5:09 PM EDT, September 12, 2012
Some of the animals taken from the Roanoke Wildlife Rescue have made their way back to rehabilitation centers in Roanoke.
There are several other Wildlife rehabilitation centers in our area. Some of them received the animals from the Roanoke Wildlife Rescue after those animals were transferred to the Virginia Wildlife Center in Waynesboro last Thursday.
WDBJ7 went to the Southwest Virginia Wildlife Center in Roanoke where they had received a few squirrels and other animals that had been at the Roanoke Wildlife Rescue.
The director of that center, Sabrina Garvin says if you find wildlife that's been hurt by a cat or dog or hit by a car or window to first put gloves on and put the animal in a cloth lined box with a secure lid and then call a rehabilitation center.
To see a list of licensed rehabilitators in your hometown, click here.
The Roanoke Wildlife Rescue in Southwest Roanoke County has been rehabilitating animals for 24 years.
But as of last Thursday the center is no more, and Director Dorothy Runion is not happy about it.
Nearly 70 animals were transferred to the Wildlife Center of Virginia in Waynesboro last Thursday.
Officials with the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries who seized the animals say she cooperated and didn't want her to be seen as a villain in any way.
While Runion says she was completely thrown off when her permits were revoked, wildlife officers say this has been a long time coming.
Of the 68 animals taken from the Roanoke Wildlife Rescue 28 of them are still patients, and 21 of them were transferred to other rehab centers. Fifteen of the animals had to be euthanized because of pre-existing conditions.
Dorothy Runion says officials came in swiftly. And she still isn't quite sure why.
There was lots of commotion,” Runion said. "Nobody had the decency to talk to me."
Runion received 27 violations since 1994, and the state says that was enough.
Violations included a failure to submit annual reports. There were issues with the cleanliness of the cages. And she was cited for caring for animals, like bears, as recently as the summer. She didn't have permit to do so.
Ed Clark is the President of the Wildlife Center of Virginia and he says anyone who rehabilitates wild animals has copies of all the rules and regulations.
“Everybody knows what the rules are,” Clark said.
While The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries says revoking her permit has been building up over time, Runion asserts most of this is political.
"That's crap,” Runion said.
Ed Clark says rules are rules, and as issues like this go, there's a new head of permits who isn't letting things slide as much.
But Runion says she's still frustrated that she's closed and frustrated with what she calls a lack of transparency.
"I was never told this couldn't be done," Runion said.
We asked Runion if she is going to appeal, and she told us she has no inclination to do so. She says she's so frustrated by all of this, and she doesn't want to go through it all again.
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