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Meet Our Volunteers

 

Marion Orso
Marion is an animal rights advocate who has been enamored with bats for as long as she can remember. She stumbled across Bat World’s facebook page and was hooked! When she realized that she was close enough to actually volunteer she signed up right away. She now makes a two hour trip once a week to spend a day chopping fruit for the fruit bats as well as helping with office work. Marion also volunteers at local animal shelters and a rescue. Marion states “I am beyond excited to have the privilege to volunteer with the bats; being able to do anything for these adorable animals is always a highlight of my week!”

Lea Davis
Lea has two great passions, the environment and photography. She is a local environmentalist with her Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies who has made her career in family and lifestyle photography. Lea first fell in love with bats and Bat World Sanctuary as a child almost twenty years ago. Lea volunteers once a week at Bat World Sanctuary. Her dream is to offer affordable and environmentally friendly photography that is personal and creative with hopes to inspire others to become educated on the importance of conservation and care for our planet and the amazing animals we share it with.

Angela Best
Angela fell in love with bats when she was in the 6th grade after she was given a book called “The Bat in My Pocket; A Memorable Friendship” written by Bat World’s Founder Amanda Lollar. At the time Angela never dreamed that one day she’d be volunteering at the very sanctuary where the book was written some 20 years before. Angela grew up with horses and other animals and currently has four dogs and two cats who were rescued from animal shelters. Angela supports Bat World Sanctuary and C.A.R.E. as often as she can, and hopes to one day operate a no-kill shelter on the property she owns.

Leslie Nealy
Leslie’s education and professional training is in the field of primatology, however she loves animals of all kinds. Leslie has worked on several conservation and research projects in the US and in Africa. Her interest in bats started in 2004 when she was doing a study of the slow loris in the night house at the zoo. The fruit bat exhibit was right across from the slow loris exhibit and the bats seemed to always be vocalizing about one thing or another. It was then that she realized bats are very similar to primates and has been curious about them ever since. Leslie drives over two hours each way to spend a few hours volunteering at Bat World once a week.

Michelle Camara
Michelle is Director of Bat World Alamo, based in San Antonio, Texas. Licensed to rehabilitate wildlife in both Texas and Louisiana, she specializes in bats, skunks and opossums. Michelle is also the Founder and President of Southern Wildlife Rehab, Inc. Her past experience has been with the Wildlife Orphanage, 1992; San Antonio Zoo and Aquarium, docent, 1993-1998, and she served on the board for the Louisiana Wildlife Rehabilitators Association from 2011-2014. Michelle graduated from UTSA with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and currently works as a paralegal and mitigation specialist in criminal defense.

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 raccoons, opossums, and bats. 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 classes 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 volunteers his bat house skill as Bat World’s official bat house builder for the specialty houses needed for the wild bat colony in Mineral Wells to ease their transition to new locations as the need has arisen at various locations. John assisted in the largest urban rescue of bats in Ft. Worth history when Bat World 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 is an integral part of Bat World’s outreach education programs across the U.S.  She holds both state and USDA licensing.  Her lectures for Texas Parks and Wildlife draw huge crowds at their parks.  She has worked very closely with specialty veterinarians – Emergency & Critical Care, Ophthalmology, Orthopedics, Toxicology, Dermatology, and Internal Medicine to advance veterinary knowledge about bats as well as having the skill set of these learned veterinarians to assist with Bat World’s captive care and rehabilitative charges.  Dottie also functions as Bat World’s grant writer.  Dottie 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.  She is also the author of Lil Drac, A Tribute to the Tiny Bat Who Rocked a Million Hearts.

Larry Crittenden
Larry 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 Lollar, Founder of Bat World Sanctuary. Larry has assisted in many areas of Bat World’s operation including blueprint/design, construction, civil engineering, information technology, bat rescuer, grounds keeper, errand runner, transport volunteer, cage cleaner, treat giver and temporary vehicle for Peekaboo’s amusement. 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 and also acts in an unpaid executive director capacity. With the exception of taking a few days off to get married, Amanda has volunteered every single day since founding the organization in 1994 without taking a single day off. On average her days are between 14 to 16 hours long. 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. Click here to read her CV.

Major Luther S. Lollar
Major Lollar was an avid volunteer and financial supporter of Bat World for many years. He was also instrumental in getting Bat World off of the ground over 20 years ago. He generously built all of the original flight caging and rehabilitation caging for Bat World. He built over 200 bat houses which were sold across the US, with 20 being mounted in the downtown area of Mineral Wells, Texas. He loved farming and gardening, and devoted several acres of his land to planting melons and other fruits, which he harvested and cut into bite-sized pieces for the bats. (Click to read more).

 

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