Carole Baskin quoted in Baltimore Examiner on Lynx case

Lynx owner is ordered by the court to get rid of animal


Jaime Malarkey, The Examiner

Jun 14, 2006 7:00 AM (1 hr 23 mins ago)


Baltimore County – Baltimore County’s highest appellate board Tuesday voted to force a Kingsville resident to get rid of the wild cat he’s grown to love over the past year.



Daniel Vitilio, who built an ultra-enforced cage on his ranch to contain his Siberian lynx Puddy, said he plans to take the ruling — which upheld a previous vote from the county’s animal control board — to Circuit Court.


“I’m disgusted; just ill,” said Vitilio, who also keeps peacocks, bison, goats, a pig, miniature horses and several exotic birds in his back-yard private zoo, after Tuesday’s hearing. “We just don’t know what’s going to happen to Puddy.”


At the center of the case is a dispute over whether or not assistant animal control supervisor Sewell Price gave Vitilio the go-ahead to get the cat from a local wildlife shop before a formal permit was secured.


Vitilio also said a county inspector visited his ranch, which he opens to church groups and disabled children, to make sure the cage was secure.


The county cashed his check for a permit after he faxed a copy of his federal approval to have the lynx, Vitilio said.


But animal control supervisor Charlotte Crenson-Murrow and Price denied the claim, according to Tuesday’s deliberation.


In written testimony, Crenson-Murrow said the lynx poses a public threat because there is no proven rabies vaccine.


The lynx can grow to 90 pounds and can kill prey up to three times its size, she said.


Board member Edward Crizer said, “We are concerned about the rabies vaccination and even if the cage is escape-proof, one never knows.”


Both Crenson-Murrow and Price, who sat in on deliberations, declined comment.


Vitilio said he worries he will have to put Puddy down if his court case is unsuccessful.


Wild-cat sanctuaries across the nation are overflowing, according to Carole Baskin, executive of the Florida-based Big Cat Rescue.


Baskin said more than 224 humans have been mauled — and 66 killed — by captive big cats since 1990.


“The fact is that these animals shouldn’t be in private hands, period,” she said.




For the cats,


Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue

an Educational Sanctuary home

to more than 100 big cats

12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625

813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

Sign our petition here:


This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.



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