Government relocates animals to new facilities

Published 10:20 am Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The animals at Bear Path Acres have been confiscated by government agencies and the doors are now officially closed after several permits were suspended last month by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

At the end of July, the VDGIF sent the facility a letter notifying them that several of their licenses, Virginia Wildlife Rehabilitator Permit and the Permit to Exhibit Wildlife Animals in Virginia, were being suspended due to numerous violations of the code of ethics — transferring the custody of a bobcat and African serval cat to owners who do not possess a valid Virginia Wildlife Rehabilitator or Exhibitor’s permit; allowing a juvenile white-tailed deer in the interior of her house and allowing the animal to interact with a pet dog that was occupying the same space; and allowing a volunteer to physically handle a raccoon at the facility who does not possess a Wildlife Rehabilitator’s Permit.

When the letter was sent on Monday, July 25, owner Debbie Jeter was given 30 days to appeal the decision. As of Tuesday evening, no appeal had been made.

The suspension of these permits will remain into effect until Jan. 31, 2021, at which time Jeter may reapply for them.

According to Lee Walker, outreach director at the VDGIF, his department and the United States Department of Agriculture confiscated 26 animals from the facility and they were all relocated to other licensed wildlife rehab facilities.

He added that all the animals are doing well in their new homes