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
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and 2.10) provided that any person who has been or is an officer, agent, or employee of a licensee whose license has been revoked, and who was responsible for or participated in the violation, is ineligible to obtain a USDA license.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.
There is a lot of happy news to share! First, the 85 rescued birds from the closed-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.
More 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 additional 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
Yesterday, 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
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.
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 several 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.
Back 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.
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.
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