A SAD STORY
It was a warm sunny day. Two people, an animal control officer and a veterinarian, leave the office and head toward the enclosure about 500 feet away. Inside the enclosure, relaxing in the shade, is a two year old female Bengal tiger. She hears the office door close and looks to see who is coming. She sees the two people coming toward her and gets up and walks to the front of the enclosure. The people come closer and then she hears a 'POP' and feels something hit her rear thigh. She turns and sees a something hanging from her thigh. She starts to feel groggy and soon she drops to the ground in a drug induced sleep. The people wait at the door to the enclosure to be sure she is asleep. The vet opens the door to the enclosure and approaches the tiger. She kneels next to the animal and strokes her fur gently. She removes the syringe from her pocket and picks up the tiger's front leg. She injects the drug into the animal. In about 30 seconds the tiger takes a deep breath and exhales... her life is over.
This scenario repeats about 100 times a year as large carnivores are seized or given up by their owners and they cannot be placed in a sanctuary or zoo. If this practice upsets you, PLEASE consider helping the SARZ Foundation rescue some of these animals by becoming a continuing donor or sponsor of our sanctuary facility. PLEASE go to the 'DONATE" page for instructions on donating.
Your help is needed and will be greatly appreciated!!
Our full name is the Spotsylvania Animal Rescue Zoo Foundation, Inc. The Foundation was started in September of 2008. It was incorporated, in Virginia, as a non stock, non profit corporation on October 24, 2008. Our 501(c) 3 ID# is 17053201322009.
Our purpose is to construct and operate a wild and exotic animal sanctuary in Spotsylvania County, Virginia. You might ask ‘Why are you doing this?’ The answer is that there is a huge problem in the U.S. with wild and exotic animals in private hands. It is estimated that there are over 30,000 large carnivores that are in captivity in the U.S. These animals are outside of zoos, in private hands. About 15,000 of these animals are tigers. It is estimated that only about 3500 tigers exist in the wild in the rest of the world. There are more tigers in private hands in the U.S. than exist in the wild. Many of these animals have been illegally imported, captured in the wild or purchased from breeders in the U.S. or zoos that let their animals breed because “baby animals are cute and draw more visitors.” People seem to think its ‘cool’ to own a wild or exotic animal especially tigers. Tiger cubs are cute and somewhat cuddly. But soon they grow to 400 pounds or more and are very hard to control and after they jump up on the table and eat Thanksgiving dinner the owners want to get rid of them. But where do you to take them? Zoos won’t accept privately held animals unless they are endangered. There are thousands and thousands of animal shelters in the U.S. but most only take companion or farm animals. There are around 70 organizations that will accept wild and exotic animals. Of these, only about 17 will accept big cats. So you can see what the problem is. What happens to the animals when there is no one to take them? They are EUTHANIZED, not a fitting end for these magnificent animals.
Many of the animals that do find a home in a sanctuary have been grossly abused by their former owners. Rescued big cats have been burned with cigars, have been de-clawed and are in constant pain. Most are malnourished and have vitamin deficiencies or rickets. Some can’t stand or walk from being kept in cramped sub standard cages. Some have bone deformities from the sub standard cages and in breeding.
These animals are also dangerous. They are WILD animals not pets. Since 1998 there have been 7 people killed and 31 people injured by tigers in the U.S. Recently, in Texas, ‘PET’ tigers killed a 10 year old girl and bit off the right arm of a 4 year old boy. Still think they’re cuddly?
Here’s more proof that this problem is bigger than you think. Pat Craig, Executive Director of The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado states, ”The problem is getting out of hand as people are beginning to take these animals out into the country side and let them go – just like people have done with dogs and cats for many years - only now, these animals can end up killing someone.”
Our facility will provide a safe and humane living environment for the animals. They will have properly sized enclosures, proper nutrition, medical care and all the TLC they can handle. We will provide a safe working environment for the staff and a safe viewing and learning environment for visitors. We will try to make the facility as GREEN as possible and accessible to ALL of the public including the handicapped. Our main concern will be the safety and well being of the animals in our care. Future plans include educational classes and seminars and possibly internships for students studying the animal sciences. This is obviously a LARGE undertaking and we will need a lot of HELP. If you feel that this is an organization and a cause YOU would like to support thru volunteering and/or donating you can contact us to receive more information.
The Foundation is a public charity and will depend solely on your donations, grants, fundraising and admission revenues from our future facility, The Spotsylvania Zoo, for all operational money. If you care what happens to these animals, PLEASE click on the ‘Donate’ tab and show these animals that you care.
Remember, each day that we’re not open, more of these magnificent animals will have to be euthanized.
Saving one animal
Won’t change the world
For that one animal
The world will change.