Wildcat Sanctuary Concerned about Tiger Owned by Chisago County Woman
Tammy Thies runs the Wildcat Sanctuary in Sandstone. She says the facility was set up 12 years ago because people foolishly want animals like tigers for pets.
"We have so many wonderful dogs and cats that are euthanized each year that need homes. We don't need to create pets that are things they are not meant to be," Thies said.
Right now the sanctuary has 100 wildcats ranging from tigers, lions to cougars. Each animal has its own story for being here.
Thies says she is in the process of trying to save the life of a tiger in Chisago County. The woman who lives on the land, Jody Schwartz, is the cat's owner. He lives in the barn on the property. Her land is surrounded by fencing eight feet high, and the front gate is padlocked for safety. She did have a second tiger, but it died of cancer of the stomach lining. She didn't want to speak with us.
Thies says she's asked Schwartz to hand over the cat at no cost, but she refuses. She says Schwartz is non-compliant with the Chisago County ordinance concerning wildcats, specifically proof of insurance with a minimum of $1 million per claim, the installation of permanent signage, and a written emergency plan. But Chisago County Sheriff Rick Duncan told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS she is compliant.
Jay Kovach has lived next door to Schwartz for years and says she treats her animal with love and care.
"As far as Jody giving care, she does great. We help out when she needs it," Kovach said.
Thies says, if Schwartz did such a great job then why did one of her cats die in pain? She says it is time for her to give the remaining tiger up for its own sake.