Dec 16, 2011 10:08 am
Amazing Grace Catz in Davie county NC was raided by animal control. The owner of the kitty mill is being accused of starvation. My understanding through the rescue movement here is that local animal control has seized the cats in evidence. No word yet on when/if they will be released for rescue. Please keep these cats in your prayers, and if any of you can help place them, please keep an eye out for their release.
Dec 16, 2011 11:17 am
Oh wow, poor kitties! I have an open home for foster if any of them need a place to be, but I'm all the way in Washington state... The people who wrote the small news artical need to do a bit of reachearch on their cat breeds as it states in the artical that she bred "lynx and bob cats" even though she bred highland lynx and mohave bobs - which are 100% domestic. At any rate I hope the kitties will be okay. If I'm not mistaken doesn't amazing grace cattery advertise here fairly often? I know I have seen her cats and her website before on here. [continued below]....
..... Has anyone had a chance to talk with her to hear her side of the story?
Dec 16, 2011 12:37 pm On the amazing grace cats website it says desert lynx and highland lynx cats are hybrids...I thought there was no wild species in their heritage and that it was just bred to resemble the bob cat? There is much discrepancy about this on the web..
Dec 16, 2011 1:09 pm
Sandra has produced some stunning high percentage F1 litters which obviously requires a Serval to do. And they weren't cheap, nor where her F2s. Not sure what you were inquiring about but her prices were in line with other cats of similar pedigree from what I knew of her. Anyway, it is unfortunate that this has happened.
12/16/2011 2:54 PM
A lot of people have had issues with this woman and the way she has marketed and bred her cats for sometime. She has always marketed the highland kittens as having lynx in them even though they do not and whenever anyone questioned her about this MANY times she would never respond. She also frequently posted on her website in the past about kittens dying and being killed by adult cats and was always selling "surplus" kittens. I was not aware of her ever having an ACTUAL serval as I was under the impression when I spoke to her in the past she had a friend who kept the "expensive" cats and they were trying to breed them to resell. She would never provide me with any sort of health information or pedigree standard on any of her cats when I was looking in the past for a Savannah for a family member that had visited a few catteries but was waiting until she came across the right one and right timing for it and absolutely refused to allow local pick up, probably because I was a bit pushy for information because things just did not sit well with me. But the news reports are saying that a serval was removed, but of course it could also be an F1 or F2 also. This seems to be the trend when buying "cheap" savannahs these days. It is just not cheap to house, care, breed for these animals so if anyone is getting a really cheap one it may reflect a situation like this unfortunately. Very sad!
Dec 16, 2011 1:17 pm
I looked at the website for the cattery and she had a serval named king Solomon. It was a serval...not a hybrid. Unless the pics are stolen. I think I remember seeing her website a few months ago and thought it was very odd that she would announce litters, and would say "the little boy didn't make it". It seemed like a AWFUL large number of deaths to me. In addition, I thought it was odd that she announced that many deaths in her site...not good for business I would think. Maybe it was a different site but I don't think so.
Dec 16, 2011 4:12 pm
Did you get cats from her? She may have produced beautiful cats I am only speaking of what I know in the past few months. Surplus kittens heavily discounted and some with health issues being sold pretty cheap. I just don't think it's right continuing breeding if things are chaotic with "excess cats" and I hate referring to cats as if they are simply a commodity. Most breeders work really hard and I greatly admire them but these cases highlite individuals who obviously have let things get out of hand and it affects other breeders negatively with laws and the media/public looking down on them. Everyone deserves their side and people make mistakes but some people need to put the animals first and this clearly didn't happen and they are going to be the ones to suffer along with kids since it sounds like CPS got involved. I feel for this lady I do, but if you search her and her cattery other forms online also gave her advice and criticized certain things and she continued doing it. I just can't stand behind that. Exotic animal owners are already under such watchful eyes that events like this make legislation even tighter for all owners and breeders.
Dec 16, 2011 7:57 pm
I have never gotten any cats from her but I knew her via email and phone to some degree. Nobody can properly take care of that many animals without help so it isn't surprising that kitty and puppy mills have horrible conditions....Even if they started with good intentions if one starts acquiring more and more animals at some point you need money and help to care for them or you have to downsize so that the animals are properly cared for. It is just horrible all around but at the end of the day she produced some lovely, so far healthy, Savannahs so no one wanted to believe that she could run a filthy cat mill that is overcrowded.
Dec 17, 2011 8:55 am
In my opinion until we hear from her mouth exactly what happened we don't really have much room to say anything about her or her cats. I did not know her - I have seen her posting on here a number of times. I believe this was unfortunate for her and the cats but us if anyone should know the way the media blows things out of preportion, expecially when it comes to animals and ESPECIALLY when it comes to exotic animals. Do any of you recall a few months back an unfortunate rabbit seizure that took place in CO? http://bobmccarty.com/2011/08/10/anonymous-call-to-new-animal-abuse-hotline-leads-to-raid-on-colorado-womans-rabbit-farm/ I'm just saying, sometimes authorites are not always right, sometimes we need to give people the bennefit of the doubt. It's possible that her "underfed" cats could just be skinny from birthing litters, it's possible that the cat that died could have had underlying health problems that she was treating but that the authorities didn't, we don't know the whole story from both sides so I don't think we have the right to say much about the situation other than helping the cats that were taken find homes where they will be cared for and loved. After all that's what we stand for more than anything else, isn't it?
Dec 17, 2011 9:26 am
I understand where you are coming from especially on the side knowing how the media distorts things and I am always waiting for the whole story but I also feel like so many have tunnel vision right now. To have posted in the past about several kittens being killed by adult cats and other kittens not making it so she was keeping kittens in a different room and the adult cat that was "eaten" by another breeders cat seems irresponsible to me. These are all things she posted herself in the past on her website. She criticized others in a past post about their breeding but yet could not answer some very simple questions for me. That is where I had an issue and if you search more there were others on other forums who also saw red flags. I am not coming down on breeders, but I also don't think it's fair to the cats to justify everything with simply saying there were some wonderful savannahs produced. It's like turning a blind eye away to the fact cats died and clearly the seizure of both the animals and children because some great cats did come out of it. Makes no sense to me. And I was wrong about the serval it was simply the impression I had in the past again because my questions were never fully answered. Have others actually seen for themselves anything that contradicts the way these cats lived? It just seems selfish and irresponsible and kitten mills leads to more laws and restrictions for those already abiding by the rules. I do hope all of these cats are getting what they deserve and can only imagine what the serval must be feeling being taken away from the only home he knows. Breaks my heart that this kind of thing happens.
December 17, 2011 11:50 AM
One of the unfortunate things about breeding anything, be it dogs, cats or rabbits is that there ARE losses... and they happen more often than any of us would like. In nature and with outdoor cats kittens that die are never seen or found. The mother's often eat them to "hide evidence" of the other kittens from preditors. They also often kill the malformed, sickly and weak. It is survival of the fittest. We PEOPLE intervene in hope of saving those that would normally perish. Just because it is not widely understood doesn't make her a kitten mill or bad breeder. Her mistake was publicizing it. Same with URIs. Any breeder who has had more than a few litters has a supply or ammoxicillin or clavamox on hand because it happens all the time too. Sandra may not have had the best communication skills, I'll agree with you on that, but of the photos and footage I've seen, there was not one sickly looking animal in the bunch. If she had kittens with URIs that is life... and only a crime if she wasn't treating it. How do we know it wasn't a premature F1 kitten that died at the vet? Again, not given the opportunity to feed it every two hours and then "rescuers" removing it from the home gave it little chance of survival. Of course I am speculating on the possible scenarios, as are you. You are correct that we haven't seen proof of the conditions, and in this county people are still innocent until proven otherwise. If the conditions are as horrendous as they say they were then she will deserve her punishment. All anyone is asking is that people don't feed in to the sensationalism and news hype before we DO see proof.
Dec 17, 2011 2:54 pm
Well put ---, I just don't like to see other breeders getting targeted when we only have such small peices of information about the whole thing. My prayers go out to her and her family and her cats. It is very unfortunate that this happened but we do not really know her, what was going on leading up to the seizure or what happened. It is easy if you have so many animals for your house to look and smell undesirable! I myself have an african serval, a geoffroys cat, flying squirrels, birds etc and I am litterally cleaning every single day just so my house does not look and smell like a cattle ranch - ugh. I tell you what though, if I didn't do it every single day it would get very bad very quickly. I just hope that her cats are safe and do not have to suffer.
Dec 17, 2011 2:55 pm
It's always a sad situation...I can only hope the breeder meant well and never intended to have more animals than she could care for. It sounds like maybe she just got over her head...I can see conditions gradually declining, as the number of animals increases...it's not something that happened over night. If people keep "puppy mills" or "kitten mills" and KNOW the conditions are bad, but don't care because they just want money, I am all for punishing the owner. But if someone truly loves the animals and cares about them, but gets in deep, to me the most ideal thing would be to help the person improve conditions, rehome some of the animals, educate the owner, and make sure the situation doesn't happen again. I dont know the breeder and I have not read any if the news about it, but I give it the benefit of the doubt that her heart was in the right place and she just got overwhelmed. Its not my place to judge her. I'm not sure if this was a hoarding situation, I'm just speaking generally... but most hoarders need help themselves...not jail time. In working as a vet (a shelter vet for a while even) I have worked with cold-hearted dog "breeders" that don't care a bit about their dogs, and I've worked with people that have WAY too many cats, and they bring in many cats with URIs and the owners can barely afford a bottle of amoxicillin at $4. I have nothing but hate for the puppy mill breeders, but I try to do as much as I can for the others. As a community of animAl lovers, I think some of these "busts" might be prevented if we try to educate owners like this, and prevent the conditions from getting so bad. I know not everyone is open to that, but maybe sometimes all it takes is letting someone know that their conditions are declining. I know if someone came to my house and sat me down and helped me see what I need to be improve because the conditions are bad, and that it is abuse, it would shock me into listening. I wish the breed registries would demand an inspection at least yearly for the people that are breeding more than a couple cats as a requirement for registering the offspring. In fact I with there were more stringent requirements for choosing animals...both cats and dogs...to breed.
Dec 17, 2011 3:29 pm
I completely agree here Leah! I know in order to breed and sell exotics you have to be licensed and follow guidelines. While I am not saying that is great for everyone in the dog and cat business as it is a hassle, it does cost fees, it's not fun having someone come to your home looking for any small flaw especially for those breeders that do great things with producing wonderful cats with great lines and heritage...but it can help in shutting down the truly bad breeding mills and make people that want to get into the breeding business solely for profit at the expense of animals rethink things. It's definitely a touchy subject for some. I never once believed this woman did not love her animals I simply think that past criticiscm was ignored and she got in over her head based on conversations and things put out in the public prior to this incident, but I also don't think that means she is guilty of animal abuse just irresponsible especially in this day and age where the media is just waiting to pounce on you if given the opportunity. I have read some of the news reports and am disgusted with the way the media treats things. One story actually said she WAS breeding bobcats and Lynx because her highlands were referred to them. Now that is really twisting and manipulating things. I just feel as a group events such as this should be taken to help educate and prevent future cases, but with reporting the way it is I can only imagine if I were a breeder feeling my own nerves thinking what if this happened to me or it was a bad day and this is not accurate. I don't think it's fair to judge without the "facts" but I also feel it is our responsibility as a society to look at past things and red flags and take them into consideration and at least acknowledge the faults. I just saw things and conversations that did not add up and were ignored and this could have all been prevented. I hope if anything the truth does come out, things get cleaned up and if she is found innocent she can at least get her serval back if she is able to take care of him along with her other personal pets since I am sure that is the only home they have known and they are probably quite scared wherever they are now along with help from others. Sending the animals my wishes. I heard rescue groups were in contact with the shelter any new news on that?
Dec 18, 2011 8:33 pm
While not trying to be a negative Nelly, the one huge obstacle that no one has mentioned is being the one to "tell on" another breeder. I can assure you that based on the litigious nature of our society, being the "inspector" is not a job I would volunteer for in a million years. Calling foul on another breeder based on one's own personal subjective opinion would likely land the whistle blower in court with claims of libel, slander, defamation, loss of income etc. Regardless if true, it would cost tens of thousands to defend yourself. Also consider that breeders who sign up for such a program are the responsible one's to begin with. Just like breeding limit laws and other legislation that sounds good on the surface, those breeders who have anything to hide aren't going to be signing up for voluntary peer review. That is why I fight and resist such legislation. It punishes the responsible with fees and at times the most ridiculous requirements, while those that the laws are intended to impact just fly under the radar hoping they will not be caught.
Dec 19, 2011 10:47 am
I wouldnt blame any breeder that has to register with the state/county for inspections not wanting to add to more inspections.. but I would think those that dont require such inspection might find it beneficial to show clients that they care enough about their program to have it inspected by an outside group. This could also be used if, by some reason, the breeder has a problem with state or local authorities from someone reporting them for abuse or neglect. I would think those that have inspection by the state/county, and a complaint comes in, that inspectors would look at past records before trying to jumping to the next level. I dont know, I am not a breeder, I do however foster for GLBR, and I just think it would good idea for any breeder or even rescue group to be able to have some kind of outside inspection available.
Dec 27, 2011 6:04 am
Sandra has your vet been able to talk with law enforcement about the kitten that we sick and died of dehydration and not starvation? I would think he/she would be able to explain to them he had custody and control of the kitten for 3 days. I know that people can be very mean and vicious--hope all of your babies end up in good hands.
Dec 28, 2011 8:10 pm
Not asking for help, absolutely put her out of business. Most willing to help will not broadcast a breeder's situation but quietly help. Rescue Orgs, will take the cats and foster while the situation is being corrected. I'd call --- or --- in a heart beat rather than see my cat's suffer or do without proper care due to illness or financial hardship. There are many resources locally for a "flu" or a week or two situation and no one in the cat world would ever know. I too hope that all of the beasties find great new homes, too bad it wasn't our community involved instead of HSUS, she would have been able to recover her cats.
Dec 29, 2011 12:04 am
One has to wonder how many more days would have accumulated for those poor kittens living in diarrhea if authorities hadn't stepped in. If Sandra's flu lasted a week would those kittens suffered in their own feces for that long?? I'm sorry, she should not be rewarded money for her neglect.
Dec 29, 2011 3:25 am
Sorry I'm not buying the "nobody's perfect" excuse. Who knows how long those poor kittens would've stayed in their own feces if authorities didn't step in. Sandra admits to neglecting them for 3 days because of the flu. There is no excuse for this! There could've been somebody, one of her children, friend, relative, neighbor, ANYBODY she could've called to help her rather than let them suffer. Giving her money now for legal fees to support what she did is inexcusable. I also don't buy the hindsight is 20/20 crap excuse either! The authorities wouldn't have spent the time or money raiding her facility just because her website was anti HSUS without a valid reason. 18 kittens isolated to a room, with diarrhea unchecked and not cleaned for THREE DAYS???!!! Wake up people! Your money would do more good going to the facility caring for the sick kittens, not to the person who put them there.
Dec 29, 2011 5:06 am
I think there is way more to this than any of us know and that you both have valid points. I hardly believe a rescue or shelter would have come out to foster or help her scoop boxes. Most are so anti-breeder now that anything they saw at the time would have also resulted in a raid rather than understanding for a person in need of some help. For all we know Sandra WAS expecting her teenage children to be helping. I sure as hell did when my son still lived at home. Maybe they weren't doing what she asked of them. Does she need to take responsibility for the situation? Absolutely. If people want to help her financially now I guess that is a personal decision but it will be a cold day in hell that I send money to HSUS or affiliated shelters.
Dec 29, 2011 6:18 am
Regardless, she had the flu. She wasn't in the hospital in a coma... There's no excuses. Sandra was not a victim of an unfortunate course of events. She never once mentioned in her statement that she asked for help to no avail. If anything she downplayed the entire event, admitting she didn't tend to those sick kittens in three days! Then went on to say it could've happened to anybody. I sure hope no one finds this an acceptable answer to setting the example of what a reputable breeder's answer should be in this type of situation.
Dec 29, 2011 6:40 am
I don't want to kick a horse when there down but I will say if things were tight financially and she couldn't handle all of the cats. I tried buying one from her several times of the past couple of months but she wanted top dollar for any kitten. She could have easily let one go for $3-4000 and had one less kitten and some money to get by. When I have spoken with her it always seemed about getting the most money possible but in a situation like this she should of been considering the well being of the cats not making x amount of dollars in my opinion.
Dec 29, 2011 6:50 am
OMG if she can afford to turn down 3-4000 dollars, WHY is she asking for money for help????? Give me a break
Dec 29, 2011 7:04 am
I can't imagine taking on someone else's sick kittens, but maybe in her mind, she thought she had the knowledge and resources and it would just be temporary thing that she could do for a friend. Then everything happened with all of them getting sick, her getting sick, and the raid.
I can't imagine how overwhelmed I'd feel if I were dealing with two litters of kittens with cocci and all that stinky poop. Uggghhthen getting sick myself. I would be completely overwhelmed. Kittens can dehydrate and die so fast. I don't miss the times I've had to give round the clock lactate ringers to sick kittens (and I'm talking only one or two at a time), praying they would rebound and feeling so totally stressed and tired myself.
With the holidays approaching and her deceased son's birthday coming up, and her other financial problems, I'm sure she was dealing with some other depressing issues as well.
I know first hand how HSUS can target people. They called our local AC daily putting pressure on them to put me out of business over a ban law that I was supposed to have been grandfathered in on. HSUS lost their pursuit in my case, but the fact that they were calling was really intimidating the head of our local AC. She kept saying well "HSUS wants us to pursue this and they keep saying "Don't cave". So, instead of grandfathering me in, like was supposed to have happened years before, the animal control board and county attorney changed the ordinance after my presentation before the board. Now everyone in the county can own hybrids again, and the exotics used to create them have to have an approved enclosure.
Back to Sandra: one of the articles I read about this case says that HSUS called Davie County Sheriff's Department when they got a complaint. They were certainly after her in my opinion. Did you see the pictures on their Facebook page? Their profile picture was of the raid. They had tons of vehicles and TV vans before they left. It was was designed to be a propaganda tool against breeders and exotics, so the media was there. What if they had shown up to immaculate conditions? Then they released stories making it sound as if she had lynx and bobcats and "big exotic cats" to concern the public. But, they had to put these cats in the Guilford County shelter, and Guilford county doesn't allow hybrids, so they had to clarify that a bit. However, Highlanders and some of the others likely have Jungle Cat in them, so they are hybrids too. They just don't look obviously hybrid, so they are saying all the domestic cats are at Guilford County Animal Shelter and the hybrids and serval are at a licensed exotic cat facility (licensed yes, exotic cat facility NO). I'm not condoning the conditions at the facility, I'm just saying that she was targeted, hit while she was obviously down, and the charges were trumped up in order to keep her from fighting for her animals, and only fighting for her own freedom. They have been trying to ban exotics in NC for a while. They like to divide and conquer. Hybrid breeders are an easy target as many exotic animal groups are now uniting with farmers, etc.
If you can make people believe this was a breeder that was abusive and only using animals just to profit, you have the public on your side and have essentially handing them a pitchfork to join the fight. All that money pays for the best propaganda machine.
Dec 29, 2011 7:12 am
I'm going to say this and then I won't say anymore. I am glad that most have good friends/vets that will help out if needed. If I didn't have my husband, I wouldn't have anyone that would come and help. My one friend that would have, moved to Oregon. During the fire when I had to evacuate and even afterwards, there was no one to help, believe me, I asked. I rehomed some cats and caught nothing but crap. I will never ask for help again after what I went thru. If that makes me a horrible person, so be it. Do I think she was right not to take care of the kittens even though she was sick, no I don't. I do know for a fact that you can get so overwelmed that you just can't do anything. It doesn't matter if you have 1 cat or a dozen. I was so depressed after the fire that if I didn't have my husband to do things for me, nothing would have gotten done. Do you think that if I had put it out on the lists that I needed help that someone would jump in a plane and come? I highly doubt it. My point is, sometimes there is no one to help you.
Dec 29, 2011 7:12 am
I am a little surprised at one of your comments. Have you NEVER known a breeder who bred "just for profit" who would be pissed that a cat died because she "needed that money to pay a bill?" I have, it was a dog breeder and a cat breeder. Now I cant say Sandra was one of them because I didn't know her, but they do exist and I find it very odd that she would turn down such a large amount of money for a kitten and then need to ask for help (financially). Also, I don't care how sick I am. If the ammonia levels in my home were that bad, my kids would be at relatives houses and not at mine. What about her kids in this situation? I have teens and "feed the cats?", lol, are you kidding? Um, on a commercial mom? Can I do it later mom? ....it never gets done. I am sure she is a nice person but I feel she must have started to get numb toward the cats if they were that sick and she didn't care for them. Also, 18 kittens in one room is too much. How do you treat and control with that many in one room?
Dec 29, 2011 7:40 am
Until you walk in someones shoes you cannot judge a situation and you are NEVER able to know what someone thinks or feels about a situation. Personally this whole thing screams depression to me I have dealt with severe depression and I can tell you without having the flu I did not get dressed or out of bed for weeks. I cannot even imagine having 1 cat let alone kittens a serval, a donkey, and a goat to care for because when depression hit I could not care for myself. I don't think Sanda IF depression was the cause of this was 'able' to ask for help let alone care for anything. It IS a sad situation ALL around for her, her human children and ALL those animals.I WILL be quite surprised IF any of the SVs find homes I dare say they WILL be euthanized. This does effect EVERY family who owns a hybrid because no matter the situation that brought this about it IS more fuel for the total BAN of exotics and the hybrids produced by them. If I could afford to donate I would. Prayer is all I can give and I have been praying daily for Sandra and the kids human and fur. I also think this is a wake-up call ANY and ALL that live near or are friends with breeders please be aware of your nieghbors situations step UP to the plate if you think someone is overwelmed. When you point fingers there are ALWAYS fingers pointing right back at you.
Dec 29, 2011 3:48 pm
I am not here to judge Sandra and neither should any of you! If you do not want to donate, then DON'T!!!! She is innocent until proven guilty! I too would like to see pictures of her horrid conditions, so far, I have seen NOTHING! If her place was so horrid, where are the pictures????? They would be plastered all over the news by now!!!!! Until all FACTS are presented and SHOWN, I refuse to judge her and what she did or did not do! To me, this just screams HSUS set up! Wake up people....you could be NEXT! It is a well known fact that HSUS HATES breeders, especially Hybrid and Exotic breeders. I own hybrids and let very few people in my home, only the people I truely trust as I fear someone is going to turn me in for owning "wild" cats! My house is very clean, but all it takes is that "one" person! It is also one of the reasons I moved to the country, but after all this, I do not even feel safe here! Instead of "bashing" Sandra for what she did or did not do, why don't we all pull together and start fighting some of these ban laws that are trying to be passed! If not, soon we will not be able to own our exotics and our beloved hybrids! Just my two cents!!!!
Dec 29, 2011 4:54 pm
I am not a person to judge another unless all facts haven been proven and they are shown to me in black and white or color! To date, I have seen NO pictures of Sandra's so called "horrid" conditions!!!! Another reason to believe she was targeted by HSUS. How do we know that the person who gave her the sick kittens is not the one who turned her in???? Has anyone thought of that????? Pass the blame so to speak.........She lived in a rural setting, she let no one in. I recently had my pressure tank stolen from my well. When the person came to replace it, I did NOT let him in my house to fill out paperwork. I DO NOT want the average Joe Blow in my house seeing my cats! Where I used to live, I had a neighbor stop and pull in my driveway while I had my Savannah out playing with me. She swore up and down I had a bobcat!!! People can be so ignorant and downright stupid at times!!!! I finally had to scream at her to get off my property!
Jan 1, 2012 10:32 am
Well, all I can say is if the rest of the house looks anything like the kitchen this was a hell hole. If she was truly sick for 3 days, nobody's kitchen can be that bad in just 3 days. It is a pig stye and I really do not care what anyone else thinks. It is my opinion from seeing these pictures. Everything is dirty, and if you look at the water bowl in the outdoor pens they are oozing green. That does not take 3 days to happen. Even the sick kittens in the very small cages, the cages are filthy and there is not even a soft bed for the babies to lay in. I am sorry but to see 4 to 5 fairly large kittens (that are also sick) stuffed into a small cage seems heartless to me. They cannot be comfortable at all and to me this is cruel. Trash all over the place, pens in dirty disrepair, sorry, this did not happen in 3 days. I am glad they took the cats and don't care if anyone disagrees. No one should keep their kittens in these kind of conditions! There is a big difference between being messy and filthy and this place is filthy! JMO
Jan 1, 2012 11:15 am
I have hold my tongue, since I didnt know what might be true and havent seen pics until now and must say Im appalled. This filthy environtment cant be from a couple of days the breeder was sick with a flue. To me it looks like a condition developed over months. Look how dirty and cluttered the kitchen is, and look at the window for example. The room looks as it wasnt cleaned for months. There arent even cats in it, so where comes the dirt from? I know what a mess kittens can do in a couple of hours with water, food and litter, but the cats pens and kittens cages look different. Look at the litter box in one of the pics, its dried poop on it all over. No blankets, beds, or toys, instead just shredded newspaper. From what I can see at least in two cages no water, which is fatal for kittens being fed dry food and having the runs. No wonder they suffered from dehydration. Then some kittens look definetely too small, skinny and bony. Most of the adult pens look too small and dirty to me, too. And what is with the little goat in the small rusty cage in its own feces? What is with the little black and white dog in the living room that cant move any more? If those animals wouldnt have taken away I wonder how many would have died by now or later on? I understand that some Savannah people want to defend their friend/breeder within the community, but I think there is a fine line what is acceptable and what not, regardless of the best friendship. Animal abuse isnt.
January 01, 2012 12:44 PM
To all the people on here I told to wait and not pass judgement... I sincerely apologize. If this is ----'s house... Let her rot... don't send her a dime. If anyone has a way to take on even ONE of these poor animals, please help THEM, but SHE can rot.
January 01, 2012 8:01 PM
I agree that I don't like seeing older kittens in queen crates but I'm assuming those are the kittens with coccidia. Could be wrong... there is just so much more to what was going on than can be guessed by what we see here.****
January 01, 2012 12:36 PM
I don't know Lori, it looks like there are a lot of healthy animals in crates as well. Some of those kittens are too big (IMHO) to be kept in birthing crates any longer, but I agree that the outdoor pens look fairly well kept. I don't want to judge either, and even though the pictures 'speak for themselves', each individual who views them will have a different reaction to what they see, based on their own experiences. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out in the courtroom.
Sun Jan 1, 2012 2:16 pm (PST)
Ok, let me get this straight. I see some comments about people relating to how the animals are/were kept and I am trying to wrap my head around all this.
Please do me a favor, if you are going to read this, please read it in its entirety, dont get pissed off at me at reading only half and fire off a nastygram back to me. Up until this thread came out I really didnt post anything here. A couple questions or comments maybe but nothing really outspoken... then this matter came about and I started getting fired up. I dont know you and you dont know me and we all have our own opinions... this is mine.
Before you continue reading through my rantings... ask yourself this question and do it honestly. Lets say you were a normal person looking for pet and think that Savannah cats are really cool looking and want one. You do all the research about care, suppliments, and nutrition for the various lineages (F1-F5)... talk to some current Savannah owners on forums... you look at your state laws...and finally decide to buy one. If you went to this house to pick up a kitten... would you still buy it from her after seeing this? Remember... average person...
I know I am going to piss a couple of you off with the rest of this but again, just so you know where I am coming from, I am not a breeder, I am an average pet owner. My pets live VERY well and are considered family. I have looked through these pictures a couple times now... the first time was just a scan through and was appalled... then after a couple comments were made I scanned through them again with a more critical eye. Not looking at just the animal but the conditions of everything around it, the cage, the room. I see some animals in good condition, but I see a lot of other red flags around besides the kitchen pictures which honestly looks more than just a couple days mess if you really look around. Litter boxes... windows... walls...
So, some of you breeders keep your animals like this? Separated and in cages all day? How is that a life? And some of you say there is almost No money in it if you "are doing it right" with the overall care and tica registration and vet fees. So why are you doing it? It sure isn't for the "love" of the animal... being locked into a pen all day and getting visited by your owner couple times a day for feedings and cleaning out the run. With the number of animals shown in those pictures I dont know how they could afford it. Routine Vet bills alone are expensive let alone the food costs for the different animals. I make over $100k a year and dont think I could keep up with those bills for proper care for all those animals even WITH the discounts you all get for prescriptions and medications by doing them yourself.
Something I read earlier is that "she didnt want people to come see where she lived"? or did I read that wrong? If you are a breeder and dont want people to come over to your facility, why is that? That to ME is a serious red flag. I understand privacy. I understand these cats are expensive... but this was not a huge corrugated building with locked doors... these were wood and chicken wire pens outside. You are selling an animal and not using a middle man (ie. Petstore) to sell them. I am personally not going to send someone $1,000-10,000 on something over the internet I have not inspected. So I am going to hop in my car or hop on a plane, come there, and get my new pet. I understand some people consider that kind of money for a pet small change but the majority of the "working class" consider that a lot of money to risk on something unseen. And if I got there and saw those conditions I would be a little upset.
Dont get me wrong, I understand the controlled breeding concept. Keeping them separated until you actually want them to breed with a certain cat to get controlled results. I get that... I may not like the pictures, but I get the concept. But lets see... Keeping them under the porch in pens, keeping them outdoors in pens, keeping them in the house in pens (minus the quarantine cages since the little ones were sick). Are the kittens socialized? if her kids are not helping around the house (there is another thing I wont start on) and she is doing all the chores, cleaning the cages, taking care of the horse, taking care of the chickens, taking care of the goat, taking care of the cats and kittens, when does she have time for socialization? How much time could she possibly spend with each animal every day? Really? Count the animals...add in normal day to day housework... add in dealing with the kids, making dinner, homework... How much time?
Something else to consider... this is North Carolina. This is not Arizona, Southern California, or Florida... It gets cold there. Savannahs are not built for cold yet I didn't see any barn big enough to house all the cats in the winter time that she was keeping outdoors in the runs. Are they individually heated? I saw some kennels with indoor/outdoor access but not all them.
So, in my personal opinion...If your property looks like this and your animals are all kept in cages like this regardless of how clean your house is.... Congratulations! !! you run a kitten mill. Healthy or not... you still run a mill and the only difference between you and the people who we see make the news by getting raided is the size and cleanliness of the cages and the pricetags of the cats but make no mistake, even if you are licensed and never get raided... you are still running a mill. You are breeding a large number of cats for profit. Period. You are NOT a casual breeder with a couple cats producing a litter or two of kittens a year for fun and to make a little extra money. You may have started that way but you have become a Mill.
I think that from reading this thread and the responses by SOME of you has opened my eyes a little bit thinking that since the cost of these cats was so high, the success of breeding F1s was so low, and the small number of breeders in the world that it would not be the same as the rest of the animal trade... mills and mass breeding programs. I was sadly mistaken. The lower lineage (F2-F5s) is still the same thing... Mills.
Jan 1, 2012 4:16 pm
Iam not in favor of HSUS, AR or Peta either, actually I hate them. But blaming them looks like a maneuver to distract people from looking at the conditions and suffering of these animals. Shame on everyone prefering to support this breeder letting her animals suffer in such bad conditions to just blame the organisations we all dont like. Is it about politics blaming HSUS, AR, PETA, add Big Cat Rescue/Carol Baskin, or is it about this animals and their welfare? I didnt like their poses at all, I didn t like they put them in cages, too, but at least clean ones and they will at least get treated and hopefully get nice forever homes. Geez, please think a minute. From the posts for days now on the various lists most are still on defence for this breeder telling its all HSUS to blame. Wake up! Although it might be embarrassing to the community this breeder shouldnt have continued like that and the animals are better off now.
January 01, 2012 5:12 PM
I don't think you are off base for most of what you wrote Eric except one crucial point. Being a larger scale breeder does NOT constitute a mill. It means you are large scale or a commercial breeder. The differentiation is the care the animals received, both mental and physical. And here is the difference: Attached is a photo of the queening pens we constructed because I don't like dog crates which are NOT large enough for a queen with a litter IMO, and they are certainly not large enough to raise a litter until 12 - 16 weeks when they leave. They are however necessary for the health and safety of the kittens. I have more than one queen that will cannibalize their litters if not provided a safe and private place to give birth. As a matter of fact one of those girls is the melanistic F2 in the top pen. I also do not want litters to co-mingle before they have all had vaccines. We have what I consider a medium size program and I think it important that people understand that there are certain measures breeders must take to produce healthy kittens: Things like using kennels and queening pens or having more than one litter at a time does not equate to being a mill. I would also challenge anyone to find a single, solitary unsocial, less than body velcro cat from our program.
Mon Jan 2, 2012 5:42 am (PST)
One thing I'd like to addI have seen it written in many places, including here, that it's a "red flag" when a breeder won't let prospective buyers tour their cattery, assuming it's always because they have something to hide. I used to accommodate interested, curious, prospective buyers, and not only did I get tired of lookie loos wasting half a day to see the pretty kitties and not buy one, but I also was attacked by an AR Group having my serval and F1 female Savannah released, right after a tour. Insurance companies will also not allow for that "exposure" (aka risk) unless you have specific insurance for it. I knowwe were threatened by our insurance company that it would not be renewed after we filed a claim when the AR Group broke in a released the cats. The only thing that saved us is that my husband was deployed, and our insurance company (USAA) is not allowed to cancel or refuse policy renewal when a service member is deployed. This is someone's home, and it's a big risk bringing strangers into the house with your family and animals. I only let people come over to pick up kittens that already had signed a contract and had a deposit on a kitten.