“A Big Cat Rescuer’s Work Never Ends”

Taft was called because his center serves as a refuge for big cats in need. Since 1991, it has provided a safe, permanent home for hundreds of exotic cats—right now, there are 233 living on a sprawling 108-acre property in rural Clay County. Taft, 65, can’t recall how many cats he’s saved, but much to his distress, he knows that he hasn’t been able to save them all.

However, in the five months since then, the center has had to go on 10 more rescues, in Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Texas. And they’ve received other calls they’ve had to turn down—Taft receives multiple calls a week. Most Americans, including me, have been astonished by how common it is for people in our country to own these uncommon creatures: Authorities estimate that there could be as many as 15,000 big cats living in homes and roadside zoos but the number could be much higher.

It’s clear, though, that there are many more exotic cats in need in the U.S. than there are proper homes for them. For Taft, funding is the obstacle to taking in more animals: the expenses surrounding the rescues—transportation, equipment, and the building of proper enclosures—are considerable and just the beginning of financial demands that will last for the lifetimes of the cats.

Full story.

The more extreme elements of the animal-use advocates, those who support the unfettered right to own any animal, even a tiger, are currently claiming that ownership of large exotic wildlife is not a problem in America. The “proof” they’re offering up is that our local dog-and-cat shelters aren’t filled with lions and bears. Of course, they are completely ignoring the legitimate sanctuaries who are the only “shelters” even equipped to handle these dangerous animals.

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