More than one year after being rescued, nearly 250 of the 390 cats seized in one of the largest anti-cruelty raids of recent times are on the lookout for new forever homes. The cats, who were held for over a year as evidence during the investigation and subsequent prosecution of Tiger Ranch Cat Sanctuary owner Lin Marie, have spent this time recovering from such ailments as malnutrition, dehydration, respiratory conditions and various skin conditions.
Back in March of 2008, members of the ASPCA Field Services and Disaster Response Teams found the cats living in squalor on the 28-acre property in Tarentum, Pennsylvania. Investigators also found hundreds of dead cats, some in freezers inside the home, others in open burial pits and still others in plain view.
On July 13, 2009, sanctuary owner Marie, also known as Linda Bruno, pleaded guilty to 12 misdemeanor animal cruelty charges and two other counts of tampering with evidence. Under the terms of the plea agreement, Marie will never again be able to own, control or possess any animals. She also will have to pay $200,000 in restitution to the Clarion County Humane Society in Shippenville, which has been caring for the surviving cats since the raid took place. Marie will be sentenced on October 5, 2009, and could face jail time.
"The Tiger Ranch cats were held for such a long period of time because they were still technically the property of Lin Marie,” explains Cori Menkin, ASPCA Senior Director of Legislative Initiatives. “Because of due process laws, the animals cannot be adopted out to anyone else until a court has ruled that the owner cannot keep the animals, or the owner agrees to voluntarily surrender the animals. Prior to that, the animals must be held as potential evidence in the criminal case.”
Adoptions are taking place at the Clarion County Humane Society. For more information on how to adopt the cats contact (814) 226-9192.
Do you Twitter? Use this hashtag to tweet on this article: @aspca and #AdoptRescuedCats