I was working for Last Chance for Animals when the initial complaints about Tiger Ranch came in to the office. I was assigned to conduct a preliminary investigation, which I did. I concluded that there was evidence of horrible suffering at Tiger Ranch, and requested authorization to conduct a more thorough investigation. My request was approved but then abruptly withdrawn. I’ve never fully understood why LCA pulled me off of that investigation. After I left LCA, I continued to look into Tiger Ranch and became more and more convinced that the allegations were valid. As a 20-year veteran of the animal rights movement, including a decade as an undercover investigator, I remain convinced that Tiger Ranch deserved to be closed and investigated for animal cruelty. I believe that our mission as animal advocates is to prevent and alleviate suffering wherever it occurs, even when the suffering is created by those who may be trying to do good things for animals.
I do not believe that good intentions absolve us of the consequences of our actions. That applies both to Tiger Ranch and the people who dumped cats there without fully investigating their likely fate.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
….Tiger Ranch animal sanctuary owner Linda Bruno was charged yesterday with 574 counts of animal cruelty stemming from a March 13 raid at her 27-acre Frazer property where investigators found hundreds of sick and dying animals, including, according to the complaint, some “so ill that the veterinarians had to euthanize them at the scene.”
A new hearing has been scheduled for 1 PM on April 17.
On March 13, 2008, over 600 cats were rescued from the Tiger Ranch Animal Sanctuary in Tarentum, PA, in what is being called one of the largest anti-cruelty raids of recent times. From the ASPCA press release:
According to Dr. Melinda Merck, a forensic veterinarian for the ASPCA, the cats, ranging in age from three to four months to seven years, suffer from a host of ailments, including upper respiratory conditions, skin wounds, abscesses, dehydration, malnutrition, dental problems, eye and bladder infections, “and a host of other medical conditions that could have been resolved with proper husbandry,” she said.
For information on how you can help the ongoing Tiger Ranch rescue effort, please see the Donations page. For images of cats, as taken from inside Tiger Ranch before the raid and rescue, please see the Photo Gallery page.