Existing as the only accredited big cat sanctuary in the upper Midwest keeps the staff of The Wildcat Sanctuary incredibly busy. Along with providing the residents a permanent home, several rescue calls come in each month to help additional animals in need. November 2003 was no different.
Tammy Quist, Director of TWS, received a call from a private owner faced with an unnerving decision. The man informed Tammy that he decided to surrender his three wildcats to TWS instead of having them confiscated for violating local city ordinances.
After placing many calls within the network of accredited sanctuaries across the country, TWS located a permanent home for these displaced animals. With this crucial step completed, Quist and two volunteers arrived at the private residence unsure of what condition they would find the animals living in, as is typically the case.
The wildcats, two Canadian lynx and one bobcat, had been living in the home for several years, unbeknownst to neighbors. The animals had no access to the outside world and slept in cages in a spare bedroom. Although the animals were in good physical condition, the environment they lived in was not suitable for exotic wild animals.
After information about each animal was exchanged and paperwork signed, the animals were loaded into secure crates and removed from the house. Each of the wildcats went through a veterinary exam in order to make the trip to their new home.
Making a white-knuckled voyage through the snow, Quist and assistant Kelly Holmberg, transported the three part of the way to their new home. There, they met representatives from the sanctuary that would provide the animals with a suitable, secure home where they would be able to live out their days. In just a short amount of time and a few more miles, the cats would finally be able to romp through newly fallen snow, as lynx and bobcats should be able to do.
Unfortunately, rescues like this are all too common at TWS. A significant amount of time is devoted each month to finding homes for cases just like this, due to the fact that TWS is currently filled to capacity.