MAKE A DONATION TO THE TEXAS 7!
A good friend of Popcorn Park, Vicky Keahey, owner of Insync Exotics, an exotic cat sanctuary in Texas, called me about 3 weeks ago. She had heard of some big cats about 40 miles from her who were in real bad conditions. The owner had passed away a week ago and no one could care for her "pets".
Thanks to Insync, the deplorable conditions that these cats survived have been documented. The first 4 photos from Insync show how the cats lived at the time of their rescue.
Many of the big cats were kept in filthy, barren stalls.
The woman had kept most of them in stalls in a horse barn and some of the lucky ones were in cages outside. The stalls hadn't been cleaned in what looked like years. Water was poured into buckets through a fence but the buckets hadn't been cleaned either; food looked like it was just tossed in.
Debris, waste and/or remains of other cats were found in all cages and stalls.
These poor cats lived a miserable life and after looking around while cleaning, Vicky's staff found the remains of some who didn't make it. Insync's staff and volunteers were there everyday cleaning, feeding and caring for these horribly neglected animals until they could be transported to safe havens.
Taj the tiger, missing her tail.
After what Vicky had told us about the situation we started making some room. We could take seven --the male lion with severe dental problems and some other issues, Taj a tailless tiger who lived in squalor; it was said that a raccoon had bit her tail off when she was young. Five cougars, 4 girls and 1 male named Lance. Lance had some serious problems just getting around so we had Insync's vet sedate and x ray him. Dr. Wallace found that Lance had had two broken back legs that healed but kept him from walking they way he should, and a bad bite wound to his front paw, that caused him to lose 2 digits.
Some of the cougars after arriving at Popcorn Park in the climate-controlled transport truck.
We hired a climate controlled tractor trailer and by Tuesday night all were on the way to Popcorn Park. A stop in Indiana to drop off 4 lions took a bit longer then expected but the transport arrived Friday morning with three staff members from Insync following. They fed and watered every 5 hours on the way here.
Our new lion in his travel cage on the transport.
We waited on the edge of our seats and finally saw the transport pull in. Couldn't wait to open those doors and see our new family. We finally did ... along with the staff from Texas! Our veterinarians, Dr Paluch and Dr. Bergmann, prepared the drugs to sedate our new arrivals so they could do blood work, vaccinate, do a general health check up then transport them to their new homes.
One of the cougars, sedated, and getting a complete check-up by veterinarian Dr. Bergmann and our vet tech.
John Bergmann, left, and an Insync volunteer, right, assist Dr. Bergmann in checking our lion.
Insync staff helps veterinarian Dr. Bergmann and Popcorn Park General Manager John Bergmann getting Taj the tiger out of her travel cage for her exam.
Waking up in his new den at Popcorn Park, our lion, Porthus, would soon be up and eating.
All went very smooth and they were awake and eating some dinner by 5:00. We'll learn more about them as the days go by, but from now on they will never want for clean water, proper diet, a clean den and big yards to play in. See additional photos of how they are adjusting.
We are very grateful to Vicky and all the staff at Insync for their invaluable help in rescuing these animals.
Rescuing the Texas 7 has been a huge undertaking, and while we've made great progress, there will be a tremendous work yet to be done for these horribly neglected cats. Please help defray the many expenses involved in giving these big cats the life they deserve.
MAKE A DONATION TO THE TEXAS 7!
Check out NBC interview and video on the Texas 7 rescue.