Tuesday, February 28, 2012

PetSmart Charities’® EMERGENCY RELIEF waggin’® vehicle ASSISTS hundreds of CATS in Madison County, Florida

FROM CAT CHAT: I cannot begin to tell you how devastatingly upsetting this hot-off-the-press news is that was just emailed to me on behalf of PetSmart Charities.

I know a number of bloggers have featured Caboodle Ranch on their blogs,  there were many times that I attempted to connect with Caboodle Ranch  in an attempt to  feature them on Cat Chat, and ironically they never responded. Now I am happy that they didn't.

When I first learned about Caboodle Ranch and how it seemed to be a kitty utopia for unwanted/neglected cats and viewed their charming cabins, I NEVER expected to learn what was sent to me below.

I am sick to my stomach and my heart is breaking for these poor defenseless babies.


PetSmart Charities has dispatched three of its Emergency Relief Waggin’® vehicles, each stocked with $80,000 worth of crucial supplies, to the scene of an alleged animal hoarding situation in Lee, Fla. Hundreds of cats and two dogs are in need of emergency assistance and medical care after being discovered in an overcrowded and unsanitary cat sanctuary known as Caboodle Ranch. The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®)is the lead agency in this rescue.

As a result of an investigation spanning more than a year, a search warrant was executed Monday morning for the removal of the animals. The ASPCA is collecting additional evidence on the property for the investigation. The founder of Caboodle Ranch has been arrested and multiple animal cruelty charges are pending.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, the cats were living outside in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions with various medical issues that were left untreated. Many of the cats exhibited various signs of neglect and appear to be suffering from upper respiratory conditions and eye infections, among other medical issues. Several cats were in critical condition and responders discovered numerous deceased cats on the property.

The 53-foot PetSmart Charities’ Emergency Relief Waggin’ trailers and their 48-tons of cargo departed the PetSmart® Distribution Centers in Newnan, Ga. and Ottawa, Il., bound for the scene, where animal-rescue teams will operate an emergency animal shelter. The vehicles are stocked with crucial supplies, including pet food, wire crates, plastic carriers, litter, litter boxes, bowls, fans, a generator, a battery charger and lights to aid the animal rescuers on scene.

"PetSmart Charities also dispatches a team of specially trained volunteers to the scene,” said Susana Della Maddalena, executive director of PetSmart Charities, Inc. “The volunteers are able to unload supplies and set up the temporary shelter very quickly, enabling on-the-ground rescuers to immediately attend to the animal victims. We are happy to be able to assist in this way to help give these cats a second chance at finding a lifelong, loving home.”

“This is a tragic situation,” said Tim Rickey, senior director of the ASPCA’s Field Investigations and Response team. “Caboodle Ranch was clearly overwhelmed with hundreds of cats in dire need of medical treatment, and the sanctuary had no adoption program or any spay/neuter efforts to effectively manage its current population.”

The PetSmart Charities’ Emergency Relief program is funded by donations. Members of the public can support the program by making a donation online, by email at gifts@petsmartcharities.org or via phone at 623-587-2826, to help more pets like these find the loving homes they deserve.

About PetSmart Charities

Established in 1994, PetSmart Charities, Inc. is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that creates and supports programs that save the lives of homeless pets, raise awareness of companion animal welfare issues and promote healthy relationships between people and pets. The largest funder of animal-welfare efforts in North America, PetSmart Charities has provided more than $165 million in grants and programs benefiting animal-welfare organizations and has helped save the lives of nearly 5 million pets through its in-store adoption program. To learn more about how PetSmart Charities is working toward its vision of a lifelong, loving home for every pet, visit petsmartcharities.org or call 1-800-423-PETS (7387).


  1. Wow. *shakes head* Just - wow.

  2. I know how you feel, I actually gave them some free posts on my other blog. Horrible situation and I am so thankful for PetSmart for stepping up.

  3. Hey...what about putting the owners a cage and not feed him for a month? Am very upset about this. And this was supposed to be utopia....or hospice for cats? Aaarrrggghhh.......

  4. My human and I were both sick at heart when we heard about this.

  5. Talk about "sick." Those poor poor animals. I wish more people would report situations like this - neighbors must have noticed (unless they live remotely). Such a sad situation.

  6. He thankfully has been arrested from what I understand. My heart is just breaking Mario

    @Sparkle, me as well :(

    @Cat-from-Sydney, when I first heard about them and saw footage (this was at least a year or more ago) it certainly wasn't like this (at least what they SHOWED wasn't like this) that is why so many bloggers featured this ranch. This is simply heartbreaking

    @Brian don't feel bad...I would have done the same! As I mentioned, I had tried contacting them quite a while back to feature them as well. If they had replied I would have! I thought it was fantastic too like everyone else did! ((((hugs)))))) Yep, thank goodness for PetSmart!

    @Cat and the Coffee Cup Amen

    @Artemisia ...totally :(

  7. Sounds like a pet hoarder; it's a mental illness but so sad for the cats.

  8. When me first heard about them, me thought they was a pretty special place. Now...something must has happened to change things. Pet Smart ROCKS!

  9. That is so very sad but I'm glad the cats are now getting the help they need. I am always very leery of any program like this that is run by individual(s) and asks for donations. Supporting organizations like PetSmart Charities is much wiser.

  10. I am also sad to hear this news but I feel that maybe some people just can't say no and end up overwhelmed with too many cats. They started with great intentions and then it gets way out of control. I think much more should be done here in the UK as well as other countries with similar problems about helping people with the neutering of the cats. If more were neutered it would save all these 'cat sanctuaries' from trying to just 'mop up' the problem.

  11. I had heard rumors about this before. Several people had posted info online. It makes me sad that this has happened to the cats. Just another example of why you should never send money to a group you don't know about, no matter how great they sound.

  12. This is awful! When we saw the video a year or so back, we thought what a wonderful place it was for the cats. It is absolutely heartbreaking.