As mentioned earlier this week, the ASPCA is currently on the ground in northern Florida, helping the Madison County Sheriff’s Office and Madison County Animal Control manage the medical care and sheltering of more than 600 cats removed from the Caboodle Ranch in Lee, approximately 64 miles east of Tallahassee. It is the largest number of cats the ASPCA has ever seized in an animal cruelty investigation.
The animals are currently housed at a temporary shelter in Jacksonville, where they are being treated and cared for by a team of responders from nearly a dozen agencies. More cats are still on the ranch and are expected to be transported to Jacksonville in the next few days.
Many of the cats showed signs of neglect and were suffering from upper respiratory infections, skin conditions such as ringworm, and eye infections. Several cats were in dire need of medical treatment, and responders discovered a number of deceased cats and burial sites on the property.
Earlier this week, the founder and operator of Caboodle Ranch was arrested and charged with one count of felony animal cruelty, three counts of cruelty to animals and one count of scheming to defraud. Additional charges will be determined based on medical reports and evidence provided by the ASPCA.
We will remain at the temporary shelter in Jacksonville to monitor the cats’ health and temperament. The ASPCA will work on placement of the animals once the final disposition has been determined by the prosecutor.
We’re at it again! At the request of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office and Madison County Animal Control, the ASPCA is on the ground in Florida managing the rescue of hundreds of cats. The animals were found living in overcrowded and filthy conditions at a non-profit cat sanctuary known as Caboodle Ranch. This is the largest number of cats the ASPCA has ever had to remove from one location in the course of an animal cruelty investigation.
“After receiving numerous complaints regarding the care of animals at Caboodle Ranch, we’re glad that the appropriate enforcement action is being taken,” says Sheriff Ben Stewart with the Madison County Sherriff’s Office.
Many of the cats are exhibiting signs of severe neglect and appear to be suffering from upper respiratory conditions and eye infections, among other medical issues. Responders are also uncovering numerous deceased cats on the property.
“This is a tragic situation. Caboodle Ranch was clearly overwhelmed with hundreds of cats in dire need of medical treatment,” says Tim Rickey, Senior Director of the ASPCA’s Field Investigations and Response team. “The sanctuary had no adoption or spay/neuter programs in place to manage its current population.”
In addition to the ASPCA, numerous agencies from throughout Florida and others from as far away as California have stepped in to help with the massive rescue. “Our immediate goal is to work quickly to remove these cats from the property and safely transport them to a temporary shelter, where they will be triaged by a veterinary team,” adds Rickey.
As of this morning, responders continue to pull cats from the property. The founder of Caboodle Ranch has been arrested and multiple animal cruelty charges are pending.
Looking to rack up some good karma today? How about using social media to spread the word about an older or special needs dog at your local shelter?
In fact, please share Lady, an energetic, dog who adores hugs and kisses, playing tug-of-war, and—it’s true—sitting in your lap!
Lady could really use a boost, because those great qualities aren’t what a lot of people see when they look at this staff favorite—they see an older Pit mix with special needs.
Before being rescued by ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement Agents, seven-year-old Lady had been left to suffer painful osteoarthritis in her hind legs, with no end in sight. But with daily medication she’s happy and healthy, and she now loves brisk walks!
There’s something extra-special about the bond you form with an older dog. They’re calmer, wiser and maybe even a little more appreciative of your kindness. But it can take them a little longer to find their forever homes; they could really use your help.
And if you can get yourself to NYC and meet our sweet Lady, please do! She needs a special adopter who sees her as perfect just the way she is. Is that adopter you? If you live in a teens-and-up household and have a little dog experience, please call our Animal Placement department in New York City at (212) 876-7700, ext. 4120.
The truth is, every 10 seconds an animal is neglected or abused. While this statistic might be hard to swallow, it's a reality we face every single day. And…we’re counting on you to help us out.
Learn Where to Report Animal Cruelty.In some areas, the police department investigates animal cruelty; in others, that job falls to local animal control. Find out who's in charge in your area.
Build a Team.Get to know the animals in your neighborhood and invite your friends and neighbors to do the same. Together you can keep an eye out for any suspicious behavior, lost pets or other concerns.
Pay Attention!Is a bad situation getting worse? Have you seen a blatant act of animal cruelty? Are pets disappearing from your neighborhood? Don't turn your back. Rally your team and call the local authorities immediately.
Make the Call.Without phone calls from concerned citizens who report cruelty in their neighborhoods, we wouldn't know about most instances of animal abuse. It all comes from the public—and it all starts with you. Thank you for taking action for animals.
Simply put, it's not easy. Feral cats endure weather extremes such as cold and snow, heat and rain. They also face starvation, infection and attacks by other animals. And if allthat weren’t bad enough, these kitties also face dangers from humans. Poison, gassing and steel leg-hold traps are just some of the ways people, including several animal control and other government agencies, try to kill off feral cat populations. Whew! Needless to say, these felines sure could use some help.
Colony Caretakers Rock! Despite all their potential hardships, some feral cats live comfortable lives. Colony caretakers provide food and water for the cats, making their lives a little easier. They also make sure the cats have proper shelter, and they work with local vets to have them spayed/neutered. We told you, colony caretakers rock!
Want to learn more about feral cats or find out how you can become a colony caretaker? Visit our Feral Cat FAQ.