Diablo Guapo, jaguar
UPROAR! The Wildcat Sanctuary
UPROAR! The Wildcat Sanctuary
January 2016 | Issue 8
Tammy Thies Founder & Executive Director Julie Hanan Contributor Carissa L. Winter Graphic Designer Photography by TWS staff and Pamela Lammersen of PCML Photography
Mission: Provide natural sanctuary to wild cats in need and inspire change to end the captive wildlife crisis. Vision: Help create a world where wild animal sanctuaries are no longer needed. The Wildcat Sanctuary is accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries and the American Sanctuary Association. The Wildcat Sanctuary is a tax-exempt charity under the IRS code section 501c3, our federal tax ID number is 22-3857401.
The Wildcat Sanctuary PO Box 314 • Sandstone, MN 55072 320-245-6871 Follow us on:
Copyright © The Wildcat Sanctuary. All Rights Reserved.
From the Found e
A reason to celebrate
hope you and your loved ones had a safe and wonderful New Year’s celebration. Because of YOU, we have a lot to celebrate! In 2015, with your in-kind support, we have hit the 1 million dollar milestone of support!!! On top of that, we have over 2.7 million Facebook fans, with support coming from 46 countries. You helped us welcome 8 wild cats to TWS in 2015 and we completed a cross country rescue of four big cats in need of a home. In addition, we helped find homes for dozens more wild cats by arranging their placement at other reputable sanctuaries. This is a HUGE accomplishment for our small non-profit. Most people don’t realize that, out of the top big cat sanctuaries in the country, we house a similar amount of cats, have large habitats, operate similar programs, but our budget is one of the smallest. We’re not open to the general public for daily tours, yet we’re able to reach so many - like you - with our mission and rescue work. You play a big part in the impact we’re making together for wild cats in need.
# of Animals
The Wild Animal Sanctuary $8,699,233 357 wild animals PAWS–Performing Animal Welfare Society * $7,699,048 50 wild animals Big Cat Rescue, Corp. $2,664,978 84 wild animals Turpentine Creek Foundation, Inc. $1,805,747 117 wild animals Lions Tigers Bears $1,252,639 24 wild animals, 4 domestic cats In-sync Exotics, Inc. $971,301 121 wild animals Roar Foundation–Shambala $885,662 27 wild animals Exotic Feline Rescue Center, Inc. $785,128 196 wild animals The Wildcat Sanctuary * $710,758 100 wild animals, 2 domestic cats Wildcat Haven, Inc. * $417,817 48 wild animals Safe Haven Rescue Zoo $192,899 21 wild animals NOTES: All financial data sourced from 2013 IRS Form 990. Number of animals was sourced from website. * Indicates NOT open for general tours.
We’re honored to be part of an industry working so hard to rescue, educate and protect big cats in America. We know you have a lot of wonderful causes to choose from and we’re so thankful you’ve chosen The Wildcat Sanctuary in your giving plans. For the cats,
Donate online at WildcatSanctuary.org Tammy Thies Founder & Executive Director
Why Does Rescuing One Wild Cat Really Matter?
hat started out as a surrender from a private owner, ended up exposing the hard truth of the wild animal industry as a whole. Once again, we’ve learned how quickly one decision can change the fate for a tiger caught up in this cycle of exploitation. When we’re called upon to accept cats into our Sanctuary, it’s rare that we’re these cats’ second home. They’ve usually been through so many and so much before making their way to us. Take, for instance, our newest Callie, tiger white tiger Callie from New York. On the surface, this started out as an Callie living at her previous home in New York. owner surrender from a man who’d fought very hard for years to keep his big cats. But lives helps us know why they act the way they do. there was much more to Callie’s story. So we set about searching for as much background information as we can about them.
The Big Cat Crisis
For Callie, this was just another bend in the road of her life journey. This time, it could’ve ended badly for her again. Her owner could’ve given or sold her to a roadside attraction, another private owner, a breeder, an exhibitor, or even worse, to a taxidermist. Thankfully, her current owner wanted what was best for his cats so Callie ended up with us, a home she’s always deserved. But, even after new cats arrive, we like to know as much as we can about them so we can tailor a behavioral enrichment program that addresses their individual needs. Knowing where they’ve been throughout their
“This is the reality in the exotic animal world and why exotic cats are bred and disappear so easily in this broken system.” And it’s not easy! Though in many states, you’re required to register and have a license tag for your domestic dogs, that’s not the case with exotic cats. Federally, there is no microchipping and no master database for individual animals. WildcatSanctuary.org
Callie, tiger Continued from page 4 This is the reality in the exotic animal world and why exotic cats are bred and disappear so easily in this broken system. Trying to track down Callie’s past took a lot of investigation, like solving a mystery. And what we found was shocking! Years ago, Calcutta (now known as Callie) had been used as an adult exhibit cat at fairs and festivals by the Ashville Game Farm in New York. Though Callie had grown to several hundred pounds, she was still being used to draw paying customers in for photographs. When she scratched a 4-year-old child across the face, resulting in 14 stitches and a series of rabies shots for the child, her owner was found guilty of faking insurance documents and was fined for endangering the public. But this was just one more incident in a long list of injuries and escapes charged against her owner. The Asheville Game Farm was in New York, but the owner had also been caught by CBS INSIDE EDITION’s undercover report selling off zoo animals at an Ohio exotic animal auction. These are auctions where, if you can pay the price, you can take home an exotic animal, whether it be for hunting ranches, taxidermy or backyard cages. These animals disappear, rarely tracked again, being transported all over the country. It’s suspected that these auctions are where many big cats go, after they’re no longer profitable as a pay-to-play exhibit or the cats are no longer manageable. It’s a virtual dumping ground for unwanted exotics. 6
Ashville Game Farm New York
White Tiger Calcutta 2 leopards Shadow & Viper
Surrendered per court order to Steve Salton Mayfield, NY
Surrendered per court order to The Wildcat Sanctuary Minnesota
3 tigers 2 lions 2 cougars
Illegal transfer to Terry Thompson Zanesville, Ohio
Zanesville Ohio Massacre Tigers & lions died No record of cougars
Surrendered per court order to Jungle Experience Zoo Granville, NY
NY License not renewed AWA violations USDA license suspended Threat of seizure
Zanesville Tragedy It’s sad that a child had to be injured in order to set things in motion that would wind up saving Callie’s life. The state forced Asheville Game Farm’s owner to give up his big cats, including Callie. She was taken in by Steve Salton and moved to his New York backyard facility. One of Ashville Game Farm’s cougars ended up at Jungle Experience Zoo in New York, a place with a long history of violations, license suspensions, and lawsuits. The most shocking thing we learned was that most of his other cats went illegally to Terry Thompson in Ohio. He was the infamous owner who later released dozens and dozens of exotic animals in Zanesville, Ohio in 2011, leaving authorities no other choice but to shoot them when Thompson committed suicide there. Tragically, Ashville Game Farm’s cats were among those who died that day at what’s now called the Zanesville massacre. If not for that fateful day, when Callie went to Steve Salton instead of Terry Thompson, she would surely be dead. Instead, she lived the next eight years with Salton until he faced legal zoning battles over ownership of his big cats. Salton’s township ordered him to remove his cats or face jail time. After years of legal wrangling, he agreed to surrender Callie and his other cats to The Wildcat Sanctuary to ensure their safety. Callie has had quite a journey and doesn’t know how quickly her fate could have changed, but she is one of the lucky ones who landed at an accredited, premiere sanctuary where she’ll spend the rest of her life happily living wild at heart. Most don’t. This is the price so many cats pay when you agree to pet, play or photograph a wild cat. For them, it could be death or a never ending journey of life in cage after cage after cage. If you truly love animals, we hope you’ll help us educate others that the uncontrolled breeding must stop and tougher regulations must be passed regarding private ownership. It’s the only way to ensure cats who weren’t as lucky as Callie won’t continue dying in the dark. UPROAR!
New York Cats
Enjoy Their New WILD Life UPROAR!
Working Together Give To The Max Day goes Global
hat was once a local initiative to help rescue wild cats in need grew to a worldwide movement, thanks to the amazing power of social media. Donors from as far away as Spain, New Zealand and Denmark shared in the efforts on Minnesota’s Give to the Max Day to raise funds for the cats! As other organizations solicited their top donors, our goal this year was to invite everyone to give to help save lives. It wasn’t about the amount given, but that every gift, no matter the size, could make a difference. Changing and saving lives is just as important as raising funds. We tried to motivate as many supporters to participate because participation cultivates change. And our mission is to inspire change to end the captive wildlife crisis. And you did!!! Over 790 of YOU came together worldwide to raise $105,728 for the cats in one day. You are truly an inspiration!! Donoma, cougar
The Wildcat Sanctuary hosted Minnesota’s first ever Big Cat Crisis Symposium
room packed full of animal lovers and rescuers came together for a fascinating day of education to hear from industry experts. So many left wanting to know and do more! What a wonderful day for animals! Thank you to our speakers Tim Harrison – Outreach for Animals, Bill Nimmo – Tigers in America, Carson Barylak - International Fund for Animal Welfare, Julie Hanan – Wildcat Sanctuary Advocate and Carney Anne Nasser - Animal Legal Defense Fund. 10
ike many others, Lizbeth Dobbins’ love of animals started at a young age. As she shares, “My first book was about animals. I love most everything with four legs. I went on an African photo safari twice and learned that exotic animals are to be respected and revered.” Lizbeth’s thoughts and heart kept coming back to the cats at The Wildcat Sanctuary, inspiring her to fulfill so many of their needs and to become an Amazon Wish List angel. When she describes the sanctuary to others, she emphasizes what’s most important to her – “TWS advocates for the exotic animal - allowing them to be free of pain and abuse, allowing them to be what they are….wild. If they must be rescued or relocated, TWS works above and beyond to find the right ‘home’ for them.” In her Lizbeth Dobbins eyes, educating anyone and everyone with every email, posting, and through media is what sets the sanctuary apart. Lizbeth happily shares her home with Otis, Lefty, Chuck, Angie, and Allie – all rescued cats, all survivors. When our bobcat Scooter had to say goodbye to Sidney, his buddy who passed away, Lizbeth couldn’t help but sympathize with the loneliness he was going through. He became her favorite cat and she’s followed Scooter’s progress as he’s adjusted to life on his own now. As she said, “Every cat, domestic or exotic, has a story to tell. It’s up to us to learn their stories and respond the best we can to meet their needs.”
Your Donations at Work in 2015!
Y • • •
• • •
ou deserve a standing ovation because you’ve provided all of this for the cats in 2015: Your generosity allowed us to welcome and save 8 new cats over the past 12 months You shed tears and helped support us emotionally as we said good-bye to 12 beloved residents Three large, free-roaming habitats were constructed in the Feline Meadows section of the Sanctuary The Hybrid Haven section of the Sanctuary received a new warming house and 3 new outdoor yards Two serval habitats in the Small Cat Track section of the Sanctuary were renovated Five tigers received new in-ground pools, platforms and trees in the Wild Woodlands section of the Sanctuary Multiple cats received trees for shade, hammocks for lounging and additional platforms to enjoy Electric service was upgraded to the Wildcat Pines section of the Sanctuary to better heat dens and electric water bowls The Scarlet Veterinary Hospital received several pieces of life-saving equipment for the cats: • Blood chemistry machine, dental machine, monitoring equipment, hematology machine, laser therapy machine, patient warmer, autoclave for sterilizing equipment and pharmacy An online system was established to document animal care logs, veterinary files and ongoing maintenance. It provides a first alert system to key management in event of any animal health or facility emergencies 26 organized Donor Crew and Volunteer Days took place to help with habitat construction and grounds upkeep
• Education outreach hit over 2.7 million Facebook fans inspiring support from 46 countries • TWS hosted the first Big Cat Crisis Symposium in Minnesota featuring key speakers from Outreach for Animals, Tigers in America, Animal Legal Defense Fund and International Fund for Animal Welfare • Behind-the-scenes advocacy work continued to highlight and rescue big cats from exploitative and neglectful situations • Our Executive Director acted as placement coordinator for dozens of big cats around the country WOW—isn’t this list amazing! It’s just a sampling of the difference YOU made this past year for so many cats in need in 2015! Together, we’re making a meaningful difference in their lives and I hope you enjoy seeing the pictures that prove it! WildcatSanctuary.org
What’s Ahead for 2016
e continue to plan for our future and have big plans for next year:
• Creation of the Meme Welcome and Rescue Center which will serve the purpose of: • Rescue center where coordination, planning and mapping of national rescues take place • Administration offices to continue to formalize business practices and be stewards of donors’ dollars • Volunteer center • Education and Training center for staff, volunteers and industry • Donor center for onsite appreciation events
• Breaking ground on an animal building for the Feline Meadows area of the Sanctuary to provide temperature-controlled indoor areas for a dozen wild cats • Upgrading tiger habitats including landscaping, extending vertical space and platforms • Construction of permanent habitats for tigers Caesar and Logan with landscaping, inground pools and platforms • New multi-level platforms being built for the 5 Wild Cougars and tigress Sabrina • Securing portable x-ray machine to work in the field • Expanding staff to further our mission and programs
Jeremy and Simon, tigers
Raven, Bengal Cat
You can sponsor these cats at WildcatSanctuary.org
Phoenix, F1 Bengal
Lindsey, Eurasian Lynx
Shalico, Canada lynx
Home for the Holidays
Storm and Snow, cougars
he Wildcat Sanctuary was notified by the state of Washington that they had two wild orphaned cougar kittens in need of a home within a few days. Saving these two wasn’t even a question. We knew we had to step up and act quickly and we knew you would help. Knowing what they must have been through already, the tragic loss of their mother, we couldn’t wait to make their lives stable, secure, and happy. Having raised cougars Andre, Carlo, Langley, Noah, and Donoma, who were also orphaned wild-born kittens, we knew what was in store for us. These cats are not socialized to humans. Rightfully so, they’re afraid of humans and it will take some time to reassure them that all humans aren’t bad. The female shows signs of a hip injury, but she seems to be recovering well. Our first choice is that they both could’ve grown up in the wild. But, when that isn’t possible, we’re happy to provide them a second chance at life here at The Wildcat Sanctuary. Since cougars are opportunistic breeders, they will breed year round. Most likely, their mother was killed and the kittens were left to fend for themselves. The first kitten was found one week and the second sibling was spotted in the same area a few days later. That’s when the kittens were reunited. The agency has saved 51 orphaned kittens in their jurisdiction alone. We’re thankful for the compassionate decision of the Washington Fish and Game agency for ensuring these kittens have a bright future, even if it cannot be in their homeland. Welcome home.
Read their amazing rescue story, and become a sponsor parent at Kittens arrived in their transport crate at the Minneapolis Airport. UPROAR!
In Honor & In Memory
Gifts through December 2, 2015
In honor of Sally Thornton
In honor of Langley the Cougar
In honor of Clara and Inky
In honor of Hannah, Cyanne, Napoleon, and Kitters and for the love of all animals
In honor of Shadow, Calcutta, Logan and Caesar
In honor of Merlin and General
In honor of all the cats at TWS!
In honor of Bonni Kautz
In honor of the beautiful cats who are being run off the earth
In honor of Quincy, Winston, Mason, Sasha and Scout
In honor of my cat Loki
In honor of Ken and Lorna Wiener
In honor of Lisa Halverson
In honor of Atticus
In honor of Rick Christensen
In honor of Gwynnie: I’ll never forget you!
In honor of Marco
In honor of Pancake – a genuinely SAINTLY cat! God bless you Pan!
Gena Connelly Mary Brennan
In honor of my beautiful cat Luna, and her equally beautiful sister Mewe Marie Meriwani
In honor of Sharon Bosely Alexander Scoble
In honor of Susan Sauder Jeff Sauder
In honor of Rob and Danielle Tansley Joanne and Matt Cleaver
In honor of Sarah Lindeman Matthew Lindeman
In honor of my Mom, Ella Jane Von Driska. She taught all 11 of her children compassion and love for all animals. Life is so much better with a pet to share it with. Love you Mama Thomasina Gonzales
In honor of my cat Skipper’s memory Ellen Richardson
In honor of Purrsuit Kim Kiley
In honor of Annie Julia Wells
In honor of John Collopy Lindsay Reuter
In honor of Roz Annen’s birthday Ford and Barbara Sharpe
In honor of Paula Nelson’s birthday Ford and Barbara Sharpe
In honor of all the kitties, much love – Patricia Zimmerman
In honor of Lovie Linda Dickson
In honor of Scarlet Candice Armstrong
George Vassallo Ron Mass
Melinda Hughes-Berland Melody Geyer
Deborah Javinsky-Wenzek David Christensen Pauline Hart
In honor of Angel, Scotter, Beijing, Rica and Rambo Debra Krook
Megan Gingery Leslie Dodd
Jennifer Barker Geri Wilson
Dawn Johnson Vicki Reese
In honor of Cleo the Canadia Lynx Cindy Kosen
In gratitude for Lokai’s recovery from cancer!
In honor of my awesome mom Lynn Krapf, who’s out to save the world!
In honor of Elizabeth Eide’s birthday
In honor of all Bobcats
In honor of Lynn Krupp’s birthday
In honor of Rusty and Jimmy – our small wild animals
Kande Larson Kande Larson
In honor of all cats Maria Diaz
In honor of all my beloved kitties… those who are still with me…and those who now reside at The Bridge Linda Greenfield
In honor of my little cats Norman Snyder
In honor of Shazam Linda Navarre
In honor of Bear the Cat
In honor of Joseph and Anne Gutleber –
In honor of Sweetie!
In honor of big and small cats everywhere
In honor of our cats Ursa and Maya
In honor of all my beloved animal friends
In honor of Severus, my not so big fur baby!
In honor of Goliath Briken Faucette
In honor of Ollie Tamara Lukachy
Connie Goodman-Milone Anonymous
In honor of Cally and Annie Carole Kresin
In honor of Barbara Weller Vicki Warren
In honor of Tiger Baby Amanda Davis
In honor of Scarlett
With all my love for the big and small cats at The Wildcat Sanctuary and the wonderful people who care for them every day
In memory of Cecil, the Lion
In memory of Max & Issey from Chicago, who found their wild life once again at TWS
In memory of Timothy Czechowski
In memory of Poquito, my 17 year old Ragdoll cat
In memory of Jo Kromingo
In memory of Eric Sorg
Heather and Jason Printz
In loving memory of Kyni
In memory of Qi and Mariah
In memory of Josephine Krominga
In memory of CowCat Boudreaux
In memory of Pauline Rivard
In memory of Mary Jane Hoffmann
In memory of Layla and also in memory of our 18-year-old SiameseTabby, Mynx. Rest in peace you beautiful cats
In memory of Vixen
In honor of my little cat who walked big, Brodie Jennifer Harmatz
In honor of Mom and John Patricia Saphier
In honor of my cat lover friend Bonnie Mary Brennan
In honor of Meach Linda Hayes
In honor of my animal advocate sister, Julie Hanan Shari Tate
In honor of Maxi Cynthia Goss
In honor of Parris Perry Sara Perry
In honor of all the cats I’ve been blessed to share my life with. Each one precious Kim Meline
Dawn Perault-Amstutz, Hajra Younus, and Lorena Lensina
In memory of booties Danita Roberts
Stefani M. Wright
In honor of Don Matlick
In memory of Don and Mary Thornton’s, Felix
In honor of Kim Skorupinski Carmen Gonzalez
In honor of Marlowe, Cissy and Ellery, our small domestics JoAnna Berry
In honor of Dan Silver Avi Silver
In honor of Nikoal Catherine Godar
In honor of Kay and Jo Kathleen Selken
In memory of Harrison – British Shorthair cat. Miss you.
In loving memoriam of Edgar Allen Poe, a feline extraordinaire
For Celeste and Jeff, in memory of sweet Sukha
In honor of Aster
In honor of Deb and Steve Brown’s Dixie
In memory of Dharma and Duke, forever wild and forever missed
Polly and Bob
In memory of Mrs. Betty J Horner, Niskayuna, NY
In honor of my baby…Roscoe-joey Alison Flores
In memory of “Chyna Quist” you are loved and missed Ray and Rita Quist
In memory of Gracie Kathy Higgins
In memory of Keesa Laura Blauch
In memory of Nanuckpuppy Lachant Michael & Cheryl Lachant and Rowena & Lawrence Lachant
In memory of all the cats who have passed Alison Flores
In memory of all the cats that have owned me In memory of TK – gone too soon (12/9/14) Sheila Phillips
In memory of Sassy Don Ludewig
In memory of Gary, my sweet little boy in heaven Kate Lendle
In loving memory of geriatric paramous, Holly and Casper Carol E Johnson
In loving memory of Greyspook & Weezer Sandra Bigelow
In memory of my son Ken Czupta who loved the big cats Donna Czupta Grabowski
In memory of Aslan Marsha Pache
In memory of Sophie, Emma, Max & Olive Deborah Zanish
Continued from page 19
In memory of Brittanicus
In memory of my tiny tigress Princess Julie Ronning
In memory of our Mom Marlys
In memory of Sitka and Sukha who we lost too soon…
In memory of my kitty Sasha
In memory of Murray
In memory of my beautiful cat Cheeseburger
In memory of Max, Gizmo, Yoshi, Ming & Liz
In memory of my departed cats, Peaches, Cinders and Ty
In memory of my girl Scarlet. RIP
In memory of Diablo Guapo
In memory of all fur friends and family!
In memory of Tanya Ash Tammy Ash
In memory of Gino Snowberger Beth Boatright
In memory of my mother Susan, she loved the cats! Kymm Thomas
In memory of my cat Murray, the sweetest boy ever (and very good mouser) Amanda Hegg
In memory of our dear Roscoe kitty Carmine Profant
In memory of my wild at heart kitties, Misty, Callie and Daisy Mae Grace Burghardt
In memory of Josephine Krominga and David Muehlstedt In memory of Milo Terri Lewis
In memory of my dear friend Lori Jo Bassin Teresa Walker
In memory of all the loving cats past and present and future that I have been and will be fortunate to spend my life with Darlene Umphrey
In memory of Ginger Susan Hobmann
In memory of Scarlet
Lizbeth Dobbins, Kimberly Koefod, Theresa Gildart, Marsha Pache, Karie Swank
In memory of my beloved kitty Lucy Peggy Fisher
In loving memory to my Figaro with the big-cat personality Arnie Buscher
In memory of Felix
Don and Mary Thornton
In memory of Walter and Waylon Alison Belknap
In memory of Fatty 11/2009 - 03/2015 Wanda Strom
In memory of Helen Mareau, who loved all the wild ones no matter how many legs they ran on Wendy Mareau
In memory of Tink Ingrid Graudins
In memory of all our family pets that have passed Bridget Boellner
In memory of everybody’s Uncle Chuck Steve & Vicki Mitchell
In loving memory of Razzle Megan Olejniczak
In memory of Gracie Jacquelyn Campbell
Melissa Adamson, Candice Armstrong, Susan Bebon, Suzanne Beck, Carole Bengson, Andrea Bozek, Connie Lee Deadman, David Dugger, Ginger Hammond, Sally Hazel, Deborah Heilborn, Jessica Herbert, John Hoffert, Steven Ingerson, Jutta Jacobs, Linda Jerome, Nancy Johnson, Sheena Johnston, Mary King, Andrew Kiss, Cindy Kosen, Linda Liebersbach, Melanie Lulue, Joanne Manning, Shannon Manning, Mark Muellner, Elyse Mather, Kim Meline, Laura Miller, George Naylor, Keirstin Nitzel, Michele Otberg, Renee Palmer, Shamsi Pearson, Dena Pierre, Kristina Richardson, Karen Riddell, Marilynne Roberts, Jackie Rust, Lisa Shaw, Robert Smera, Michele Tack, Margaret Owen Thorpe, Leonie Underdown, Donna Waldahl, Barbara Wallace, Elizabeth Watrous, Rochelle Williams, Diane Wuesthoff, Stacy Zacher
In memory of all my beloved cats who have passed on to the Rainbow Bridge, especially Scrathy, Cleo and Zorro Lisa Eberhardt
In memory of Layla
Anonymous, Lori Ballinger, Kathy Polhamns
In memory of my little cat Bailey Kimberly Coleman
In memory of our beloved Latte’, our orange tabby baby girl Lynn Berghs
In memory of Will Heaslip 1984-2014 Malinda Fumia
In memory of all my fur babies that have passed over the Rainbow Bridge Anonymous
Diablo Guapo, jaguar
Remember Me with a Smile
am so sorry to let you know that dear Sampson lost his battle with geriatric renal disease. Sampson had rebounded and had a great fall season. He spent his time out in the sun, curled up with his friends or taking walks under the trees. When fall arrived, he huddled under a heat lamp in the den or inside the building on his fire hose hammock with his friends. I know the pain I feel today mirrors the love I had for Sampson. Even though I thought I’d prepared myself for this moment, it was more difficult than I can express. As he slowed down, the treatments would need to become increased. As devastating as it was to think of a day at the Sanctuary without him, I always promised him I would not keep him here for me. It was his life, and he deserved a great one. So, today was the day I had to honor that promise. As one of the founding cats
of The Wildcat Sanctuary, Sampson was lucky and spent 17 years only knowing love and compassion. Sampson touched the lives of so many. I think it was because his personality was so distinctly different from that of a typical caracal, and his floppy ears mirrored that. Caracals in general may imprint on an individual caretaker, but often have a hissy demeanor. Not Sampson. Sampson would bull doze his way into the hearts of his habitat mates and visiting humans. He wanted to be friends with everyone and he wouldn’t take no for an answer. Celebrating Sampson, you cannot help but smile. Most of his life, he was a little chubby for a caracal and his tufts were floppy. He was very animated and would call and chirp in response to a caregiver saying hello, a serval talking and even Nigel talking when he was here. In the sea of servals he lived with, he definitely stood out. He liked to initiate “the huddle” and curl up with all of his habitat mates. But, Cleo the serval always had to be the closest. She was his girl. She was the first resident of TWS, and when they met at a young age, Sampson was smitten with her. His last day, he made just as special and filled with love. He talked, when spoken to, and passed peacefully. He made it as easy on us as he possibly could, because that was just how Sampson was. He never lived his life solo, it was always about those around him. And that is how he will be remembered. Sampson, I promise you, I will stop the tears soon and remember you with a smile. Because bringing others joy was your life mission, and I know that’s what you would’ve wanted. Cleo and you will be reunited one day. Until then, she continues to have “the huddle” and love here at the Sanctuary. I will miss you my dear friend. January 2016
Gone But Not Forgotten
Dante, F1 Bengal Dante – A strong, little guy who made huge paw prints on our hearts.
Layla, tiger Layla – you now reign over your new wild life.
You have left our lives... but never our hearts.
Grace, bengal Grace – So happy every day was a good day for you.
Bullet, bengal Bullet –your soft meows will always be heard.
Guapo’s Magnetism Helped Change the World for Wild Cats
ome cats have a presence that can’t be explained. That was Diablo Guapo. His spirit and beauty resonated through you. And you didn’t have to know him personally to love him. For those that never met Guapo in person, you still knew him and could feel him. He never knew how his specialness transcended across the globe to all of you. Or maybe he did, and just never let on. He was very humble that way. He was such a calm cat who also exuded joyful bliss, especially while playing with enrichment or trotting down the shared wall with his friend Shazam, the leopard. Each cat at The Wildcat Sanctuary has their own personality. Guapo was definitely the most distinguished. He was wise and appeared to be a guide for so many other cats to come, and to us caretakers as well. He felt bigger than himself, and the love each of you have for him confirmed just how special he was, and still is. We all knew when we had to say good-bye, and that moment was as heartbreaking as I thought it would be. But what I didn’t expect is, that in that moment, I could still feel his presence. It was a very different and peaceful feeling. I wondered if I was the only one that sensed it. His body was gone, but he was still with us. Then, as we do with all of our bonded cats, we presented Diablo Guapo to Shazam so he could grieve. In the past, all the cats seemed to know even before we did that their friend had moved on. This time was different. Shazam approached the fence and tried to play with Guapo. Even rolling over and purring as he had done for several years. I couldn’t believe it, but it seemed Shazam also still felt Guapo’s presence and that he was still with us, just no longer in physical form. It’s hard to explain why these things happen when we have to say good-bye. But here at the Sanctuary, so many have. When one cat passed in the early hours of UPROAR!
Diablo Guapo, jaguar the day, the wind picked up and Aslan’s pride began the most lovely roaring session. When another passed, a rehabber came onsite to release a snowy owl and it flew directly to that habitat and perched on a tree before flying back to freedom. Rain and snow have begun to fall during days when it was clear. And double rainbows have appeared. Does something like this happen with each passing? No, some pass quietly. But each passing does cause us to stop and reflect and to remember the love we have for each cat and the lessons they’ve taught us. I believe Guapo and so many others still reign over the Sanctuary grounds. Their spirit and strength will live on through the air we breathe, the energy we feel and the love in our hearts. Sometimes, it is impossible to put in words the love we have for each cat. We are so thankful to have been given the opportunity to know and love Diablo Guapo. And that love will transcend all physical space and time, just as Guapo has. Wise man, know how much you meant to each and every one of us and you will always be with us in spirit. Continue on with your important work, touching so many. We wish there were enough pages to share each cat’s full memorial. Read them at WildcatSanctuary.org January 2016
NONPROFIT ORG US POSTAGE PAID TWIN CITIES MN
PO Box 314 • Sandstone MN • 55072
WAYS YOU CAN HELP Details of all our programs can be found at
WildcatSanctuary.org SPONSOR-A-WILD-ONE Sponsor a cat of your choice for yourself or a loved one. As a sponsor parent, you will receive their personal story, photos and more.
LEAVE A LEGACY A planned gift is a way to leave a legacy of support for The Wildcat Sanctuary that endures even after your lifetime. There are numerous different types of gifts, each with unique features and tax benefits..
MIRACLE MATCH Save the date from March 1- April 30th when your gifts for the cats will doubled.
email: firstname.lastname@example.org phone: 320-245-6871
Max, Eurasian lynx
The Wildcat Sanctuary (TWS) is a 501c3 non-profit, no-kill big cat rescue located in Sandstone, MN. TWS provides a natural sanctuary to wil...
Published on Jan 26, 2016
The Wildcat Sanctuary (TWS) is a 501c3 non-profit, no-kill big cat rescue located in Sandstone, MN. TWS provides a natural sanctuary to wil...