After 16 years of dedicating herself to wild animals here in the Tri-State, the organizer behind the agency known as Misfit Island is regrettably calling it quits.
If the name ‘Misfit Island’ doesn’t ring a bell, perhaps this viral video will jog your memory.
In the spring of 2015 the agency helped spook the deer who were trapped by the flooding around Highway 41.
Police stopped traffic for a few minutes so they could dart across.
Meet Linda Williams, the woman behind the viral video.
She is many things, a wildlife rehabilitation, former reality TV star, and mother, of everything, from humans to skunks.
But this year that is all about to change.
Williams said, “If I don’t slow down and take care of myself, I will not make it to the age of 50.”
Williams was diagnosed with Nonischemic cardiomyopathy in 2011, and this year, saving the world, or at least 700-900 wild animals a year was just too much.
Williams said,”my heart rhythm goes too high and I have a defibrillator pacemaker combo because I am at a high risk of sudden cardiac death. Ididn’t want to give up on these animals, and by retiring I still feel like I am giving up on these animals because they have no one else.”
For Williams, it was not easy to let go.
Williams said, “when we came up with the name Misfit Island, we decided it was misfit because we feel like we are misfits.”
Williams said,”these animals are special, they have brain damage, they’re blind, they’re three legged, something happened to them to where they’re emotionally disturbed.”
But Williams’ boyfriend and partner, Max Soaper says that day will never come.
Soaper said, “they’re is really no retirement when an animal comes to you for help. You’re going to, I’m- we’re going to help it, you don’t just turn your back on them.”
And for the herd of misfits at 2375 Zion Road, it sounds like they’ll always have a place they belong– rain or shine.
Williams said,”I know every animal that I have ever placed on this property and I still have a bond and connection with them, and I think that is what kept me going so long, because I didn’t want to lose that.”
Williams says all of the animals already released on the property will still have a home, she just won’t be taking in any more to rehabilitate.
Williams next goal is to start her own children’s book series chronicling the adventures had at Misfit Island.