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Southpoint Wildlife Sanctuary: Where Rescued Animals Find Love


The Wildlife Freedom Foundation — WFF — Southpoint animal sanctuary is more than you probably know. And better than you expect.

By David Stone

WFF‘s sanctuary, often misnamed as “cat” sanctuary, cares for multiple animals in distress. And now that it moves to a new home, an introduction is in order.

About WFF’s Southpoint Wildlife Sanctuary

First time I met WFF executive director Rossana Ceruzzi, she carried medical supplies on her bicycle, caring for sick and injured animals. At the time, her work was all freelance, and no foundation had been formed for organizing efforts.

Original WFF Animal Sanctuary in Southpoint
Although this building inside WFF’s original sanctuary was home to years of cats needing help, it’s only a part of what the foundation does here.

On assignment, I watched as she tended to a goose with a damaged wing seeing shelter behind Goldwater Hospital. She did the work for nothing, just being an animal lover, and depended on volunteer vets for supplied and care when needed.

Even then, she was adept at navigating problems posed by human intrusion into animal domains. A groundskeeper mowed grass nearby, and she persuaded him to stop until she could tend to the injured bird.

Although volunteering additional time to the now defunct Island Cats group, she would not become as heavily feline focused until they folded.

WFF Southpoint Animal Sanctuary
Inside the WFF Southpoint Animal Sanctuary, an orphaned and rescued gosling receives protection and loving care.

A Loving History: WFF’s Southpoint Wildlife Sanctuary

For nearly 20 years now, Ceruzzi has saved and improved the lives of countless animals on Roosevelt Island. She credits her Italian childhood for teaching her the love of wild things.

Look closely. You can just see the tail of an opossum receiving sheltered care inside the WFF Southpoint Wildlife Sanctuary.

Locally, much support comes from RIOC by way of public purpose fund grants. And as a questionable plan to redesign forced a move, RIOC’s built a replacement shelter deeper inside Southpoint.

With too many animals to help by bicycle, Ceruzzi travels with a car loaded with supplies.

How you can help WFF help animals…

The Wildlife Freedom Foundations seeks and gladly accepts cash donations.

Canadian Geese Sheltered in the Sanctuary
Protected within the sanctuary, sick and injured Canadian geese line up for care at the gate.
Work never ends for animals under Ceruzzi’s watch. Here she carries a cage in which an opossum heals into the new sanctuary.

A New WFF Southpoint Wildlife Sanctuary

While forcing a move, RIOC built a larger and improved space for WFF to house and protect its animals.

New WFF Sanctuary
Geese, opossum, cats and others will find care in a new, larger space.

Troubles may loom ahead, though. Much as WFF was not told until recently that their sanctuary was build on top of toxic wastes, there is evidence that the frequently careless state agency has done the same thing here.

Old growth trees prove that the soil is not protected by a membrane, and RIOC refuses to disclose test results or even whether any were ever done.

Somehow, Rossana Ceruzzi, WFF and her animals will manage, nevertheless.


    • After pressure was brought to bear on RIOC, they backed off their demands and executed a contract that does not include any rent. In this case, the pen was mightier than the sword and the WFF animal sanctuary is thriving. Thanks for supporting and asking.

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