Chesapeake woman fights to continue caring for exotic animals

CHESAPEAKE, Va. - Wolf cubs, porcupines, raccoons and about 100 other small animals live at a home in Great Bridge Chesapeake. But they might not be able to in the near future.

Jamie BorrosĀ is licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a wildlife educator and by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries to have, care for and exhibit exotic animals. She is the founder of Zooography, which brings wildlife into educational settings.

"That's what our life consists of, is helping animals and educating kids and adults," said Borros.

Before she moved the animals into her Chesapeake home, which sits on three acres, Borros told News 3 she checked with animal services and showed them her credentials.

"They said yeah you're exempt from having an exotic animal permit because of your state and federal licensing. So all this time I thought I was fine," said Borros.

But her neighbors don't think it's fine. Borros said her neighbors have called Animal Services as many as 81 times in one week about her.

"It was false allegation after false allegation," said Borros.

However, in 2015, BorrosĀ got a zoning violation from the city of Chesapeake because her exotic animals do not meet the definition of pet per Section 3-403 and are prohibited in residential districts.

"It hurts because we live our life caring for animals yet people don't seem like they care about them," said Borros. Court documents said the public does not come to her home and animals aren't adopted out. Borros simply provides care and brings the animals to schools and expos for educational purposes.

"I had a Mom holding a tarantula and just seeing her eyes that she wasn't scared was just an amazing feeling," said Borros.

Now, she and her attorney are waiting on a decision for the Circuit Court.