Tiger left in deserted Houston house is now at home at Black Beauty Ranch; Owner arrested and charged with animal cruelty

By on May 17, 2019 with 0 Comments

The strange saga of a neglected tiger discovered last February in the garage of a deserted Houston home reached a happily-ever-after conclusion this week. Our Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch in Murchison, Texas, the tiger’s home since his rescue, has been given full legal custody of the animal. And the woman who owned the tiger was arrested and charged with animal cruelty for failing to provide him with sufficient water, food, care and shelter.

Although the tiger, born in captivity, will never know what it is like to live in the wild, he will spend the rest of his days living peacefully at the ranch, with the grass under his feet and the sun on his belly, as tigers in the wild would. He will never again know the horror that his life was before authorities came upon him on that fateful day after a 311 caller discovered the 350-pound tiger sitting in a cage on rotting meat, mold, maggots and his own waste. The animal’s legs were scalded by urine. It was a terrible thing for an animal so regal and magnificent to be living in such a degraded state of neglect and misery.

After his transfer to the Black Beauty Ranch, life took a dramatic turn for this as yet unnamed fellow (the Fund for Animals is running a contest to name him). Noelle Almrud, the director of the ranch, told me that since his arrival, the two-year-old has settled in nicely and is relaxed and calm. He’s sharing the ranch’s tiger habitat with Alex, a tiger rescued along with about a dozen other wild animals after their owner abandoned them, without food or water. The two tigers can see each other, although they live in separate enclosures (tigers generally prefer a solitary life).

The new resident’s favorite activity is to lay in the sun on his back with his feet in the air, Noelle relates, and he sometimes climbs up on a wooden platform to survey his surroundings.

While this tiger’s life is now as stress-free as can be, there are many tigers — both captive and wild — who are not so lucky. On Endangered Species Day today, it is important to remember that tigers are endangered, with fewer than 4,000 remaining in the wild – down from approximately 100,000 a century ago. In fact, it is estimated that there are more tigers now living in captivity than there are in the wild. A big reason for this is the impunity with which this beautiful species has been trafficked, poached and hunted in the wild for trophies and traditional Asian medicine as well as the rampant breeding of captive tigers to supply circuses, roadside zoos, private menageries and the insatiable cub-petting industry.

At the ranch, the tiger has the grass under his feet and the sun on his belly, as tigers in the wild would. Photo by Mikkaela Scott/The HSUS

At the HSUS and Humane Society International, we’ve made it our mission to fight these threats to tigers and other big cats. We’ve exposed captive tiger breeding within the United States through our investigations of roadside zoos. We’ve pushed for laws to ban the use of wild animals, including tigers, in circuses and in other travelling shows. HSI has long fought to end the international trade in tiger parts. Last November, in response to the Chinese government’s decision to lift a 1993 ban on the sale of tiger bones and rhino horns for medicinal use, we filed a legal petition with the U.S. government seeking a ban on all imports of wildlife and their parts from China until that country amends its law to reinstate a complete ban on the sale of tiger and rhino parts. We have worked to prohibit the private ownership of big cats, and 35 states now have such laws (Texas is not one of them, alas).

At the federal level, we are pushing for the Big Cat Public Safety Act, which would ban the possession of big cat species like tigers and lions by individuals and prohibit their exploitation by poorly run roadside zoos that allow public contact with big cats.

Irresponsible owners who keep tigers locked up create a public safety problem, commit the worst sort of animal cruelty, and squander the resources of taxpayer-funded law enforcement agencies and organizations like ours that must step up to respond. It costs approximately $25,000 per year to care for a tiger — resources that would be better spent on efforts to protect tigers in the wild from the many threats they face.

There is no reason why anyone should be allowed to keep a tiger as a pet. Please ask your federal lawmakers to support the Big Cat Public Safety Act. Tigers are meant to live and breathe in the wild, not suffer needlessly in cages and homes where they were never meant to languish.

South Dakota’s grisly predator bounty program has already claimed 15,000 animal lives this spring, and counting

By on May 16, 2019 with 0 Comments
South Dakota’s grisly predator bounty program has already claimed 15,000 animal lives this spring, and counting

In the last month, South Dakota residents have trapped and killed more than 15,000 raccoons, skunks, opossums, foxes and badgers, cut off their tails, and submitted them to the state’s wildlife management agency for a $10-per-tail reward, all as part of South Dakota’s new Nest . . . 

Read More

An American trophy hunter wants to bring home an endangered cheetah he killed in Namibia

By on May 15, 2019 with 0 Comments
An American trophy hunter wants to bring home an endangered cheetah he killed in Namibia

By Kitty Block and Sara Amundson The cheetah, an animal capable of top speeds of 75 miles per hour, is racing toward extinction, with just 7,100 animals left in the wild. Recently, in another expression of the callous disregard trophy hunters show for the world’s . . . 

Read More

Annual Horrible Hundred report identifies problem puppy mills in U.S.; Reveals USDA is failing to crack down on violators

By on May 14, 2019 with 1 Comment
Annual Horrible Hundred report identifies problem puppy mills in U.S.; Reveals USDA is failing to crack down on violators

Our seventh annual Horrible Hundred report, which we are releasing today, reveals shocking instances of neglect and mistreatment of dogs in puppy mills, including severely underweight dogs and large numbers of puppies dying mysteriously. What it also reveals is that the U.S. Department of Agriculture . . . 

Read More

Doris Day was a force for animal protection

By on May 13, 2019 with 2 Comments
Doris Day was a force for animal protection

With the passing of legendary actress, singer and animal advocate Doris Day, the world has lost a generous and kind soul. Even as we mourn the loss of a woman whose grace, talent and versatility left so many of us charmed, I want to celebrate . . . 

Read More

New York’s pioneering bill to end giraffe trafficking now heads to governor’s desk

By on May 9, 2019 with 2 Comments
New York’s pioneering bill to end giraffe trafficking now heads to governor’s desk

New York State is standing tall for giraffes. The state’s lawmakers recently passed a bill that would designate giraffes as a vulnerable species and ban trafficking in their body parts, thus leading the way toward saving this beleaguered species that is fast heading toward extinction. . . . 

Read More

New York City pet store faces lawsuit following HSUS undercover investigation that exposed sick, mistreated puppies

By on May 8, 2019 with 1 Comment
New York City pet store faces lawsuit following HSUS undercover investigation that exposed sick, mistreated puppies

A New York pet store that sold numerous sick puppy mill dogs to unsuspecting consumers now faces a lawsuit in Manhattan Supreme Court for allegedly failing to give proper medical care to sick puppies and deceiving buyers about their health. The store’s former owner may . . . 

Read More

Urgent alert! Act now to prevent trophy hunting of gray wolves

By on May 8, 2019 with 9 Comments
Urgent alert! Act now to prevent trophy hunting of gray wolves

By Kitty Block and Sara Amundson Time is running out for America’s gray wolves. The opportunity to weigh in on a proposed federal rule that would prematurely strip Endangered Species Act protections for the wolves in the lower 48 states ends soon, and it is . . . 

Read More

Breaking news: Washington governor signs historic law to end cage confinement of egg-laying hens

By on May 7, 2019 with 0 Comments
Breaking news: Washington governor signs historic law to end cage confinement of egg-laying hens

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has just signed into law the strongest protections for egg-laying hens ever passed in any state legislature. This historic win will benefit approximately eight million hens each year, freeing them from cage confinement by the end of 2023. The measure builds . . . 

Read More

To the Rescue! Gala celebrates work to end farm animal suffering, even as new U.N. report says industrial farming, other human actions are driving animals to extinction

By on May 6, 2019 with 0 Comments
To the Rescue! Gala celebrates work to end farm animal suffering, even as new U.N. report says industrial farming, other human actions are driving animals to extinction

A new United Nations report out today foretells a dire future for Planet Earth: as many as one million plant and animal species are at risk of extinction, mainly due to human actions, including development, the cutting of down forests and exhaustion of natural resources, . . . 

Read More

Lions living in squalor highlight urgent need to end captive lion breeding industry, canned hunts

By on May 3, 2019 with 11 Comments
Lions living in squalor highlight urgent need to end captive lion breeding industry, canned hunts

South Africa’s captive lion breeding industry is a grim enterprise, and it is one that we have been working to shut down for good. Approximately 12,000 lions are held in 200 lion breeding farms, including some where trophy hunters, including many Americans, pay to kill . . . 

Read More

Activists expose dog meat industry in Shanghai, as city hosts World Dog Show

By on May 2, 2019 with 3 Comments
Activists expose dog meat industry in Shanghai, as city hosts World Dog Show

Shanghai is now hosting the 2019 World Dog Show, an event billed as a “joyful gathering for dog lovers and lovely dogs across the world.” Meanwhile, at restaurants just a few miles away, diners will partake of meat from dogs just as beautiful and lovable . . . 

Read More

Top