Stelter – In Memory


Stelter is a male bobcat who arrived at the sanctuary in 2012. He was 5 years old at the time.

We’d received a call from a Minnesota owner of four bobcats looking to relinquish them.  His 3-year old granddaughter had a very close call while near one of the cages and the owner was also scratched severely, requiring stitches.  His family convinced him to reach out to The Wildcat Sanctuary in order to spare the bobcats’ lives.bobcats_before_being_rescued

The four bobcats had been purchased online from a Montana breeder.  The owner’s intention was to breed them here in Minnesota and eventually kill them for their pelts.

Montana breeders have been selling kittens for decades, for as much as $1,750.  They will ship the cats anywhere, apparently with no questions asked, as long as the buyer can pay.

Many of the cities and states where these wild cats end up have laws and ordinances that make it illegal to own them.  But, for years, nothing has been done.  It’s outrageous and heartbreaking that we have been called on to rescue so many, just like these four.

male bobcat

Sadly, in order for the owner to remain detached, none of the bobcats had been named. We agreed to take them in, since we were concerned about the safety of this family and the lives of these bobcats.

Life at the Sanctuary

Stelter vet

The bobcats lived in 4×8 wire suspended cages in the owner’s backyard (shown in the photo to the right).  The pick-up went extremely well and the owner was very helpful.

Once we safely captured and  transported the bobcats back to the sanctuary, our vet performed intake exams, as well as spay and neuters on them.  All were treated for intestinal parasites, too.

All of our permanent enclosures were full, so we quickly built temporary enclosures in order to rescue these bobcats. Having never felt grass under their paws, this would be the bobcats’ first opportunity.  It was a joyous moment when they were released into their habitat here at the Sanctuary.

They began acting like kittens, exploring their new areas, tossing their enrichment high into the air, batting it around and rolling in the grass and on the different scents.

We could hardly contain our tears as we watched them jumping from hammock to den, marking and hugging

everything in sight.  What a great day providing a home to these wild cats in need, giving them a second chance at life!

A family member of the owner has since shared this: “Thank you for taking them! I am very glad he chose to let them live. I told him that you provide the most amazing life for the cats.”

Brianna and Stelter have lived together here at the sanctuary for many years now. Being able to give them companionship for life, and the chance to live wild at heart is the greatest gift ever!

How You Can Help

Lifelong care for wild cats is very expensive. That’s why we started our sponsorship program, to help cover these costs. Would you consider being Stelter’s sponsor parent?

Or even a one-time donation toward his care goes a long way in helping.  It’s easy using the buttons at the top of this page.

Thank you for your compassionate support!


Stelter gets a nameStelter

When the four Minnesota bobcats were rescued from their owner’s backyard cages, they had no names.

Stelter was named in honor of one of The Wildcat Sanctuary’s top supporters, Peggy Fisher.  It’s a name that’s very masculine and fits him quite well.

Stelter truly is the big boy of the group and the most unique looking bobcat we’ve ever seen.  He is a stunning bobcat.  While all the other bobcats weighed less than 24 lbs, Stelter weighed a whopping 34 lbs.!  He has huge feet for a bobcat.

When he arrived, he was treated for intestinal parasites and was neutered.  He lives with the golden-eyed female we’ve named Brianna.


It’s been a few months since the bobcats were rescued and brought to our Sanctuary.  And my, oh my, how life has changed for them!

You can tell, from these pictures, that they’re so happy they literally kiss the ground they walk on!!

No longer timid, they’ve spent so much of their time exploring around the tall grass and flowers of their summer habitat.  The trees, hammocks, pools, perches, and indoor dens have been such treats for them.  Imagine how life has changed from what little they had before to all we’ve been able to give them now.

They’ve all been spayed or neutered and are free of parasites.  Since they arrived with dental disease, three of the four will be having dental procedures this week.

We’re looking forward to finishing their new, large, free roaming habitats so they’ll be able to move into those before snowfall.  Life just keeps getting better and better for these four!  We’re so thankful to have supporters who help us provide the best of care for the cats we rescue.


Stelter and Brianna painting 1 with name.jpg

IN MEMORY ~ February 26, 2021

We’re very saddened to share that bobcat Stelter passed away suddenly this week.  His loss was unexpected, but we find peace knowing he left this world the way he would have wanted.

Stelter was a little quiet and refused his evening meal. The next morning, he was the same. We immediately called our vets since Stelter had always been a very good eater.

Stelter passed away while receiving supportive care. A necropsy was performed and Stelter’s stomach and intestine were full of cancer. He passed from sepsis.

Just days before his passing, he was out enjoying the sun on his face, sharing cardboard box enrichment with his companion Brianna. He did so well at hiding what he was going through. Stelter has never been social to people. He would not have wanted to be hospitalized or confined to a kennel.  He lived every day like day before, until his last breath.

A strong exterior is what Stelter always showed – it was his protection.  After growing up on a fur farm, Stelter was wild at heart even when he was confined to a small, suspended wire cage. Since his rescue, Stelter and Brianna never liked confinement or being too close to people. Here at the Sanctuary, we gave them more freedom than they had ever known.

Stelter’s boldness was just as beautiful as he was. He was a stunning bobcat with a gorgeous coat. His one soft spot was his mate Brianna. But even with her, he was in charge. You would find them curled up sleeping together or sharing enrichment. Brianna understood Stelter and for that he respected her.

We know Brianna will miss Stelter just as we will. Our hearts are filled with joy knowing his life did not end at that fur farm. For years, he got to feel grass under his feet, climb platforms, scratch trees and do so much more.  We know Brianna will be okay, she is just as strong as Stelter.

Stelter, enjoy the newly found freedom you so deserved! We’re sorry how humans treated you. Please know just how special your life was to all of us. You are in our hearts forever.




Three major news media stations were on-hand to cover the story of their rescue.  You can watch their coverage here:



More details about the Minnesota bobcat rescue can also be read here: