Danville, VA - Wild animals in Southside Virginia are getting a second chance thanks to one special lady.
Tanya Lovern works as the vice president of a data entry company, but her true passion is for animals. She takes in injured and orphaned wild animals and nurses them back to health. Lovern is the only licensed and state approved wildlife rehabilitator serving Pittsylvania, Halifax and Henry Counties.
Since 2005, she has been bringing wild critters into her home in Danville but also into her heart. Lovern loves her job, though it may not be quite what she would have expected.
"If you would have asked me this when I was younger, 'Would you be dealing with wildlife?' No, I was all about going to school and getting my degrees and having a job and being in business," she said.
Lovern runs her own rescue and rehab organization out of her home called the Southside Virginia Wildlife Center. She takes in injured and orphaned animals, like squirrels, raccoons and even skunks.
"I like to educate people as to why this little guy right here is so important, why I get up every three hours to make sure he has something to eat. I believe it's because this is a purpose that's worthy of my time and energy," said Lovern.
Just this year she has taken in more than 200 animals and she is expecting more.
"The animals are probably going to triple. They do every year," she said.
She hopes that more animal lovers will take the time to get certified.
"Contact me, we'll get them trained, they can intern with me and they can become wildlife rehabbers themselves," said Lovern.
In the mean time, Lovern has her hands full. But she wouldn't have it any other way.
"It's the best part of my life right now other than my family....it's the best part of my life, and I'm really excited to be able to share it with the community and be able to help."
Lovern wants to emphasize that these animals are not intended to be pets, and they are all released back into the wild.
If you can't donate your time, she accepts monetary donations, as well as blankets, food bowls and baby bottles.
You can donate to Southside VA Wildlife, Inc at VA Bank & Trust or send donations to P.O. Box 11854 Danville 24543.