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Mar 20, 2008
Focus: Animal Welfare
Action Request: Think About
Location: United States
Tiger Ranch, a cat sanctuary and rescue, was raided last week.  The owner, Linda Marie Bruno (known as Lin Marie, or more affectionately, Lin), was arrested and charged with animal abuse.  The cats, her dogs, horses and goat were removed, as were most of her supplies.  She was demonized in the press, and many very skewed stories have popped up everywhere.

Most of the facts were taken out of context to make the situation sound horrible. Armed with only the bare facts and none of the circumstances, many wonderful animal lovers believe Tiger Ranch was a death camp where cats were tortured and neglected by an irresponsible hoarder.

Nothing is further from the truth, and animal welfare activists as well as animal rights activists are speaking out on behalf of Tiger Ranch and Lin to help the public understand what was going on and what is happening in the case.

Before you make up your mind, please open your mind to the whole truth.

Tiger Ranch is a 300 acre rescue/sanctuary that accepted cats that literally had no other alternatives.  Many of the cats she accepted were terminally ill and sick before they arrived at Tiger Ranch.  All of the cats received veterinary care (unless they were already so far gone that they died soon after arrival), and the cats who could not be cured were treated for symptoms and pain as much as possible.  Since Tiger Ranch accepted terminally ill cats and even accepted dead cats from the community for disposal, cats were burried on the property.  Since it is winter in Pennsylvania and immediate burial is not always possible, Lin did what other shelters and veterinary offices do by storing the dead cats in freezers until they could be burried.  Since Tiger Ranch was such a large sanctuary and so many of the cats were terminally ill, there were many dead and dying cats.  Tiger Ranch has been open for over 14 years, so there are mass graves.  Animal control, veterinarians, and animal organizations have inspected Tiger Ranch over the years, and none of them reported abuse or neglect.  At most, they suggested minor improvements, and Lin and her team of volunteers responded to those suggestions.

The true controversy is whether it is humane to euthanize terminally ill cats near the end stages of life or whether it is immoral to kill them for any reason.  Lin, and many others who believe killing for any reason, did not euthanize cats.  She believes it is everyone's right to die a natural death.  This is America's legal view of euthanizing terminally ill humans, yet it is exactly the opposite for animals.  Most people, whether they believe in the right to end life or not, believe it is humane to euthanize a dying animal when the quality of life is gone.  Because of these beliefs, cats that were suffering were given pain and symptom treatment and allowed to die naturally.  Although I am for euthanizing the terminally ill when all quality of life is obviously gone, I support Lin's moral view and her decision to refuse euthanasia on the grounds that she DID make the cats as comfortable as she possibly could, and those same cats would have died under much worse conditions had they not been accepted at Tiger Ranch.  Many of those cats were feral and would have suffered much more if they had been handled by humans.  Others were allowed at least a brief taste of love, compassion, dignity and freedom.  Although there were few cages (some were necessary for intake, veterinary care, and special circumstances), most cats were allowed to roam "free" in contained areas.  Sick cats had their own communities of cats with the same illnesses.  Healthy cats had their own communities.  Old cats had their areas, as did kittens and nursing mothers.

So yes, there were dead and dying cats.  Yes, there were bodies in the freezers.  And yes, there were mass graves.  There were also thousands of healthy, altered and vaccinated cats that were adopted and living all over the USA because of Tiger Ranch.  Meanwhile, PSPCA euthized all of the terminal and even many treatable cats.  The healthy cats (with the exception of some ferals who escaped the raid) are now being warehoused in a make-shift building awaiting the litigation ahead.  Who knows where Lin's dogs, horses and goat are?

For those of you who just can't understand why people who love animals would support Tiger Ranch in view of the terrible stories you've been hearing, please investigate the facts for yourself.  Weigh the evidence carefully before you condemn Linda and those of us who support her.
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Posted: Mar 20, 2008 12:51pm

 

 
 
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Susan Moody
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