Palmer woman turns barn into wildlife refuge center - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Palmer woman turns barn into wildlife refuge center

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A Palmer woman is taking her love for animals to the next level.  

She's turning a barn on her farm into a fully functioning wildlife refuge center.

Soon, the project will be complete, but before that happens the barn needs supplies.

Michelle LaRoche has always been fond of animals.

"Now, I've just kind of wanted to do more," LaRoche said.

About a year ago, LaRoche 's passion for animals transformed into an idea, to turn the barn she uses for her own projects on Pleasant Street into a wildlife refuge center.

"My husband and I talked about turning the little building into something more productive," LaRoche added.

It's 16 feet by 40 feet and LaRoche 's land offers plenty of space for the animals to roam.

LaRoche is currently in the process of becoming a licensed rehabilitator with the state.  Once she gets that approved, the animals can start flowing in.

"We'll start with small mammals like raccoons, fox, squirrels," LaRoche explained.

Earlier this month, LaRoche announced her plans for the barn on Facebook, looking for items that might help her fill the barn out.

"From the local residents, I've gotten cages, carriers, blankets, puppy pads, towels, all kinds of things that I'll use regularly, day to day, which really helps because as a rehabilitator, it's all out of pocket," LaRoche said.

LaRoche told Western Mass News she's grateful for the support she's received and by the end of June, she thinks she'll be able to return that kindness by helping the animals of Palmer and beyond.

"Even if I just help one animal, it's worth it for me," LaRoche said.

LaRoche is still looking for more things to fill the barn.  To find out how you can help head over to our website, CLICK HERE.

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