From ANIMAL PEOPLE, September 2007:
LOS ANGELES–The Los Angeles Daily News and KNBC-4 television
on August 30, 2007 amplified emergency appeals from Wildlife
Waystation founder Martine Colette for funding she said was urgently
needed to keep the 31-year-old sanctuary operating.
“We are $1 million in debt, and we have no funds left,”
Colette told Daily News staff writer Dana Bartholomew. “Things as
they are today will not continue for the next week, or two weeks,
Colette suggested that if an immediate infusion of cash was
not forthcoming, the 400 Waystation animals would “become the
county’s problem, the state’s problem,” a threat she has issued
before in years of disputes with regulatory agencies.
Closed for 110 days by the Calif-ornia Department of Fish &
Game in 2000, Wildlife Waystation never fully regained the permits
it needed to host donors’ visits, which until then were the
sanctuary’s chief revenue engine. More than just generating
on-the-spot donations, visits tended to inspire new donors to give
regularly, and established donors to give more.
“Trying to obtain a permit is a long process,” Colette told
KNBC. “There are many regulations we have to meet in order to get a
permit, and we cannot meet those regulations at all. In the
meantime we have gone broke trying to run the sanctuary without being
open to the public.”
Colette estimated that Wildlife Waystation operating costs
currently run at about $5,000 a day. This is consistent with the
most recent Waystation filings of IRS Form 990. ANIMAL PEOPLE has
found that determining the balance of Waystation program expense,
fundraising costs, and administrative expenditures has been
difficult, however, because of idiosyncracies in how the forms have
“Last month,” wrote Bartholomew, “five of the eight
Waystation board members quit, apparently burned out over troubles
at the beleaguered agency.”
Colette at the end of August laid off general manager Alfred
J. Durtschi, who was paid $107,153 in the most recently reported
fiscal year, and also laid off half of the 48 Waystation caretakers
Colette told news media that Southern California Edison had
threatened to cut off the sanctuary electricity due to unpaid bills,
and that the Waystation was also about to lose propane delivery.
Former Waystation board chair Robert Lorsch resigned on July
1, 2007, after five years of intense involvement.