Big Cat Rescue to the RescuePublished June 8, 2011
Flickr User flythebirdpath~} teddy
I have to give Southwest Airlines huge kudos for their recent part in helping to rescue a bobcat kitten.
While pigs don't fly, thanks to the generosity of Southwest Airlines, Max, a very lucky nine-month-old bobcat kitten with a heart condition, was able to fly in style in the comfort of the passenger compartment from Providence Rhode Island to the Tampa International Airport in Florida, accompanied by his escort from Big Cat Rescue. Southwest Airlines donated the tickets for the two travelers which greatly facilitated this magnificent wild cat’s rescue.
Since he was 8 weeks old, Max has been at the center of a legal battle. Last November, Dr. Scott Marshall, a Rhode Island state veterinarian, contacted Big Cat Rescue. Because it is illegal in Rhode Island to keep bobcats as pets, Dr. Scott was in the process of taking possession of the kitten who was purchased by a Rhode Island man as a pet from a backyard breeder in another state.
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management tried to persuade the owner to release the baby bobcat to them so that they could send him out of state to a properly accredited facility such as Big Cat Rescue. Yet, despite their efforts, the bobcat kitten’s owner refused to cooperate and release the cat to an appropriate sanctuary.
Instead, the bobcat kitten's owner fought tooth and nail by initiating legal proceedings which eventually ended up in the Rhode Island appellate court, a battle that lasted six months. Since the state was granted temporary custody of the bobcat kitten, he lived at a rehabilitation center run by a veterinarian for the duration of the trials and appeals.
Big Cat Rescue's expert testimony was requested during these trials to corroborate that wild cats such as lynx and bobcats do not make suitable pets, in spite of the breeder's assertion that they do. The truth is that these exotic felines are only bred for financial gain.
The founder and CEO of Big Cat Rescue, Carole Baskin said, “ Sadly, because Max was born in captivity as the result of a backyard breeding operation, he will never be able to live on his own in the wild as all bobcats should. He will, however, be able to live out his life safely and with dignity here at Big Cat Rescue.”
Carole Baskin and her staff are extremely grateful to Southwest Airlines, and welcome Max as a permanent resident of Big Cat Rescue.
I am sure you will agree that Big Cat Rescue deserves major kudos as well for the incredible work they do. Inspired by love and respect for these magnificent animals, Big Cat Rescue assures the safety and comfort of these exotic felines. Share your opinions with a comment.