Always wanting to be a veterinarian, Laurian Rauen applied to veterinarian school twice and was accepted both times, but her mother told her that if she chose that path, she would be on her own from there. She decided to listen to her mother’s warnings and never pursued veterinarian school again. However, she had been involved with animals in some capacity throughout her entire life. Working with animals had always been her passion. Ms. Rauen got her first parrot between 30 and 40 years ago, and continued to rescue them for years to come. Unfortunately, her sanctuary was robbed for expensive parrots like macaws and cockatoos. She was then contacted by several people in the industry and learned “the plight of the parrot.” She was shocked to learn that in 1995, the import/export stations for parrots throughout the worlds all closed. She was worried about what impact it would have on the industry, considering cockatoos are native to Australia, Amazons come from South America and other parrots come from places around the world. With the import/export stations being shut down, she realized the country would no longer have access to these beautiful, exotic pets any longer.
Ms. Rauen began her professional career at ERC Horizon Farms in the 1980s and spent 10 seasons at the Winter Miles Trotting Center in Astor, Florida. The former secretary of the Sunshine State Cage Bird Society, she also previously handled for the Orlando Dog Training Club. Since 2000, she serves as the founder and chief executive officer of Wings to New Horizons, Inc. Ms. Rauen’s passion to protect birds and animals has been the no. 1 priority and driving force behind the organization, and they have taken in and saved countless birds that were in horrible condition and left for dead. Currently, plans are in the works to complete a bird sanctuary and avian veterinarian hospital, with the emphasis on breeding endangered, threatened and rare species.
A member on the board of directors for the Oviedo-Winter Springs Chamber of Commerce, Ms. Rauen was recognized as the two-time Ambassador of the Year, as well as her organization being recognized as Nonprofit of the Year. Moving forward, she wants to be able to host pet shop and breeder expos. She also wants to reach out to the Auburn University Veterinary School to notify them of a place for recent graduates to come and gain firsthand experience. Ms. Rauen attributes her success to her faith in God. She has had doors open that she could not have opened herself. She has had many setbacks and has found comfort in her tribulations, and she likes to live with the mindset of “extreme honesty.”