TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – It’s a refuge for more than two-hundred exotic felines, taking in cats that are often abused, unwanted, or neglected.
This week the Exotic Feline Rescue Center in Center Point continues to grow. News 10 visited the center to meet Apollo, Chantal, Sebastian, Mystic and Magic.
The tigers spent the afternoon basking in the sun but less than a week ago…
“They were in pretty filthy cages. You can see these guys are really small, undersized,” said Joe Taft, Owner of the Exotic Feline Rescue Center.
The tigers were among twenty wild animals seized from the Call of the Wild Sanctuary in New York.
“We were one of six organizations across the country who participated in the law enforcement action,” said Taft.
Due to the unfit living conditions the five tigers are suffering from serious medical conditions.
“One of them has extremely bad cataracts; several of them have apparent broken teeth. We’re going to have our hands full with these guys for awhile,” said Taft.
The medical expenses will put a strain on the center’s already tight budget of $700,000 a year, which equals less than $3,000 per cat annually.
“It might postpone buying steel or lumber, or concrete. It might cut out the building of a new cage for awhile,” said Taft.
Despite the struggles that accompany rescuing the tigers, it’s a challenge Taft has grown accustomed to.
“When these guys get back and come into a nice new enclosure and start enjoying a better quality of life that’s our payoff.”
Taft said they are already in talks with authorities to take in another cat that is in desperate need of a home.
The rescue center’s number one source of income is visitors.
For more information and hours you can visit their website!