HUNTER, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Volunteers and supporters of the Feathered and Furry Wildlife Center in the Catskills continue to remember founder Barbara “Missy” Runyan, who passed Wednesday.
“She was incredibly passionate. There wasn’t an animal she said no to,” says wildlife rehabilitator Maria Del Castilho, “thousands of animals have come through the doors here with her.” Missy Runyan began giving animals of New York State a “second chance” in 2002 when she opened the Friends of the Feathered and Furry Wildlife Center.
“This center here is her legacy and her life’s work,” Del Castilho explains, “she inspired many, many people to care for animals.” Del Castilho says Runyan even inspired her to receive her wildlife rehabilitation license.
Sadly, Missy passed away Wednesday. Del Castilho says it is still unclear what caused Missy’s untimely passing. Del Castilho says Missy loved pretty much all animals, but she may be best known for rehabilitating Freedom the bald eagle, who was recovered by a New York State Trooper on the New York State Thruway earlier this year.
With Missy’s passing, supporters of the wildlife center in Hunter, N.Y. have wondered what will happen to it. Del Castilho says not to worry. “Dave her husband will be running the center and he will be running it with all of us here. We have a really great team with all the volunteers and licensed rehabilitators. So together, Dave will be working with all of us. He will be guiding us.”
Although she will not be rehabilitating birds to fly anymore, the volunteers she meant so much to would like to think Missy finally received her own pair of wings.