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Caboodle Ranch Update

Great News, Caboodle Supporters:

To Caboodle Ranch fans all over the world. The latest, and we hope, the last, legal issues about the fate of Caboodle Ranch were resolved this morning at a hearing in Madison County, Florida.

The hearing resulted from a story on Caboodle’s Facebook page, about a cat that escaped the 2012 raid, but found its way home to Craig. Skinny and worn, the cat returned to the ranch, and Craig was caring for it. It was a humane gesture, and one that Craig could not ignore.

But someone, possibly one of the haters, made sure the Sheriff saw the story, and Craig was served with an Order to Show Cause on the same day that the criminal charges were dismissed. He was ordered to appear at a hearing today in Madison County to explain if he did or did not violate the custody order of June 2012, which said “Caboodle Ranch may not have live animals.”

After discussing all aspects of the case, David Collins, our attorney, Craig, Mr. Reeves, the county attorney, and Judge Andy Decker, agreed to the following:

1- The cat population of the ranch, currently around 35-40, is permitted to remain there under Craig’s care for the next 90 days, after which time they are to be moved to the new location in Georgia. No additional cats will be permitted at the Madison County location.

2- The new ranch can be called Caboodle Ranch.

3- Since Craig owns the current site of Caboodle Ranch in Lee, Florida, he may still live there.

4- The Caboodle Ranch charity may collect funds until July 1, 2014, after which time it will be closed in Florida and Caboodle will have to apply for charitable designation in Georgia. That is time-consuming and will take months to be approved.

Justice was finally served, though at great cost, and lives of cats from all over the world can be saved again. People who lost jobs and homes will have a place to take their beloved pets; feral cats will find a safe haven with plenty of food, water, and shelter, and the unadoptable, unlovable cats with temperament issues, will be able to roam free on hundreds of acres in Georgia. There will be sufficient vet care and staff, and the cats will be chipped and vaccinated as soon as they arrive.
The improvements that were being made in Lee, Florida, will be incorporated into the plans of the new Caboodle Ranch.

In order to make the new Caboodle a reality, there is a great need for funding. We will publish the business plans soon, but the immediate need is again, paying for legal fees, and cat food. Please consider sending a few dollars to the Caboodle Ranch paypal or by check to Caboodle Ranch, 711 SE Benchmark Dr, Lee, Florida 32059. The amount will be tax-deductible until July 1. After July 1st non-tax deductible checks or money orders can be sent directly to Craig Grant, 711
SE Benchmark Dr, Lee, Florida 32059 until the charitable designation in Georgia is established. A link to Craig's personal Paypal account will be given soon.

Craig can finally have a good night’s sleep. It’s been two horrific years of depression, worry, and sadness. Having his animal friends around eases his pain, but he is concerned about feeding them, so please consider a donation for cat food, as Craig’s only income is Social Security.

For those who are not familiar with the history of Caboodle, here is a recap.

In Feb of 2012, the Madison County sheriff’s department, along with the ASPCA and other rescue groups, raided Caboodle Ranch. Without warning, and with intimidation and a show of force, over 600 cats were torn from their home and placed in cages in a rehabbed shelter in Jacksonville, FL.

The cats remained caged there for about 6 months, until a civil custody hearing decision gave them to the sheriff, who gave them to the ASPCA to do with as it chose. In spite of an Order by Judge Parker to the ASPCA that cats were NOT to be moved all over the state, that Craig’s personal pets were to be kept from being adopted, and that Caboodle Ranch fans were to be permitted to adopt, the ASPCA chose to violate all those requirements. Months after the adoptions, it moved the court to remove it from the case.

They held large, fee-waived adoptions in many sites in Florida. Craig’s cats were never accounted for, and Caboodle fans were screened at adoption sites and not allowed in the facilities. Craig was never told the fate of his beloved Tommy, his original Caboodle cat, or the two beautiful, Grand Pyrenees dogs, that were trained to protect the cats from predators. Imagine having your dogs just taken away, and perhaps, as we were told, given to a member of one of the ‘rescue’ teams as if they never belonged to someone else.

Please remember the actions of some of the large nationally-know ‘animal rescue’ groups when you are making donations. Consider donating locally.

The civil custody order that disbursed the cats, also said Caboodle Ranch was forbidden to have live animals until Caboodle petitioned the court. But the criminal charges had to be addressed before that could be done, and on May 31, 2014, all criminal charges against Craig Grant were dismissed. And now any lingering issues about the custody order have been resolved.

Wonderful news, and Craig is anxiously waiting the chance to fully develop his plan for a new Caboodle Ranch on property that was being leased to Caboodle at $10/year by a cat lover in Georgia.

Craig is very relieved that he is now free to start a new life in Georgia, with a gentleman who has the same interests ---save as many cats’ lives as possible. It ‘s the beginning of a new dream for them and the community in Georgia, which is whole heartedly supporting the sanctuary.

In order to get the cats safely to the new location and begin construction on the new sanctuary, we need to move fencing and buildings to Georgia, and bring in water and light. There will be two large mobile homes on the property, so Craig will have a home away from home while he is transporting animals.

To begin again, we must have a fund-raising campaign. For those who would like the deduction on taxes, please contribute before July 1. For others, we will set up a crowd-sourcing fund drive shortly and will let you know how you can be a part of resurrecting Caboodle Ranch.  

For all Caboodle fans who have supported us, who have given money, or shared the story, there are no words to express the appreciation we feel. Thank you. It has been an exhausting, stressful experience, but the support of Caboodle fans and the opportunity to save lives, has made it worthwhile.

Thank you.