August 27, 2007

Great Cats of Indiana

I wasn't surprised when I saw that LSU purchased a Bengal tiger for a mascot, but when I found out it came from Indiana, and not from a zoo... I read further. Have you ever heard of "Great Cats of Indiana" just west of Logansport? Me either. I might have to stop in there sometime when I go to Purdue. It sounds as if they do good works.

It wasn't that long ago when there was a bobcat loose in Fort Wayne and the police ended up killing it. And if I remember correctly, wasn't there a big, black cat videotaped over around Decatur last year... maybe a leopard, or a panther? Whatever happened with that?


lsu76 said...

LSU did not purchase the cat. Great Cats donated it.

Dan said...

Thanks for that correction, lsu76. Great Cats is doing good work and it's a quality group of people to have in Indiana.

Anonymous said...

FYI - this is a copy of a letter sent to our state senators Lugar, and Bayh, and our Rep Visclosky and also PeTA, WWF, The Humane Society, ASPCA, WSPA and others:

June 30, 2008

My husband and I were very excited to be visiting a place called "Great Cat's of Indiana Sanctuary and Rescue Facility". It is located in Idaville, IN., about an hour and a half drive from our home. I found it on the internet. I never even knew it existed. This was going to be a good day! How wrong I was.

We accidentally passed this "sanctuary" up on the road. When we saw it, our first thoughts were "Is that it??". The place looked like one of those awful roadside zoos you so often see on road trips. We turned the car around and entered the facility. What we found disturbed us for the rest of the day, thus me writing to you now.
They house approximately 3 male, and 2 female lions (one of the males, we were told, is a Barbary Lion from the Barbary Coast of Africa and one of an extinct breed of lion), 12 tigers, 7 cougars, 1 leopard, 3 bears, a pack of wolves, a bobcat and several llamas and donkeys. The conditions these animals are left to live in were deplorable. All in cages, some smaller than others, some animals grouped in with too many others for the space. The black leopard, one of the cats left with very little shade, paced frantically back and forth on a plank, never once acknowledging our presence. Most cages are covered in feces, urine, and some even had rotted meat, swarming with flies, that had been left from previous feedings. One that stood out specifically is home to 2 adult lions; it had the rotting remains of a pig, a mere 10 feet from where the lions were trying to sleep. All of the animals are filthy and matted to some degree. Most were sleeping in their feces, some out in the hot sun with no shade. Some had reservoirs filled with water so that the animals could keep cool. However, the water was dirty and in some cases red with rust, or who knows what. Within one tiger enclosure, the concrete floor was partially flooded with standing water that had been sitting so long it was filled with bright green algae. When we asked about it, the young guide indicated that the drain was plugged and that the water was just like it was in the cat's natural habitat. Every enclosure was made of rotting broken wood with peeling paint, cracked and broken concrete foundations, as well as rust covered metal caging.

Our 17-year-old tour guide told us that the owners of this 12-year-old facility perform all of their own veterinary work because the closest veterinarian to assist them was in Michigan City, which is an hour and forty-five minutes away. Are they qualified? I doubt it.

I found out later that the USDA has had an ongoing investigation into this facility and that monetary fines have been brought against the owner. That is all welll and good, but the animals CONTINUE TO SUFFER. This facility needs to be shut down immediately. Why is this taking so long to accomplish, and why hasn't the ASPCA or another valued organization stepped in to remove these animals from such a caustic situation?
The laws that govern these sanctuaries need to be looked at much more closely. This facility was not hidden from view; it was visible to the naked eye. Rule upon rule had been broken, and it has been allowed to be open for over 12 years. WHY?
I implore you to look into this as soon as possible and hopefully come up with a better resolution than sitting and waiting for our court system to take action. These animals don't deserve this, and anyone who turns a blind eye to this should be ashamed.

My contact information is:


Please assist in this matter as possible so these animals can start living a healthy life.

Diane Gustafson