Amanda Lollar, Founder and President
Amanda is an author of both scientific and popular literature about bats, including her most recent work, Standards and Medical Management for Captive Insectivorous Bats. Amanda is a licensed bat care specialist in the State of Texas, permitted to work with threatened and endangered species. Growing up she had the unique existence of bouncing between the life of an army brat and a farm girl, and -starting with a crippled chicken- began rescuing animals at around age twelve. In 1988, she found an injured bat on a hot Texas sidewalk. She nursed it back to health, and in the process this small helpless creature taught Amanda the enchanting language of bats, sparking her indelible love for this remarkable species. In 1994, Amanda liquidated her furniture business to found Bat World Sanctuary. She credits her military upbringing with giving her the discipline it took to keep the organization going despite tremendous odds, and credits her farm life for enabling her to love all creatures great and small. Since founding the organization in 1994, Amanda has volunteered her time to Bat World Sanctuary 7 days a week, 365 days per year, 12 to 16 hours per day as the Executive Director and Lead Animal Caretaker. In 1995 Amanda discovered the song of the Brazilian free-tailed bat and later discovered that these bats have over 25 different vocalizations they use to communicate. In August of 2016 Amanda received The Carol Noon Award for Sanctuary Excellence and has twice been nominated for the Indianapolis Prize, the world’s leading prize for conservation. Click here to read her CV.
Dottie Hyatt, Vice President
Dottie Hyatt functions as Vice President of Bat World Sanctuary with a BS in Business Management. She is a retired International Project Manager (PMP) and an active licensed bat specialist and lecturer. Dottie was formerly associated with the USDA and has worked with everything from bunnies to manatees in her native south Florida. She has focused her rescue, rehabilitation and conservation efforts exclusively on bats since 2000.
Dottie is authorized to teach 16 hours of continuing bat education to ACO’s (Animal Control Officers) and is the author of Lil Drac, the Tiny Bat Who Rocked a Million Hearts. She has had articles in the press from the Washington Post to the Ft. Worth Star Telegram to the Miami Herald. Dottie has also been featured on television and the radio.
Kate Rugroden, Director of Special Projects & VP of Operations
Kate is a Business Systems Analyst/Project Manager, with both undergraduate and graduate degrees in IT Management, and she is a licensed wildlife rehabilitator specializing in bats, raccoons, and opossums. She is also the director of Bat World’s rescue center in Arlington, TX. In addition, she is chair of the Stakeholders’ Committee for the National White Nose Syndrome Response Team, and is the community representative for the University of Texas – Arlington’s Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC).
Kate is approved by the Texas State Department of Health Services to provide up to 60 hours of continuing education to Animal Control officers on wildlife topics, and is also approved by the Texas Department of Agriculture to provide 3 hours of continuing education on bats to Structural Pest Control Operators. She is a passionate teacher and mentor, sharing her love of all animals and especially bats, with everyone she meets. Her first book, The Essential Bat, was published by Bat World Sanctuary in August, 2012. It is currently in its fifth printing. Kate instructs Bat World’s one-day workshops which are held throughout the year. Kate has volunteered her services to Bat World Sanctuary since 2004.
Jacqueline Sutherland, Secretary
Jacqueline Sutherland has been an animal control officer for in the state of Texas since 2011. She has worked with animals her entire life, primarily dogs, cats and horses. Her initial exposure to a bat was with a fellow officer on call who was unfortunately uneducated and terrified of bats. However, when Jacqui saw the bat she was instantly in intrigued and decided to take a wildlife class with Bat World Director Kate Rugroden. After seeing a bat up close Jacqui knew immediately that the winged mammal was going to be her specialty in rehabilitation. Although Jacqui continues to foster domestic animals in her spare time (as well as rock climb and spend as much time as possible outdoors) she remains obsessed with bats. Having the skill set to intervene and save the lives of bats has been the most rewarding accomplishment in her professional life. Jacqui is a member of the Texas Animal Control Association and the National Animal Control Association. She is also certified in wildlife rehabilitation and acts as co-instructor for Bat World’s bat rehabilitation workshops. Jacqui also has a blog designed to educate readers about humane law enforcement and animal welfare issues.
Denise Tomlinson, Zoo/USFWS Liaison
Denise Tomlinson has a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and has over two decades of experience with the husbandry and the captive care of multiple species of bats, both indigenous and exotic. She also has over a decade of experience in veterinary medicine. She has served as a member of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association’s Taxon Advisory Group for Chiroptera (bats) since 2000, whereas actively contributing to the husbandry guidelines and management of bats held in zoological institutions and is the former co-chair the Florida Bat Working Group. Denise has presented at professional and scientific symposiums, instructed multiple workshops, including multiple intensive week-long workshops relative to the rehabilitation, husbandry and captive care of insectivorous bats and has authored various articles and chapters relative to the husbandry and captive care of bats. She has over 100 hours in training specific to the husbandry and daily management of fruit bats, specifically Pteropus from the Lubee Bat Conservancy. She has been an active board member of Bat World Sanctuary since 2001.
Lori Sanderson, Community Relations
Lori grew up in the world of Animal Welfare and has always been passionate about animal care. The daughter of a municipal Animal Services manager, she has spent her entire adult life working as a veterinary medical assistant, shelter manager, and director for various private veterinary clinics and animal welfare agencies. During Hurricane Katrina, she spent 45 days in New Orleans orchestrating relief efforts for lost, abandoned, and distressed pets. Lori is a licensed veterinary medical assistant and animal control officer, and is currently employed as the Director of Intake for the Humane Society of North Texas. In addition, she has served on the Board of Directors for Texas Unites for Animals since 2010.
Lori’s primary interest in animal welfare is understanding the medical needs of lost, abandoned, or distressed animals, and ensuring that they receive the very best care possible. She believes that “small steps build mountains”, and she likes being part of the “small steps”, because she never loses sight of what makes the big picture happen.