DNR seeks to keep wildlife rehab out of West Virginia
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2006:
CHARLESTON, W.V.– West Virginia is the only U.S. state that
does not issue wildlife rehabilitation permits, and the state
Depart-ment of Natural Resources means to keep it that way, says
wildlife section chief Curtis Taylor.
The West Virginia 2006 legislative session convened on
January 11. Humane Society of the U.S. director of urban wildlife
programs John Hadidian and urban wildlife field director Laura Simon
have indicated that obtaining wildlife rehab authorization will be a
state HSUS priority.
The issue surfaced in October 2005 when a state police
officer investigating a complaint about shots fired on posted land
found about 60 caged raccoons on land belonging to rehabilitator
Patricia Hoffman-Butler, 47. The raccoons were seized, killed,
and examined for disease by DNR officials. Hoffman pleaded no
contest to illegal possession of wildlife on December 13, 2005, and
paid $173.50 in penalties.
West Virginia banned keeping raccoons after a coonhunting
club trucked as many as 2,000 raccoons north from a rabies-endemic
part of Florida in 1976, and released most of them before realizing
that some were rabid.