Caboodle Ranch Cats: Destiny UncertainPublished June 28, 2012
Caboodle Ranch Fan Page
Almost 700 cats were confiscated on February 27 during the raid on Caboodle Ranch, a 30 acre no-kill cat sanctuary, following an undercover investigation made by a PETA investigator posing as a Caboodle volunteer, along with allegations of animal neglect made by the ASPCA. Craig Grant, the founder and owner of Caboodle Ranch located in Lee, Florida, was charged with cruelty to animals. A hearing was held on May 29 to determine if the cats would be returned to the Caboodle Ranch.
The long awaited decision on whether the Caboodle cats would be returned to Craig Grant was announced a few days ago by Judge Gregory Parker. According to a news story published by The Florida Times-Union, Judge Parker ruled that the cats will not be returned to Grant.
Within his eight-page ruling, Judge Parker stated that the cats confiscated from the Ranch have been placed in the custody of the Madison County Sheriff's Office. The Caboodle cats are presently under the control of the Court where they will remain as evidence, warehoused and caged under the supervision and care of the Jacksonville, Florida ASPCA until August, when criminal charges against Grant will be heard.
Dave Collins, Grant’s attorney, said they are considering an appeal to Judge Parker’s decision, while they get ready for the criminal trial on multiple charges of cruelty to animals. Collins said, “It was tough for us to take. Quite honestly, we totally felt that we were right and the government was wrong, but we have to respect the court. I haven’t spoken to him yet, but I am sure he is dismayed. But we haven’t given up and we feel very, very good for our chances on appeal and in the criminal matter.”
In a letter sent to Judge Parker the ASPCA claims $250,000 was spent on medical care for the cats "rescued in the dire conditions" at the ranch last February. This includes the cost of ongoing veterinary expenses to treat the variety of medical conditions found in the cats such as lymphoma, polyps, blindness and respiratory infections. Additionally, the ASPCA claims approximately $1.2 million was spent to rehabilitate the animals in preparation for adoption if the Court transfers legal custody from the Sheriff of Madison County to the ASPCA.
According to the Huffington Post, Grant posted on his website that many of the sick cats had been dumped at the Ranch and the cats that needed medical care received prompt veterinary attention.
While the ASPCA is delighted with Judge Parker’s ruling, thousands of Caboodle Ranch fans were shocked and devastated by the Judge’s decision. Since many of the Caboodle Ranch supporters spent considerable time at the Ranch as volunteers shortly before the cats were seized, and had witnessed first-hand the proper care and loving attention that Grant bestowed upon the Caboodle cats, the judge’s decision was incredibly painful.
Although the criminal case will not be heard until August and the Court has control of the cats as evidence in the case, it is rumored that the ASPCA has already made plans to hold an adoption event on July 2. Since an appeal is pending, if Grant can clearly demonstrate he can provide Court-approved care for the animals, the cats could be returned to the Ranch. It’s confusing to this writer why the ASPCA can justify launching an adoption event. It has been rumored that some of the officers have already taken their “favorite” cats home.
Of great concern to the Caboodle supporters is what the future holds for the feral cats housed at the Jacksonville facility. Feral cats are different than stray cats. They are “wild” cats with little trust for humans. The FAQ information posted on the ASPCA's website clearly states that feral cats do not make good pets, and should not be relocated. They should be trapped, neutered/spayed and returned to the location in which they were found. Since returning the feral cats to the Ranch or putting them up for adoption as pets are not realistic plans, what do you think will become of these innocent felines?
In considering the Caboodle case, we must remember that the Caboodle cats were “throw-away” felines that no one wanted. Some were “dumped” and abandoned at the Ranch. Many of the cats had serious behavioral problems their owners could not handle. They were taken in with compassion and given a chance to live out their lives in a permanent, loving environment. There are no winners in this case – especially not the cats.
Tell us what you think in a comment.