Exotic Pet Ownership is a rising trend today, as more and more people learn about and fall in love with more exotic animals. Sadly, a lot of the people who decide to take on exotics don’t do the research on what they are getting into.They may not consider the permits, cost of upkeep, or even more basic things such as a safe and stimulating enclosures.
People are taking on pet lions, tigers, bears, lynx, bobcats, cougars, monkeys, and so many more animals that require serious animal care. When things take a turn for the worse and they can not care for the animals any longer, the animals will either be euthanized or placed into shelters.
C.A.R.E. Rescue In Bridgeport, Texas was founded to provide a home for big cats and other exotic animals who need them. They have 22 acres of land where they house 49 lions, tigers, leopards, lemurs, bobcats, coati, llamas and mountain lions. C.A.R.E.’s official name is The Center for Animal Research and Education, but everyone just knows them as C.A.R.E.
C.A.R.E. does tours 4 days a week where they allow people to come in and they educate the public about why these animals do not make good pets and how amazing they are. They rely exclusively on volunteers and donations to keep C.A.R.E. up and running, and always require assistance. C.A.R.E. even maintains an Amazon wishlist of things that they need to make it easier for people to donate. These animals are very costly to care for, so caring for 49 of them is extremely difficult to handle.
Some of C.A.R.E.’s residents come from truly sad backgrounds, and highlight the need for places like them. Milo is a leopard who previously belonged to a woman who was told that a leopard would make a great pet. Sadly, she was also talked into declawing the young cat. Declawing is a vicious procedure that removes the last knuckle on a cat and can cause lifelong pain for the cat. When Milo outgrew his owner, she relinquished him to C.A.R.E. and this beautiful cat went from being a much loved and spoiled house cat to living in an enclosure by himself, which caused him to withdraw. Milo is finally learning to trust people again, and hopefully he will continue to become the cat he was meant to be.
Big cats are not hard to find in private ownership, and one can find a big cat for sale with a couple hour’s research on the internet. Sadly, private individuals will continue to buy these animals and not be able to provide the proper care for them and they will continue to suffer.
C.A.R.E.’s work is so important in today’s day and age with everyone getting exotic pets because they can. Hopefully, they will be able to remain open until the day arrives that people stop keeping big cats as pets.
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