5th, after a last minute scramble, the enclosures were finished
just in time for the arrival of the new cats.
Volunteers made a
last minute major push to get things done,
then, with a little time on their hands, they crashed!
Even the Roots and
Shoots kids crashed at the gate waiting for
the cats arrival.
Sanctuary works directly with the USDA to
rescue animals in need of a new permanent home. This rescue of
3 large cats involved thousands of volunteer hours before the
transfer could even happen. Working every single day for literally
weeks, numerous volunteers cleared the property and built 3 new
large enclosures for these animals. Many of the volunteers were
first timers who gave unselfishly of their time often working
into the night to try and finish this project on time. Many phone
calls and e-mails later, transfer arrangements were made through
the USDA using The Exotic Feline Rescue Center of Center Point,
In Defense of Animals raised the $4,500 fee to transport the
animals from Illinois.
to arrive at noon, at 5:55, the cats finally arrive.
The truck carrying the animals arrives at the front of the new
the cougar, got unloaded without much trouble and was quickly
transfered to her new enclosure by 6:15 pm.
Sassy gets moved
to her new enclosure
Miss Rajah out was going to be a different story. The forklift
was getting stuck in the sand but a wire fence panel under the
wheels was finally used to keep the fork lift from sinking in
any more. Miss Rajah's cage was too large to turn sideways in
the truck for the forklift to pick up from the side. Plywood
to cover the ramp wasn't available and would have taken a few
hours to get. The ramp on the
truck wasn't wide enough or strong enough on its own to hold the
weight of Miss Rajah and her cage so another plan had to be devised
to get her down.
After much discussion, it was decided to unload Nahla first and
then use her cage to transfer Miss Rajah into since the forklift
was capable of lifting her smaller cage. Getting Nahla down wasn't
too much trouble but once she was at the enclosure opening, it
took a bit or persuasion to get her to go in. At approximately
7:41 pm she finally stepped down into her new living quarters.
Nahla gets ready
to be lowered down to the ground
it was Miss Rajah's turn. The transfer cage was put back into
the truck, the door closed and after some time finally opened,
Miss Rajah was still in her green cage instead of the smaller
one. The cage was strapped onto the forklift endwise, raised off
the floor and then lowered to the ground after the transport truck
pulled ahead and out of the way. Just as Nahla needed some patience
and time, so did Miss Rajah. Finally, with much coaxing, around
8:52 pm she stepped down into her new home.
Miss Rajah reaching
the ground after a long ordeal with Dr G giving directions to
Jon. Thanks to Dr Mel & Dr G from Zephyrhills Veterinary Clinic
for all their efforts in getting these cats into their new enclosures
the girls had various bumps and scrapes on their faces and were
a bit stressed from their long ride to Florida. At last word,
everyone seems to be doing better and settling in fine.
more information on volunteering at SOS, e-mail us at