Sylmar (CNS) – Officials at the Wildlife Waystation animal sanctuary, which closed its doors Aug. 13 and is relocating the nearly 500 animals at the facility, asked today for public support to help maintain care for the animals and support its staff during the relocation process.

The sanctuary’s board of directors voted Aug. 11 to surrender its state operating permit. The move came following insurmountable costs that arose due to damage caused by the 2017 Creek Fire and flooding earlier this year.

The state Department of Fish and Wildlife issued a statement earlier this month saying it will “maintain oversight of the facility until all animals can be placed at appropriate wildlife facilities.”

Waystation officials said Tuesday the relocation process “is expected to take up to one year.”

“CDFW and Wildlife Waystation’s primary concern is for the health and welfare of the animals,” according to the Waystation. “No animals will be euthanized during this process.”

Officials with the sanctuary asked “for the public’s support to fund direct animal care, welfare and maintenance as we close the facility. Most importantly, we need support for the remaining dedicated staff that have taken care of these animals for decades.”

Donations can be made at wildlifewaystation.org.

The Waystation was incorporated in 1976 and served as a sanctuary for animals including tigers, lions and chimpanzees. According to its website, the facility “has helped more than 77,000 abused, abandoned, orphaned and injured

animals” since its incorporation, including wolves, coyotes, camels, hyenas, reptiles and leopards.