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 she co-instructs Bat World’s one-day workshops which are held throughout the year. Dottie 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.
Terri Smith, Secretary
Terri has a background in medical transcription and also worked for years with in educational systems developing life skills programs for special needs children. Terri is an animal rights activist with a special place in her heart for the under-dog. She had never been around bats before coming to Bat World Sanctuary and had always believed what a lot of people believe – that bats are scary. Within two minutes of being with them she quickly realized that she had spent a lot of years with the wrong ideas. Terri states “My day is no longer complete unless I have had my daily time with them.” Terri’s favorite part of the day is feeding them their treats. Terri also began serving as Assistant Director of Bat World Sanctuary in 2015.
Denise Tomlinson, Treasurer
Denise has a Bachelors of Science degree in Biology from Western Michigan University. She is very active in the bat community as a member of the American Zoo and Aquarium Association (AZA) Taxon Advisory Group for bats and a member of the Florida Bat Working Group. She currently holds licensure from the United State Department of Agriculture, United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Denise has authored various articles and book chapters including some on acclimating bats for use in educational programs, hand rearing of flying foxes, bats of Florida and other topics. She loves the abundance and diversity of Florida’s wildlife, where she currently resides. Denise was instrumental in creating the first standards ever written for bats in captivity. She is a surgical, onological and critical care technician for a veterinary clinic. She is also certified as a veterinary dental technician, and Director of Bat World Hampton Roads. Denise has volunteered her services to Bat World Sanctuary since 1997.
Kate Rugroden, Director of Special Projects
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 co-instructs Bat World’s one-day workshops which are held throughout the year. Kate has volunteered her services to Bat World Sanctuary since 2004.