Posted: May 27, 2009 10:33 PM PDT
It's been over a year, since an owner was cited after his black leopard
allegedly escaped from its cage and attacked a neighborhood dog.
A viewer wrote to Action News, still worried about the safety of children
at nearby Dean Allen Elementary. That viewer was concerned because two black
leopards remain on the property, less than 500 feet away from the school.
You asked, so we investigated, and found that the owner isn't doing
anything illegal and isn't being forced to give up the animals.
After checking with the county, we found that Andy Kay has the proper
permit to own both cats but is up for review with the County Board of
Commissioners on June 17th.
Kay lives with two black-leopards that he rescued more than eight years
ago, and says the majority of his neighbors support his cause.
These rescues, are two of many that Kay has taken in over the years.
He still insists that it wasn't his cat that went on the attack and wants
people to see the bigger picture.
"What do you do with the cat that doesn't make it into a show? They end up
somehwere. Sometimes it's in a bad situation. You never hear about it
working out great for the cat for the rest of its life," he said.
We found that Kay's permit doesn't expire until 2010. However, the county
has put forth a list of requirements that he is expected to meet by June
One of the orders, is that Kay builds a 8-foot block wall around the cats'
chain-link fence enclsoure by mid-june. That wall is near completion.
Kay is also expected to notify animal control within 24 hours of the cats
returning to his Las Vegas property. That applies in the event that he takes
the black leopards out of jurisdiction.
Animal control has pushed to revoke Kay's permit, following the accusations
that his cat escaped and put a neighbor's pet in danger.
To this day, Kay says nobody has been able to prove the cat that attacked
"These cats were in place, seven minutes from the time they were shooting
at a cat, whereever that cat was, to the time officers cleared back on the
radar and said no we went through the house. We got both of those cats."
Kay also wants to tell all of the parents at Dean Allen Elementary, that
they have nothing to worry about.
"In this neighborhood, we have wild cats that are mnore dangerous have all
their claws and are a potential threat." He said. "If you've got children,
you need to really look at the things you have at your home before you
start worrying what I have at mine."
While some may be startled by their size and appearance, Kay says the
reality is that his cats aren't a threat to anybody.
Stay with Channel 13 for the very latest.
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
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