Friday, November 30, 2007

Lion's owner cited for failure to confine the animal

Lion's owner cited for failure to confine the animal

 

 

Associated Press - November 30, 2007 8:45 AM ET

 

PIKETON, Ohio (AP) - The owner of a lion that escaped from its cage and startled motorists along U.S. 23 in southern Ohio last week has been charged with failure to confine the animal.

 

Authorities say Terry Brumfield of rural Piketon faces three misdemeanor animal cruelty charges, including failure to provide his two lions with a clean, healthful environment.

 

Pike County Humane Agent John Owens says an inspection of Brumfield's property showed that the wood & wire cage where two lions were kept was caked with manure and littered with rotting animal carcasses.

 

Authorities say a 550-pound lion named Lambert managed to crawl out of the pen early last week but was returned to his cage after some motorists called 911.

 

Piketon is about 60 miles south of Columbus.

 

 

Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com

 

http://www.wdtn.com/Global/story.asp?S=7431368&nav=menu590_1

 

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http://www.BigCatRescue.org    MakeADifference@BigCatRescue.org

 

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

NV Exotic Animal Law Takes Effect In Nye County

Exotic Animal Law Takes Effect In Nye County

 

Posted: Nov 19, 2007 06:50 PM EST

 

The rules are changing for anyone who owns an exotic pet in Nye County.

 

There is now a law requiring special use permits for all exotic pets.

 

The animals must be inspected once a year, as well as the animals' homes, all animal sanctuaries and kennels.

 

The ordinance is effective today.

 

http://www.ktnv.com/global/story.asp?s=7384094

Ashville Game Farm History

Ashville Game Farm Loses Big Cat License

 

 

By JIM KINNEY, The Saratogian

 

11/20/2007 Ballston Spa, NY: The owner of a Washington County zoo whose tiger scratched a 4-year-old boy at the Saratoga County Fair in 2006 is no longer permitted to own big cats, the Saratoga County District Attorney's Office said.

 

Jeffrey Ash, owner of Ashville Game Farm, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Saratoga County Court to giving the Saratoga County Fair faked insurance documents and also to not leaving enough space between the tiger and the public at the fair.

 

As a result, Ash, 54, of Greenwich, is no longer permitted to own lions, tigers or leopards, Murphy said. He'll be in court in Ballston Spa Jan. 19 for sentencing and will then have six months to remove all eight big cats from his property. He will also serve three years of probation.

 

"I just want to make sure they are going to the right home," Ash said by phone Tuesday. "We've raised them from babies."

 

The menagerie includes two African lions, tigers, mountain lions and leopard. Ash said he'll keep the business going by displaying other exotic animals that don't pose as much of a risk, like camels.

 

District Attorney James A. Murphy III said the state Department of Conservation will also investigate Ash with an eye toward possibly banning Ash from owning and displaying bears as well.

 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture regulates zoos. Ashville Game Farm has not had any enforcement action taken against it previously, said USDA spokeswoman Jessica Danielle Milteer. Inspection reports for the facility were only available through the federal Freedom of Information Law. The Saratogian has filed a FOIA request.

 

Riley Willard, now 5, was sitting on a bench at the fair in 2006 getting his picture taken with a baby kangaroo when a Bengal tiger reached through its cage and swiped at his forehead.

 

The boy needed 14 stitches.

 

Riley's family sued the fair, prompting officials there to discover that Ash provided them with a faked insurance certificate in order to bring the animals on the grounds.

 

 

Ash pleaded Tuesday to second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, a misdemeanor in satisfaction of that part of the case, Murphy said.

 

The Saratoga County Fair no longer accepts faxed insurance documents from vendors at the fair, General Manager Dick Rowland said Tuesday. A fax from an insurance company is OK initially, but must be backed up by a certified copy from the insurance company.

 

"What we do is we spot check," Rowland said. "We call the insurance company and make sure the coverage is in place."

 

The fair's insurance company settled with the Willard family for $32,500, according to papers on file at the Saratoga County Clerk's Office.

 

"Something can always go wrong," Rowland said, adding that the tiger wasn't a problem before the incident. "The rest of the week it lay in the cage and slept," he said.

 

"You wouldn't think situations like that would arise."

 

The fair wasn't the first time Ash had been in the news. In 2005 another tiger named Tehan escaped form the Ash's zoo on a rural road east of Schuylerville. The cat was recovered with out incident, but area schools kept children inside from recess.

 

"I can't believe he's still in business," Rowland said.

 

http://www.saratogian.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=

 

19044227&BRD=1169&PAG=461&dept_id=602469&rfi=6

 

Jeff Ash's Game Farm to Lose Big Cats

 

Greenwich wildlife zoo owner pleads guilty to charge related to 2006 tiger slashing at fair

 

By CHRISTEN GOWAN, Staff writer

First published: Wednesday, November 21, 2007

 

BALLSTON SPA -- The Ashville Game Farm is expected to lose its large exotic animals -- such as lions, tigers and leopards -- by the middle of next year and may also be banned from owning bears, according to Saratoga County District Attorney James Murphy.

 

The game farm's owner, Jeffrey Ash of Greenwich, has pleaded guilty to a charge stemming from a 2006 incident in which a 4-year-old was scratched by one of his tigers. Part of the plea deal requires Ash to sell the large animals within six months of his sentencing, scheduled for January.

 

 

According to the game farm's Web site, the facility owns 14 such animals. The game farm also houses other wildlife, such as monkeys and goats.

 

In 2006, a Ballston Spa boy was scratched by Calcutta, Ash's 400-pound royal white Bengal tiger, at the Saratoga County Fair. The animal reached out of the cage and swiped the child on the forehead while he posed for a picture with a baby kangaroo. The boy sustained minor injuries.

 

Fair officials discovered Ash's insurance documents had been forged.

 

Ash, 54, pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, a class A misdemeanor, Murphy said. He also pleaded guilty to violating his environmental conservation permit, Murphy said. Ash is expected to get three years probation.

 

http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=640880&category=

 

REGION&newsdate=11/21/2007

 

 

Game farm owner convicted

 

Updated: 11/20/2007 10:54 PM

By: Web Staff

 

 

BALLSTON SPA, N.Y. -- The owner of the Ashville Game Farm has been convicted of charges stemming from an incident in July 2006, when a young boy was injured by a tiger.

 

Jeffrey Ash violated conditions of his permit at the farm for failing to build a sufficient barrier between the animals and the public.

 

The accident happened when a boy was getting his picture taken near the tiger cage at the Saratoga County Fair.

 

That's when a white tiger reached through the cage and scratched the boy on the forehead. He was taken to the hospital for treatment but has made a full recovery.

 

 

WATCH THE VIDEO

 

 

Owner of game farm convicted of violations The owner of the Ashville Game Farm has been convicted of charges stemming from an incident in July 2006, when a young boy was injured by a tiger.

 

http://www.capitalnews9.com/content/headlines/?ArID=225514&SecID=33

 

 

 

 

Greenwich game farm to lose big animals

 

 

 

By CHRISTEN GOWAN, Staff writer

Last updated: 2:59 p.m., Tuesday, November 20, 2007

 

BALLSTON SPA -- The owner of the Ashville Game Farm in Greenwich has pleaded guilty to a charge stemming from a 2006 incident in which a 4-year-old was scratched by one of his tigers.

 

The owner also has been banned from owning large exotic animals like lions, tigers and leopards, meaning he is required to sell such animals within six months of sentencing.

 

Jeffrey Ash of Greenwich, 54, pleaded guilty to second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, a class A misdemeanor, and to an environmental conservation law violation for violating his permit to own exotic animals, according to Saratoga County District Attorney James Murphy.

 

Ash was charged with the misdemeanor after Saratoga County Fair officials discovered that his insurance documents to display animals at the fair had been forged. Murphy said that Ash also didn't properly cage his animals while at the fair.

 

In 2006, the Ballston Spa boy was scratched by Calcutta, Ash's 400-pound royal white Bengal tiger. The animal reached out of the cage and swiped the kid on the forehead while he posed for a picture with a baby kangaroo. The kid sustained minor injuries.

 

Ash, who is scheduled to be sentenced in January, is expected to get three years probation.

 

http://timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=640668&

 

category=&BCCode=&newsdate=11/20/2007

 

 

 

Owner of a Tiger That Scratched a Boy Must Give it Up

 

Last Update: 11/20 6:25 pm

 

The owner of a white tiger cub that scratched and injured a boy at the Saratoga county fair last year will no longer be allow to own animals like that.

 

54-year-old Jeffrey Ash of Greenwich, owner of the Ashville game farm, has been convicted of possession of a forged instrument for giving fair officials bogus insurance information back in 2006.

 

Then 4-year-old Riley Willard needed 14 stitches after the tiger cub scratched him while the boy sat on a nearby bench.

 

Ash must remove any lions, tigers or similar animals from his zoo and will get 3 years probation as part of a guilty plea.

 

Ash will be sentenced in January

 

http://www.fox23news.com/news/local/story.aspx?content_

 

id=24eff5ca-fc53-45f3-a1aa-52bb4f3e2510

 

 

 

Man pleads guilty in 2006 county fair tiger scratch case

 

By NICK REISMAN

reisman@poststar.com

Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2007 1:28 PM EST

 

A Greenwich man will lose the lions, tigers and leopards in his menagerie after a Saratoga County court ruled Monday that one of his large cats was liable in the injury of a six-year-old boy last year.

 

Jeffrey Ash, 54, pleaded guilty to several misdemeanor charges that included having improper insurance at the time of the boy’s injury and failing to keep his animals safely penned in cages.

 

The case stems from an incident in 2006 when a 6-year-old boy was injured when one of Ash’s tigers scratched his forehead while the boy posed for a picture at Ash’s booth at the Saratoga County Fair.

 

"While we cannot charge or prosecute Mr. Ash for the assault committed by the tiger, we can hold him responsible under the permitting process for his failure to make the public safe," said Saratoga County District Attorney James Murphy.

 

The court ruled that Ash must turn his large cats over to a licensed third party. Ash, who owns the Ashville Game Farm, may also have to forfeit several of his bears, Murphy said. Ash will also be on probation for three years.

 

http://www.poststar.com/articles/2007/11/20/news/latest/

 

doc474318ec3c960262055092.txt

 

 

 

 

Owner of tiger that clawed NY boy faces forgery charge

 

 

 

By CHARLES FIEGL, cfiegl@poststar.com

Sunday, January 28, 2007

 

The owner of the Ashville Game Farm was in court last week to answer a felony forgery charge in connection with providing a forged insurance certificate to the Saratoga County Fair last summer, officials said.

 

Jeffrey W. Ash operates the game farm in Greenwich and is the owner of a white Bengal tiger that clawed 4-year-old Riley Willard at the county fair in July. The Willard family, of Ballston Spa, is seeking to recover damages from Ash and the fair because of the incident.

 

After receiving a notice of claim from the family, the fair's insurance carrier reviewed a proof-of-insurance document sent to the fair by Ash, said Saratoga County District Attorney James Murphy III. The insurance company alleged it was fake, he said.

 

Ash, 53, was charged with second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument after an investigation by the Saratoga County Sheriff's Office, Murphy said. He pleaded not guilty to the charge in Ballston Spa Village Court Monday.

 

An investigation into whether Ash provided the fair with other false information is continuing, Murphy said. The case could later go before a grand jury, he said.

 

Ash's lawyer, Kurt Mausert, said he would not comment on the alleged forged instrument.

 

Mausert said what happened last July was an unforeseen accident. Ash has experience setting up similar exhibits, Mausert said, and the attorney is unaware of any similar accidents involving Ash's animals.

 

Mausert said he has since taken a tour of Ash's game farm and noted that he takes good care of the animals.

 

"I was impressed with the cleanliness and how nice the facility was," Mausert said. "All of the animals are healthy and well cared for. He's taken extra cautionary measures to raise the height of the cages, double-layer the fences and double-lock the cage doors."

 

Accounts of the July 18 fair incident differ between the Willards and representatives for the game farm.

 

Jennifer Willard, Riley's mother, said her son was in awe of the exotic animals on display when they came across the Ashville Game Farm exhibit. Willard agreed to have her son sit on a bench and have his picture taken with a baby kangaroo. Willard sat with her son until the kangaroo was in place and the photographer was ready.

 

Calcutta, the white Bengal tiger, was in a cage behind the bench.

 

"I stood up to get out of the picture, then I glanced away for 10 seconds and the tiger's claw was in his head," Willard said.

 

Riley was pulled back toward the tiger cage, Willard said. A game farm employee needed to pull the tiger's paw from Riley's head, she said.

 

The boy suffered a gash about an inch long on his forehead that required 14 stitches, she said. A scar and bump remain on Riley's head, she added.

 

Workers for the game farm said at the time that the tiger was curious after smelling the kangaroo within its reach and tried to play with it.

 

They said the incident was not an attack and Calcutta is one of the "sweetest animals in the world."

 

The Willard's lawyer, Dan Dagostino, of Martin, Harding and Mazzotti, said the family is looking to recoup medical expenses and other damages. Doctors are still trying to determine the emotional impact this has had on the family, he said.

 

Ash and the fair are responsible for not providing a safe environment for Riley, Dagostino said.

 

Rowland disagreed.

 

"We had no control over the placement of the cage or the bench in the booth," Rowland said. "We did not create the situation or put the child in that situation. What we did was rent him the land."

 

Rowland said Ash and his animals will not be welcomed back, but the fair will still allow exotic animals to be on display.

 

Ash was charged with a misdemeanor in connection with failing to exercise due care to safeguard the public from a wild animal attack that caused bodily harm under the state agriculture and markets law in July.

 

He was then cited in August by the state Department of Environmental Conservation with several permit violations.

 

The misdemeanor charge will be part of the felony case, Murphy said.

 

In 2005, a full-grown female tiger escaped from Ash's game farm and zoo. It remained at large for more than three hours and was captured without incident.

 

http://www.poststar.com/articles/2007/01/28/news/

 

doc45bd500fa1007144144770.txt

 

 

 

 

Inside Edition Exposes Jeff Ash Auctioning Off Zoo Animals

 

 

ORIGINAL AIRDATE: 9/28/2006

 

Anyone who wants a pet these days can simply go to the local animal shelter and adopt one of the thousands of pets who are in need of a home. However, for some, exotic animals are the only way to go when it comes to pets. But do they make good pets?

 

INSIDE EDITION traveled to rural Mt. Hope, Ohio, about sixty miles south of Cleveland, for a very unusual auction. Hundreds of people from across the country crammed into a giant barn to bid on exotic animals. A curpachian monkey went for $5,000 dollars, a kangaroo for $1000 and a lemur for $1200. Also available were zebras, alligators, monkeys, camels and lions.

 

Signs posted in the barn say "Danger," suggesting the animals are not as cute and cuddly as they may seem.

 

INSIDE EDITION took hidden cameras to the auction accompanied by Tim Harrison, a police officer in another Ohio county who is also an animal expert, and is often called upon when exotic animals escape.

 

Harrison says events like these are typical of exotic animal auctions across the country, and that "Exotic animals need to be left in the wild."

 

The auction is legal in Ohio, but Harrison says some of the buyers are likely to take the animals back to states and counties where they are forbidden.

 

The animals look cute and harmless when they are purchased, but in a year or so, many will be full-grown and extremely difficult to handle, not to mention dangerous.

 

In March 2000, while visiting relatives, a boy almost got his arm ripped off by a pet tiger. In 1999 a 10-year-old was killed by a pet tiger in her father's ex-wife's backyard.

 

So where do these exotic animals come from? One man selling some animals at the Ohio auction is Jeff Ash. INSIDE EDITION was able to trace him back to a small zoo that he owns in upstate New York, loaded with exotic animals.

 

Asked if there was any danger to Mr. Ash's breeding and selling of these exotic animals, Ash's lawyer said, "There's a danger to anything. There's a danger to owning a German Shepard."

 

Ash says he never sells an exotic animal to someone who isn't qualified to handle them, but Harrison says that's hard to do when you're selling them to the highest bidder.

 

http://www.insideedition.com/ourstories/reports/story.aspx?storyid=395

 

 

 

NY game farm cited for violations

 

 

 

By CHARLES FIEGL, cfiegl@poststar.com

Thursday, September 14, 2006 6:15 AM EDT

 

GREENWICH -- A recent investigation by the state Department of Environmental Conservation found the Ashville Game Farm and Exotic Zoo had more animals than its permits allowed.

 

The Department of Environmental Conservation inspected the game farm and zoo last month after a white tiger owned by the zoo scratched a 4-year-old Milton boy at the Saratoga County Fair on July 18. The boy suffered a gash about an inch long and needed 14 stitches to close the wound.

 

The game farm's owner, Jeffrey W. Ash, of Lick Springs Road, was charged with a misdemeanor and was cited for a violation after the incident, according to the DEC.

 

The department later launched its investigation and discovered the game farm was not in compliance with some of its permits to keep animals, according to information obtained by The Post-Star through the state's Freedom of Information Law. Department officials ticketed Ash for 15 license or permit violations on Aug. 7 and 9.

 

Similar game farms exist in Washington County and have previously been cited for exotic animal permit violations. In New York, owners of large, wild mammals must obtain a license from the federal government in addition to state permits. The owner must be trained to monitor the animals or find a veterinarian for the job, and he or she must prove the animals are being kept for breeding, exhibition or research.

 

Owners must also agree to adhere to standards of the Animal Welfare Act and must allow periodic inspections of their facilities.

 

Municipalities may have their own regulations for keeping exotic animals as pets, but most rural areas do not.

 

Ash said the department's investigation and the incident at the fair are not related. He also said some of the tickets issued by the department were "bogus."

 

He said during a telephone interview that the department issued multiple tickets for one violation. According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, Ash has two dangerous wildlife licenses allowing him to possess one African lion; a dangerous wildlife license to possess four American black bears and two bobcats; and an endangered or threatened species license to have 20 American alligators, seven tigers, two cotton-top tamarin, three leopards, two lynx, three mountain lions, two ringtail lemurs, one spotted hyena and one arctic wolf. The farm has several other animals that do not require permits.

 

The game farm had a tiger, a mountain lion and a leopard that were not covered by permits or licenses, according to the DEC. Ash also obtained a "replacement tiger" without a license amendment, the department said.

 

The matters have yet to be heard in court, Ash said.

 

"I can't get into it without speaking to my lawyer," Ash said.

 

After the fair incident, Environmental Conservation Police charged Ash with failing to exercise due care in safeguarding the public from attack by a wild animal that caused bodily harm, a misdemeanor under the state agriculture and markets law, according to a police report. The charge carries a punishment of up to one year in jail and a $500 fine. Ash was also ticketed for violating a condition of a DEC permit that states he must maintain the tiger in a cage that is not in contact with humans. The violation is punishable by up to 15 days in jail and a fine of $250.

 

Saratoga County District Attorney James Murphy III said the misdemeanor charge is still in court.

 

On Nov. 16, a full-grown female tiger escaped from Ash's game farm and zoo. It remained at large for more than three hours before it was found about a mile away from the zoo. It was captured without incident.

 

On Dec. 12, Ash pleaded guilty in Greenwich Town Court to failing to prevent an escape, a violation, and paid a $125 fine. Ash had also been cited for failing to report the escape of an animal, but that violation was dismissed in court.

 

In 2004, a bear cub from the game farm bit a person on the face while it was being shown at the AAA office in Queensbury, according to a DEC report. No charges were reported from that incident. In 2004, a bear cub from the game farm bit a person on the face while it was being shown at the AAA office in Queensbury, according to a DEC report. No charges were reported from that incident.

 

http://www.poststar.com/articles/2006/09/14/ news/

 

doc4508b7a3eba22963943587.txt

 

 

 

Little Boy Injured by Tiger Undergoes Rabies Shots

 

July 27, 2006 03:03 AM EDT

 

 

Attorneys for the 4-year-old boy injured by a tiger at the Saratoga County Fair say he must undergo rabies shots.

 

The shots began Wednesday for young Riley Willard, who received 14 stitches on his forehead after a Bengal tiger reached through the bars of its cage and swiped his forehead.

 

Even though the tiger had its rabies vaccination, attorney Daniel Dagostino says the boy will take the shots as a precaution.

 

"So the only alternative they've left Riley with is this treatment which involves five shots," says Dagostino, with Martin, Harding & Mazzotti, LLP.

 

NEWS10 spoke with the Health Department in Schenectady County, who say the shots are probably not necessary. They say the animal would have probably been dead by now had it been infected with rabies and acting erratically.

 

As for the petting zoo owner, the New York State Department of Conservation fined Jeff Ash of the Ashville Game Farm 250 dollars.

 

http://www.wten.com/Global/story.asp?S=5203472&nav=6uyN

 

 

 

November 19, 2005 Greenwich, NY: Jeff Ash, owner of the Ashville Game Farm was cited by the DEC in 2004 after a wolf escaped from the zoo and was never found. Ash pleaded guilty to a charge that he didn't provide proper housing for the animal. After Tahan, a 300-pound golden tabby tiger, broke out of her cage the DEC issued Ash a ticket for the same violation. Tahan was sedated with a tranquilizer dart about two miles away from the game farm after she broke through the roof of her cage. PETA sent a letter to the USDA calling for the agency to investigate Ash referring to USDA reports from 2002 and 2003, in which PETA called Ash a "chronic violator of the Animal Welfare Act" because of accusations he failed to maintain clean cages, allowed water troughs to freeze over and failed to keep accurate records.

 

 

 

Breaking News: Loose tiger found, tranquilized

 

Staff Report

 

Updated: 11/17/2005 6:59:57 AM

 

GREENWICH -- A tiger that escaped from a game farm in Greenwich on Wednesday morning was found about three and a half hours later and tranquilized, authorities said.

 

The 7 year old 350- to 400-pound female tiger, named Tahan, found about a mile from the outdoor zoo, was shot twice with tranquilizer darts.

 

She was trained to do tricks, including walking on her hind legs.

 

The gold and white tabby Bengal tiger was described as being docile by its owner Jeff Ash, who operates the Ashville Game Farm & Exotic Zoo on Lick Spring Road in Greenwich. Ash, though, said the tiger had the potential to be dangerous if cornered.

 

The loose tiger prompted Argyle Central School, several miles away, to cancel outdoor recess Wednesday.

 

The tiger escaped about 10:30 a.m. from the game farm and was tranquilized just before 2 p.m.

 

http://www.poststar.com/story.asp?storyid=2049

 

Ashville Game Farm loses big cat license

Ashville Game Farm loses big cat license

 

By JIM KINNEY, The Saratogian

 

11/20/2007 Ballston Spa, NY: The owner of a Washington County zoo whose tiger scratched a 4-year-old boy at the Saratoga County Fair in 2006 is no longer permitted to own big cats, the Saratoga County District Attorney's Office said.

 

Jeffrey Ash, owner of Ashville Game Farm, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Saratoga County Court to giving the Saratoga County Fair faked insurance documents and also to not leaving enough space between the tiger and the public at the fair.

 

As a result, Ash, 54, of Greenwich, is no longer permitted to own lions, tigers or leopards, Murphy said. He'll be in court in Ballston Spa Jan. 19 for sentencing and will then have six months to remove all eight big cats from his property. He will also serve three years of probation.

 

"I just want to make sure they are going to the right home," Ash said by phone Tuesday. "We've raised them from babies."

 

The menagerie includes two African lions, tigers, mountain lions and leopard. Ash said he'll keep the business going by displaying other exotic animals that don't pose as much of a risk, like camels.

 

District Attorney James A. Murphy III said the state Department of Conservation will also investigate Ash with an eye toward possibly banning Ash from owning and displaying bears as well.

 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture regulates zoos. Ashville Game Farm has not had any enforcement action taken against it previously, said USDA spokeswoman Jessica Danielle Milteer. Inspection reports for the facility were only available through the federal Freedom of Information Law. The Saratogian has filed a FOIA request.

 

Riley Willard, now 5, was sitting on a bench at the fair in 2006 getting his picture taken with a baby kangaroo when a Bengal tiger reached through its cage and swiped at his forehead.

 

The boy needed 14 stitches.

 

Riley's family sued the fair, prompting officials there to discover that Ash provided them with a faked insurance certificate in order to bring the animals on the grounds.

Ash pleaded Tuesday to second-degree criminal possession of a forged instrument, a misdemeanor in satisfaction of that part of the case, Murphy said.

 

The Saratoga County Fair no longer accepts faxed insurance documents from vendors at the fair, General Manager Dick Rowland said Tuesday. A fax from an insurance company is OK initially, but must be backed up by a certified copy from the insurance company.

 

"What we do is we spot check," Rowland said. "We call the insurance company and make sure the coverage is in place."

 

The fair's insurance company settled with the Willard family for $32,500, according to papers on file at the Saratoga County Clerk's Office.

 

"Something can always go wrong," Rowland said, adding that the tiger wasn't a problem before the incident. "The rest of the week it lay in the cage and slept," he said.

 

"You wouldn't think situations like that would arise."

 

The fair wasn't the first time Ash had been in the news. In 2005 another tiger named Tehan escaped form the Ash's zoo on a rural road east of Schuylerville. The cat was recovered with out incident, but area schools kept children inside from recess.

 

"I can't believe he's still in business," Rowland said.

 

http://www.saratogian.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=19044227&BRD=1169&PAG=461&dept_id=602469&rfi=6

Lion chasing cars in OH

Pet lion on loose in Ohio                        

 

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

 

Thursday, November 22nd 2007, 4:00 AM

 

WAKEFIELD, Ohio - That was no dog chasing cars in southern Ohio earlier this week, but it was a pet - a pet lion.

 

Pike County sheriff's deputies responded to a 911 call of a lion "attacking" vehicles on U.S. 23 Monday and found a man trying to capture the 550-pound feline near Wakefield.

 

Terry Brumfield told officers his lion, named Lambert, had broken out of its pen in nearby Piketon. The owner was able to get the animal back into a cage without anyone getting hurt.

 

Brumfield and his wife, Vicki, have two lions. Vicki Brumfield said raising them has helped her husband through a bout of depression. She said they are tame, like great big house cats.

 

Ohio doesn't require permits for exotic animals, but that would change under an Ohio House bill now in committee.

 

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/us_world/2007/11/22/2007-11-22_pet_lion_on_loose_in_ohio.html

 

 

 

Lion chases cars on U.S. 23 near Columbus

 

From NBC4/Columbus

 

COLUMBUS -- Central Ohioans watched in awe as a lion chased down cars on a major U.S. highway, NBC 4's Ana Jackson reported.

 

Lambert is not your typical house cat. At 550 pounds, the lion towers over his owner. Motorists on U.S. 23 received a shock Monday, watching Lambert chasing cars down the highway.

 

 “He just ran after them like a dog chasing cars, he'd run 10 to 15 feet and come back,” a driver said.

 

Lambert’s owner, Terry Brumfield said his pet broke out through the top of his pen.

 

“It stands and like attacks someone's car. It’s trying to attack the cars? It like came at my car. It’s going back across the street now,” a driver said.

 

The Ohio State Highway Patrol and sheriff responded but Brumfield coaxed the cat back into his cage.

 

Brumfield raises lions as an escape from depression. He owns two lions, Lambert and Lacey. Although he loves his pets, Brumfield said he was prepared to shoot Lambert yesterday if necessary.

 

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources regulates wildlife native to Ohio, but not exotic animals. So anyone can own them. Brumfield said raising a lion takes a lot of work he does not recommend them as pets.

 

http://www.mansfieldnewsjournal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071121/UPDATES01/71121026/1002/NEWS01

 

 

 

 

Carole’s Letter to the Editors

 

Who Keeps Dangerous Animals as Pets?

 

 

Reporters often ask, "Who keeps big cats as pets?" and their question is usually a request for contact information so that they can interview the people and get photos of them with their hands in the cages, or worse yet, rolling about on the ground with lions, tigers and other creatures designed to hunt and kill animals far more powerful than humans.  It gets attention to publish such photos and that sells papers and ad space, but it also helps perpetuate the false notion that man can control such magnificent beasts.  It is a romantic notion that attracts even the most intellectual in our society when we see such images splashed across the page.

 

As is often the case, the media is looking for eye candy and bizarre tales to titillate the public because the public is often deemed too dull to really understand matters of substance.  It is a self perpetuating prophecy then that reporting entertainment and calling it news creates a society that is apathetic toward real news because it isn't considered main stream, and thus is often labeled as being the work of zealots with some imagined, anti cultural agenda. 

 

Little do the reporters know that when they ask the question, "Who keeps dangerous animals as pets?" they are really asking one of the more profound sociological questions of our age.  There is a stereotype; and as someone who grew up being described as a beautiful blonde (who would, of course, be stereotyped as dumb) I disdain stereotyping more than most, but if there is anything at which I excel, it is recognizing a pattern. 

 

Despite my lack of formal education I score at the genius level in IQ tests because the tests do not measure what you know, but rather measure one's ability to recognize a pattern.  I became successful in real estate investment by looking at hundreds of properties before buying one.  I look at entire trends, or patterns of growth in areas to determine the best deals.  I taught myself how to do all of my own legal work by pulling case files of similar cases and looking for what they all had in common and emulating the process.  There was a time when I had 60 such foreclosures, evictions and quiet title suits pending in the same year and did them all pro se.  I only ever lost one case and won it on appeal. After rescuing 56 lynx from a fur farm and discovering there was virtually nothing available in the literature to enable me to care for the cats I began meticulously detailing every meal, every incremental gain in weight and every observation in order to compile the data into information that could then be relied upon for future reference.  This website is a culmination of much of that research and again, I taught myself how to build a website by looking at others and seeing what the good ones had in common.

 

Regardless of the topic, there will always be exceptions to the rules, but in the case of people who possess wild animals those exceptions are so rare that they even further emphasize the commonality of the rest.  The traits are so apparent in the manner of the person and the nature of their handiwork, whether it be a web site, a blog or the way that they exploit the wildlife in their possession that even the most gullible can see through the transparent veneer. 

 

Some of the characteristics are embraced by both genders and others are gender related.

 

What is almost universally shared by those who keep wild animals as pets, or props and even most of those who operate private zoos and sanctuaries is that they are uneducated, poor, unattractive, hot tempered, attention seekers.  Marked differences in the genders are that men are usually slovenly, womanizing, have a criminal history or leanings, and are dependant on drugs or alcohol to manage their depression. Whereas women are most often  blonde, fat, have low self esteem, are childless or estranged from their families, and prone to rages of jealousy.  This generalization may sound harsh but you don't have to be a genius to observe the people involved and verify the validity of such statements yourself.

 

These characteristics are interrelated for obvious reasons. Those who are uneducated and unattractive have fewer opportunities for wealth, but it is human nature to blame others for misfortunes, rather than to look within, thus causing jealousy and rage.  With a world of information at our fingertips, ignorance still passes from generation to generation because in some cases there is an expectation of the child that they can never do better than their parents.  A child raised in an environment of domestic violence and expected entitlement without work is likely to grow up into an adult with the same attitudes and behavior.  Thus it comes as no surprise that generation after generation of "tiger tamers" continue to try and support themselves from their trade even long after the public has decided that these are unacceptable ways to treat any animal. 

 

Considering these personal traits it also makes clear the necessity of having something that makes them feel good about themselves.  In the case of those who make pets of wild animals, there is a universal need on their part to portray themselves as having a bond with the wild that other "mere mortals" cannot achieve.  They will always tell you that they have a special gift or training that sets them apart, so that THEY can pet the tiger, but YOU cannot.  They call themselves "Educators" and drag their wild animals around from flea market to fair ground, espousing the reasons that OTHER people (the mere mortals) should not attempt to have these as pets, because only THEY are special enough to have such a pet.  Roy Horn would surely have uttered the same sentiments just minutes before his tiger, Montecore, nearly killed him on stage in Las Vegas

 

If you meet an exotic pet owner without a boa around their neck, or a tiger on a chain, within two minutes they have pulled out a dog-eared photo album of all of their pictures of them restraining animals that would never allow a human near them if they had the choice.  In their eyes it is an immediate way to even the playing field and let others know that they are equals, if not superior.  The overwhelming need to do so is a manifestation of the great lack of self esteem they feel but dare not admit, even to themselves.  The mood elevating drugs (legal and illegal) and the alcohol are the only ways they can deaden themselves to the pain that cannot be remedied no matter how much they talk about their wild animal connection. 

 

Abusing their animals and their families cannot give them a lasting sense of power.  That is why they are often unmarried and estranged from their families.  Their families can break free from them, but the animals are kept chained and caged, the way they might well have kept the people in their lives were it not an offense that could land them in jail.  Men who could not attract a woman in any other way will often find that women (the blonde, overweight ones who have little sense of self worth) will do anything to please including cleaning his cages, his house and his underwear and giving him the affection that no woman of any self confidence would. 

 

On the flip side of this gender role is the woman who is so physically and emotionally undesirable that no man will have her, but if she has a back yard full of tigers she can attract the attention of young men who come seeking a way to prove their manhood by subduing a wild animal that would kill him in an instant were the two to meet in a natural situation.  It is the same unquenchable desire to feel empowered without paying the price of self introspection and change and could be likened to the gambler's quest for easy money without work.

 

By the early 1990's science was beginning to discover the extent to which animals exhibited intelligence and emotion.  Anyone who has ever had a pet cat or dog could tell you that they are intelligent and that they feel loneliness, anger, resentment, embarrassment, joy and a host of emotions, but it took science hundreds of years to catch up.  Keeping wild animals captive began to be considered cruel and self serving as people became aware of the fact that the tiger in the cage could experience the pain of being held against his will.  It became fashionable then for exotic pet owners to call themselves "educators" and some even manage to give an educational spiel but it doesn't matter how good the message may be;  if you are standing their with a cougar on a leash, no one is hearing the message.  They are just thinking how cool it would be if they could have a cougar on a leash.  The litmus test is the fact that these people were not doing conservation education before they needed that label to justify their behavior and the minute they can't use the animal as a prop they wouldn't choose to be in the education business.

 

The roadside zoo operators and pseudo sanctuarians are, in many cases, just a more organized version of the exotic pet owner and have found ways to get the public to support their delusions of grandeur.  They portray themselves as rescuers and martyrs for their cause.  When they are poor and filthy and uneducated they can tell themselves and others that it is because they are so altruistic that all of their time and energy is being sacrificed for the good of the animals they have saved.  They quickly learn that high profile rescues and having cute babies around bring in donations.  They claim to breed the animals to save them from extinction, when none of the animals in these collections are really involved in any conservation breeding programs.  They claim to be educating the public to save habitat and the planet by taking their cats out to parking lots in circus wagons and setting up a donation jar.  Some do a better job of fooling the public than others and the media often plays into their hands, but the only real purpose they serve is their own self aggrandizement and a way to pay their bills without having to get a real job.

 

This becomes abundantly clear when they have rescued dozens, or hundreds of animals and found that it is a reverse pyramid scheme that is ultimately doomed to collapse.  While babies and new rescues generate money, they also add to the mouths that ultimately need to be fed.  In some sanctuaries there is a practice of rescuing animals, for whom they have no space, and them forcing these animals to live in overcrowded groups.  This is especially heinous in the case of big cats who are solitary by nature and hard wired to kill each other if they come in contact.  That fact plays into the hands of these most abusive personalities.  In some pseudo sanctuaries certain animals, deemed "too dangerous" are killed for no apparent reason than to make room for more rescues.

 

These exploiters can rescue far more cats if the cats kill each other and for that reason these places are often closed to the public.  If the fighting and killing becomes known to the public it is rationalized by the sanctuarian who protests that it is the cat's fault if they won't get along, claiming that they did their part to rescue the animal and if it insists on getting killed, then it is the animal's lack of gratitude at fault.  The same irrational reasoning is used to excuse why they do not provide medical care for the animals by caustically replying to you, as if you were the idiot, that these animals don't get medical care in the wild.  The same excuse is used for not providing contraception and the side benefit they get from that is that the cubs produced are often food for the rest of the animals in the group and if they need a new baby for photo ops or for media attention there is always one to use.  In order to cover their misdeeds the policies in these kinds of places are to not give the animals names, under the guise of avoiding anthropomorphism, but the real reason is because there are virtually no state or federal laws that require positive identification of the animals and not having a name makes it even harder to track what has happened to an animal after it was "rescued."

 

These operations invariably implode.  When they do, the owners move away, abandon the animals, and tell themselves and the world that they have done their part and must retire because it has taken all they had, which was nothing to begin with.   They will dramatically sweep a hand to their brow and announce that they are dying and that it is time someone else stepped up and took over.  When they walk away from all of the animals that they so professed to love, they do so with no feelings of remorse because they are more affected by their sense of entitlement than to anything that resembles responsibility. They move to a new place, change their name and do it all over again. 

 

The exotic animal "rescuers" are often the most vocal in opposition to ending the exotic pet trade.  They rant incessantly about how greater restrictions on wildlife trafficking will mean that they have to euthanize all of their animals when that has never been true.  Where laws have passed in the US banning the trade in wild animals there have always been grandfather clauses that allow the private owners to keep their animals until they die and there have always been exceptions made to organizations, such as accredited zoos and sanctuaries, but the ones screaming the loudest have no interest in meeting a higher standard.  They use the opportunity as a platform for disseminating false information and blaming people who truly care about animals for all of their woes. 

 

Even those "sanctuarians" who do not publicly speak out against more protective laws do virtually nothing to assist in their passage.  Some may pay lip service to the activity but it doesn't take long to figure out that they know nothing of the pending legislation in their state nor at a federal level.  They love to cite the IRS as their reason to not get involved, implying or stating that charities cannot participate in any way, but that isn't true.  They frequently excuse their behavior by saying that they "don't like politics" or will say they are too busy with their mission to get involved.  That makes as much sense as feverishly bailing out an overflowing bathtub and saying you are too busy or too averse to knobs to turn off the water.  The fact of the matter is that they define themselves by being perceived as saviors and if there were no wild animals to save they would lose their only redeeming feature. 

 

Keeping wild animals, especially exotic cats, came into vogue in the sixties, largely due to television shows that portrayed a person as being special if they had such a pet or relationship.  Television programming created the illusion of a world where people could live with lions, tigers, bears, dolphins and all manner of wild animals.  Our society, long removed from any real experience with nature, longed to believe that it was not only possible, but that the animals preferred captivity to living free.  Ask almost any woman who has a back yard full of lions what her first memory of that attraction was and she will often cite "Born Free" as being that "life changing moment."  They conveniently forget the fact that Elsa died very shortly after being abandoned by the people who raised her as a pet and then returned her to the wild with no pride and no hunting skills. 

 

We now have nearly half a century of data on the subject of people who keep wild animals captive and yet until the time that you read these words you probably never saw an in depth investigation into the troubled and delusional minds of those who are the captors. And that begs an even more important question..."why not?" 

 

Not to minimal its deleterious effects on the person practicing it, but consider how much attention has been focused on women who vomit after every meal to stay thin.  Oddly, the initial instigator is one and the same in that television portrays the perfect women as being gaunt to the point of it being an unrealistic achievement barring bulimia or some latter stage disease.  You can't check out in a grocery store line without seeing headlines about celebrities weight struggles, and yet, to my knowledge, no one was ever so fat or so thin that an innocent bystander was killed or mauled by coming in close contact with people who are diagnosed as being obsessed with their appearance.  Just since 1990 there have been more than 650 incidents involving captive big cats in the U.S.  So why is it that you rarely hear more than a passing comment about the mental instability of most wild animal owners? 

 

I think it may be the same reason that it took me, someone who takes great pride in their ability to recognize a pattern, more than 15 years to see what was undeniably before my eyes.  To look objectively at the similarities in these tiger-tamer-wannabees meant that I had to look within as well.  Not only who I was; blonde, fat, uneducated, poor, lacking self esteem and estranged from my family, but who I am today.  It wasn't until I was willing to take a good hard look in the mirror that I could plainly see underlying neurosis that so many of us share. 

 

I am fortunate to not have grown up impoverished or in the presence of domestic violence.  The very thing that makes so many "animal people" unemployable;  their disdain for conformity, is what makes me successful in business, so I am fortunate to have been able to turn that to my advantage.  My estrangement from my family was only because I felt like I wasn't good enough for them, and once I came to appreciate my talents we were rejoined and have worked together, side by side in caring for the animals.  Having overcome obesity, cigarettes and alcohol I feel empowered and in control of my own life.  Perhaps if I had not been so blessed, I would never have been able to cast the harsh light of reality on the mass illusion that I once shared.  Mass illusion, because it extends to much of our society;  not just those who are in possession of animals who were meant to live free. 

 

It is that shared illusion that keeps the majority from wanting to wake from the dream.  We hear about a man keeping a tiger and an alligator in his harlem apartment and we say that he "just wasn't thinking."  We hear of a woman with 50 tigers in her back yard and no way to feed them and say she "just wasn't thinking."  We watch as the lifeless body of a tiger who was shot to death for escaping is hauled away and say the person responsible "just wasn't thinking."  Cruelty is not the result of "just not thinking."  The fact of the matter is that WE just aren't thinking, and we are choosing not to think about the plight of the animals because our own participation in their abuse is something we are unwilling to face or change.

 

We are a generation who was raised with zoos and circuses and even our religions proclaimed man to be master of all beasts, with little or nothing said about the command to be good stewards.  We want to believe that our goodness is so palpable that even the most ferocious of animals would give up their freedom just to live in our homes. Even those who do not currently live that way often will say, "if I won the lottery, I'd have a pet tiger" as if to say that money is all that keeps them from indulging such fantasy.   When we see that cute baby animal being cuddled on some talk show we choose to NOT think about where the animal's mother is, or how it came to be that he was taken from her to be used this way.  When we pay to see a film about tiger brothers, even when we know that more than 30 tigers were used in the film, we choose to NOT think about where those animal will be a year from now. 

 

If we acknowledge great suffering and choose to look the other way, how can we reconcile our conscience?  When the answers are so easy and cost us little more than a few letters and phone calls to our legislators, and yet we are unwilling to do even that small thing to alleviate the suffering of tens of thousands of wild animals who are languishing in cages, possessed by a class of people who would be criminals if they treated people the way they treat their "beloved pets" how can we feel good about ourselves? Sometimes the truth hurts, but no one suffers more than the exotic animals when the only thing they have; their desire to live free, is taken from them. 

 

The purpose here is not to insult or cast blame, but to demystify the nature of the typical exotic cat owner.  I believe that we are all on a path to our higher self and that even the worst of the abusers will one day look inside and redirect their actions.  Until that time comes the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. still ring true,  "Legislation cannot change the heart, but it can restrain the heartless."  Big Cat Rescue's mission is to provide the best care we can for the animals we have rescued AND to end the abuses that cause so many exotic cats to be abandoned.  We make it easy for you to do the same at the site below:  www.CatLaws.com

 

 

http://www.bigcatrescue.org/exoticownerprofile.htm