Target: Oyster Bay Town Supervisor John Venditto
Goal: Allow wildlife rescue organization to keep operating on the private property of its leaders
Wildlife In Need Of Rescue and Rehabilitation (WINORR) is a nonprofit volunteer organization run by Bobby and Cathy Horvath in the town of Oyster Bay in Long Island, New York. For 20 years it has taken care of sick and endangered wildlife. The state and federal governments licensed WINORR to provide its services. But Oyster Bay is threatening to shut WINORR down due to anonymous complaints about dangerous animals being kept in residential areas.
WINORR is entirely dependent on donations, grants, and fundraisers. Trained volunteers bring these sick animals back to health. The organization is given wild animals to care for through the Department of Environmental Conservation, police, animal shelters, animal control, and the general public. The Oyster Bay area does not have a wildlife rehabilitation center, so volunteers take care of animals in their homes. WINORR also provides sanctuary to sick wild animals that would otherwise face euthanasia.
With few resources, WINORR has managed to rescue foxes, bobcats, possums, owls, bats, and a red-tailed hawk named Pale Male. Bobby and Cathy care for many of the animals in their backyard. Town Supervisor John Venditto says that he appreciates what the couple is doing, but that he thinks the animals should not be kept in a “densely populated, suburban, residential community.” However, neighbors interviewed said they supported what the Horvaths are doing, and WINORRs Facebook page is filling up with support for the organization. The animals are caged at all times and kept under control.
Venditto says that he’s seeking a compromise and an alternate location for WINORR to do its work. But that could be difficult, seeing as Oyster Bay doesn’t have a wildlife rehabilitation center, and WINORR is run entirely on donations. Please urge John Venditto to allow the Horvaths to continue caring for animals on their property.
Dear Mr. Venditto,
We’d like for you to continue allowing Wildlife In Need Of Rescue and Rehabilitation (WINORR) to operate in Bobby and Cathy Horvath’s home. While there may have been anonymous complaints, it seems as though the Horvath’s neighbors approve of their sanctuary. Several of their neighbors were interviewed for CBS Local.
We commend you for attempting to find an alternative place for WINORR to continue its operations, but Oyster Bay doesn’t have a wildlife sanctuary for the Horvaths to use. Also, WINORR is run entirely on donations, so they have few options for renting an area.
WINORR cares for wildlife from a great swath of the New York metropolitan area. They are given animals by the police, veterinarians, animal control, and citizens. The Horvaths already have both a state and federal license. In fact, an animal shelter run by the town of Oyster Bay recently consulted them on how to care for a swan that was injured by a car. Please allow them to continue caring for animals on their property. Thank you.
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