In a huge victory for animals, Judge Greg Parker of Florida’s 3rd Judicial Circuit has ordered that Caboodle Ranch not get back any of the animals who were seized following a PETA undercover investigation. Just as importantly, Judge Parker ruled that Caboodle cannot possess or have custody of any live animals!
The ruling comes after three days of evidence presented by both the Madison County attorney and Caboodle’s attorney. Judge Parker noted that Caboodle never adequately explained why it informed county officials that it had 400 animals when more than 600 were seized—fewer than 200 of whom had veterinary records. The judge observed that numerous lethargic animals, laboring to breathe, were found in desperate need of veterinary care in a deteriorated building among blood- and mucus-smeared windows; that there was a “noxious” odor; and that similarly sick animals were found across the property. In other words, the court described a reality at Caboodle starkly similar to that documented by PETA’s investigator.
Judge Parker ruled that the evidence indicated “clearly and convincingly” that the animals were not receiving proper care and concluded that Caboodle “is not able and fit to have custody of the animals.”
Hope for the Future
The animals—who have been cared for in a temporary shelter and finally given the veterinary care that they so desperately needed and the compassion that they always deserved, have been turned over to the custody of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO).
We want to thank the Madison County Animal Control Department, the MCSO, and the 3rd Judicial District of Florida State Attorney’s Office for pursuing this case with the seriousness that it deserves. We’re also grateful to the many humane agencies and responders who have labored tirelessly for months to care for these animals and give them a clean, safe place to stay. Let’s hope that once they recover, they will find happiness with responsible families who will give them all the love and attention that they need and deserve.
Your Help Is Still Needed
Cruelty-to-animals charges based on PETA’s evidence—including a felony count for the neglect of one cat, Lilly (pictured above)—are still pending against Caboodle founder and operator Craig Grant. Grant and Caboodle continue to ask the public for donations, including money to defend Grant against a felony charge of scheming to defraud those who already gave him money!
Please urge the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to end this by canceling Caboodle’s registration to solicit contributions.
This post originally appeared on The PETA Files.