On Feb. 27, nearly 700 cats were seized from Caboodle Ranch cat sanctuary in Lee, Fla., approximately 64 miles east of Tallahassee. The ASPCA assisted the Madison County Sheriff’s Office and Madison County Animal Control in the seizure, which happened after an undercover investigation that was set into motion from complaints received by PETA. This is the largest number of cats ever seized in an investigation by the ASPCA.
Caboodle Ranch was not a breeding facility. According the ASPCA rep, the farm was created by the Founder and operator, Craig Grant, “as a sanctuary where where people all across the country relinquished their cats to live out their lives.”
As sometimes happens, the best of intentions can go wrong when too many animals are taken in by one person.
Grant was arrested on an issued warrant ordering the Madison County Sheriff’s Office to take him into custody. He was charged with the following: one count of felony animal cruelty; three counts of cruelty to animals; and one count of scheming to defraud.
Over 100 responders from 11 agencies all over the country responded to help treat the animals. The cats, many in need of veterinary attention, are temporarily being housed in Jacksonville, where veterinary, sheltering, and behavior teams are assessing, diagnosing, treating and caring for the cats.
“The ASPCA is pleased to be able to provide expertise and resources to support the efforts of the local authorities in investigating this ‘sanctuary’ that spiraled out of control,” added Tim Rickey, senior director of the ASPCA’s Field Investigations and Response team. “This is a tragic situation. Caboodle Ranch was clearly overwhelmed with hundreds of cats in dire need of medical treatment, and the sanctuary had no adoption program or any spay/neuter efforts to effectively manage its current population. The ASPCA’s goal is to work quickly to remove these cats from the property and safely transport them to the temporary shelter, where they will be triaged by a veterinary team.”
Currently, all cats are evidence in the investigation by the Madison County Sheriff’s Office, so they are not available for foster/adoption at this time. People who want to help can click here to donate.