Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tuesday Triumphs

"Tuesday Triumphs" each Tuesday I will post a rescue success.
Here we have the "Munchkins" from the Exotic Feline Rescue Center located in Center Point Indiana.   These cats came to the Center in August 2000 after they were rescued from Water Wheel Exotics in Pittsburgh, PA  The male lions are Petey, and Josh the female lion is Elsa, the male tiger is Rolo and the female tigers are Tabitha, Sabrina, and Isabella. The Center traveled to Water Wheel Exotics expecting to rescue 2 or 3 lions. When they arrived they found the neglect and abuse there was beyond belief. 3 lions and 4 tigers in a dark basement with no food, no water and the stench of urine and feces was overwhelming.  The seven cats were severely malnourished, dehydrated, it seemed apparent they were left to die. Extremely underweight at 50-80 pounds instead of the 200-250 pounds healthy for  their age. After moving them to the Center they found in addition to malnutrition, the 4 tigers were blind in both eyes from cataracts. Within 2 months, all 4 tigers had cataract surgery to restore their eye sight. Thankfully the USDA has since closed Water Wheel Exotics due to abuse & neglect. After their rescue all seven are doing well now although they will never reach full size, hence the name "Munchkins". The Center currently has a beautiful permanent enclosure for the Munchkins with trees, climbing tower and plenty of room to run.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Picture of the week


How many times throughout your life have you been able to sit outside and enjoy the warmth of the sun, or watch a beautiful sunset?  More times than you can count right.  You probably cannot think of what life would be like without ever having a sunny day. That sun shining on you, does more than just brighten your day; it provides your body with much needed vitamin D. Not only humans require vitamin D to be healthy, animals also require sufficient vitamin D in their bodies.

Sadly many animals that are confined by private individuals, or unaccredited facilities do not have the opportunity to feel the warmth of the sun. Some of them are locked away for their entire lives in dark cages with no access to the natural sunlight, and no proper UV lights. This can cause rickets, a bone disease that can be fatal if left untreated.  This is one of many reasons why these exotic animals do not belong in the hands of untrained, and uneducated people.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Help Stop Exhibitors from Exploiting Animals

Please Act Now! To support the USDA Petition to Prohibit Public Contact with Big Cats, Bears, and Primates

All you have to do is follow these steps to speak up for the animals.

1) Click this link to go to the USDA Comment page.

  If that does not work, go to www.Regulations.gov  and cut and paste : APHIS-2012-0107-0002 into the search box.

2) Click the “Comment Now!” button on the far right.

3) Fill in a brief comment asking USDA to approve this rule banning public contact and your contact information. - See more at the wild cat sanctuary
Betsy, North American Black Bear

Betsy's Story

This small female black bear was ordered removed by officials with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Fish and Wildlife not once but twice, before finding permanent refuge.
Her first owner tied her up on a very short chain to a post and allowed people to pay to bring in their dogs to train them how to hunt bear.  As a result she suffered a lot of abuse and carries with her many scars, a badly healed broken foot, partial blindness, and many missing and broken teeth.  This illegal activity was finally stopped and the bear was relocated to another private owner.

Just two years later Betsy was again suffering from inadequate care and had to be removed.  This time officials asked a well respected animal sanctuary to take her knowing the bear would finally receive the proper care she deserves. This story is only one of many that are currently going on in the United States, and most people have no idea.
You can visit Black Pine Animal Sanctuary in Albion, IN.

About this Blog

The exotic pet trade is the 2nd largest trade in the United States landing right behind the illegal drug trade. Many people have no idea that this is going on. Would you believe that there are more tigers living just as pets, not counting the ones in zoos, in the U.S. than there are left in the wild?
It's true!

I became aware of this in 2008, I completed an internship at an animal sanctuary in Indiana. I was shocked at the horrible background stories some of these animals had.

Why had I never heard of this before? These stories hardly ever hit main stream media.

I found out that these horror stories are happening all over the U.S. They often start with the purchase of cute fuzzy babies that soon turn into wild poop throwing primates, or 500lb carnivores.

After working in zoo education for years, I have come to the realization that the majority of the general public just don't have a clue. They don't want to harm animals, they honestly don't understand when they are supporting the mistreatment of exotic animals;  by paying for pictures with baby animals, and paying to see exotic animals at traveling shows that many fairs and festivals host.

As an animal caretaker I believe it is my duty to not only properly care for my animals but, to be their voice, letting the general public know the difference between supporting organizations that care for animals versus organizations that only exploit the animals in their care.  

I'm convinced that if true animal caretakers stick together, we can successfully spread the news and share the animal's stories. Once enough people know and begin to care about this topic, change will follow.

Hopefully we can achieve this before more tragic incidents like the one that happened in Zanesville, OH in 2011.