Timeline

 
1992 Craig Grant is arrested on felony charges of obtaining money under false pretenses. He subsequently loses his building contractor’s license for breach of contract.
 
1993
Jun 28
Craig Grant is evicted from his apartment for the first time.
 
1999
May 13
Craig Grant is evicted from his apartment for the second time.
 
2000
Sep 15
Craig Grant defaults on an auto loan and is successfully sued by the finance company for $10,912.38
 
2001 Craig Grant’s son Rob moves out, leaving his unspayed cat, Pepper, behind. Craig bonds with the cat and her multiple litters of kittens, and begins taking in stray cats to deal with his loneliness.

“‘They had become my happiness,’ Grant said.”

 
2003-2007 Craig Grant purchases multiple parcels of land to expand Caboodle Ranch. He buys $143,595.00 worth of real estate.
2007
Mar 22
Craig Grant applies for tax-exempt status. In correspondence with the IRS, he states that his mortgage payment is $1,000 per month, but that Caboodle Ranch is not liable for any part of the payment.
Dec 31 Caboodle Ranch reports donations totaling $60,010.00 on its Form 990 tax return.
 
2008
Apr 29
Foreclosure proceedings begin on two parcels of Craig Grant’s property, Lot 33 and Lot 34.
Oct 20 Lot 33 and Lot 34 (purchased for $17,600) are foreclosed and sold for $1,000.
Nov 21 The IRS places a lien on Craig Grant’s property for $153,439.82 in unpaid tax debt.
Dec 31 Caboodle Ranch reports donations totaling $89,503.00 on its Form 990 tax return.
 
2009
Mar 31
Shannon Bock returns to the Ranch to reclaim three cats left at Caboodle Ranch. On discovering the condition of the cats, they were rushed to the vet. After Craig Grant’s care, the cats now suffered from weight loss, severe respiratory infections, eye infections, ear mites, fur loss, scratches, gum disease, FIV, pneumonia, and a severed toe with the bone jutting from the wound. One was suffering so badly, it had to be euthanized.
May 6 Jamie Willoughby, Tina Demotsis, Laura Bevan, and Dr. Julie Levy inspect Caboodle Ranch. Their testimony details widespread disease, unneutered cats, severely emaciated cats, and cats with open wounds. The findings conclude that Caboodle Ranch “does not currently meet minimum guidelines for cat health and welfare”. On taking an injured cat to Craig Grant’s veterinarian of choice, Dr. Lewis, the veterinarian discloses that Craig routinely ignores veterinary recommendations to humanely euthanize severely ill cats.

May 13 Craig Grant acknowledges on his blog that he is in financial difficulty. He says he will sell off one of his five-acre parcels because “that property isn’t needed at this point”. He claims that vet bills cost him $2,000 per month; tax returns show that the actual amount averages just over half that amount.
Aug 7 Caboodle Ranch assures its blog readers that donations are only used for the care of the cats.

“Caboodle ranch uses 100% of donations for the cats care, medical, food and support. It is important to us that folks know their donations are never used for anything but the cats.”

Caboodle Ranch Blog, Aug. 7th, 2010
Sep 7 Caboodle Ranch funds are used to finance a vacation in Las Vegas, including clothing and entertainment at the Colosseum.
Sep 12 Caboodle Ranch phones are shut off for lack of funds.
Oct 15 The staff of Dancing Paws Animal Wellness Center visits the ranch. Dancing Paws states on their website that while they witnessed no overt abuse or neglect during their trip, “it is simply not possible to provide the necessary care to this many animals”.
Dec 31 Caboodle Ranch reports donations totaling $129,055.00 on its Form 990 tax return.
 
2010
Aug 19
Donna Shields and her husband Don (a veterinarian) visit Caboodle Ranch. They witness horrific conditions, filth, and abuse at Caboodle Ranch. Ms. Shields confirms the use of toxic Clorox Wipes on cats’ eyes and Gary Conley’s report of encountering a cat with a protruding rib, and details lapses in hygiene such as using the same unsterilized IV needle on multiple cats.
Sep 27 Jamie Willoughby notifies Craig Grant that he is in violation of the court’s Order to Show Care, and again expresses concern that Craig is “taking on too much at one time” and is “unable to keep up with the demands that are vital to a properly run sanctuary”. He repeats his offer to assist in any way possible.
Dead cats are still being found on the property.
October Gary Conley witnesses a cat with a broken rib protruding through its skin at Caboodle Ranch, and questions Craig Grant about it. Craig is apathetic about the cat, reportedly answering, “Why? It ain’t botherin’ him.”
Oct 22 The Caboodle Ranch blog announces that “because of problems with a former volunteer, Craig is no longer accepting volunteer help”.
Dec 6 Jamie Willoughby inspects the Ranch on a pre-arranged visit. The sympathetic report states that “Craig was doing all he could with what he has to the best of his abilities”, noting only that infectious cats are not properly quarantined, more staff is needed, and intake of cats still has not ceased.
Dec 31 Caboodle Ranch reports donations totaling $237,096.00 on its Form 990 tax return.
 
2011
Jan 3
Caboodle Ranch is featured in a satirical segment on The Colbert Report.
Jan 11 Caboodle Ranch is featured in Cat Fancy Magazine.
Jan 24 Rob Grant and Craig Grant file paperwork for the construction of 3 sheds, 18×24 (2-story), 16×16 (2-story), and 8×10. A subsequent Tampa Bay Times article states that the structures were purchased from Home Depot for about $46,000.00.
Feb 3 Caboodle Ranch urges its blog readers to ignore concerns about the Ranch because they come from “low-lives” and “bitter, vindictive people with an axe to grind”, and states that they will be refusing assistance from volunteers because of the criticism received. The blog claims that Madison County Animal Control suggested this, although this directly contradicts the advice from Jamie Willoughby less than 60 days earlier to acquire more help.
Feb 13 Tampa Bay Times reporter Leonora LaPeter Anton publishes her account of a visit to Caboodle Ranch, describing rampant disease, untreated wounds, and filthy conditions.
Feb 25 In correspondence with Nanette Entriken, Jamie Willoughby repeats the instruction to stop taking in cats “until the health of the sick ones improve”. Follow-up emails negotiate a time for a clearly telegraphed “surprise visit”.
Feb 26 Animal Planet’s show Must Love Cats is scheduled to air a segment on Caboodle Ranch, but chooses not to broadcast the segment after viewing the conditions there. Emaciated cats are visible in still photos.
Mar 11 Nanette Entriken downplays reports of cruelty and neglect, then warns visitors to keep quiet if they see a sick cat.

“If you choose to make comments about a cat at the ranch with a cold etc, Craig just might ask you to leave. The level of his patience is being tried to its limits.”

— Nanette Entriken, A Day At The Ranch
Mar 16 Animal Control officer Jamie Willoughby issues a fawning report of his inspection of Caboodle Ranch. Despite having arranged the visit with Nanette a week earlier, he falsely states that the inspection is a “surprise visit”. He repeats his recommendation that Craig stop taking in animals.
April Craig Grant is ordered to produce evidence for his defamation suit against Gary Conley, including medical records for the cats in his care.
Aug 11 Having failed to produce evidence, Craig Grant’s defamation lawsuit is dismissed, and he is sanctioned by the court. His attorneys appeal the sanctions.
Sep 11 Craig Grant’s appeal of the sanctions against him is dismissed; he is liable for the court costs of the individuals he sued.
Sep 17 PETA begins an undercover investigation of Caboodle Ranch. The investigator discovers “Lilly”, a cat suffering with an eye infection so severe that her cornea ruptures.
 
2012
Jan 5
Animal Control officer Jamie Willoughby inspects Caboodle Ranch for an Excessive Animal Habitat (EAH) permit. The Ranch fails the inspection with 38 violations. The inspection states that infectious animals are not isolated, and that infected cats are present on the Ranch.
Jan 12 Animal Control officer Jamie Willoughby re-inspects Caboodle Ranch for the (EAH) permit application. The Ranch fails the inspection again on more than a dozen criteria, including cleanliness, record keeping, rabies vaccinations, animals exposed to injury hazards, and overcrowding. The report states that FIV and FeLV have been isolated from the general population, but not cats with upper respiratory infections. The report does not address any of the highly contagious diseases detected in the 2009 lab tests.
Jan 31 After months of prolonged suffering, Lilly dies. Caboodle Ranch blames the death on a bad reaction to vaccines.
Feb 27 Caboodle Ranch is raided. Craig Grant is arrested on charges of felony animal cruelty, three counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty, and one count of scheming to defraud. He posts bail on a $250,000 bond later that day.

Twelve organizations begin the monumental task of rescuing, treating, and sheltering the more than 700 cats, many of which are critically ill.
Mar 31 After 17 months, Caboodle Ranch reopens its Facebook page and begins soliciting donations.
Apr 2 Donors defrauded by Craig Grant and Caboodle Ranch announce a class action lawsuit.
Apr 4 Craig Grant fails to appear for the Board of County Commissioners meeting to discuss the EAH permit application Caboodle Ranch is actively soliciting donations for. The Board minutes indicate that Caboodle Ranch has withdrawn its application for an EAH permit.
Apr 24 The Huffington Post reports that 13 of the cats seized from Caboodle Ranch have had to be euthanized due to the severity of their illness.
May 4 Dr. John C. Lewis, the veterinarian for Caboodle Ranch, testifies under oath that the Ranch had to keep taking in cats to get donations.
May 25 Nanette Entriken’s cats are returned after being spayed, neutered, and vaccinated by the ASPCA. Entriken falsely claims that the ASPCA “cut open” each of the cats to confirm that they had been spayed. The ASPCA denies it, stating that a small patch had been shaved on the bellies of the cats to confirm the presence of a spay scar. When asked by supporters to offer proof, Entriken refuses to show pictures of the “incisions” and angrily announces that she will no longer participate in internet discussions.
Jun 18 Testimony concludes in the custody hearing for the Caboodle Ranch cats. The judge requests legal arguments from both sides.
The prosecution submits a Memorandum of Law. The defense fails to submit any response.
Jun 23 The judge in the custody hearing for the Caboodle Ranch cats awards custody to the Sheriff, pending approval by the court in the felony animal cruelty case against Craig Grant. The court states that Caboodle Ranch is “not able and fit to have custody of the animals,” and “is clearly and substantially lacking in the resources, ability, skill, and (most importantly) willingness to follow expert veterinary advice.”

A separate hearing is ordered to discuss assessment of costs that Caboodle Ranch will need to repay for the care, treatment, and housing of the animals.
Jul 3 Caboodle Ranch petitions the court to stay the order releasing the cats. The motion is granted, but with the provision that Caboodle Ranch post a bond of $1.8 million to cover the Sheriff’s projected costs to care for the cats during the appeal process. The stay expires automatically on July 16, 2012 if the bond is not posted.
Jul 3 The court in the Caboodle Ranch hearing takes the unusual step of issuing a formal notice that the court will not read or respond to communication from non-party individuals. This may be in response to Caboodle Ranch’s June 25th blog entry asking supporters to badger the judge with protests.
Jul 6 Caboodle Ranch files a notice of appeal, citing review of sufficiency of evidence and evidence rulings.
Jul 9 Caboodle Ranch petitions the court to lower the amount of the required bond from $1,800,000.00 to $15,000.00, on the grounds that the court lacks jurisdiction to hear cases where the damages exceed $15,000.00. (The relevant statute puts a cap of $15,000.00, excluding costs, fees, and interest, which would appear to exclude the bond amount for the costs of caring for the cats from the jurisdictional cap.)
Jul 18 The Court rules against Caboodle Ranch’s motions and denies the motion to reduce the bond amount, and states that the case is being transferred to Circuit Court. The Order lifts the stay on adoption of cats, clearing the way for the ASPCA to return cats to former owners and to find new homes for them. The injunction preventing euthanasia of cats without veterinary authorization remains, although this was never a real concern.
 
2013
May 15
Craig Grant admits guilt on all charges as part of a plea deal. He is placed on probation for a period of no less than one year.
 
2014
May 23
Sheriff Ben Stewart files a motion for order to show cause, alleging that Caboodle Ranch is in violation of the court’s 2012 injunction prohibiting them from possessing or having custody of animals. The evidence includes pictures posted by Caboodle Ranch of cats on the property, requests for food, and statements on Caboodle Ranch’s Facebook page indicating that the Ranch is currently in possession of cats.
May 27 The Court grants the Sheriff’s motion and orders Caboodle Ranch to explain why they should not be held in criminal contempt of court. A hearing date is set for June 27, 2014.
May 29 Craig Grant’s probation is terminated early.
June 27 The Court finds that Caboodle Ranch is in willful violation of the county’s Excess Animal Habitat ordinance and the previous injunction against owning animals. The Court rules that Caboodle Ranch must dissolve its tax-exempt corporate status, liquidate all assets, and remove all animals from the property no later than October 1st.

Within hours of the ruling, Caboodle Ranch violates the court’s orders by soliciting donations for gift cards and vehicles.