RSU Libraries to Host Alumnus Dan Hardt of Wild Heart Ranch

Dan Hardt Wild Heart Ranch

A wildlife rehabilitator cares for and assists an injured animal. However, through wildlife rehabilitation, these individuals make an impact far beyond that one animal. For Rogers State University alumnus Dan Hardt (’11), volunteering at the Rogers County Wild Heart Ranch saved his life.

Hardt will be the guest speaker at the Stratton Taylor Library’s community event on February 22 at 2 p.m. in room 207. The “Wild and the Wounded” will educate RSU students and the public on how to care for and assist wildlife that have been injured or orphaned.

Working alongside founder Annette King, Hardt raises funds and awareness for the state and federally licensed rehabilitation facility to ensure every animal has a chance to survive and thrive.

“Rehabilitators help people connect with individual animals​, which expands their sense of connection and stewardship of the natural world​. Psychological research has found this to have a positive effect on well-being and mood, thereby promoting positive mental health,” Hardt said. “I realized that I was just as broken and lost as most of the animals that we were taking in. It was therapeutic to connect and care for them.”

Annette, Dan, staff and volunteers, as well as Wild Heart’s board of directors has created a strong and capable place where all wild animals, as well as some severe cases of suffering domestic animals, can receive professional medical and supportive care until they can be released back into the wild.

At the end of 2021, more than 76,000 wild animals left the facility with a second chance at survival. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old.

RSU’s Stratton Taylor Library provides informational resources and educational programs that support the intellectual and cultural development of RSU students, faculty, staff and community members.

“At the library, we strive to cultivate an environment of research and learning that is valuable both in and out of the classroom,” Kaitlin Crotty, interim library director, said. “With orphan season arriving unprecedentedly early this year and placing an increased number of newborn wildlife at risk, we felt this would be an excellent opportunity to bring in a wildlife rehabilitator to guide both our university and local communities to a better understanding of the needs of these vulnerable creatures.”

For prospective students interested in environmental conservation, RSU offers a bachelor’s degree in biology with an option in environmental conservation along with associate degrees in biological science or physical science with options in geology and chemistry.

RSU students have access to a 100-acre, nature reserve at the Claremore campus that serves both research and recreation purposes and the RSU Scientific Research Station, a 260-acre undeveloped site about five miles southwest of Claremore. 

For more information about the RSU Libraries, visit