BRONXVILLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A woman’s mission to help injured wildlife has been interrupted by city regulations.

Loraine Izzo of Bronxville has been treating birds of prey for years in her Westchester County home.

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Izzo told CBS2’s Mark Morgan that she provides a valuable service, by rehabilitating injured hawks and owls so they can eventually be released back into the wild.

“These animals come up against many man-made obstacles; window strikes, automobile collisions, pesticide poisoning,” she explained.

On Thursday, she had her birds taken away. Izzo is fully licensed to treat wounded raptors, but not on private property or in her house.

“According to Bronxville, she’s not zoned to possess those animals in this area. There’s a zoning issue, so Bronxville required that she have the animals removed,” Peter Jackson, DEC Police explained.

Izzo said she received the birds in late fall and early winter, and nursed them back to health on a diet of rodents.

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In total, officials removed six red-tailed hawks, two owls, and three other hawks. The condition of the birds was not a problem, the location of their treatment was.

“They’re well taken care of, some of them did have injuries that she was mending so we re-homed them. There wasn’t an issue of these animals not being taken care of here,” said Ernest Lungaro of the Westchester SPCA.

Izzo said she has been rehabbing hawks and owls for over twelve years, and often receives calls to take in injured birds.

“I don’t know who will take the call. In the area there aren’t too many of us,” she said, “It will be a disservice to the county not to have me rehabilitate wildlife, because it’s so important.”

In the future, Izzo will have to acquire a standalone wildlife center separate from her house to continue the work she loves.


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