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Virginia Opossum Room dedicated in memory of Arnoff

By Staff | Mar 20, 2019
PHOTO PROVIDED Sue Spohr, daughter of Ann Arnoff, cuts the ribbon to dedicate the room.
PHOTO PROVIDED The sign above the newly dedicated Virginia Opossum Room.
PHOTO PROVIDED Ann Arnoff’s daughter and granddaughter, Sue and Rachel Spohr, with one of the new incubators.
PHOTO PROVIDED Friends and family of Ann Arnoff view the newly dedicated Virginia Opossum Room.
PHOTO PROVIDED A painting of Ann Arnoff with Stanley, a Virginia opossum and former CROW Animal Ambassador.

Family and friends of Ann Arnoff gathered at the Clinic for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife on March 12 for a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Ann Arnoff Virginia Opossum Room in the wildlife hospital.

As a volunteer and CROW supporter for nearly 30 years, Arnoff served as president of the board of directors and chair of Taste of the Islands. She loved teaching CROW visitors, especially children, about wildlife rehabilitation during presentations filled with stories of her experiences. She loved all wildlife, but Virginia opossums held a special place in her heart.

“Having an opossum room, equipped with incubators to improve their survival rates, is the quintessential way to honor her memory,” Arnoff’s daughter, Sue Spohr, said before cutting the ribbon at the doorway to the room.

On average, CROW admits over 400 Virginia opossums each year, many of which are orphaned when their mother is struck and killed on the roadway. The Ann Arnoff Virginia Opossum Room is home to the orphaned joeys – the term used for a baby opossum – as they are raised at CROW until they are old enough to be released back to the wild.

The room is equipped with three recently purchased, state-of-the-art incubators that allow detailed temperature and humidity control to mimic the conditions inside a mother opossum’s pouch. Funding for the incubators was provided by the Spohr Charitable Trust in memory of Arnoff. Additionally, there are 12 stainless steel enclosures, including ones with a removable divider to create a larger enclosure to house mother opossums admitted with their joeys.