Many allegations have been leveled against Caboodle Ranch and its founder, Craig Grant. Relevant information regarding those claims is listed below.
These claims have not been evaluated in a court of law. Caboodle Ranch Investigations makes no claims as to the veracity of these allegations or to the innocence or guilt of Craig Grant and Caboodle Ranch, Inc.
- Seriously ill or wounded cats did not receive adequate veterinary care.
- Caboodle Ranch failed to spay and neuter cats in their care.
- Craig Grant wiped cats’ faces with toxic Clorox Wipes.
- Conditions at the Ranch were filthy.
- Dead cats were left where they lay.
- Cats roamed freely outside the confines of the Ranch.
- Craig Grant misappropriated nonprofit funds.
Caboodle Ranch spokespersons acknowledge that there were sick and injured cats, but insist that these cats were all receiving treatment (although not necessarily by trained veterinary personnel). Accounts vary on the number of cats affected and the severity of their ailments. Caboodle Ranch acknowledges that healthy cats were permitted to freely mingle with sick, contagious cats.
Veterinary and bank records from the Ranch simply do not show adequate care and costs for a population of 700+ cats.
Veterinary and animal care evaluations in 2009 show extensive problems, recommend corrective actions, and state categorically that Caboodle Ranch was providing inadequate care for the cats. Recommendations for corrective actions were not taken, including halting intake of cats, immediate veterinary treatment for sick cats, creation of medical records for cats, photo identification of all cats, microchipping, and complete FeLV/FIV testing.
Caboodle Ranch defends its standards of care by presenting a March, 2011 Animal Control inspection report showing no legally actionable violations. However, Madison County Board of Commissioners minutes for January 18, 2012 disclose that 38 violations were found in Animal Control’s 2012 inspection. By the date of the meeting, 13 violations had still not been resolved.
From its inception, Caboodle Ranch has steadfastly refused to provide humane euthanasia for terminally ill, critically injured, or irremediably suffering cats.
Lilly, one of the cats documented on the PeTA video, suffered from an infection that caused her iris to protrude through the cornea. After several months of painful degeneration documented from October 2011 until February 2012, Lilly finally passed away from her infection. Critics argue that even if Lilly was receiving veterinary care, her condition had degenerated so badly that putting her to sleep would have been the only humane choice.
“Based on the cats that we observed, it appeared that approximately 25% of cats were in outwardly healthy condition and in good flesh (Figure 1). More than half of cats appeared to have upper respiratory infections (Figure 2), approximately a quarter of cats were underweight (Figure 3), and approximately a quarter of the cats had substantial hair loss (figure 4). About 10% of cats that we observed were severely emaciated (Figure 5). Several cats had open wounds or abscesses (Figure 6). Diarrhea was commonly observed in the litter boxes and forest sand. For these reasons, it is my opinion that the sanctuary does not currently meet minimum guidelines for cat health and welfare.”
“Said property is occupied by or under the control of a Craig Grant, owner of the Caboodle Ranch and there is now being kept in or about the property cat(s) which were residing within deplorable conditions with a high percentage of the cats suffering from an unknown respiratory illnesses with other illnesses and/or disorders. Mr. Grant has transported cats to the veterinary clinic for evaluation but refuses to follow the recommendations of humane euthanasia allowing the cats to suffer a possible painful death and/or infect the remainder of the cats when returned to the ranch.”– Order to Show Care, Third Judicial Circuit, May 6th, 2009
“A lot of cats have upper respiratory disease, the type unknown, but they are sick. There are cats with open wounds and some with neurological issues. Overall conditions of some of the buildings are filthy, and pretty deplorable.”– Tim Rickey, Senior Investigator, ASPCA
“In the silence rises an unmistakable chorus of wheezing and sneezing, of air attempting to pass through mucus, of cats with runny eyes and snotty noses. Grant’s cat-topia isn’t perfect. In fact, it may be a little sick.”
“Also, Craig has been extremely busy this holiday season with round the clock care for several caboodles that have upper respiratory issues. He is working from dawn until the wee hours of the morning, sleeping in the sick ward on a blanket on the floor so that he can check on the ‘kids’ and hand feed them or give them medicines. It has been very stressful and exhausting, but the kitties are improving daily. We have had a few cold spells that brought on the colds.”
“We were approached by a number of the cats and the majority appeared to be in poor health. Many appeared to be extremely thin; others had little hair on their body, others appeared weak and unable to move. As I looked further at the cats, many appeared to have respiratory issues and were having difficulty breathing. One cat was leaning its head over the rim of a plastic kiddie pool to drink water, but appeared to be too weak to lift its head when it was done.”– Findings of Laura Bevin, HSUS Director, Apr. 24th, 2009
“We have our share of cats with colds, but this is normal when they’re living outside. And like a child in daycare, when one catches a cold, it isn’t long before another does. But they are all treated for this. The cats with more serious illnesses, such as Leukemia, are kept seperate from the others in their own large outdoor pens.”
“In April of 2009 Dr. Levy brought her team in shortly after that visit and took samples from 20 of the sick cats found at the ranch. Her findings showed that all of the sick cats tested positive for multiple Gastrointestinal Pathogens. As a team we came together and drew up a 30 day order to show care that was witnessed and signed off on by a local judge. To our delight you responded in a positive manner when you received the order and immediately implemented most of the suggestions therein. Great improvement was seen during and after the 30 days was up. Dr. Lewis and I both visited the ranch during this period and we were impressed to see the amount of improvement to the overall health of the cats.
However it has recently been brought to my attention that things could be taking a turn for the worse…
I am concerned about the future of your program. I feel that you are taking on too much at one time and without the proper help you are unable to keep up with the demands that are vital to a properly run sanctuary. We addressed these issues in the order to show care and yet these issues still remain. At this point in time you are in direct violation of the court order.”– Letter from Madison County Animal Control, Sept. 27th, 2010
“Animal/Mosquito Control Director Jamie Willoughby reported two animal sanctuaries, Caboodle Ranch and Goliath & BeBe’s World, have made applications to the County for permits to comply with the Excess Animal Habitat (EAH) Ordinance, which took effect January 1st. Mr. Willoughby stated Caboodle Ranch was inspected and 38 violations were found. A follow-up inspection found all but 13 violations were corrected.”– Madison County Board of Commissioners meeting minutes, Jan. 18, 2012
A brown cat rubbed against his leg and he saw what looked like a twig stuck to its side. He reached down to remove it and realized it was a rib; the cat had a compound fracture.
“This cat needs medical attention,” Conley said he told Grant.
“He said, ‘Why? It ain’t bothering him,’ ” Conley recalled.
“Upon arriving at Madison Veterinary Clinic, the cat was examined by Dr. Lewis, who manually checked the cats back and legs for signs of injury. Dr. Lewis said he could not find any broken bones, but that the cat was in overall poor health. However, he then stated that the cat looked better than other cats brought to the clinic by Mr. Grant, and that there were problems with upper respiratory infection (URI) at the sanctuary. Dr. Lewis said he has tried to convince Mr. Grant to euthanize some of the very ill cats that he has brought to the clinic, but Mr. Grant had refused. Dr. Lewis then gave the cat an injection and we took the cat to Madison County Animal Control.”– Findings of Laura Bevin, HSUS Director, Apr. 24th, 2009
“Unfortunately, there will be some sick cats at Caboodle Ranch, but I won’t put them down. I don’t have the right to take a life and won’t. I won’t paint a pretty picture. I care for the cats that people no longer care for. My business is mine and no one elses.”– Craig Grant, Mar. 30, 2007
“I’ve had a number of sick cats over the years. Some in the sick ward had photos taken behind my back and put on the web. All these cats were being treated. I either take them to the vets or call to describe symptoms and am told what to do. I do not have the heart to put cats to sleep.”– Craig Grant, Feb. 29, 2009
Caboodle Ranch rules specify that cats must be spayed or neutered. However, there have been many incidents of litters born at the Ranch; one notable case is Wobbles, a cat with cerebellar hypoplasia who was impregnated by another unneutered cat and gave birth at the Ranch. Veterinary records show surprisingly few spay and neuter procedures.
This litter of kittens was discovered under a trailer at Caboodle Ranch.
“Wobbles is a wonderful little girl. She copes with her disabilities very well. Having neurological problems she walks all over the place and often falls but that doesn’t stop her from running and playing. Wobbles became pregnant, which was amazing. She turned out to be the most amazing mama cat… She made her little nest and on the next morning, my birthday, she had four little ones!”– Caboodle Ranch Blog, Apr. 14th, 2008
“MULTIPLE KITTENS IN VARIOUS STATES OF HEALTH
ONE YOUNG ONE DIED EN ROUTE TO CLINIC…
ONE KITTEN SUFFERS FROM WHAT APPEARS TO BE CEREBELLAR HYPOPLASIA FROM BIRTH WITH INTENTION TREMORS PRESENT”– Veterinary records from Scott Mill Animal Hospital, Nov. 28th, 2006
“We observed several sexually intact tom cats…”
“The very people that are saying bad things about us, have never even been to the ranch and most likely do not even spay or neuter their cats.”– Caboodle Ranch Blog, Mar. 21st, 2012
Multiple eyewitnesses testify that they saw Craig wiping cats’ faces with Clorox Wipes. Until May 2012, Caboodle Ranch denied this, and stated that the frequent requests for Clorox Wipes were for sanitation and not for use on the cats. Photographic evidence was inconclusive.
However, in a hastily deleted blog post, a statement from Craig admitted the regular use of Clorox wipes on the faces of cats:
Yes, I used Clorox wipes always — keeping noses clean and my hand sanitized as I handled so many cats.– A Day At The Ranch [deleted], May 2nd, 2012
Earlier testimony from visitors to the Ranch corroborates this.
“As he makes his rounds, he pulls out a Clorox wipe and uses it over and over to wipe the eyes or noses of a dozen or so cats. In his pocket, he keeps a small bottle of antibiotics. Every now and then he pulls it out and shoots one dropperful into the mouth of a sick cat. He doesn’t wipe it clean between cats.”
“PETA’s investigator had discovered a tiny white kitten all alone, with eyes so encrusted with dried discharge that they wouldn’t open. The investigator took the kitten to Grant and pointed out the animal’s obvious illness. Instead of providing the kitten with veterinary care, Grant rubbed a Clorox wipe across the kitten’s eyes and rubbed and picked at them roughly with his hands. He told the investigator to put the kitten with a cat named Cali, who had given birth at Caboodle to kittens our investigator named Bronson, Felix, and Luna. Within a month, the little white kitten had died at Caboodle, apparently of an untreated upper respiratory infection.”– Statement by PETA
Not for cleaning or sanitizing skin.
PRECAUTIONARY STATEMENTS: HAZARDS TO HUMANS AND DOMESTIC ANIMALS
CAUTION: Causes moderate eye irritation. Avoid contact with eyes or clothing. Wash thoroughly with soap and water after handling.
FIRST AID IF IN EYES: Hold eye open and rinse slowly and gently with water for 15-20 minutes. Remove contact lenses, if present, after the first 5 minutes, then continue rinsing eye. Call a poison control center for treatment advice.– Cautionary label, Clorox Disinfecting Wipes
Undercover video shows rooms littered with debris, with wooden flooring stained with urine and feces. Caboodle Ranch states that this was the sick ward, and that video was taken before volunteers arrived to clean it that morning. It is questionable whether that amount of waste and dirt could accumulate in a 24-hour period; regardless, the porous flooring creates a serious health hazard that violates basic principles of shelter hygiene.
Additionally, a refrigerator was shown containing spoiled food and medicine, swarming with maggots. Caboodle Ranch states that the trailer was closed to cats, and that the massive infestation had developed due to “Florida climate and no electricity”.
“In regards to the question about the sick bay, or infirmary; This is an old office trailer. It is a place that has a tendency to get dirtier than any other. Sick cats make the worst kind of messes… with diarrhea, vomiting, and even sneezing. There are a few sick cats in the infirmary that aren’t in cages and create the usual messes of litter and shredding of papertowels and dumping of food. And because there’s no grass at Caboodle Ranch, dirt is also tracked in continuously.”
“We collected pharyngeal (throat) swabs from 11 cats with signs of upper respiratory disease for PCR testing. We also collected 11 diarrhea samples from litter boxes and the forest floor for fecal flotation analysis and PCR testing. The test results are below. As you can see, there is evidence for widespread transmission of multiple respiratory and intestinal infectious diseases among the cats. Each of these diseases has their own unique negative impact on quality of life in infected cats. Some of these infections are also a hazard (zoonotic) for people. Grain mites often indicate inappropriate food storage.”
“A lot of Caboodle is outside so the smell wasn’t that bad, but I won’t be wearing Caboodle Cologne anytime soon.”– John Fulton, host of “Must Love Cats”
Volunteers describe burying cats after Craig Grant refused to bury them. Caboodle Ranch acknowledged the deaths and the photos of the dead cats in 2010, attributing them to snakebites, coyotes, and illness; they do not address the issue of cats remaining unburied, other than to say that Craig did not want the cats to be touched.
Several skeletons and decomposing corpses were photographed aboveground, scattered on the property.
“This is a sensitive matter because this was one of Craig’s original cats ‘Tommy 2′ and he does not want to touch the remains. He explained to Nanette years ago when he first showed it to her that it was ‘sacred ground’ to him.”
Several cats were in dire need of medical treatment, and responders discovered a number of deceased cats on the property, in addition to burial sites. Forensic necropsies will be conducted on those remains to determine the causes of death and will be submitted to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office to support its investigation.
Cats venturing outside the confines of the Ranch were a frequent complaint of Caboodle Ranch’s neighbors. Pictures show Caboodle Ranch cats roaming the roads outside the facility, and passing easily over the inadequate fencing.
“Prior to the fence, we had problems with coyote. Craig lost a couple of his favorites to coyote attacks. It has taken a while to put fencing around the entire length of 5 acres, but it was finally finished this weekend. Please remember that almost all of these cats are feral, and were living ‘in the wild’ before ever arriving at Caboodle Ranch. It’s unrealistic to think this is not a safer place for them to be.”
Accusations of fraud followed the announcement that charges against Craig Grant included a count of scheming to defraud the public.
Bank records reveal purchases that are clearly unrelated to the care of cats, including hundreds of dollars spent on entertainment such as tickets to “Disney on Ice” and the Daytona Speedway, hotel accommodations, and clothing. This conflicts with claims made on the Caboodle Ranch Blog, below.
“Every bit of money donated to Caboodle Ranch went to the care and well-being of the cats. It went to continual upgrades of buildings and fences, veterinary care, food and shelter. Craig slept on floors, drove a truck with 450,000 miles on it, and refused to spend a single dime on himself for much needed medical and dental care. He only paid himself $1000 a month for his own basic necessities.”– Caboodle Ranch Blog, Mar. 3rd, 2012
“I want to note that all the beautiful and colorful decorations at the ranch, including the gingerbread houses, playhouses and small shelters, are all donated to the ranch. 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
Less than 30 days after that blog post, Caboodle Ranch bank accounts show nonprofit funds used to pay for a trip to Las Vegas, including box office tickets and new clothing.
Contrary to statements made to the public, bank statements show dozens of purchases of decorations, souvenirs, children’s toys, and entertainment drawn from Caboodle Ranch donations.