Meeting a cat for the first time during a rescue, looking into their eyes, you learn a lot about who they are. They provide so much information without speaking the English language. That’s when the healing process begins.
We knew bobcat Luna had been kept as a pet and rehomed several times. Looking into her wide eyes as she sat in a wire crate in the back seat, you could see the fear of the unknown and the distrust. Emotionally, she’d been broken.
But that’s only half her story. Once we performed her medical intake exam, we saw even more trauma she endured – this time physically. She’d been declawed on all four paws to try and make her a safe pet. Her canines had been brutally cut off at the gum line, exposing all the nerves. What extreme pain she must have endured.
All of this was done to try and make her a household pet. Yet in the end, she was still a bobcat, who’d been mutilated and passed around from home to home because she didn’t trust humans. Who could blame her?
With privately-owned wild cats, we’ve seen so much in our hospital. From serval Scarlet, whose metabolic bone disease caused a fracture to her leg and her rib cage due to the poor diet she was fed. To tiger Mohan’s crippling arthritis from torn ACL’s that went untreated. To tiger Titan’s rotting teeth that took four root canals to help, to lynx George’s inoperable leg that needed amputation. I’ve seen you can truly love an animal to death, or almost death.
I’ve seen the damage first hand. Participating in intake exams, scheduling diagnostics and surgeries with specialists, watching dentists perform root canals on rotten teeth, providing comfort care to so many suffering with arthritis from debilitating declaws.
And it’s why I’m so passionate about ending the captive wildlife crisis.
We are Stronger Together
My vision now is to share this future with vet students, legislators, our followers and whoever else can help stop the suffering of animals. At the same time, it’s important we share our knowledge and experiences with other facilities to make lives better for all wild cats living in captivity today.
The best way we can do that is through a new Animal Care and Education Center.
We’re just in the beginning stages of this multi-year project.
Goals of the New Center:
- Continue to provide state of the art medical care to all of our residents, including intake exams, preventative care, wellness checks and geriatric comfort care
- Demonstrate the damage done by private ownership and life in captivity through closed circuit TV’s, videos and live social media posts
- Educate future veterinarians and interns through growing our vet team, creating a pre-vet externship program and including a viewing room above the surgery suite for observation and teaching
- Increase technical equipment so additional procedures can be performed onsite, specialists can come to TWS vs. transporting the animal
- Share our additional programs that ensure physical and emotional health from our operant conditioning/enrichment programs, laser therapy, Healing Touch and energy work, to our pain management tools
This is a big and very important project. It will take time to do it right and will be activated in several phases.
Phase I – Upgrade of quarantine habitats. Secure additional rescue vehicles and equipment. Meet with an architect to develop needs assessment and create preliminary plans. – Completed 2019
Phase II – Final plan approval. Site preparation and excavation, including all proper permits and infrastructure. This includes roads, electric, septic, etc.
Phase III – Build out of Animal Care Center, moving hospital equipment, procuring additional equipment.
The Role of our Supporters
Every single cat deserves the chance to thrive and overcome the issues they arrive with or develop as they age. And it’s important to us that we provide as many tools as possible to help them heal. We know how important it is to you, too!
But we also need to end future cats from enduring these issues. Education and exposing the truth is key to making change.
You can help make this project a reality, help prevent more cats from suffering, and help current cats in captivity live a better life.
As we progress in each phase, there will be many opportunities for all supporters to get involved at any level! We can only create this future with YOU!
Please feel free to contact me directly at [email protected] or 320-245-6871 if you would like to commit to being a founding member or have any question regarding this amazing project! And I will continue to keep everyone updated on the progress of this project. Any donations received above the center cost will be used to care for the animals.