Meet Our Volunteers

Elizabeth Patton
Elizabeth lives in Fort Worth, Texas and drives over an hour each way to volunteer with BWS. She has worked a registered nurse in emergency services for over 13 years. She mother to two daughters, Maya and Audrey, and three cats, Cactus, Hera, and Luna, as well as a gray banded king snake named Oswald. Elizabeth has always been and animal lover with a special place in her heart for the misunderstood. Elizabeth says “I came across Bat World Sanctuary videos online and began to follow them on every platform, learning as much about bats as I could. I then decided to help make a difference and volunteer. It has by far been one of the most rewarding decisions I have ever made. I love knowing that I’m helping provide a quality life for bats near and far. I enjoy educating those around me about the benefits of bats and helping to diminish the fear people have about them. I hope one day to become a bat rehabilitator and continue to give my time at Bat World for many years to come.”

Julie Hay
Julie has always loved animals and wildlife, and discovered the sanctuary after a video of Statler, our 34 year old Indian flying fox, went viral. She immediately sent in her volunteer application, and she has been with us ever since! Her childhood favorite has always been flying foxes, however, Zogi, a rescued Egyptian fruit bat, soon became her favorite. Julie attended Texas Tech University and manages her family-owned toy store. In her off time she enjoys camping, reading, and relaxing with her two rescued cats. Julie has been a wonderful addition to the Bat World volunteer team, and is always willing to lend a hand when needed.

Kathryn Neil
In addition to dedicating her time to Bat World Sanctuary, Kathryn Neil runs her own rescue and volunteers her time with the Blackland Prairie Raptor Center. She is skilled in creating natural remedies, an extremely talented artist, and has spent much of her life advocating for misunderstood species. Along with her volunteer work, her and her family founded Living Wild Outside, a reptile and amphibian rescue that takes in and rehabilitates injured wildlife, as well as domestic exotics. Living Wild Outside has taken in countless snakes, lizards, turtles and more that have been neglected as pets, and given a new chance at life. Kathryn’s experience with wildlife has proven invaluable in her work with Bat World Sanctuary, and her willingness to assist with any situation that arises makes her a vital asset to the facility. We couldn’t be more grateful to the work she puts in for the bats, and we are incredibly proud of her rescue efforts for those animals that others may turn away.

Lauren Briney
Lauren has always loved animals and wildlife but most especially horses. She fell in love with bats when she attended an educational class given by Bat World Sanctuary when she was only eight years old. Lauren has a BS in Equestrian Science with plans continue down the path of wildlife rehabilitation with an emphasis on public education. She lives with her wonderful farrier husband, three dogs, two cats, four horses and a mule, and ten chickens with three guineas. Her favorite quote is by Steve Irwin: “If we can teach people about wildlife, they will be touched. Share my wildlife with me. Because humans want to save things that they love.” Lauren is always quick to help Bat World Sanctuary during emergency rescues as well as regularly volunteering to help with daily bat care. We are both delighted and grateful to have Lauren on the Bat World Sanctuary team!

Tad Jarrett, DVM
Dr. Jarrett has been working with Bat World Sanctuary since the mid-90s. He helped us create therapies and medications that still benefit bats to this day, methods that are now being used to treat bats the world over. A native of Mission, Texas, Dr. Jarrett previously practiced medicine at Beaumont Veterinary Associates from 1986 to 1987. A graduate of Texas A&M University, Dr. Jarrett received his Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science in 1981. He went on to attend the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine and was awarded his Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine in 1986. In 2006, he was named the “Employer of the Year” by the Mineral Wells Chamber of Commerce. Dr. Jarrett is a member of and Lay Pastor at Palo Pinto County Cowboy Church, and also Co-Team Lead of Celebrate Recovery. He has a number of pets, including dogs, cats and goats. Dr. Jarrett perfected the neutering of fruit bat and has, to date, volunteered his time neutering almost 100 rescued fruit bats at Bat World Sanctuary.

Randy Turner
Bat World Sanctuary volunteer Attorney Randy Turner has been an avid animal lover all his life. He has worked on elephant conservation in Kenya, black rhinoceros conservation in Zimbabwe, and worked extensively with ex-captive orangutans that had been confiscated by the Indonesian government, gradually re-introducing them into the wild.  Randy is past Vice president of the Humane Society of North Texas, served as President of the Texas Humane Legislation Network, and chair of the Animal Law Section of the State Bar of Texas (of which he was a founding member in 1996).  Randy regularly defends animal rights activists and represents several animal rescue and welfare organizations, including Bat World Sanctuary. In June of 2012 Randy represented us against our cyber-stalker and won a judgement of 6.1 Million against her. Without Randy’s help, we may not have survived her vicious online attacks. We are very proud to have him as both legal counsel and a regular volunteer at Bat World Sanctuary.

Kate Rugroden
Kate is a permitted wildlife rehabilitator specializing in bats, raccoons and opossums. In addition to her service as Director of Special Projects for Bat World Sanctuary, she is a founding member and board adviser of Texas Metro Wildlife Rehabilitators, supervises the activities of more than 3 dozen volunteers, and serves as the community representative on the Institutional Animal Care and Use committee at UT-Arlington. She also serves as Chair of the Stakeholder Committee for the National White Nose Syndrome Response Team, and is approved by the Texas Department of State Health Services to provide up to 60 hours of continuing education credit to Animal Control officers throughout the state, and by the Texas Department of Agriculture to provide 3 hours of continuing education credit to Structural Pest Control operators. Kate teaches workshops on various wildlife rehabilitation topics, has produced training manuals for four wildlife rehabilitation training classes and is the author of The Essential Bat.

Martin Rugroden
Martin is a successful business owner and is married to Kate Rugroden, Bat World’s Director of Special Projects. Martin assists with cage building, including an outdoor flight enclosure at the Bat World Mid-cities location for orphaned bats to practice flying before release back to the wild.

Besides volunteering for Bat World Sanctuary with transports, animal care, errands, fundraising and education programs, Martin has also volunteered with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation at major fundraising events.

John Hyatt
John holds degrees in ICSA (Corporate Law, Governance, risk and compliance) from his native England and Computer Science gained in the United States.  He volunteered his bat house skill for the specialty houses needed for the wild bat colony in Mineral Wells to ease their transition to new locations. John assisted in the largest urban rescue of bats in Fort Worth history when Bat World Sanctuary was called in to rescue over 1,200 free-tailed bats that were trapped in a 3 story sub basement in downtown Fort Worth. His effort in scouring all floors and cellars for trapped bats enabled Bat World to save hundreds more lives.

Dottie Hyatt
Dottie volunteers as Bat World’s Director of Planning, assisting with new projects, educational outreach, workshops, grant writing, editing and annual reports and much, much more. Dottie has also worked very closely with specialty veterinarians – Emergency & Critical Care, Ophthalmology, Orthopedics, Toxicology, Dermatology, and Internal Medicine to advance veterinary knowledge about bats. She was responsible for the general care and feeding of over 20 manatees when she worked for the USDA in Florida, which is how she and Amanda Lollar first met many years ago. Dottie is also the author of Lil Drac, A Tribute to the Tiny Bat Who Rocked a Million Hearts.

Larry Crittenden
Larry, husband of Amanda Lollar (Founder of BWS), is a mechanical engineer, designer, and a friend to animals of all species. He has been interested in bats since learning of their intelligence and curiosity in 2001 when he first met Amanda. Larry has assisted in many areas of Bat World’s operation including blueprint/design, bat rescuer, grounds keeper, errand runner, transport volunteer and treat giver. Larry says that although he never thought there was much validity in any of the traditional bat myths, he had no idea that bats were so invaluable to the environment, so socially interactive, so intelligent and wonderfully efficient in what they do in life.

Amanda Lollar
Amanda is Founder and President of Bat World Sanctuary. With the exception of taking a week off to get married, Amanda has volunteered every single day since founding the organization in 1994 without taking a day off. On average her days are between 14 to 16 hours long. In 2016, Amanda won the Carole Noon Award for Sanctuary Excellence. Amanda is an author of both scientific and popular literature about bats, including her most recent work, Captive Care and Rehabilitation of Insectivorous Bats. Amanda is a licensed bat care specialist in the State of Texas, permitted to work with threatened and endangered species. Click here to read her CV.


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