Exotic cats freed from animal dealer find refuge at The Wildcat Sanctuary

Last week, caretakers from The Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone drove to Michigan to rescue four exotic cats. They were rescued from a facility who violated the Animal Welfare Act and Endangered Species Act. The four animals were a serval, a fishing cat, and two caracals.

According to the USDA, since 2014, the facility had 74 violations of the Animal Welfare Act, including animals being deprived of water and denied veterinary care at the Michigan facility.

Inspectors found animals living in small, unclean cages that didn’t provide adequate shelter from inclement weather.

Even Keel Exotics was an exotic animal dealer who bought, sold, traded, and exploited animals through paid animal encounters. He also offered encounters with young animals that had been removed from their mothers at a very young age.

In all, 142 animals were removed.

“Our team was the first onsite with authorities to safely remove the cats. They saw cages that were barren and dirty. They are already enjoying grass under their feet for the first time,” said Executive Director Tammy Thies.

“We’ve rescued African servals and caracals who live at the Sanctuary now, but this will be our first fishing cat,” Thies said.

The Sanctuary invites the public to help support the cats daily care by donating at WildcatSanctuary.org.  The public can watch the cats at the sanctuary through live posts and videos on the The Wildcat Sanctuary’s Facebook and Instagram pages.