|Published:||Jul 23, 2012 7:25 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Jul 23, 2012 7:25 PM EDT|
PINE ISLAND, Fla. -- A husband and wife team are taking their love for nature to a new level. They're working to start a wildlife sanctuary on Pine Island. Now they're asking the community to help make their dream a reality.
Pine Island is known for its rugged beauty and pristine nature. But when an injured animal needs help, realtor Matt Ristau and his wife Sally are becoming their unlikely allies.
"It's all about the love of wildlife," said realtor Matt Ristau.
Although busy at their real estate office they are determined to bring a haven for hurt animals: Pine Island Wildlife Sanctuary to life, hoping it will help out animals closer to home.
"You have CROW out on Sanibel and Peace River in Punta Gorda but not much else in between," he said.
The idea for a wildlife sanctuary came to them about four to five months ago. Right now - they're a pending non-profit organization, and they have support --from two wildlife veterinarians and a growing board. But they're looking for a place to put their dream into reality.
"Right now we are reaching out to the Pine Island community for land, either commercially or agriculturally zoned land," said Ristau.
They're also looking for volunteers and donations, and have support from the local community.
Once approved, they'll be able to rehabilitate animals like pelicans, otters and osprey.
All of it, done -- they say -- without making a dime.
"We're just really excited but for it to work it will take the community to get behind us," he said.
Interested in learning more, volunteering or donating? Visit their website here: http://www.pineislandwildlifesanctuary.com/