AZGFD Commission Revokes Wildlife Rehabilitator’s Licenses for Five Years

Arizona Game and Fish Department
Arizona Game and Fish Department

Kingman, AZ -( The Arizona Game and Fish Commission voted to revoke the licenses of Pinal Wildlife Rescue and owner Betsy Lagos to hold and rehabilitate restricted live wildlife for five years.

The licenses were revoked after years of continual violations of the minimum care and captivity standards that are considered appropriate and humane for wildlife. License violations by Lagos included failure to provide necessary medical care and humane treatment, unsanitary conditions, improper diet and inappropriate enclosures.

The department repeatedly attempted to work with Lagos to bring her facility and animal care into compliance.

“It is unfortunate that this case even had to be heard by the commission because wildlife rehabilitators provide a very important service to Arizona’s wildlife and the citizens of the state, and most take their duties very seriously. However, in this case, Game and Fish had to act on its trust responsibility to ensure that license holders adhere to the guidelines that assure the best possible quality of life for native wild animals in their care,” said Robert Mansell, chairman of the Arizona Game and Fish Commission.

In January, the department revoked Lagos’ licenses and required the surrender of 17 animals being held under her special license. Animals in her care included owls, falcons, hawks, mourning doves, skunk and a gila monster. Lagos appealed the action to the commission.

The case appeal was originally heard by Judge Tammy Eigenheer of the Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings (AOAH) on behalf of the commission. Judge Eigenheer recommended that Pinal Wildlife Rescue and Lagos’ license to hold restricted live wildlife should be denied and revoked. The commission chose to increase the judge’s recommended revocation period from two to five years due to aggravating factors in the case.

In order to possess or handle most live native and/or restricted wildlife in Arizona, a special license is generally required. For more information, click here.

If you believe a wild animal is potentially injured or orphaned, first review the department’s helpful guidelines here. If the wildlife truly needs assistance, please contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator listed on the statewide rehabilitator’s list online. Click on the “Contact a wildlife rehabilitator” link.

About The Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD)

The Arizona Game and Fish Department mission is to conserve Arizona’s diverse wildlife resources and manage for safe, compatible outdoor recreation opportunities for current and future generations.

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