Target: The Wildcat Sanctuary Executive Director Tammy Thies
Goal: Thank The Wildcat Sanctuary for providing a sanctuary and home for rescued wildcats.
There are an estimated 10,000 large wild cats in private ownership in the United States today. Some are kept as pets. Others are exploited by their owners in pay-to-play situations. Still others are chained to the ground or kept in tiny cages, insufficient for their growth and development. Many are declawed and experience severe medical conditions due to inexperienced and incompetent owners.
The Wildcat Sanctuary (TWS) is a no-kill sanctuary located in Sandstone, Minnesota. Funded solely by private donations, they provide a home to wildcats in need. TWS is not a zoo and it is not open to the public. The cats live in natural, spacious enclosures and are free from being exploited. They do not buy, breed, sell, or exhibit the cats they have rescued.
TWS houses over 125 wild cats in a natural sanctuary. This means that they have large, free-roaming habitats where they can live wild at heart. Each animal has access to a climate-controlled den to escape extreme weather conditions. Many of the rescued cats had never previously experienced grass to lie down in or a space to roam. The cats now have a home where they can be safe for the rest of their lives. Some of the wild cat species who now call TWS home include lions, tigers, cougars, lynxes, Bengals, leopards, and jaguars.
TWS assists authorities across the United States in removing illegally owned wild cats that pose a public safety risk. They also facilitate rescues and transportation of wild cats to reputable sanctuaries. Many people buy wild cats as cute and cuddly cubs, not understanding the difficulties of caring for an adult-sized wild cat. The outcome is often tragic, both for humans and the wild cat.
There are billions of dollars involved in the exotic animal trade. The amount exchanged is second only to the illegal drug trade. Companies that sell the exotic animals care only for profit, not for conservation of the species. The animals after sale are often confined in filthy cages with inappropriate food and little to no veterinary care.
TWS works to end the captive wild animal crisis plaguing our country, where anyone can purchase a big cat through the internet, local breeders, or game farms. They provide public education about the dangers of owning a wild animal and work diligently to promote the concept of “No Wild Pets.” Despite what breeders and roadside zoos advertise, breeding and exhibition is not education. They perpetuate a lie that wildcat ownership is acceptable and promotes conservation. As legislation is passed to regulate the importing and purchase of wildcats, there will be increasing numbers of abandoned, confiscated, or surrendered wild cats. While these animals are not able to be returned to the wild, being able to live out their lives at TWS is the next best thing.
Please sign this petition to applaud The Wildcat Sanctuary’s efforts to provide a safe and secure sanctuary for its wild cat residents.
Dear Director Thies,
The illegal and unethical trade in wildcats is cruel and inhumane. The fact that more than 10,000 wild animals are held captive in the United States, likely receiving improper care, is heartbreaking. Captive-bred and wild-born big cats should never be owned as pets or exploited for profit. The fact that they are likely ripped from their mothers as infants is cruel and callous.
By providing a natural habitat, food, medical care, enrichment and love for the wildcats who were forced to live unnatural lives, The Wildcat Sanctuary has demonstrated that humans do have the capacity to care for and about other species. Please continue your amazing work in providing for your existing residents and in rescuing those wildcats still in need.
We, the undersigned, thank you so much for all that you do.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Vitezslav Halamka