Shirley Cannan has been a tireless volunteer in animal rescue for a number of years. She began as a volunteer for a local wildlife refuge in Orlando, and she spent the next 13 years fostering and rehabilitating a variety of wildlife at home. It was during this time that she became aware of a need in the community. There was no organization in Central Florida willing to care for unwanted exotic animals. Shirley decided to remedy this situation and give a second chance to a variety of surrendered or abandoned exotic animals. Fallin' Pines received non-profit status in 2003. Fallin' Pines assists Orange and Seminole county animal services by accepting exotics, domestics and farm animals. The rescue also takes animals surrendered by their owners. Although Fallin' Pines is not a wildlife rescue center, Shirley also rescues and raises baby squirrels until they can be released. During the twice-yearly baby seasons, she is often caring for 30 or more babies on her own. The amazing thing about Fallin' Pines is that most of the work is done by Shirley alone. She has no staff and only a handful of volunteers. Her days are spent feeding, cleaning and caring for her animals.
Although she gets discouraged at times, the rewards of giving so many animals a second chance at life are worth it.