there. I
have also held 5 “Lane Brody Wildlife Benefits” for Walden’s Puddle and
raised over $60,000 at these benefits where I and many of my friends in the
entertainment field performed. I then joined the board. It was at the end of
that 1 ½ year period that two
candidates were brought in for consideration as the new Executive Director. One
of them was Donald Deathridge. I
was the only one to vote no! Following my impression and instinct, I felt it
would be a huge mistake for the organization. I cited all my reservations and
warnings verbally and in writing and I left the board not wanting to be responsible
for the outcome. I continued as a donor and I gave my donations as specific
things, which I purchased and gave while Mr. Deathridge was in the ED position,
and suspended my “LB Benefits”. After three years, he was arrested for
embezzlement and was found guilty of multiple felony convictions. After much prayer and by the
grace of God, I stepped up to take the Chairman’s position when all advice was
to let this organization die because of the plethora of issues it was left with
as a result of the alleged misconduct. To let such a vital important healing
place die would be to let negativity, abuse, misconduct and neglect win. I
could not turn away. I feel we are stronger, as a community, than such bad
things. I stepped up in June of 2010 to rescue the organization that is
supposed to be the rescuer. In my dedication I am often working 18-hour days to
bring it out of this dark chapter. I am grateful for our donors who have stayed
with “The Puddle” and to the blessed giving Foundations who have responded to
our great need.
We are now back in the BLACK!!! All the misdeeds of the previous Director have been righted, thanks to the Board and the Middle Tennessee community! We have the lien back for the property, no more debt with the IRS and are slowly but surely winning back our previous donors. We are in the best financial shape ever in our existence. In my humble servitude
to this mission, I have total faith in God and in our giving community. I am in
for the long run, God willing.
Indirect Public Support HelpIndirect public support represents revenue received through solicitation campaigns. This includes funding United Way and other federated fundraising organizations, but does not include donor designated contributions.
Earned Revenue HelpEarned revenue represents income generated in direct exchange for a product or service.Earned income includes income from government contracts.
Pet overpopulation is the most serious issue facing domesticated animals in Middle Tennessee. Many ongoing animal-related issues – including dog bites, disease, animal hoarding, cruelty to animals, and high euthanasia rates in shelters – ultimately stem from overpopulation, which has posed a complex dilemma in Middle Tennessee and across the country for decades.
More attention has been brought to this issue in the last 15 years, and many nonprofit groups in Middle Tennessee are working to offer low-cost spay/neuter services. Some government-funded animal-control programs also offer spay/neuter and adoption services.
Copyright © 2014 The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee
3833 Cleghorn Avenue, Nashville, TN 37215