Hundreds of cats confiscated from Craig Grant’s Caboodle Ranch feline sanctuary in Florida are going up for adoption on Saturday and Sunday, August 11th and 12th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the ASPCA’s temporary shelter at 2580 West 1st Street in Jacksonville FL. Smaller, separate adoption events for the Caboodle Ranch cats will also be held that same weekend in Sarasota (hosted by Cat Depot) and in the Tampa Bay area.
Some of the cats up for adoption includes special needs cats: barn cats and those with FELV and FIV.
The ASPCA is asking former owners who left cats with Caboodle Ranch to call their hotline at (917) 572-4407 to schedule an appointment to identify and reclaim their cat(s). The Jacksonville Humane Society is working with the ASPCA on the adoptions.
A total of 692 live cats were seized from the ranch at the end of February in one of the largest animal hoarding rescues in U.S. history.
Caboodle Ranch supporters claim that the abuse was staged by PETA and that all of the cats were well cared for.
Caboodle Ranch founder Craig Grant, charged with animal cruelty and scheme to defraud, hopes to stop the adoptions by fighting the ruling that put the Caboodle Ranch cats in the care of the ASPCA. Based on the evidence, it does not appear that any fight to get the cats back will be successful.
Allegations against Grant include:
- Seriously ill or wounded cats did not receive adequate veterinary care.
- Caboodle Ranch failed to spay and neuter cats in their care.
- Craig Grant wiped cats’ faces with toxic Clorox Wipes.
- Conditions at the Ranch were filthy.
- Dead cats were left where they lay.
- Cats roamed freely outside the confines of the Ranch.
- Craig Grant misappropriated nonprofit funds.
Criminal charges pending against Grant include one count of felony animal cruelty; three counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty; and one count of scheming to defraud (felony).
Among the Court’s findings:
- The evidence demonstrated “clearly and convincingly, that the Caboodle animals were not receiving proper and reasonable care while in the custody of Caboodle.” (Order ¶ 8)
- “Caboodle’s own veterinarian testified that the number of animals on the Caboodle property on the date of the seizure significantly exceeded the limits he had recommended. . .” (Order ¶ 10f)
- Caboodle “depended upon a continuing influx of new animals for its financial survival. It is more likely than not that Caboodle would continue to fail to abide by the recommendations of its own veterinarian regarding population limitations if the animals were returned.” (Order ¶ 10g)
- “Sick animals were not adequately isolated. . .” (Order ¶ 10j)
- “. . . Caboodle is clearly and substantially lacking in the resources, ability, skill and (most importantly) willingness to follow expert veterinary advice essential to an operation dedicated to the care of such a large and apparently ever-growing number of animals it seemed intent on sheltering.” (Order ¶ 11)
Cats now in ASPCA’s Care
In a letter to the judge, Director Tim Rickey of the ASPCA details how $1.2 million has been spent on care for Caboodle Ranch cats. In addition to medical care and basic necessities, the cats are receiving behavioral enrichment to “remedy the effects of the severe neglect and lack of socialization they experienced during their time at Caboodle Ranch.”
Caboodle is enjoined from possessing live animals going forward.
Agencies who assisted the Jacksonville ASPCA in the rescue included:
- Atlanta Humane Society (Atlanta, Ga.)
- Bay Area Disaster Animal Response Team (Belleair Bluffs, Fla.)
- Cat Depot (Sarasota, Fla.)
- Florida State Animal Response Coalition (Bushnell, Fla.)
- Good Mews Animal Foundation (Marietta, Ga.)
- Humane Society of Broward County (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
- International Fund for Animal Welfare (Yarmouth Port, Mass.)
- Lee County Domestic Animal Services (Fort Myers, Fla.)
- McKamey Animal Care and Adoption Center (Chattanooga, Tenn.)
- RedRover (Sacramento, Calif.).
- University of Florida (Gainesville) College of Veterinary Medicine and Maples Center for Foresnic Medicine
Fraud Charges and Lawsuit
Donors to the ranch have filed a class action suit claiming that Grant misappropriated their donations. They’ve stated they possess proof that Grant used the funds for numerous financial transactions on the 501(c) not-for-profit account for personal expenditures including but not limited to airline flights, trip to Vegas, purchases at Toys R Us, Daytona 500 tickets, hotels, online clothing orders, online magazine orders, restaurant meals and gifts.
Grant has testified in court that he does not routinely record cash donations.