Thursday, January 28, 2010

....Marion County seizes large circus cats from Jefferson mobile home....

JEFFERSON (KYTX) - The US Department of Agriculture and Marion County officials seized dozens of animals from a mobile home on Lewis Chapel Road in Jefferson.

The animals include ten circus cats, each weighing an average of 700 pounds - including six tigers, one cougar, two black panthers and a spotted leopard.

The cats have been living in small cages typically used only for transportation, inside the small mobile home.

There are also ponies, dogs, cats, goats, rabbits, and various fowl on the property. Those animals will be cared for by the local humane society, while the USDA handles the large cats.

Tigers, bobcats, and cougars are just some of the animals, seized from this mobile home, in Marion County.

"I'm in total shock and disbelief," said owner Barbara Hoffman. She owns the animals, she used to perform with them in a traveling circus and doesn't know why they're being taken from her. "I made a mistake and didn't do the footwork myself."

Marion county district attorney Bill Gleason said Hoffmann has been keeping the large cats illegally in this trailer.

"She hasn't complied with any of them she never gave us notice, never filled out an application she never produced liability insurance on the cats," said Gleason.

State law requires a one thousand dollar insurance policy for each cat, but its not just the paperwork authorities are concerned about. These 700 pound animals have been living in eighteen square foot cages. Gleason said those cages should be about 300 square feet.

"The department of agriculture that I talk to today he anticipated the animals had been kept in the cage like this for at least two years," said Gleason.

Hoffmann said that's not true, "No no no these are transport cages. I'm only here a couple of weeks, this is the welcome wagon darling."

Meanwhile Hoffmann's neighbors are happy to see the animals go, it's pretty scary cause I mean my dogs and my cats are very close."

"I'm concerned for their safety I'm concerned how they'll be taking care of," ended Hoffmann. As for now Hoffmann will have to wait until a court date to see her animals again.