(written by Caboodle legal help)
Since the raid on Caboodle Ranch in February, over 600 cats and two dogs have been held in cages in a temporary animal shelter in Jacksonville, Florida. Please help us try to return the Caboodles to their happy life at the Ranch and to the loving arms of Craig Grant. If we are to prevail, supporters of the Ranch must raise $20,000 by July 15.
Here’s an update on what has happened and why this money is so important:
Setback in the trial court. -- On June 22, 2012, the Madison County Court surprised Ranch supporters by issuing an order in the civil case to give full ownership and control of all of the Caboodle cats, as well as the two dogs, to the Sheriff of Madison County. Under the order, the Sheriff can dispose of them as he sees fit. He could sell the animals (vivisection possible), try to have them adopted (not easy with feral, old, or sick cats), or leave their fates to the ASPCA, which is managing the shelter.
“Evidence” claim exposed as a sham. -- The order noted that “the Caboodle animals are currently under the control of the court in the criminal case” and that they therefore “shall not be released to the Sheriff until and unless the court, in the criminal case, or the State’s attorney, in the criminal case, authorizes such release.” As most of you know, the short deadlines provided by law in the civil case for release of the cats have been circumvented, these many months, by the claim that the cats are “evidence” that must be preserved for the criminal case. Yet, almost immediately after Judge Parker’s order, the State’s attorney released all the cats to the custody of the Sheriff – clearly exposing the “evidence” excuse as a sham. And the ASPCA started cranking up its machinery for “disposing” of the animals.
The appeal, stay, and illegal bond. -- Caboodle Ranch quickly filed a Notice of Appeal and asked for a stay of the order. A stay was granted by Judge Parker – but only until 3:00 pm on Monday, July 16, 2012. Under Judge Parker’s order, the stay will automatically dissolve at that time unless Caboodle Ranch posts a bond of $1.8 million to cover the expenses incurred by the ASPCA.
This absurdly high bond is being demanded by a mere county court – the very lowest court in the Florida court hierarchy which normally deals with small claims, parking tickets and littering. By law, county courts are not allowed to consider any case in which the amount in controversy exceeds $15,000!
Motion to reduce the bond. -- This morning, Caboodle Ranch has filed a motion to request reduction of the bond to an amount not greater than $15,000. If the motion is granted, we will still need to come up with the new amount, which could well be $15,000, by July 16.
Transcripts for appeal. -- Also, to move ahead with the appeal, we’ll need to pay for transcripts from the trial. They are not cheap. Transcripts are prepared by private businesses (court reporters), not by court staff, and they charge nearly $5 a page. They’ve given us an estimate of nearly $5,000 for the transcripts we need. And we’ll need to cough up at least half of the final cost by July 19. If we don’t have a transcript, we won’t have an appeal. It’s that simple.
Pro bono attorneys for the appeal. -- Just as important, two more attorneys have offered to join the team and to work on the appeal, free of charge, IF we can get the bond reduced and keep the stay in place. They are willing to invest hundreds of hours in this effort – whatever it takes to get the job done. Why? We asked and got this answer:
“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”
Three-legged cat killed --We heard testimony at the civil court hearing that Ms. Plume, the ranch’s only three-legged cat, had already been killed in the hands of the ASPCA. Why, we do not know. There was nothing wrong with her, except perhaps that she was “unadoptable” because most people don’t want a three-legged cat. Well, we loved her and wanted her. That’s what Caboodle Ranch was for.
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So we must raise $20,000 NOW. If we fail to do so, the opportunity to save hundreds of lives and reunite Craig and his cats may be gone.
To those who have already helped us in our fight, thank you. To others who have been waiting for the right moment to contribute, this is it. We must do everything humanly possible to prevent the Caboodle Ranch cats from being sold or killed.
Craig, his family, the ranch fans, and the wonderful Caboodles appreciate your donation. We are grateful for any amount and will use it to keep the ranch in the fight. Thank you.
Craig, and Caboodle supporters.
PS: Please post this plea on your Facebook pages, Twitter, Pinterest, or email personal directory. With your help, we have a second chance. Public sentiment is on our side, in the United States, Europe, China and Japan. Help us bring Tommy, Meatball, Mario and the other wonderful Caboodle cats back home to their Papa.
We will appeal the judges decision right away.
We can win the appeal, we are not giving up. We will never stop fighting for the lives of the caboodles.
Dale Swisher Caboodle Ranch, Inc.
My account of CR hearing: I was not thrilled to meet Tropical storm Beryl in person last Sunday, but she was on CR's side, so we landed safely and on time. Good omen. Nanette picked me up, and I met Paula, Rob, and Hana Grant for the f...irst time after 3 months of on-line communication. Craig is lucky to have such a loyal, hard-working trio on his side.
Being in court the next day was like being a guest at a wedding. Two people on the prosecution side, Elise Perkins and I think D Easterling. (Reminded me of Madame Defarge in Tale of Two Cities.) We had 15 or so on our side. It was an absolute pleasure to meet the wonderful people who have worked so hard for the ranch. During the hearing we had a couple of breaks, and after it was over, we all, including Gary Brown, our attorney, went out for ice cream. Our side was hopeful and smiling.
For the summation, Dr Levy, Tim Rickey (ASPCA), Adam Leath (ASPCA), showed up. They were stone-faced and honestly looked like they were anxious to leave the court house to get their euthanasia needles ready. It was clear to me which side was rooting for the cats and which side just wants to destroy Craig and the ranch. The judge is fairly new and is hoping to run for other positions, so he is anxious to do the right thing. The prosecutor, Reeves, resembles Colonel Sanders, and Rob said he kept that thought in his mind when he was being questioned. You're not as nervous when you think the Col. is asking questions. Crispy or regular.
Since the prosecution had its chance to present arguments on 5/3 and 4, it was our turn for witnesses. Dr Lewis was first, and talked about how common URIs were in cat colonies; how Craig contacted him after hours with new problems; how he treated cats on a regular basis at CR; and how he considered Craig's care of animals to be not perfect, but reasonable. Always room for improvements, but absolutely adequate. Other witnesses were Cary Hardee, a highly-respected Madison attorney. His appearance was a surprise for the prosecution & it gave a stamp of approval to CR. Cary visited the ranch last year (I met him at the ranch).
His impression was that he had never seen that many cats, and that the place was clean and didn't smell. Rob testified about the cats in the warehouse having URIs there, and had pictures to prove it. So if Craig's care was lacking, was the ASPCA's care any better? David emphasized that in his summation. Pictures taken at the ranch a couple of weeks before the raid were shown. Beautiful, healthy animals enjoying the freedom of CR. There was some objection by Reeves, who really just wanted to stop the momentum. Reeves looked like he was going through the motions.
Other witnesses were two ladies, one of whom was a vet tech, and one worked for vets. They were cleaners and were asked about the # of dead cats they had seen at the ranch. One witness had seen two dead cats, one did not see any. They testified that Craig had a rule that cats be neutered before being left, but some people dumped cats & Craig did not refuse to help anyone who needed to leave animals because of foreclosures, & the bad economy. They described the rain at the time of the raid, which made cats use the inside litter boxes instead of the large outdoor ones. Naturally, under those conditions, the facility was messy, but would have been cleaned by 11am.
A volunteer groundskeeper, who was a professor of math at a local college, testified that he had come 40 or 50 times in 6 years, and had found 2 cat carcasses. He described the infirmary and how much he loved the freedom the cats had. Living like cats should live. Another witness had brought cats to CR for years, and was angry that the ASPCA used a picture of one of her cats as an example of a cat in bad condition. That cat had been there for years and had vet reports of its allergies. All the witnesses testified under oath to the good conditions they saw at the ranch.
Reeves tried to enter some old income tax returns into the hearing, but the judge denied them.
As for the judge admonishing our side, as others have said, it was only the sound of sighs, when the word "dispose" of was mentioned. He then complimented all the on-lookers for their demeanor.
And as for me harassing Elise, that did not happen.
Since she had confused me for someone else at the earier hearing, I walked up to her when she was seated on her side, said Hello, my name is Dale. She absolutely snarled at me, and told me I had no business being on Her side of the court. I did not say another word to her, and left.
You have already read the positive things the judge said about Craig, and how he, the judge, didn't want to be known as the cat killer. We have until June 11 to provide the judge with some guidance as to our plans when the cats come back. That document is being researched and will include a detailed business plan. I suspect the judge knows that the entire raid was unnecessary and a waste of resources.
He will also read what an asset this internationally known facility is to the county. I was interviewed on a Tallahassee TV station (don't know if it was cut), but the reporter is interested in doing more research on why this occurred. I will help.
There are more activities going on that will help Caboodle, but everyone reading can help by letting their friends know we will need money to get the ranch ready for the cats' return. It was kind of like Deliverance meets The Twilight Zone, but a wonderful experience.
I believe the cats will come back to Caboodle Ranch.
Hi Folks, Nanette here. Craig wanted me to post this, just a few words from him: “Hi, Craig here. I miss my Tommy, Meatball, Toot, Baby, Snoop Dog, Side Kick, Mario’s little O, Crackers, Butch my Bully and many many more. I cry often now. Please help me get my babies back! Don’t be fooled by the photos from the haters, they don’t want the ranch”.
I know it is not a lot of words, but you can feel the heartbreak behind them. Craig is going through a devastating ordeal and grief but is fighting with everything he has. He understands how hard it is to donate right now and that it’s not very fun knowing the money is going to a lawyer. But without these lawyers (who by the way are amazing!) we would not have a voice or a fight. So please help us fight to get the caboodles back. We need you to help financially, spiritually and physically. We need you now more than ever, I cannot stress that enough.
That being said, we need to fill the courtroom with supporters! We need to show the judge that Caboodle Ranch needed! Where else would those cats have gone? The cats that Craig took in, whether they were rescues, or surrendered cats, were facing an uncertain future and most were facing a very certain death. If it were not for Caboodle Ranch so many lives would be destroyed. It is PETA and the ASPCA and others that have done criminal acts against these cats, not Craig! We have had our eyes opened painfully to the pathetic truth behind these groups that are ‘all for the animal’. Let’s show they judge that it was WRONG for the Sherriff to have believed allegations from people that weren’t even from his county (or state!) instead of taking the time to visit the ranch and see for himself how things really were!
So join us Tuesday May 29th at 9am at the Madison Court house and show the judge that what was done to Craig and the caboodles is wrong! And demand they bring the cats home! Lets make it standing room only! Let’s make sure that Elise Perkins is the only one sitting on the prosecution’s side just like she was 3 weeks ago! Yes, none of the cowardly ‘haters’ showed their faces in court for ‘their cause’. Let’s fight together to bring the caboodles home where they can get back to their peaceful happy lives!
Madison Court House SW Range Ave Madison FL 32340 Tues May 29th 9am
Blessings and purrs
After 10 long weeks of waiting and wondering and hoping and fearing and praying, the courts finally decided to end my case and return my cats. There was no ‘plea bargain’ involved. A plea bargain is only involved in a criminal case where charges have been made. There were never any charges against me. So the decision was made to return my cats after seeing that they were indeed my cats and were never caboodle cats.
The prosecuting attorney had offered me a couple ‘deals’ prior to the judge’s decision to drop my case. The ‘offers’ would have returned my cats but the stipulations in the offer was that I would leave the county in 30 days (and the 2nd offer was that I would leave the county in 6 months), that I would not be allowed to ever open up my own shelter or sanctuary, that I would not be allowed to work for a charitable organization that involved animals, that the Sherriff’s department would not be held responsible for any of the events, and if I was not gone by the 6 month time period, they would take my cats away from me…again.
Well, these ‘offers’ were not an option. Yes, I would get my cats back, but I would be stripped of all of my rights as a private citizen of America. So I decided to decline and go the long haul and go before the judge and hope that he would see the wrongfulness of this whole situation. I decided to not only fight for what I wanted but to fight for what was right. And after just one day of the hearing it was decided to return my cats to me without any restrictions on how I live, where I lived and where I chose to work.
All of this is still so surreal to me. Sitting in court to ‘prove’ that my cats were my cats seems so insane to me, that it had ever come to this. Although, I must admit, seeing how the court system works and how my attorney fought for my rights and for the lives of my cats was fascinating and educational. I felt very at ease in the courtroom, very confident, and my lawyer, Gary Brown of Live Oak, was amazing. He said I made his job easy because ‘facts and right was on my side’.
So all legalities aside, my babies are finally coming home! The ASPCA said they needed 2 weeks before they could return them to me. They are going to spay the few young cats I had and microchip all of them as well, which is greatly appreciated. However, they never bothered to ask me who needed to be fixed. All of my cats are spayed/neutered except for the youngest (5) females.
My lawyer told me that the turning point for him was when we were at the ASPCA in Jacksonville, when we were allowed to visit the cats. He said when he saw how the cats responded to the sound of my voice and came running up to the front of their cages to reach out to me with their paws, It affected him deeply and then made him angry at what these people had done to me. Let alone how they treated me at the ASPCA, like a criminal, not allowing me to touch my own cats to comfort them.
So at this point I am assuming they will be returned to me next Friday the 18th of May (which will make it 3 full months of being away from me). I am going to have a homecoming for them with my family and friends. The ASPCA will NOT be allowed into my home. We will take the carriers inside and let each cat out and return their carriers promptly. But never again will anyone be allowed into my home without a warrant. Period. My lesson was learned the hard way….Just because a person is in uniform does not mean they have the right to come into your home, and you have the right to not allow them to.
To all of you that encouraged me to stay strong, sent words of wisdom every day, signed petitions, sent help, cards and letters, emails of encouragement, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. It is what got me through some very terrible days, weeks and months. I vow to do the very same to anyone that is put in the same position as I was. This can and will happen to anyone anywhere.
On another note, the Caboodle hearing is going really well, despite what one particular person may be writing. I was there and will be there through the entire thing. Craig’s lawyer, David Collins of Monticello FL is nothing short of amazing. We can’t discuss details but we are so very confident about getting the caboodles back! Mr. Collins is a fierce entity in the courtroom and a force to be reckoned with. And he too has the facts and ‘right’ on his side. We are very anxious to get back in the courtroom to present our side. We would love for our supporters to come and sit in the ‘audience’ of the courtroom. It will bolster Craig’s spirits and fill the courtroom with positive vibes. When we know the date we will post it so that you all can come and join us to fight for the caboodles!
It is important to note that only ONE person was sitting on the prosecutions side. The people responsible for starting this nightmare were too cowardly to show up. They didn’t have their computer screens to hide behind in the courtroom so they didn’t come. Not even the girl that PETA hired, Lauren (aka Lynn etc) to spy on the ranch, was there. How pathetic. So now that it is our turn to present our side, we would love to have you all there for your support. Stay tuned for dates…
I will post photos and video of my cats’ homecoming. I want to share it with all of you, so you can see that your encouragement and support made the difference and saved their lives! Now let’s get those Caboodles home, re-open the ranch and start saving lives again! Let’s make Caboodle Ranch the first sanctuary to have their cats returned and bring PETA to their knees once and for all!
Purrs and hugs
The kitty in the video is his sons cat, “Tabs”, who loves his “Grandpa Craig”. We are moving along with the civil suit on the ranch, and on my own (which is combined). It has been an extremely painful and long process, not to mention expensive. That we both had to put out thousands of dollars to ‘defend’ our right to have cats either as pets or for the ranch , is insane and unconscionable. But, regardless of that, we still have to follow the legal process in order to get them returned. And we WILL get them returned.
We are asking, pleading, with everyone who has LIKED us on the fan page and anywhere else, to donate ONE DOLLAR to the ranch via PayPal or check! If everyone that ‘LIKED’ us did this, we would have ALL of our legal fees covered and would be able to prepare and stock up on food etc for the cat’s return! PLEASE PLEASE do this! ONE DOLLAR will make all the difference in the world. If you can give more that’s awesome, but we are only asking for one dollar from everyone out there , around the world, that supports the ranch, supports Craig and supports the cats that have already gone through so much, AND then were traumatized by the this senseless act of egotism and self proclaimed power!
Go to our website at www.caboodleranch.org and click on the DONATE button, it will direct you to PayPal.
We need this to happen NOW. We will give you an update weekly on this fund raiser. This is perhaps the most serious fund raiser that we will ever do! This is for the lives of those 700+ cats to come home once and for all and to never ever again be forced to live in a cage just because someone doesn’t like Craig or cats! Those people have made the cats suffer and be traumatized for selfish reasons and claim to be “all for the animal”.
Even if you send 4 quarters in an envelope, you have helped save a cat! Don’t let these power hungry people win, help us get the caboodles home where they belong and my cats home with me. We want to make sure this never happens again, to ANYONE or ANY shelter!
It seems it may be a good time to remind people just what Caboodle Ranch is here for. With all that is going on, many of the ‘nay sayers’ have failed to realize what it is we really do and how we come into having so many cats at the ranch. The very people that are saying bad things about us, have never even been to the ranch and most likely do not even spay or neuter their cats.
Craig created the ranch many years ago when he saw a great need for a safe place for homeless cats to be able to live their lives out in peace. He was at a work site and saw stray cats looking for food. Whether they were stray or abandoned, they finally had a place to live safely, have a full belly every day and a warm place to sleep. The ranch has grown and evolved since then. And it seems this new concept of the outdoor ranch has people on edge. Just because it is new does not mean it is wrong. In fact quite the opposite. More and more people are following in Craig’s footsteps and buying land to start a mini version of the ranch so that they too can help get homeless cats safe.
The outdoor concept of a shelter does not mean the cats are only outside. But it means they are able to roam the fenced in grounds at their leisure and enjoy being a cat. They have dozens and dozens of shelters available to them to cool off in, warm up in, get out of the weather etc. All specifically made with cats in mind. They have dry food feeders throughout the grounds available to them 24/7, fresh water sites everywhere and even get fed moist food every day. They enjoy cozy cat beds, cat trees, cat treats just like your own house cat. But the ranch is their permanent home. There is no denying that there are not enough homes for all the homeless cats. Period. That is why the ranch is their permanent home. Where they can rest assured they won’t be uprooted again and traumatized. We urge people to adopt from humane societies and animal control because those cats literally have their days numbered.
But we don’t just take in stray and abandoned cats. We take in ALL cats. In fact 60% of our cat population is domestic cats. Cats that had homes but circumstances changed within those homes to where they had to place their cat with us. Loss of a job, foreclosure on a home, and the main reason for getting domestic cats; ‘spraying on the furniture or carpet’. We happily took in these cats that would ALL have otherwise been put to sleep.
We also take in cats from around the world, like Germany , Japan , Mexico . We also take in cats from other humane societies that have been ‘full’, from people that have been put into nursing homes and cannot take their cat with them, from people who have passed away, feral colonies that are in danger of losing their homes due to construction or evil people. We take in ALL cats.
What PETA and the ASPCA have done to us, to the cats, is deplorable, inhumane, unconscionable. They went in on assumptions and the words of people who had a personal agenda against Craig, and that have either never been to the ranch or spent a mere hour there. They removed the caboodle cats that were once, a long time ago, scared, starving, or days away from being put to sleep, cats that have taken months or even years to trust another human again, and stuck them into cages in a warehouse. All because of lies that were told with no real facts or evidence to back them up. Most of the ASPCA officers and vets said how amazing the ranch was and how sociable and happy the cats were. But still, they took them all from the home they have grown to love and feel safe in.
The less than half truths that have been spread about the ranch by them are finally being seen as lies. Thousands of people from around the world are shouting out that this is wrong! They have been to the ranch, brought their cats, visited or worked there, and know what it’s really like there. When the ASPCA said they found cats with FIV or FeLV, they failed to say that we have an FIV/FeLV house specifically for those cats, where they live separated from the rest of the cats at the ranch, and are given a chance to live out their lives instead of being ruthlessly put to sleep. They stated that Tommy was the result of living with a ‘hoarder’. When their very own ‘official’ description of a hoarder doesn’t even come close to Craig or the ranch (you can Google it). They failed to mention that Craig went to all avenues to restore Tommy’s health, thousands of dollars at the vet and countless sleepless nights where he hand fed Tommy, bringing his weight back up to near normal and back on his feet again and recovering, when the Gainesville vet himself declared him incurable and sent him home to die.
The photos they took of sick cats…they were in the sick ward! So naturally those cats are not going to look perky and fat. The truth is coming out and these people will be held responsible for their actions. What they have done to Craig and his cats is disgraceful and reprehensible. They terrorized them for 5 days and through all the hours of the day and night, chasing them down, hunting them down and trapping them to take them away from their home.
To have also taken my own cats, that I brought down from North Carolina a mere 4 weeks ago and claim that I am unfit and unable to care for them is atrocious and offensive. They have destroyed so many lives in their wake and still they claim to be acting in the best interest of the cats. If they truly were, all the caboodle cats and my own will have been returned already, or better yet would have never ever been disturbed from their lives.
We are fighting this, with everything we have. And we can assure everyone that the people responsible for this atrocity will be extremely regretful of their actions.
We need your support to continue and to fight with us. Flood the internet with your photos of your visit and with your experience. Call the Governor of Florida to complain, email your support to us, donate to our legal fund, anything you can do to help us put a stop to this ever happening to another animal rescue ever again and get our cats home! Your support and reaching out to us in this horrible time has strengthened our resolve to fight. Thank you and keep it coming!
Before Caboodle Ranch was even a thought, Craig had one cat named Pepper who had five kittens. One of those five kittens was Tommy. (This story can be read on Caboodle Ranch's website.) Tommy became Craig's favorite... his right hand cat; his co-pilot on many adventures. He had been living at Caboodle Ranch since Craig bought the property in 2003.
Around the beginning of this year, Tommy became ill (see the post about it here) and underwent extensive medical treatment at a veterinary hospital in Gainesville, Florida. He had FIP, along with other ailments. When he was able to go home, Tommy's health was continually monitored by Craig and Dr. Lewis, Caboodle Ranch's veterinarian. His overall health was beginning to improve. He was starting to eat solid foods again and was gaining weight.
This was before the ASPCA came in, raided Caboodle Ranch and took Tommy and the rest of the Caboodle cats away.
We don't know what his current condition is, but we do know he's being used by the ASPCA to solicit donations.
Below is the email they're sending out. The picture is of Tommy:
The ASPCA is giving you false information in using this particular cat to solicit donations in the name of hoarding, abuse and/or neglect. Tommy has a disease and was receiving the best medical treatment a cat can be given. It's all documented in medical records.
Please help Craig continue the fight to get the Caboodle cats home again. Donations can be made through PayPal on Caboodle Ranch's website or by sending directly to their PayPal email address at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Again... Thank you so much for your support!
The latest reports of 100s of cats with open wounds is proof they don't plan to. 100s of cats with open wounds... This is new, because three days into the raid on Caboodle Ranch, the ASPCA stated in article for the Tallahassee Democrat that the majority of the animals were not in dire need for immediate medical attention. So what happened?
Craig would never let 100s of cats walk around with open wounds. Dr. Lewis, who was at Caboodle Ranch one week before the raid, would never let that happen, animal control would never let that happen, and PETA, who was there for 5 months... certainly they wouldn't have let that happen. (Would they?) Yet somehow it did. That's what's being reported now.
- The dirty (boarded up) trailer and refrigerator that were not in use, but were shown in the PETA video... They're still available on the property for you to see.
- The three-legged cat on the PETA video... He came to the ranch that way. Somebody sent him from West Virginia. Easily proven.
- The cat with one eye... He has veterinary records that show he was being treated.
- The cats with Upper Respiratory Infection... they were being treated.
- The cats were never confined to buildings as PETA suggested. Multitudes of video and photos prove it.
- Caboodle Ranch was inspected by animal control every three months. Here's a statement online showing no violations in March 2011. They can be contacted for additional reports.
- Animal control has documented proof that Caboodle Ranch was conforming to new EAH regulations. So how could it be said these cats were living in deplorable conditions?
It's important to remember that the wheels to shut down Caboodle Ranch were set in motion by a handful of people who don't like Craig. They'll have you believe they had the well-being of the cats in mind, but they didn't. They destroyed Craig's life and they're still kicking him while he's down.
One of them recently posted that she hopes he kills himself. Another once threatened to slice Nanette's throat. This was vendetta... and these are the type of people the ASPCA listened to.
Here are all the sick, wounded and dying animals living in deplorable conditions just two weeks before the raid. They're all evidence in cages now. (Yes, even the two watchdogs.)
Please help Craig continue his fight to get his Caboodles home again. Donations for legal fees can be made at www.CaboodleRanch.org
Nanette was Craig's assistant and had been working with him for many years from her home in North Carolina, updating the website and blog, and communicating with everyone who reached out to her regarding Caboodle Ranch. She drove to Caboodle Ranch on a monthly basis to assist him, hands-on, in his care for the Caboodle cats. She recently relocated and moved into a home on Caboodle property. Her story is as injust as his, and she needs help. This is ridiculous and has to stop! Is anybody listening?
"I’m not sure where to begin, because everyday has been a nightmare for me. After reeling from what PETA and the ASPCA did to the Caboodle Ranch, I was told that my own family cats would be taken as well because they were on Craig’s property. I practically fainted at the words. Then I was “assured” both by the Sheriff’s dept and ASPCA that ‘we won’t take your cats’ and “you didn’t do anything wrong’. Somewhat comforted by their words, a mere 2 days went by when I was woken by pounding on my door at 8am, still in bed, still in my night gown, when the sheriff’s officers came in with a search warrant and authority to seize my family cats. They said I had to leave my home while they did this. My sister was with me and we stood their in shock in our night gowns demanding “WHY?!” and all we got was “because we have a warrant that says so.
Numb and in shock we put clothes on and left my house. A house that I have barely moved into 2 weeks ago, from North Carolina. We drove like zombies to a parking lot and I fell apart. My cats were just waking up, playing, eating their crunchers, perfectly happy and content when these strangers came in to take them away. When we came back several hours later, I collapsed on the floor. I could not stop crying. I kept seeing all their sweet trusting faces and now there was nothingness, emptiness and loss. There was no one to call, no one to help me.
My friend Jan came to be with me as well for support and to try and sort thing out. We called TV stations, newspapers etc. Some posted our story some not. None made a difference. Yesterday was the hearing for Caboodle Ranch where we were going to demand the return of the cats and property seized. We had to post pone it because the prosecutor had just then supplied the attorney with the affidavit that supports the warrant for Craig’s charges. I was told by the caboodle attorney (who does not represent me) that I had to go to the Sheriff’s dept to demand my cats and laptop back.
My sister and I did so and was met by the lieutenant and the states attorney. The state attorney was extremely angry with me for some reason and told me “You are not getting your cats back for a very long time, they are state evidence!”. I was shocked and said that they were my personal family pets! But she refused to hear me and demanded we leave and never come back. I have records from my own vet in North Carolina with their names on it and my NC address proving they are MINE.
I collapsed again outside in my sisters arms. I haven’t been able to eat or sleep or concentrate. They keep telling me “you’ve done nothing wrong” and I haven’t been charged with anything, yet they are allowed to destroy my only joy in life and take them away and never say anything to me about them. Now I need an attorney. I need someone to fight for me and get my family of cats home to me where they belong. Never in all my life would I have thought anyone in any county could do this to someone just because they feel like it. To see my name on a search warrant was devastating enough, I hadn’t even been in the state for 2 weeks when all this happened so how is this possible? No one will answer me. And to take away the very reason I have any joy at all away from me…
If anyone can help me, I need a lawyer who will bring my cats back to me immediately. One who can either work pro bono or allow me to make payments. I am pleading with everyone. This is so wrong and can happen to anyone. The only reason they took my precious cats is because I worked for Caboodle Ranch, from out of state no less. There is NO other reason…."