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Home » Blog » Jungle Cats Rescued from Nevada Home

Jungle Cats Rescued from Nevada Home

a lion sits sadly behind barsHumans love their pets. We keep all kinds. Cats, dogs, birds, mice, snakes, rabbits, I could go on. If you want a list of acceptable pets, look no further than the internet. Key word though: acceptable. Because there is certainly a difference between a ‘pet’ and an ‘animal’. Some creatures, great and small, are simply not suited to live alongside humans. We call these animals ‘wildlife’.

Indeed, if you don’t live in a zoo, you probably aren’t equipped to care for certain types of animals. And while this might seem like common knowledge, time and time again we see reports of exotic animals kept in domestic environments. It’s fairly understandable. After all, who among us hasn’t at some point daydreamed of having a pet tiger? That’s the thing though — for most people, this concept stops at the daydream phase. For most people. The temptation is too great for others.

Take today’s case of Jacki Freeman and Abby Hendengran. These two live in Pahrump, Nevada, a lovely destination settled right in between Las Vegas and Death Valley Park. Pahrump is home to an institute for gun training, a casino, a Chicken Ranch, a winery, and a Corvette driving school. It’s “a place known for extremes.” Which makes perfect sense considering the reason for Freeman and Hendengran making national headlines: keeping a whole lot of big, dangerous, wild animals.

The list goes as follows:

  • Bengal tiger (1)
  • African lion (1)
  • African lioness (2)
  • Black panther (1)
  • Fennec fox (1)
  • serval caracal hybrid cat (1)
  • Canadian Siberian lynx hybrid cats (8)

That’s a full house!

Police officers found out about Freeman and Hendengrans’ illegal roommates after getting a tip through the phone. Animals weren’t being taken care of properly, according to the caller. Sure enough, when the folks from the Nye County Sheriff’s Office rolled up to their residence, the information proved accurate.

Freeman and Hendegran had the animals — which were all pretty big, if you didn’t notice — keyed up in various bedrooms. As could be expected, they were all “urinating and defecating on the walls and carpet.”

The two had a special conditions animal permit, but that’s pretty much irrelevant on account of how the conditions, special or not, were unlivable. As the sheriff’s office put it:

“The air quality inside the bedrooms was horrific.”

Freeman was the only one with custody of the animals, according to documentation, so she was the one who got the animal cruelty charges. And that makes sense. Wild animals are obviously not designed to live in confined spaces. This is especially true of the wild animals involved in this situation — you know, all those big cats that would be spending their lives hunting on enormous plains and spacious jungles if humans hadn’t intervened.

As far as the legalities involving exotic animals, it depends on the state. In Tennessee, wildlife is classified based on how dangerous it is. Lions, tigers, panthers, and all those other lovely creatures qualify as Class I. Permits are available to qualified applicants— of course, you have to actually take care of the animals once you are legally allowed to care for them.

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