Durand woman’s wildlife sanctuary born of lifelong love of animals

Local News

DURAND, Ill. (WTVO) — Karen Herdklotz took a lifetime love of animals and transformed it into Durand’s Hoo Haven Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education Center.

“Everybody knows that I love animals,” she said.

Before opening Hoo Haven, at 10823 Cleveland Road, Herdklotz and her husband began rehabilitating animals in their home, more than 35 years ago.

“I have this rabbit we found, this baby squirrel. Pretty soon, we were doing ten, twelve animals in the kitchen,” she said.

A registered nurse for more than 30 years, Herdklotz couldn’t turn away any critters who needed her help.

“I don’t pretend to be a vet, okay? I use my nursing skills, which has probably been 80 percent of everything, than I transition over [to a veterinarian].”

Soon after, the couple got state and federal licenses to continue their work.

Hoo Haven has evolved into an educational hub, filled with opportunities.

“More interns, more students, more animals. We’re getting into the teaching,” Herdklotz said. “I’ve already written three letters to vet schools, telling them what that person did and why they would be an asset.”

The rescue operation is non-profit and volunteer run, staffed by about 30 volunteers ranging from teen to adult, which is the most it has ever had at one time.

They help with the feeding and maintenance of the animals.

“Everybody can do their part, because none of us own Mother Earth,” Herdklotz said. “This is our mission back to God, to give, to show we appreciate all the animals Mother Earth and the people that are needed to take care of [them].”

Hoo Haven is always looking for a helping hand, whether it be a donation, a visit, or time. For more information, click here.

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