In February, 2003, TWS received a call from the Humane Society, looking for a home for a young tiger cub, Anna. Most of what we know of Anna’s situation came from several news articles written about her. Animal neglect and abuse draws media attention, but, what happens after the headlines fade? Rescued wildcats still need ongoing care to thrive and live a happy, healthy life. This is where TWS comes in. Our role was to place Anna in a permanent sanctuary where she could live her life as a tiger.
Anna was bought legally from a breeder in Minnesota. It was legal because there were no state laws regulating purchasing tigers as pets, at the time. Even though Anna was purchased legally, she was housed illegally in Albert Lea. Albert Lea requires a permit for exotic animals, which the owner did not have. The owner lived within city limits, in a populated neighborhood.
Authorities received complaints that the tiger was neglected and being kept in substandard conditions; raw chicken, feces and urine covered most of the floors. The tiger was being housed in a room with a fifth grade boy; there was no adequate enclosure.
Authorities had visited the owners house prior to confiscating the animal, at which time the owner stated there was no tiger cub being housed on his property. Subsequently, in October 2001, the court system barred the owner from having a pet as a penalty for a cruelty-to-animals conviction. Anna spent 25 days at the Humane Society where she was treated for being malnourished.
We received custody of Anna on Wed, 2/12/2003. It was a busy day with Anna scheduled for a vet check-up followed by an 11-hour journey to her new home at Exotic Feline Rescue Center in Indiana. After 11 hours on the road with Anna “singing” loudly in the back, we arrived at the sanctuary at 2:30 a.m. Anna made herself quite at home with the other 130 exotic cat residents. The ride home was much more tranquil – not because it was quieter, but because we knew Anna was in a much better place.