Another blogger alerted us to bad news at Caboodle Ranch this morning. I've been feeling dejected and listless since I heard.
You might remember us touring Caboodle Ranch and meeting its owner and full-time manager, Craig Grant. Our impression was that this was a good place for otherwise-unwanted cats to be, and that it was a clean, relatively safe, and loving place for them to live out their lives. We didn't see the infirmary.
For me, the issue is whether or not to euthanize very sick cats. Craig does not kill any cat, no matter how sick. I would choose otherwise if I were king. He never made any pretense that he euthanized cats; in fact, he made his policy clear. He makes them as comfortable as is chemically and emotionally possible, but he doesn't kill them. So, it is very likely that inside the infirmary were very, very sick animals. [I didn't watch the videos, and I won't.]
So, in the fray, hundreds of cats who were happy, healthy, and enjoying life and relative freedom on 30 acres of wooded land, with heated shelters and plenty of food, have been rounded up and "rescued" to crowded cages, over-populated, under-funded shelters, and uncertain fates. Most shelters are not no-kill. I know for a fact that the neighboring Lake City, Florida Humane Society will accept and kill a litter of kittens on demand while you wait. For free, if you're a resident. Now what are the Caboodles' chances?
If Craig's history and story are to be believed, this is tragic for the cats who might have lived out long lives on the Ranch. If PETA and the ASPCA are to be believed, it's tragic for everyone. I have encouraged people to donate a bit to the Caboodles, and we've met the man and his cats. Naturally I hope to see him exonerated. I don't want to believe he is a criminal hoarder. A hoarder doesn't build and maintain a compound like this, seeking the best food and care for his charges. A hoarder doesn't (shouldn't?) receive seals of approval from local veterinary and animal shelters. These charges make fools of the hard-working volunteers who saw all parts of the operation and who thought the endeavor was worthy of their time and labor.
Disclaimer: Annie may have a different opinion, and so I'm not letting her post, just in case she disagrees with me. As if.
I'm going to moderate comments for a while, because I'm sure Caboodle Ranch detractors are feeling joyous at their "victory" on behalf of cats. This blog isn't going to be a forum for free speech today. For them. You guys can speak. Just remember I'm sad.