PART TWO -Zoo Wars-Freak to Freak…Milking an OLD, UNLAWFUL, ILLEGAL, UNCONSTITUTIONAL Seizure of Big Cats…ONE MORE TIME-Otherwise Known as Knee Deep in BULLSHIT, LOL!!!

PART TWO -Zoo Wars-Freak to Freak…Milking an OLD, UNLAWFUL, ILLEGAL, UNCONSTITUTIONAL Seizure of Big Cats…ONE MORE TIME-Otherwise Known as Knee Deep in BULLSHIT, LOL!!!

[Part One: ]

Carole Lewis Baskin and Diane Gustafson are out of their minds and out of touch with reality-They don’t care about the animals or they would never do harm to an owner so that he could not properly provide for the animals. Baskin has created a site dedicated to ruining owner reputation…considering that just about every owner (and then some???) is listed her efforts have become less than meaningful…except of course to Diane Gustofason…who has received recognition from her idol, Carole Lewis Baskin [blogger is hurling at the thought]

So here’s the facts not revealed by these self-proclaimed heroes, Animal Rights Nazi Gestopos, during their tit for tat but were revealed on this blog:

The Back Story and Concerns of Animal ‘RESCUE’

I began this post a few days ago and put it away, I was concerned I would be mis-understood by both sides of the animal issue: animal welfare vs animal rights…Now deciding to finish it and post I am hoping the point of this post is understood and clear. This is NOT about whether the animals needed ‘rescue’ but more about contributing factors and circumstance that led to this ‘rescue’ and questioning how well planned these rescuers are for doing the deed…apparently NOT from the transporting of animal to the begging of money while proclaiming themselves great heroes-HA!!!

I know nothing about Taft and his facility other than the recent viewing of this ‘rescue’ on his site, that will possibly be removed after this post. I am not saying this ‘rescue’ wasn’t necessary…it had become a situation where ‘rescue’ became the only option….but could have waited for better planning however if the term ‘rescue’ is part of the name of the facility it would seem they would be prepared and properly financed to do the deed…This I am questioning…And there is a Back Story that needs to be EXPOSED!!! The animal rights extremists do more damage than good and I venture to say an AETA report should have been filed years ago!!! If you are unfamiliar with the AETA and it’s significance to the issue of animal welfare vs animal rights read a previous post for more information. Just hoping that one will be filed now-read on about the back story!!!

Here’s the story with links to pictures from the ‘rescuers’ page which they have up to pull at your heart strings for MONEY…If the place could not afford to do it properly then shut the F**K up!!! With that in mind…Read The Back Story

NOTE: Gustafson now proclaiming victory…SERIOUSLY?!? -There were no pictures attached to this article…only words of an animal rights extremist…and the people who DISAGREED!!!

December 3, 2008…FOUR long years of hatred and terror from Gustafson!!! I wonder how many more facilities she has in her cross hairs…Please, do NOT drink the kool-aid!!!

Great Cats stirs great controversy 

Diane Gustafson is on a self-proclaimed crusade to shut down Great Cats of Indiana. Located on Highway 24, just east of Monticello, Ind., Great Cats is home to dozens of large exotic animals and one of the most well-known animal rescue facilities for tigers, lions and other big cats in the country.

And while the owner/operators of Great Cats call it an animal sanctuary, Gustafson calls it a death camp.

Following a visit to Great Cats with her family this past summer, the 44-year-old Hammond, Ind., resident was so upset that she began contacting state and federal lawmakers, the Monticello tourism board, various animal support organizations, the Purdue School of Veterinary Medicine and several media outlets, recounting what she believes are intolerable conditions for the animals.

“All in cages, some smaller than others, some animals grouped in with too many others for the space. The black leopard, one of the cats left with very little shade, paced frantically back and forth on a plank, never once acknowledging our presence.

“Most cages are covered in feces, urine and some even had rotted meat, swarming with flies, that had been left from previous feedings. One that stood out specifically is home to [two] adult lions; it had the rotting remains of a pig, a mere 10 feet from where the lions were trying to sleep.

“All of the animals are filthy and matted to some degree. Most were sleeping in their feces, some out in the hot sun with no shade. Some had reservoirs filled with water so that the animals could keep cool.

“However, the water was dirty and in some cases red with rust, or who knows what. Within one tiger enclosure, the concrete floor was partially flooded with standing water that had been sitting so long it was filled with bright green algae.

“When we asked about it, the young guide indicated that the drain was plugged and that the water was just like it was in the cat’s natural habitat.

“Every enclosure was made of rotting broken wood with peeling paint, cracked and broken concrete foundations, as well as rust-covered metal caging.”

Initially willing to consider that the owners had good intentions but that “the situation has gotten too hard to control financially,” she pondered methods for area businesses to financially support Great Cats. That focus changed when she discovered a USDA complaint from several years ago that addressed many of her concerns (see sidebar).

At that point, Gustafson set off on her crusade and began contacting “the proper authorities to see that his facility is shut down for good.” What she didn’t do, however, was contact Rob Craig, executive director of Great Cats of Indiana.

“No, I never called [him] to express my concerns. Our ‘tour guide’ was ignorant of any wrong doing … should I expect the owner to differ? Plus, after seeing the USDA formal complaint, I had absolutely no desire to do so.”

A caustic situation

The business of keeping exotic animals, whether for profit, preservation or both, is not pretty and the rules are more about pragmatism than compassion.

Estimates of the number of tigers in private hands range from 7,000 to 10,000. The Captive Wildlife Animal Coalition estimates the total of all species of exotic felines privately kept is closer to 20,000. The Humane Society of the United States calculates the trade in exotic animals is a $15 billion annual industry, with about a quarter of it illegal.

As Gustafson discovered, the U.S. Federal Animal Welfare Act sets forth only minimum requirements for animal care and, for the most part, only addresses basic husbandry issues. For example, the USDA mandates that animals must be fed, watered and sheltered, yet space requirements only require that the animals be able to make “normal postural changes” (i.e., allow them enough room to stand up, lie down and turn around).

There is no requirement for grass, greenery or other natural vegetation. There are no requirements for the animals to be “let out” of their cages for exercise or to relieve themselves. Even the requirement for water is open to interpretation: “Water must be provided as often as necessary for the health and comfort of the animal.”

One may find that the cages are tiny, the animals look hot and dispirited, or that the animals are displaying stereotypic behavior, but none of these conditions is specifically against the law. Even when exhibitors are consistently found non-compliant during inspections, they are typically allowed time to make “improvements” in a timeframe outlined by the individual inspector.

Because the USDA licenses and oversees facilities that exhibit exotic animals, all USDA-licensed facilities undergo annual inspections.

Once a facility has a complaint, explains Jessica Milteer with the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, it makes the risk-based inspection system list, where it will continue to “get looked at more often” until it racks up “a string of clean inspections.”

Milteer says that with a 97 percent compliance rate among approximately 9,000 businesses, keeping a closer eye on those with past transgressions isn’t difficult.

After her visit to Great Cats and the discovery of prior USDA investigations, Gustafson set about having the facility closed. “This facility needs to be shut down immediately. Why is this taking so long to accomplish and why hasn’t anyone stepped in to remove these animals from such a caustic situation?” she asks.

“If there was no ongoing, six-year USDA investigation, I might think otherwise … but that’s not the case.”

We are doing better

Frequently recognized from his 2003 appearance on Animal Planet’s Growing Up: Tiger when one of his Siberian tigers had four cubs (two of whom were filmed as they grew up at Tiger Creek Wildlife Rescue in Tyler, Texas), Rob Craig has worked with exotic animals for more than 20 years.

Twelve years ago, along with assistant director and fiancée Laura Proper, Craig founded Great Cats when he converted an old Indiana dairy farm into a sanctuary and rescue for big cats, bears and wolves.

“Great Cats of Indiana is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) sanctuary and rescue facility,” according to Craig. “We provide a lifelong, caring home to these wonderful animals when, for various reasons, they need a home to live out their lives.

“While each animal has its own unique, often tragic story, the one thing they all have in common is that they were facing an uncertain future and possible death before we became a part of their lives.”

As executive director of Great Cats, Craig is well aware of the USDA regulations that govern his animal facility, as well as the on-going struggles to comply.

Great Cats first made the USDA risk list following a 2003 incident when a bear bit a visitor who came too close to a cage. Since then, Craig has struggled to correct infractions noted by a rotating retinue of inspectors, each with their own interpretation of the rules.

Craig admits he’s not perfect, but says, “Even the USDA has acknowledged that we are doing better.”

Craig initially shrugged off news of Gustafson’s complaint with an unconcerned “She’s a nut who doesn’t know what’s best for the animals.”

Citing “substantial improvements over the last year and a half,” Craig has requested the USDA order a conference so he can demonstrate the positive impact achieved by his “steady changes and improvements.”

On Oct. 22, 2007, Colleen Carol, prosecuting attorney for the USDA, filed a motion to schedule a hearing date. She says a date has not been set because the three USDA administrative law judges have “a lot of cases, but not a lot of personnel” and work has been further delayed due to one’s tour of duty in Iraq.

While a hearing addressing whether or not Craig has corrected all the issues cited in older complaints has yet to be scheduled, in its most recent inspection the USDA found no non-compliance issues with Great Cats.

Sparking a debate

Craig tries to take the current controversy in stride. “Everyone gets targeted at one time or another. We are a small, quiet little facility that is doing big things and is getting noticed. We keep to ourselves, and just do our thing. We don’t say much, but when we do, it … is always verifiable.”

Others are talking — a lot.

Gustafson now has her own Web site meant “to shut down and destroy a pseudo sanctuary known as Great Cats of Indiana and find the animals new homes.” She has also enlisted the support of other animal rights activists and sparked a debate over the care of large animals and the existence of sanctuaries like Great Cats.

Gustafson’s cause gained momentum when Joe Taft, owner of Exotic Feline Rescue Center (EFRC) in Centerpoint, Ind., wrote her that Great Cats “has been a long-standing problem.”

According to Gustafson, operators of EFRC said that “Great Cats of Indiana is not a reputable sanctuary. Not only are they hiding their horrid roadside zoo under that guise, they are also breeding and selling these exotic cats … they have been a problem for a very long time and was glad someone was going to take the reins on shutting them down.”

Craig insists he donated the tigers to help a friend launch a new facility, and speculates that Taft’s attack may be due to feeling threatened because he represents “the other place” in Indiana. After all, both facilities rely on visitors and the funds they provide.

Not all animal rights activists are against Craig and his Great Cats facility, however.

Walfredo de Freitas, founder of the Indiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, visited Great Cats in July. And while the animal rights activist didn’t see a spotless facility, he saw healthy animals — and something more.

“I saw love between Rob and the animals. Love is something missing in sanctuaries, zoos and circuses. I wish all animals had a Rob Craig in their lives. We could have a better world. If we cannot change the world, at least let the animals live with love and basic care.”

Not a proponent of caged animals, de Freitas believes Craig “is a man who is trying to do his job. He is trying hard to improve the animals’ lives.” He also believes Gustafson’s energy is misplaced.

“She could use it to make Indiana a vegetarian state. I think she is wrong. She is not going anywhere with her campaign. We have so many problems to handle right now. Great Cats of Indiana is the last issue on our list.”

Denise Flores, founder of Tiger Paw Exotic Rescue Center in Ashland, Ohio, suggests, “Maybe people should offer [Rob] a hand.” Flores, who has received her share of criticism about the spatial accommodations for her tigers, respects Craig.

Two years ago, when she moved to Ohio from Texas, where she was the curator of Tiger Link of Texas, she trusted him enough to board two of her big cats there when “no one else would help us. He came recommended by the Feline Conservation Convention. He took good care of my cats.”

We’re not closing

When Craig finally does have his day in court and faces the USDA allegations, he will have to prove he’s taking care of his animals.

If issues aren’t resolved, he could be assessed civil penalties of up to $3,750 per animal for violations incurred after 2004 ($2,750 for violations before 2004) and given time to comply or his license could be suspended or revoked.

Craig says that according to Indiana law, if he loses his USDA license, he can’t operate and would have to euthanize his animals — a solution Gustafson considers “a better alternative than living out a life in such appalling surroundings.”

Great Cats isn’t going without a fight, however. “I’m not giving up my license,” Craig vows. “We’re not closing.”

Determined to set the record straight, he says his 10-foot electrified perimeter fence exceeds USDA requirements, he has never had an escape, someone is on the grounds 24/7 and he has never bought, sought or sold a cat.

Despite Gustafson’s claims to the contrary, he asserts, “No one has ever said that cats here are sick, suffering or not cared for. No one has ever said they are unhealthy, starving or showing any signs of stress.”

In the USDA’s complaint against Great Cats, there are allegations of repeated instances where Craig and Proper “failed to provide minimally-adequate veterinary care to animals that were suffering, and failed to provide minimally-adequate housing and husbandry to animals.”

Craig, a former fireman, and Proper, a nurse, say they are qualified to perform basic procedures such as wound cleansing, vaccinating and worming, but work with two veterinarians who are consulted before any treatment plan is implemented. “Any care we provide is under the direction of our vet and he has approved us to perform any procedures he asks us to do.”

Additionally, the last baby born at Great Cats arrived in October 2006 and was not part of any practice of breeding, but the result of an accidental mating, when a female tiger in heat broke a fence panel and entered the male tiger enclosure. All male tigers were neutered last summer.

As to others alleging Craig breeds the cats, he says, “From all the people who say we breed and sell tigers, no one has ever been able to produce a person who purchased a tiger from us.”

While Craig claims he has never sold a tiger, he did donate a tiger to Louisiana State University to be its mascot. In response to criticism he’s received, he says the cat moved from his 30-foot-by-40-foot enclosure to a $3 million, 15,000-square-foot natural habitat with a waterfall and a stream.

With a team of veterinarians — one required to be on campus 24/7 — and a care budget in excess of $10 million annually, Craig believes it was the right thing to do. In fact, he says he’d give more animals to other facilities, but he hasn’t found any that have room. “Getting my numbers down would make things here a lot easier and would allow us to rebuild/repair some enclosures and open up others to make larger enclosures.”

He also asserts, “No one has bothered to mention that the complaint contains nothing but allegations. Nothing has been proven and nothing is fact, although everyone seems to treat it like it is. Truth is, if things were as bad as everyone says, the USDA would have acted already.”

USDA complaint and response

The major points of the complaint filed by the USDA include:

• an allegation of continuing to operate under other corporate names

• using a defunct corporation’s license as an individual

• failure to retain a full-time veterinarian and maintain a program of veterinary care

• failure to follow medical instructions of the attending veterinarian regarding specific instances

• insufficient barriers between cages and visitors; failure to remove food and animal waste

• absence of a perimeter fence

• inadequate trained staff

• inadequate shelter from the elements

• assorted sanitation and pest control allegations

The written response Craig filed explains the complicated ownership when one company was dissolved, its interests taken over by the limited liability company he formed, DBA Great Cats of Indiana Inc. “Everything stayed the same, except for the names.”

He notes that his veterinarian moved without notice, but his animals are currently under the care of another vet, directing treatment for issues ranging from an abscessed tooth to E. coli infection obtained from tainted meat.

He cites a revolving door of inspectors, each with a different interpretation of “vague USDA regulations” regarding the issue of barrier fencing and other matters. While he confesses to being under-staffed and over-capacity, he indicates that “primary enclosures are cleaned regularly,” and waste material is composted in accordance with Indiana Department of Health guidelines. However, according to the USDA complaint, as late as May 30, 2007, Craig “failed to remove excreta from enclosures for all animals as often as necessary.”

Link farm:

Great Cats: Diane Gustafson: and search for “Diane Gustafson” Exotic Feline Rescuer Center: Indiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals: Tiger Paw Exotic Rescue Center: United States Department of Agriculture:


Gustafson’s ambition was to see this facility shut down and now has come to pass with the recent confiscation of the last of the animals residing at this facility by the state of Indiana’s wildlife agency (see article below). She’s busy gloating about this and doing the happy dance openly, on line, with no shame; proclaiming victory and telling her story; as if anyone gives a crap about her ‘tall tale’ of owning and operating a hate site for this facility is any great claim rather than the shame of setting out with her own agenda to destroy the lives of both people and animals and doing NO REAL work to help the facility to improve standards. Oddly enough, Gustafson supports one of the worst facilities (SCUM-tuary and SCAM-tuary) in the United States; Big Cat Rescue of Florida.

In my opinion, Big Cat Rescue of Florida (BCR) is owned by a person USING the animal rights agenda for her own purpose-MONEY!!! She operates thru funds obtained, to end the keeping of these types of animals by Private Exotic Animal Owners. Using money obtained thru donations to help animals  instead to support H$U$

Why hate one facility and not the other Diane?!? Even help and support one but not the other?!? Interesting seeing as how BCR supports the feeding of live domestic rabbits to the big cats which infringes on animal cruelty issues.

Carole Baskin, owner of BCR, has done more harm to animal owners and the animals they own in order to support her own agenda which in reality, is to own and/or control all captive big cats in this country; I believe that Gustafson’s no more than a drone who has more on her agenda than the one facility. She has stated she has no issue with me but I most certainly do with her as I believe that the taste of blood is on her lips and enjoying her self-righteous complex and sick belief that the death of these great beasts is far better than the life in captivity; yet captivity is all the animal knows and certainly the animal would not agree!!! Interesting enough is that on of the pictures of this rescue shows the caging at The Great Cats of Indian’s facility and if I didn’t know otherwise, I would swear it was a picture taken at BCR (

It appears the placement of these animals went well for them…EFRC claiming improvement in just two days time, amazing in and of itself isn’t it; it appears there is at least a happy ending for the Great Cats but, no way am I supporting Gustafson’s actions…Nor am I supporting the improper way these animals were transported to Taft’s facility!!!

The Great Cats of Indiana facility has not had a USDA permit since January 2010 according to the USDA online site. Licensed by a state agency, it appears there has been a system failure for the concern of proper regulation…I blame both of the state and federal regulatory agencies for the current condition of these animals as well as Diane Gustafson.

Legal Name (DBA):
Customer No: 22787
Certificate No: 32-C-0186
Certificate Status: CANCELLED
Status Date: Jan 20, 2010

Tigers, lion, bobcat, mountain lion seized from Northern Indiana animal sanctuary

Four tigers, a lion, a bobcat and a mountain lion being housed at Great Cats of Indiana, 10471 E. U.S. 24 in Idaville, were taken Tuesday by state conservation officers. / File photo / Journal & Courier

IDAVILLE, Ind. — Seven big cats were seized from a White County wildlife sanctuary and rescue center Tuesday, effectively clearing out the facility’s inventory in the process.

Four tigers, a lion, a bobcat and a mountain lion being housed at Great Cats of Indiana, 10471 E. U.S. 24 in Idaville, were taken Tuesday by state conservation officers.

Lt. Dan Dulin with the Indiana Department of Natural Resourcessaid conservation officers began their investigation about a week ago after an anonymous tip raised concerns about the facility’s licensing.

Great Cats director Rob Craig of Idaville has permits from the state to keep the animals, but Cpl. Todd Pekny found violations of laws governing those permits.

Dulin said the seven cats seized Tuesday were the only animals still being housed at Great Cats.

“It had decreased in size over the years, but it was still an operating facility,” Dulin said. “(Craig) can appeal … until then, we felt it was necessary to transfer the animals to another licensed facility in the state.”

For safety reasons, police were not releasing the location of the cats following the seizure. Assisting in the investigation were the White County Sheriff’s Office and White County Animal Control.

Attempts to reach Craig for comment by phone and email Tuesday were unsuccessful. The number listed in the phone book for Great Cats of Indiana was no longer in service, and the Great Cats website was no longer working.

According to Journal & Courier archives, the facility began operating under the name Cougar Valley in the 1990s until changing to Great Cats of Indiana in the early 2000s.

Great Cats of Indiana is licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a wildlife sanctuary. The animals were sent to Great Cats because they had either been abused, abandoned or kept illegally.

At one point, the sanctuary housed more than 60 animals, including African lions, tigers, cougars, leopards, wolves and bears.


There is no current comment from the owner of Great Cats that I can find and hope he is doing well handling such an ordeal that has gone on for many years. The cats are not in the best of condition as the facility has been failing since before losing their USDA permit while being attacked, instead of helped. I don’t know the cause of action or if the owner surrendered the USDA permit. Interesting enough, I wonder if Taft had been called before the animals ended up in this condition. Taft’s facility is certainly more than adequate but I know very little about him or the facility. HOWEVER, I do know without a doubt, those animals were improperly transported!!!

While it is apparent that something needed to be done, it is also apparent what the results of Gustafson’s campaign of HATE did to further damage the Great Cats facility and animals and as far as I’m concerned, is as much to blame as the owner and enforcement.  The pictures of the animals are most always heartbreaking if the animals are underfed and provided with only minimum care as that appears to be the case here and with the Back Story to this story now exposed; it is what it is…No praise from me for Gustafson’s actions to take down an animal facility…I guess supporting BCR is really no surprise…The two made from the same mold, doing nothing to actually help and proclaiming victory when a facility is shut down with the gloating and self-proclamation as a rescuer; neither know REAL animal rescue…neither actually getting their hands dirty. (More on this in a future post)

the ‘Rescue’

Because I do not wish for copy write infringement issues, follow the link  for the pictures of this ‘rescue’:
Exactly the same conditions existed with the Miami County ‘rescue’ February 2010:
Could someone explain to me why a facility with the word ‘RESCUE’ (The Exotic Feline Rescue Center) attached to it’s name is NOT prepared to make a PROPER ‘rescue’ and why is it there is a cry for money for the ‘rescue’?!? I believe that most these so called ‘rescues’, whether real or fake are not necessarily done for the purpose of saving any animal when I see pay pal buttons on just about every page of the website…If the service needs money so badly, go for a private donor or a grant and shut the F**K UP!!! Totally creeping me out that’s for sure…
Nothing was done to improve the conditions of transporting rescued animals and the same done by Kozlowski of WBCR in 2010 as many others have used rental vehicles that do NOT meet the USDA standards for transporting animals.; some done with USDA confiscation!!!
The USDA regulation 3.137 pertains to conveying equipment to be used for transport and is supposed to include ALL animals in transport no matter the reason!!! Regulations 3.136-3.142 provide all the regulations pertaining to transport…a total of 5 pages devoted to transporting animals…that does NOT say animals in ‘rescue’ can be subjected to substandard conditions!!!
The trucks used have to meet standards for proper ventilation…with EXACT SPECIFICATIONS. If they are going to do the deed then it must be done properly…NO excuse is acceptable…they can hire people with the proper equipment as that too is a business of it’s own. LOOK AT THOSE PICTURES ASAP as I venture to say they might be removed…Totally enclosed truck without ventilation or any window.
Damn right I am making a stink over this!!! If they can not afford to do the deed then do not stick your neck out…stop begging for money because you decided to do the so called ‘rescue’ AND, if you do not have a ‘safety net’ of their own in place then don’t do it and shut the F**K up!!! That goes for ALL ‘rescue’…How many times do you have to see pictures of animals being transported improperly before you realize it was wrong to do the deed!!! This one set me off with this issue as it was done more than once by a USDA/State licensed facility and not sited for having done it -IMPROPERLY!!!!!!
There are NO water bowls in those cages and NO way to provide food or water should the need arise…NO way to clean a cage…this entire transport of these animals is UN-ACCEPTABLE and I copied all the pictures from the site begging for donations to my personal files…I dearly hope that Gustafson has made her LARGE contribution considering that she is so excited that a facility went under and became an emergency situation that came about where the animals required immediate evacuation; and in my opinion, partly HER fault; NOT a reason to do a happy dance after putting the lives of animals in grave danger!!!
I viewed the animals in their new cages and the animals are in a far better situation however the transport is NOT questionable it IS  totally UNACCEPTABLE…a flat tire or breakdown along the way could have put these animals in a far worse situation. Should an emergency arise that the animals need emergency evacuation from Taft’s rescue center/facility, I venture to say proper conditions could not be met and as far as I know, now a requirement of the USDA or one soon to go on the books.
Only an exhibitor can met the proper specifications of an animal transport inspected and licensed by the USDA; They would have proper and/or enough equipment for an evacuation or rescue. No way to provide the minimum of standards in the transport cages Taft used except for one…exactly how could they even clean the cages?!? The animals would be trapped in those cages with urine and feces. Not one water bowl in those cages…Was there a cooler of emergency food if there was a need…there were no containers for water storage for the animals…Sorry folks…I hate to burst your bubble of happiness…The rescue was done improperly and should be reported to prevent this from happening ever again…
You do NOT take animals in peril and subject them to possibly a much worse situation waiting to happen!!!
Stay tuned…there will be more…there is always more   Best  -B
Certainly did make the news:

Experts Checking Animals Seized from Sanctuary

DNR awaits evaluation before considering charges

IDAVILLE — Ribs, hip bones and vertebrae were visible on the animals seized this week from Great Cats of Indiana near Idaville.

Lt. Dan Dulin said the Indiana Department of Natural Resources received reports about a week ago of malnourished animals and inadequate caging at the sanctuary for abused, unwanted, abandoned and displaced big cats off U.S. 24. An inspection by Cpl.

Todd Pekny, he said, found the allegations to be true.

“We found that the reports we received confirmed that based on the animals that we saw and the conditions of the cages,” Dulin said.

Conservation officers took all of the facility’s animals — four tigers, a lion, a bobcat and a mountain lion.

Dulin said facility director Rob Craig was not present when the animals were taken.

“We made contact with him by phone, and he confirmed to us that the cats were a little malnourished,” Dulin said.

Attempts to reach Craig were unsuccessful. The case will go before an administrative law judge where Craig will have the opportunity to appeal the DNR’s findings.

This is the second time in recent years the DNR has removed animals from the state-licensed sanctuary, Dulin said. In 2011, four other cats were removed for permit violations, and Craig voluntarily gave investigators more animals than they came for then, Dulin said. He said Craig did not appeal the 2011 decision.

The animals have been taken to an undisclosed USDA-licensed facility within Indiana for observation, evaluation and care.

Craig has run the sanctuary since the early 1990s, and he moved it near Idaville in 1997. He opened it to the public from 2002 to 2010, according to published reports.

Dulin said Craig could face felony neglect charges and misdemeanor permit violations, but that won’t be determined for a while.

“We are waiting on the outcome of the evaluations by a veterinarian and what may happen in the appeal process before we make a criminal determination,” he said.


Exotic animals getting care needed

CLAY COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) – Newschannel 18 brought you information Wednesday night on the exotic felines seized from Great Cats in White County.

The exotic felines traveled more than 100 miles south to Exotic Feline Rescue Center in Clay County after being removed from Idaville Tuesday.

Though it’s only been two days, they are in much better condition.

“Look how skinny this animal is, look at the condition of her coat,” said Joe Taft, Director of Exotic Feline Rescue Center.

That was Taft describing a cougar seized Tuesday from Great Cats of Indiana in White County.

“They had a USDA citation about a cougar that had a severed tail that was bleeding. This is the one,” said Taft.

A total of seven exotic felines were seized in Idaville after reports of poor living conditions were passed along to the Department of Natural Resources.

The animals were taken to the new center where they have since received individual treatments from an on-staff veterinarian and adequate amounts of food and water.

It’s a problem Taft said he runs into all the time and several times from Great Cats alone.

“They aren’t the worst place we’ve ever seen, but they are certainly close to the bottom. I’ve not seen too many places that were so chronically unclean,” said Taft.

NewsChannel 18 saw a tiger taken from White County. It’s much thinner than the rest of the tigers at the facility and is continually gnawing on his dinner.

Taft said he has more than 200 exotic cats housed in his facility, most of which were rescued and treated back to great condition. All of the cats there will live out the rest of their lives under the care of Taft and his crew.

Great Cats of Indiana has officially closed following this seizure.

The owner’s USDA and state license have both been suspended and Taft said he is confident all of the animals seized will make a full recovery.


~ by topcatsroar on January 26, 2014.

One Response to “PART TWO -Zoo Wars-Freak to Freak…Milking an OLD, UNLAWFUL, ILLEGAL, UNCONSTITUTIONAL Seizure of Big Cats…ONE MORE TIME-Otherwise Known as Knee Deep in BULLSHIT, LOL!!!”

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