South Dakota Rescue 2016

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November 14, 2016 — National Media Release

Failed South Dakota Sanctuary Board Members Refuse to Resign, While More Than 100 Animals Remain in Limbo and Lions Tigers & Bears Rescues More Than 225 Exotics

Alpine, Calif. (Nov 10, 2016)— Lions Tigers & Bears (LTB) would like to express their deepest sympathy for the unfortunate circumstances that have taken place over the past five weeks at Spirit of the Hills Wildlife Sanctuary (SOTH) in Spearfish, South Dakota. Lions Tigers & Bears’ founder, Bobbi Brink, was notified in early October that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) was planning to confiscate animals following a tiger escape and attack that resulted in injuries to SOTH’s founder. Following the dangerous incident, as well as numerous USDA noncompliances (violations) against SOTH for concerns relating to animal care, SOTH agreed to surrender the animals as well as its USDA license to operate was revoked.

Brink and LTB sprang into action and within twenty-four hours of receiving notification of the situation, the LTB rescue team arrived in South Dakota from San Diego, Calif. LTB has been helping to transport and rehome animals from SOTH for over five weeks.

Over the course of the past five weeks while LTB has been working nonstop to move at least 225 animals, including tigers, bears, leopards, lions, cougars, bobcats, and servals, and has noticed numerous problems that likely contributed to SOTH’s ultimate failure under its current management and leadership. LTB has deep concerns for the future of Spirit of the Hills. Revocation of a USDA license is permanent, and existing Animal Welfare Act regulations (9 C.F.R. §§ 2.9 and 2.10) provided that any person who has been or is an officer, agent, or employee of a licensee whose license has been revoked, and who was responsible for or participated in the violation, is ineligible to obtain a USDA license. Despite the foregoing provisions and the serious problems at SOTH that precipitated the USDA’s action, SOTH’s leadership has expressed interest in re-opening.

Ms. Brink states in her assessment, “This was nothing more than good intentions gone wrong at a facility that took in more animals than it could properly care for. Based on our observations over the past five weeks, Spirit of the Hills and its leadership appear not to have provided a sufficient number of adequately trained animal care staff, and the facility does not appear to have had sufficient resources, animal care, veterinary care, or adequate facilities. Spirit of the Hills possesses the passion, but passion alone is not sufficient to properly run a sanctuary housing complex and dangerous animals.”

Lions Tigers & Bears, a Carole Noon Award-winning sanctuary accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, has offered to step in and help steer SOTH into a positive direction. Unfortunately, SOTH’s current board—the same board in place while fundamental animal care and responsible non-profit management functions appear to have been neglected—has declined to take LTB up on its offer. As an alternative option, LTB also urges SOTH to accept LTB’s help to place the remaining animals in sanctuaries and to sell all SOTH assets—including the sanctuary property—and divide the proceeds among the sanctuaries that have stepped up to provide transport, medical care, staff, travel expenses, and the expensive responsibility of the lifetime care of the animals that have been displaced and have now lost the promise they had of a lifetime home at the sanctuary.

Lions Tigers & Bears believes it’s time for SOTH to do the right thing for animals, and LTB’s offer still stands.

November 7, 2016

There is a lot of happy news to share! First, the 85 rescued birds from the 14910432_1334733243212242_5882514512123687974_nclosed-South Dakota sanctuary have made it to their new forever home at Carolina Waterfowl Rescue in South Carolina! They’ve already made themselves at home, and roam freely in the ponds and throughout the sanctuary grounds.

img_9285More happy news! On Saturday morning, several surrendered donkeys also made the journey to their new home at Longhopes Donkey Shelter in Colorado! Stay tuned for update photos.

Lastly, we are VERY excited to announce that two of the rescued donkeys, Thelma and Louise, will be calling Lions, Tigers & Bears home in the very near future! With the construction of a donkey shelter plus additioimg_9290nal needed fencing, the two rescued sisters will be making their journey to LTB!

As always, thank YOU for your continued support and donations to this important rescue, and helping us rehome these animals! Every life counts. DONATE HERE: bit.ly/South_Dakota_Rescue_2016

November 4, 2016 —  South Dakota Rescue Update

0f31d537-6eb6-44de-844f-e76c0b4f063eYesterday, various species of birds (peacocks, geese, ducks, chickens, pigeons, swans, roosters)– 85 birds total– were individually examined, had their blood drawn and given vet certificates by the local veterinarian in order to be transported and rehomed.

We are happy to announce these 85 deserving birds have hit the road to their new forever home!

Thank YOU for your continued support and donations to this rescue, and helping us rehome these animals! Every life counts!

DONATE HERE: bit.ly/South_Dakota_Rescue_2016

November 3, 2016

The local veterinarian visited the closed-South Dakota sanctuary yesterday to draw blood from several of the surrendered farm animals and perform routine medical exams for required vet certificates in order for them to be legally transported to their new forever home.

This vet visit was only made possible through your incredible support and donations. Thank you for helping us continue this important rescue and to help each of these deserving animals. Every life counts.

November 1, 2016
stinky-3The month-long rescue at Spirit of the Hills animal sanctuary in South Dakota continues and there are still remaining animals who need to be rehomed. The sanctuary closed its doors in early October following a tiger mauling and USDA inspection.
Lions Tigers & Bears (LTB) has been working closely with the sanctuary to adopt or relocate the surrendered exotic, domestic and ranch animals. As of today, Bobbi and the LTB rescue team have moved approximately 150 of the animals, including the big cats, bears and other exotics. img_2040
With winter and sub-zero temperatures approaching quickly, LTB is committed to the monumental task of placing the remaining surrendered animals as soon as possible, but the expenses have already surpassed the rescue fund reserves.  With no end yet in sight, it is unknown how long LTB will be involved or how high those expenses will run.
LTB’s rescue team and Spirit of the Hills volunteers will remain on-site and continue to work diligently until every animal has received the care required and/or is relocated to a new home, but we are in desperate need for funding to cover medical exams, required grace-made-donkeyblood work and clean health certificates before the surrendered animals can be moved.
Other expenses include the actual cost of transporting the animals, including capture equipment, transfer cages and fuel.
This unfortunate situation is nothing more than good intentions gone south. LTB is there to help Spirit of the Hills and do what is best for every individual animal. These surrendered animals have no risk of being euthanized, but rather need to be rehomed immediately before the weather hinders the ability to safely transport each animal.

October 17, 2016 – South Dakota Rescue Update

Over the last week, LTB has clocked 4,500+ miles on the road and continues to rescue, transport and rehome several10-12-16-up-to-sd-1495 animals from Spirit of the HIlls sanctuary in South Dakota, which has temporarily closed due to a mauling by one of the tigers and the voluntary surrender of 30+ exotic animals. 

The first stop of this cross-country rescue was Keepers of the Wild in Valentine, AZ. Bobbi and the LTB rescue team successfully transported several big cats to their new home in Valentine. After unloading the animals, cleaning the transport cages and loading the empty cages back into the hauler, the team hit the road once again back to Spearfish, South Dakota to re-load the rescue hauler and head off to Florida (a 4,000+ mile round trip) to bring several more big cats to their new home.

geese-2Back in South Dakota, several of the surrendered exotic birds were organized into their transport cages by the LTB rescue team, picked up by the Gabriel Foundation and rehomed on Saturday. Some birds will remain at Spirit of the Hills for the time being. 

Once our rescue transport team returns to South Dakota, they will continue to transport and rehome the remaining animals from Spirit of the Hills.

EXCITING NEWS! We are happy to announce that LTB will be bringing home three of the surrendered animals from Spirit of the Hills – a serval, an Indian leopard cat and a spotted leopard! Upon their arrival, the spotted leopard will receive surgery on her paw by Jennifer Conrad, a skilled veterinarian at Paw Project. After the surgery, Dr. Conrad will assess the leopard’s state of health and future medical needs.

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During this time, part of our team has stayed on site to assist providing proper health care, nutrition and feeding schedules for the animals who are to remain on the premises, such as livestock, domestic and farm animals. And we will stay on site until every animal has received the care required or is relocated to a new home, as needed.

We will keep you updated as events unfold. As you know, when an emergency call comes, we hit the road. We don’t know the total cost of this emergency rescue, but the expenses continue to build with the costs of fuel, food and medical supplies for the animals, possibly additional transport cages and more.

October 12, 2016 – Media Release
Lions Tigers & Bears (LTB), a San Diego Big Cat and Exotic Animal Rescue, has sent its rescue team to a sanctuary in South Dakota, which has closed after a recent USDA inspection and tiger mauling last week.  Bobbi Brink, Director of LTB, has been working behind the scenes with the sanctuary and the USDA to assist in the restructuring of the Spirit luna-dog1of the Hills sanctuary, which has been struggling to provide for over 160 animals. A mauling by one of the tigers earlier this week and the voluntary surrender of eleven animals has made the situation more urgent.
tiger-3Ms. Brink has already secured new homes for almost all the exotics, which includes bears, wolves, tigers, lions, and other big cats. The most difficult to place are bears, and there are four bears for which homes have not yet been found.
The LTB team will transport the animals to other sanctuaries, including LTB, in their state of the art Animal Transport Hauler which features on-board first aid (for both animals and humans), an anesthesia machine, running water, temperature controls,  fans, tools, capture equipment and safety transport cages. The journey is expected to log over 8,000 miles over a three-week period.
Part of the team will stay on site to assist in providing proper health care, nutrition and feeding schedules for the animals who are to remain on the premises, such as livestock, domestic and farm animals.
Ms. Brink says “We will stay on site until every animal has received the care required or is relocated to a new home, as needed.” cougars-at-soth-ready-to-go
In addition to maintaining a sanctuary for over 60 rescued animals in Alpine, California, LTB has provided rescue, medical and transport services to over 150 animals in the last five years alone. They are completely non-profit and depend on donations from the public to fund these rescues.
The total cost of this emergency rescue is unknown, but expected to surge far beyond their current rescue fund holdings. Expenses will include fuel, food and medical supplies for the animals, possibly additional transport cages and more, as determined after a full evaluation can be made. Donations can be made by clicking the donate button below.
October 6, 2016- South Dakota Rescue Update
gelding-mini-horseSome of the LTB rescue team is already onsite and the rest are on the way to a sanctuary in South Dakota, which has temporarily closed.  Bobbi has been working behind the scenes with the sanctuary and the USDA to assist in the restructuring of the Spirit of the Hills sanctuary, which has been struggling to provide for over 160 animals.   A mauling by one of the tigers earlier this week and the voluntary surrender of eleven animals has made the situation more urgent.
Bobbi has already secured new homes for almost all the exotics, and the LTB team will 10-12-16-up-to-sd-1552transport those animals to other sanctuaries.  Our team will stay on site to assist in providing proper health care, nutrition and feeding schedules for the animals who are to remain on the premises, such as livestock, domestic and farm animals. And we will stay on site until every animal has received the care required or is relocated to a new home, as needed.
We will keep you updated as events unfold.  As you know, when an emergency call comes, we hit the road. We don’t know the total cost of this emergency rescue, but the expenses will include fuel, food and medical supplies for the animals, possibly additional transport cages and more, to be determined once we actually have the situation evaluated.

CLICK TO DOWNLOAD VIDEOS:

Video of one of the nine wolf dogs that need to be rehomed.

Video of two of the nine wolf dogs that need to be rehomed.

Video of the rescue team loading the animals into the Lions Tigers & Bears rescue hauler.

Video of two tigers willingly going in and out of transfer crates.

Video of tiger eating in the transfer crate.

Video of transporting tiger to the rescue hauler in transport crate.

Video of Stinky the lion awaiting his turn to being transported to his forever home at Keeper of the Wild.

 

CLICK TO ENLARGE PHOTO & DOWNLOAD:

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