The captive wildlife crisis is a largely unknown and dangerous problem throughout the United States. The private ownership of wildlife including, but not limited to, wild cats poses a significant risk to law enforcement officers in various law enforcement agencies. In addition, limited public knowledge for identifying some wild cat species and hybrids serves as a barrier to properly enforcing the limited laws on the federal and state levels regarding private ownership of wildlife. Tammy Thies of The Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone, Minnesota, and Tanya Smith of Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, work alongside the various law enforcement agencies when captive wild cats must be seized or are willfully surrendered. They will present valuable information for officers who respond to cases when the presence of wild cats (and other exotic animals) is known and when officers encounter captive wildlife including wild cats unexpectedly. In addition, Ms. Thies and Ms. Smith will discuss identifying wild cat species/hybrids, relevant laws, proper response procedures when you encounter a wild cat, and resources available to you as first responders including transport, rehoming, and placement with proper facilities after the seizure of wild cats.
The National Animal Care & Control Association (NACA) was formed in 1978 for the express purpose of assisting its members to perform their duties in a professional manner. We believe only carefully selected and properly trained animal control personnel can correct community problems resulting from irresponsible animal ownership. NACA’s purpose is to preserve the Human/Animal Bond by insisting on responsible animal ownership.