Roanoke Wildlife Rescue Will Continue Operations - - ABC13

Roanoke Wildlife Rescue Will Continue Operations


Roanoke Co., VA - Just a week after state officials confiscated more than 80 animals from Roanoke Wildlife Rescue, that group's director has resigned but says the mission will go on.

The organization that has been saving animals for nearly a quarter century.

Last Thursday, the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries pulled Dorothy Runion's permit to handle wild animals primarily because of ongoing issues with her record keeping.

"It's not that the paperwork isn't important, it is important. But that doesn't save a life," said Runion.

With the permits went all of the animals Runion was working to save.

"Initially it was very shocking.  I was kind of an emotional wreck.  But we've been talking about needing a change and maybe this is what it takes to make that happen," said Runion.

After thinking about for a week, Runion decided the best way to help her group was to step down as director and focus her talents on the 27 other volunteers that make up the rescue operation.

"I'm going to be a mentor. I'm going to help train Level II's with certain things and medical skills they need to know to be successful."

While those volunteers continue taking in some animals, Runion says the group is looking for new land to move the central operation to an operation left all, but empty following last week's raid.

"I am not going to dump this because it's too important to the valley. It's too important to southwestern Virginia. And I'm not a quitter. If I was I wouldn't be doing this as long as I have. These animals are important. They deserve to be cared for. They deserve the best that they can have," said Runion.

Until land is found, Roanoke Wildlife Rescue will continue to run supplies and logistics from its headquarters to the volunteers still permitted to handle wildlife.

Over the years, the group estimates it has helped rehabilitate some 50,000 wild animals and birds.

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