Tiger taken to animal sanctuary

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Tiger taken to animal sanctuary

By Staff reports
Neosho Daily News
Thu Feb 26, 2009, 12:54 PM CST

Neosho, Mo. –
A Bengal tiger rescued last week from J.B.’s Precious Puppies near Seneca has been moved to an animal sanctuary near Bloomsdale, Mo., the St. Louis Post Dispatch is reporting.

Sheena, a 9-year-old Bengal tiger, was picked up from the Dickerson Park Zoo on Wednesday by the National Tiger Sanctuary, located 50 miles south of St. Louis. Judy McGee, founder of the sanctuary, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch the tiger will be quarantined from other animals, adding it will cost $15 a day to feed the tiger, which will eventually need its own cage and habitat, estimated at $10,000.

“She probably will never run with other tigers,” McGee told the Post-Dispatch. “She may have problems with her vision and probably wouldn’t get along with other tigers.”

The sanctuary houses six other tigers and a cougar. McGee said the sanctuary would undertake the expense of building a cage and habitat only if owner Jewel Bond loses custody at an upcoming disposition hearing, set for March 9 in Newton County.

A veterinarian with the Dickerson Park Zoo examined the tiger, judging it to be malnourished. An adult Bengal tiger is expected to weigh, on average, 400 pounds, but the tiger seized in the raid weighed only 175.

Zoo officials said the tiger had blisters on its tongue and boils on its paws, likely from contact with
urine and feces in its cage. The tiger has been eating about 10 pounds of beef daily since last Thursday, zoo officials told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

The March 9 hearing will also determine the fate of more than 200 dogs removed from the Seneca kennel. The dogs, currently housed at the Humane Society of Missouri’s St. Louis facility, could be adopted out if it’s determined Bond should not get them back. To have the animals returned to her, Bond must post a bond to cover the cost of their care and treatment.

Bond has been charged with two counts of animal abuse, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in jail. The counts allege Bond knowingly failed to provide adequate care for the animals.

Last Thursday, Newton County deputies and representatives with the Humane Society of Missouri served a search warrant at 12250 Hwy. 43 in Seneca. The warrant turned up 209 dogs who were living in deplorable conditions, including having feces in their hair and in their living quarters.

According to Newton County Sheriff Ken Copeland, the majority of the dogs did not have water.

And according to a probable cause affidavit filed by Andy Pike, an investigator with the sheriff’s department, the skeletons of several puppies and adult dogs were discovered in dog food bags behind a building on the property.



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