Lisbon Woman Charged With Unlawful Possession Of Wildlife

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A 44 year old St. Lawrence County woman, who is a former wildlife rehabilitator, is charged with unlawful possession of wildlife and reckless endangerment.

Susan Sattler of Murphy Road in Lisbon was charged after a month-long investigation by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.

She faces 11 counts of unlawful possession of wildlife after investigators confiscated eight birds of prey and three raccoons on separate occasions in June.

According to the DEC, Sattler once possessed a wildlife rehabilitator license, but it was revoked in 2008 after she allowed children to have contact with a raccoon - a rabies vector species - that she wasn't authorized to rehabilitate.

State Environmental Conservation Officers and a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Special Agent confiscated four birds of prey from Sattler's residence on June 1 and two raccoons on June 2.

The animals tested negative for rabies.

When investigators learned that Sattler was allegedly keeping other wild animals, ECOs and State Police returned to the residence on June 29 with a search warrant.

Officials said they found four additional birds of prey including a Coopers hawk, barn owl, red-tailed hawk and great horned owl, as well as another raccoon.

According to the DEC, the animals were in the living area of the house, which is not only improper for animals which are to be rehabilitated and released, but also raises concerns about human exposure to disease.

Each unlawful possession of wildlife violation carries a fine of up to $250 and/or 15 days in jail.

The reckless endangerment charge, which stems from exposing children to a species that potentially carries rabies, is a misdemeanor, with a fine of up to $1,000 and/or one year in jail.

The charges will be answerable in Lisbon Town Court at a later date.

Saturday, November 1, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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