Cat rescuers hold Caboodle Ranch owner accountable (with video)

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Craig Grant, founder and operator of nonprofit so-called 'cat sanctuary' Caboodle Ranch was arrested for the neglect and abuse of nearly 700 cats in his care. On Apr. 2, donors and former owners of many of those cats formed a class action lawsuit that will eventually be filed against Grant.

Records from the Lee, Fla.-based 'ranch' show that Grant embezzled and misappropriated donations (meant for the care of the cats) for his own personal uses: trips to Las Vegas, tickets to Disney on Ice and the Daytona 500, and personal online purchases. Grant admitted in court that he did not typically record cash donations.

Larry and Ann Bechler -- a couple involved in the suit -- have, over the years, rescued feral and stray cats and given them new homes. When they brought two cats to Caboodle to be rehomed there, Grant told Larry there were 300 cats on the property, but he'd like 3,000.

But after dropping off their cats and leaving the ranch, the couple felt that something was not right. The following day, they said, they returned to find that one of their cats -- Emma -- was gone. Despite making many trips back to look for her, they never found her.

The abuse and fraud were first discovered by an investigator with PETA.

The ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) is currently helping the Madison County Sheriff's Office and Madison County Animal Control manage and care for the hundreds of cats. The animals were seized in what was the largest number of cats ever taken by the ASPCA in an animal cruelty investigation.

The animals are being housed in a temporary shelter in Jacksonville, where a team of responders from about a dozen agencies are tending to them, ASPCA reports. Many of these animals exhibited eye infections (some of which resulted in blindness), ringworm, feline leukemia, intestinal parasites, and other conditions.

The situation was thrown into a grim light after cat burial sites were found on Caboodle Ranch property; and cat skulls were found in the woods nearby.

"What a lucrative business," said Ann Bechler, "charging desperate, caring people to take homeless cats at $100 to $200 each. When they die a month later, he just takes more."

ASPCA video:

 Photo: Cats roam the now shut down Caboodle Ranch in Feb. 2012. The cats are being removed and owner Craig Grant faces animal cruelty and fraud charges.Mike Bizelli/ASPCA/AP

 

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  • PETA is LYING!!! they are hypocritical liars and planted the "evidence" at the caboodle ranch. don't believe this lobbying group...they perpetrate lies to control no-kill rescue groups and push their own agenda. they should be ASHAMED!!!

    Posted by LG, 02/07/2014 12:51am (7 months ago)

  • PETA killed 87% of the animals that were placed in their custody

    Try calling ASPCA and tell them you need help for your pets, you will be provided with NONE...this org received millions of $$ in donation and should be audited themselves

    Posted by Lani Garcia, 08/01/2013 1:23am (1 year ago)

  • I am hearing alot of lies from the ranch supporters. They say Lilly, the cat that died from an eye infection, came to the ranch that way. Well either way it doesn't matter, she didnt get the medical treatment she needed. Maybe it was because Craig was off in Vegas spending ranch donations on hookers while Nanette sat at her computer on her lazy fat ass posting lies in an attempt to cover up their scheme. They couldnt care less about the cats, making the ASPCA and Peta look like killers just so the donations can pour into Caboodle ranch. If you still support Craig or give them donations to "save" the cats, then your only getting fooled by greedy embezzlers.

    Posted by Eric, 07/13/2012 11:55pm (2 years ago)

  • I am hearing alot of lies from the ranch supporters. They say Lilly, the cat that died from an eye infection, came to the ranch that way. Well either way it doesn't matter, she didnt get the medical treatment she needed. Maybe it was because Craig was off in Vegas spending ranch donations on hookers while Nanette sat at her computer on her lazy fat ass posting lies in an attempt to cover up their scheme. They couldnt care less about the cats, making the ASPCA and Peta look like killers just so the donations can pour into Caboodle ranch. If you still support Craig or give them donations to "save" the cats, then your only getting fooled by greedy embezzlers.

    Posted by Eric, 07/13/2012 11:52pm (2 years ago)

  • For up-to-date information on the Caboodle Ranch Animal Cruelty case visit http://www.caboodleranch.net

    Posted by sillycat, 05/01/2012 1:53am (2 years ago)

  • Yes I am the one caboodle ranch speaks of on their site and I really don't care what people think. I only spoke the truth of what I seen while I was there. Many cats died while I was there for 8 days. Caboodle Ranch has done nothing but lie about me on their site just as they lied about everything about their selves.

    The reason I am writing here is I am looking for info on trying to find my cat whom I did not give to Caboodle Ranch but escaped from her cage the first night there never to be seen or heard of again. Does anyone know who I can contact that is handling the cats taken from there? She is a beautiful tuxedo with her ear clipped.

    Thank you very much
    Carolyn

    all info can be sent to carolynsuelogan@yahoo.com

    Posted by Carolyn, 04/25/2012 12:34pm (2 years ago)

  • Courtney, you have no room to be calling others ignorant when there are so many blatantly incorrect statements in your comment.

    Craig's vet care did not come at "extreme expense", nor was that expense his. Caboodle Ranch spent, on average, less than $26 per cat on vet care, when the national average is $516 per cat annually. And this occurred while Craig Grant was hoarding more than $80,000 in unused donations.

    On the other hand, he had no qualms about spending donations on tickets to the Daytona Speedway, trips to Vegas, or thousands of dollars in local motel rooms.

    Craig also did not provide the bulk of the vet care to the cats. Donors did, before turning the cats to the Ranch. After that initial visit to the vet, many of them never saw vet care again in their lives.

    All of this is documented in the Ranch's own bank statements, tax filings, and vet records, available for review at http://www.caboodleranch.net

    As for PETA, they merely collected the evidence and turned it over to the Sheriff. They are not involved in sheltering the cats in any way, nor did they "take the cats away", nor are they going to euthanize the cats.

    PETA's evidence was just the tip of the iceberg. Reports and documentation of neglect and serious problems at the Ranch date back *years* before PETA ever took an interest in the case. So don't try to shift the blame to PETA or drum up support for Craig by rounding up fellow PETA-haters.

    This is not about PETA. This is about Craig Grant's hoarding, and the welfare of those cats.

    Did PETA raid Caboodle Ranch? No. PETA has no law enforcement powers. It was the County that conducted the raid, after obtaining a legal warrant from the courts.

    Is PETA caring for the cats? No. There are more than a dozen rescue groups helping to care for the cats until the Craig's hearing on charges of felony animal cruelty and scheming to defraud donors.

    Please learn a little about the case before offering an opinion. And maybe you could check your own facts before telling the author what they do or do not know.

    Posted by John Doppler Schiff, 04/22/2012 12:57am (2 years ago)

  • To Courtney:

    You are the ignorant one if you believe those cats were taken care of properly, especially in light of all the evidence that has been compiled against him.
    If Lily was brought to the Ranch that way and was under medical proper medical treatment why did she die? CR supporters keep claiming that cats were brought in that way, SO WHAT. When Grant and Nanette took them in that way the FIRST THING they should have done is taken the sick or injured cat to the VET, which they never did. They beg for money to care for the cats, then spend it all on themselves.
    Oh, by the way, all those little cat houses they keep talking about are all made and sold by Nanette and her husband. And they claim that $100 of certain houses they build go to CR for donations but it is NOT reflected anywhere on the tax returns or the bank records that those donations actually made it to CR accounts.
    Also I am sick and tired of the lies the Caboodle Ranch owners and supporters keep stating that the cats are all going to be killed. That is NOT true. Also they are no longer in a warehouse, they are at the former Animal Control Facility in Jacksonville, Florida and are well taken care of. They will be adopted out after they are no longer needed as evidence. Also, if Grant really cared about the cats and hate the thought of them being "caged" then why does he not just relinquish the cats to the ASPCA for adoption? Why? Because they are not cats to him, but a means to keep cash flow coming in. If he really cared about the cats and providing the best care possible then why were there so many checks uncashed and just lying around the entire ranch when so many cats were in need of medical care and they needed repairs to the buildings in order to get the Excess Animal Habitat Permit which found 38 violations on the property. Caboodle Ranch supporters are raising money to upgrade the ranch to bring the cats home! If the Ranch was so great, why do they need to upgrade it for a permit, and why had they not been doing that since June 2011 when they found out about the permit and its requirements. Nanette even posted a blog entry on July 20, 2011 that "The requirements outlined in the ordinance are being fulfilled by Caboodle Ranch. We are confident that the EAH permit will be approved prior to the January 1, 2012, date noted in the Ordinance." This is how much these con artists lie and I cannot believe so many people are so foolish as to believe him and Nanette over actual concrete evidence. I cannot wait for Grant to be arrested again for additional counts of animal cruelty. Also if you were conned by this man, go to www.caboodleranch.net and join our class action lawsuit against this guy, and it will help us build additional criminal evidence against him to take to the police for intent to scheme to defraud.

    Posted by Elise, 04/21/2012 11:53pm (2 years ago)

  • If you do any research, you would know that Lily was brought to the Caboodle Ranch this way. Peta and the ASPCA are using propaganda to make you believe they did the right thing. Craig has all the reports of vet care he has provided for the cats, which has come at an extreme expense to him. He has done an amazing thing. Now that peta has come in and taken the cats away, they are sitting in cages, not roaming free. In the end, if they are not returned to the ranch, they will probably be euthanized. Peta kills most of the animals it "rescues." So maybe you should do a little research before writing articles about something you clearly know nothing about. It makes you look ignorant.

    Posted by Courtney, 04/18/2012 11:58am (2 years ago)

  • The ASPCA did a wonderful justice for those cats who will now have a chance at life. I have filed complaints with the IRS for his embezzlement or as they call it "personal enrichment of donated funds" and its only a matter of time before the IRS gets him, and hopefully sends him to federal prison for perjury on tax exempt application, all the Caboodle Ranch tax returns, and tax evasion. Please know that Grant has a Notice of Federal Tax Lien filed in Duval County, Florida for $153,000 because he failed to pay his taxes for his construction business. This man is a con man who conned hundreds of people into giving them their animals for whatever reason and he had no intention of taking care of them. Thus the reason his web site does not allow an owner to go back and get their cat back. Why? Because they died within weeks or days of entering the Ranch and Grant did not want people to know because he had problems for a few years and finally to keep people from talking about the missing cats, he refused to let people take them back. That tells he is more about the money than making the cats happy. Why not let the owner take them back to their home? A real animal lover would NEVER deny that unless they suspected the owner was not taking care of the cat. Grant spent more money supporting himself than caring for the cats. Go to the web site and you will see all the evidence, the tax returns, bank records, and photo evidence that Grant should NEVER be allowed to own cats again and should go to jail. So the ASPCA did the right thing, and those who think they did not, are only being fooled by this man.

    Posted by Elise, 04/06/2012 6:23pm (2 years ago)

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