We realize that some hoarders are individuals who truly think they are doing a service despite the suffering they cause. However others engage in criminal activity by defrauding their victims to make a profit.
We realize that some hoarders are individuals who truly think they are doing a service despite the suffering they cause. However others engage in criminal activity by defrauding their victims to make a profit.
Dr. Lewis, Caboodle Ranch’s official vet, was called as a witness on behalf of Craig Grant in the custody hearing for the cats on May 4, 2012. Dr. Lewis testified that Craig confided in him that he couldn’t afford care for current cats without donations that came in with new cats.
“So, it was a ‘Catch 22′ situation. Without the donations we couldn’t do the other stuff; without new cats, you couldn’t get the donations.” (pg. 18-19)
The full testimony is now available in the Document Library.
Exhibits 14, 15, and 16 presented the court with specific examples of the disease and neglect that characterized Caboodle Ranch.
Exhibit 14 chronicles the treatment of Cat #029, a male cat with an upper respiratory infection so severe that he is now completely blind.
The pain was intense.
Medical notes also indicated that the cat was:
Dr. John Lewis, Caboodle Ranch’s veterinarian, testified that this cat had never been presented to him for treatment, and that it required immediate medical care.
The cat’s left eye was surgically removed. The right eye remains painful. He is completely blind. Overgrown nails were cut.
Approximate cost of treatment was $300 to $500.
Exhibit 15 chronicles the treatment of Cat #039, who essentially starved to death while under the care of Caboodle Ranch.
Exhibit 16 chronicles the treatment of Cat #069, a cat with an upper respiratory infection that led to neurological damage.
Cat #069′s story has a happy outcome, and a bright future.
These photographs were entered into evidence without objection by the defense. They are listed as Exhibits 8 and 13.
The remains were covered with flies and maggots.
Both cats had accumulated mucus on nose and eyes, and difficulty breathing.
Dr. Miller, a veterinarian and shelter expert, later testified that there were 55 cats in the Sick Ward trailer, and 45 of those (82%) had upper respiratory infections.
Dr. Miller testified that 59 cats were taken from the General Store, and 41 of those (69%) had upper respiratory infections.
Only two food and water bowls were available. The rubber bins used as litter boxes were completely full.
Dr. Miller testified that 12 of the cats (20%) taken from the General Store were FeLV-positive.
Nineteen of the cats (32%) taken from this location were FIV-positive.
After being rushed to the ER facility, veterinarians were had to humanely euthanize the cat 48 hours later.
This cat’s horrifying condition is detailed in Dr. Miller’s testimony, with documents entered into evidence as Exhibit 13.
As recounted in the notes, the sworn testimony contradicts previous statements by Nanette Entriken and Craig Grant on the Caboodle Ranch blog.
For example, the Caboodle Ranch blog states: “Caboodle Ranch was inspected by animal control every three months.” However, Jamie Willoughby’s testimony states that he had been to the Ranch only half a dozen times in the six to seven years he has been in contact with Caboodle Ranch, far less than the twenty or more visits Caboodle Ranch claims.
This is just one of many contradictions between the sworn testimony in court and the story Caboodle Ranch told its donors.
Further notes and the official transcripts will be posted as they become available.
On May 2nd, 2012, the Caboodle Ranch blog posted melodramatic and self-pitying accounts of Craig Grant and Nanette Entriken’s visit to inspect the cats seized by the ASPCA. The visit was authorized by the court as part of the discovery procedure for their hearings.
The post made a number of incriminating and false statements, and was deleted from the blog minutes later — but not before alert animal lovers captured screenshots of the incriminating evidence, including Craig’s confession that he regularly used Clorox Wipes on cats’ faces.
The text of the now-deleted blog follows, with commentary and related documents. (The image of the original blog may be viewed here.)
Nanette and I were allowed to see our cats yesterday (May 1st) at 7pm. Nanette drove, I haven’t driven since the raid on the ranch. I’ve been sick, “post traumatic stress disorder” and am on medication for that and depression. There are time I don’t want to live anymore.
Hoarding behavior and depression are frequently linked, and Craig has stated that cats had “become my happiness.” Without therapy, hoarders may lapse into depression and suicidal behavior, or quickly return to hoarding animals once their hoard has been removed. Animal hoarding has a 100% relapse rate when untreated.
In route, my stomach churns, I want to see them so bad. While Nanette went to see her cats, Rob (my son) and I went to view my cats. We were escorted by someone with an attitude of a prison guard. I was prohibited from any contact with the cats (meaning I was not allowed to touch them).
On the Caboodle Ranch Facebook page, a video clip of the visit was posted. On the basis of this account, it can be assumed that the person recording the visit was Rob Grant, Craig’s son. It is unknown at this time whether Rob was authorized to record and distribute this video to the public, and until we have confirmed that, we have opted to withhold that video.
Meatball was so happy to see me after two months! There was never a day that went by in the last 11 years when Meat-z went without attention. Toot was there, too scared to come to me, and Crackers. Rob said “Look! Tommy!” I can’t believe he’s still alive! He raised his body up the cage door to greet me. I wanted to cherish his body but the guard reminded me not to touch him. So painful, these bums ripped my babies from me.
Cats under the care of the ASPCA are receiving daily attention and veterinary care — significantly more than they received during their time at Caboodle Ranch. Comparing photos of Tommy at the time of the raid with this video reveals a dramatic improvement in his condition since ASPCA took over his care. All of the cats are receiving proper veterinary care now, and not just Craig’s favorites like Tommy, Snoop Dog, and Meatball.
In a dank corner, Snoopie (Snoop Dog) came to the door. He’s been with me at the ranch for 8 years. He looks bad, lost some weight, is drooling. He and Tommy both should have had teeth removed by now. But no one ever asked about any of the cats medications that Dr. Lewis prescribed.
I said “Look Rob, ‘Plummer’”, poor baby came to the ranch and had been shot in the face and had received 3000.00 worth of corrective surgery prior. Dr. Lewis examined him and would continue his care. He only has half a tongue and has to scoop the water into his mouth and tilt his head back to swallow. Rob had fostered him during his transition. He needs two lower fangs removed which cut into his top lip, but all the tag said on his cage was something about his eye, which is off to the side. So sad.
Craig does not disclose why Tommy, Snoop Dog, and Plummer’s pre-existing dental problems were not treated at the Ranch despite ample funds to do so.
Some cats with respiratory issues, but no more than a dozen had clogged noses. Yes, I used Clorox wipes always-keeping noses clean and my hand sanitized as I handled so many cats…
This is likely the passage that caused Caboodle Ranch to hastily delete their post. It is the first public admission by Craig Grant that he used toxic Clorox wipes on the noses of cats with respiratory infections. Clorox Wipes have the following warnings displayed prominently on every package:
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.
This statement is an unambiguous admission by Craig Grant that he is guilty of cruelty to animals.
It was hot in there, my cats are used to enjoying air conditioned spaces on the ranch. It was three weeks before I could return to the ranch after the raid. I was afraid to see my place so deserted where so many played and enjoyed life.
I guess they have run every test known to man now on my herd and will drag me through the mud in court.
The tag at the right is from the veterinary records for Snoop Dog. Until the ASPCA’s intervention, many of the “herd” had not been tested for life-threatening illnesses such as FIV and FeLV.
I paid off a portion of the ranch. I leased the property from my name to Caboodle Ranch for the next 20 years so that if I died, my cats will always have a place on earth.
Craig told reporters that Caboodle Ranch had been paid off, and told several visitors the same lie. Here, he returns to the claim that Caboodle Ranch was leasing the property.
I don’t want the place if my cats don’t come back. I gave my life to these cats, I was so proud, so happy, and now stripped of everything.
Craig Grant was given ample opportunities to correct the problems at Caboodle Ranch. He refused. He was given more than three years of warnings. He ignored them. He was repeatedly offered help. He declined it. Ultimately, it was Craig Grant who forced the closure of Caboodle Ranch. It is Craig Grant who bears responsibility for the loss of his cats, and the loss of his pride — which apparently carry equal significance for him.
All day I dreaded the road trip to Jacksonville to go to the “undisclosed” warehouse where my babies were being held.
Dreaded it because as much as I want to see my precious cat family, I know I will have to walk away without them. The time finally came when my sister and I, and Craig, got on the road to make the 2 hour drive into Jacksonville . We get to the place and wait about a half hour until out lawyers arrived (so surreal) and be let in by prosecuting attorney Reeves and ASPCA officers.
No one is smiling, everyone is very official.
It would be very unusual for the people caring for a hoarder’s animals to greet that hoarder with smiles. It’s a credit to the ASPCA that they remained professional while dealing with a belligerent woman who helped enable the abuse and suffering of nearly 700 helpless cats.
They decide to let me see my babies first that are being held separately from the ranch cats in a trailer.
I can already feel the tears welling up in my eyes and I am trying so hard to “stay strong.” I am escorted with my lawyer and FIVE other people into a small air conditioned trailer and see my babies right away. I can’t help it, I break down. I had to lean over the counter to compose myself. Then I go cage to cage and see my babies beautiful faces. I call each one by name and I can see the recognition in their eyes as they see me and hear ‘mamas’ voice.
I cry harder at every cage I stop by. They won’t allow me to touch my cats, like I am a criminal.
My cats reach out to me, using their paws through the cage trying to touch me instead. I let them. I tell each one that I love them and that they will be home soon. They are in good condition and in large cages. But they are in cages, and not at home with me where they should be.
“They are in good condition and in large cages.” Caboodle Ranch supporters have repeatedly suggested that the ASPCA is mistreating the cats or withholding care. Here, we see that that’s not the case. In the video recording of Tommy, he appears to be in better condition than when he was at the Ranch.
Anonymous sources report that Craig’s cats are being held in cages with large indoor and outdoor runs of equal size, 24 square feet of space in each section. They can move indoors or outdoors at will, and have a variety of cozy boxes and baskets to curl up in.
Nanette’s cats are being held in an air-conditioned trailer. Each cat has its own 6′ tall vertical cage, roughly 10 square feet at the base. These multi-level cages have hammocks, shelves, and ledges for the cats to climb and relax on.
I took pictures of all of them and keep crying as I have to say goodbye to them. They don’t understand why they cant come home with me, and I certainly don’t understand any of this and what they have put me through for just moving to this town and trying to make a fresh start with my life.
Take note of Nanette’s claims of being persecuted.
Nanette is the property manager for Caboodle Ranch and partner to Craig Grant. She was in the process of moving onto the property, and had brought 39 of her own cats onto the Caboodle Ranch grounds. She is intimately involved with the operations of the Ranch, and she is directly involved in the scheme to conceal neglect and abuse on the Ranch. She is well aware of the charges against Caboodle Ranch, Craig Grant, and herself.
But in Nanette’s eyes, this is a Byzantine plot to persecute her “for just moving to this town and trying to make a fresh start,” and not because of the treatment of the cats. In other words, they are “out to get her,” although there is no apparent motive for doing so.
This behavior is a common element in many models of animal hoarding.
Tomorrow is the ranch hearing and mine. Our attorney’s are confident that the judge will be fair, honest and make the right decisions aand see through this insane circumstances that have taken place and let our cats come home and put an end to this nightmare. I try to have the same confience, but I look around my empty house for the past 9 weeks and wonder…
I can’t help but Wonder: Why didn’t PETA or the ASPCA or the Sherriff come to Craig and talk to him about doing more improvements on the ranch, getting more help.
From 2008 through 2012, Caboodle was offered help by various animal welfare agencies in order to resolve the problems at the Ranch. Craig and Nanette were urged again and again to hire staff and accept volunteer help. Those agencies advised immediate veterinary care for the sick cats, and to correct the dangerous conditions at the Ranch before taking in more animals.
Real, meaningful help was offered. And Craig and Nanette refused to accept it. To correct the problems at the Ranch, they would have to stop compulsively acquiring cats, and neither one was willing to take that necessary step.
Why didn’t they donate just a spec of what it has cost “them” to house the cats and pay staff etc and put that to good use at the ranch and the care of the cats.
One does not correct a hoarding situation by assisting the hoarder in obtaining more animals. As detailed in court documents, Craig and Nanette are not capable of providing care to the cats. No amount of improvements at the Ranch can change Craig Grant’s hoarding tendencies. He once stated that he would like 3,000 cats, and that there was no limit to the number of cats the Ranch could take in; providing financial support to Caboodle Ranch would only have worsened the situation. Treating, sheltering, and re-homing 3,000 cats is significantly more challenging than caring for 700.
Instead an agendad group comes in as if it were the law itself and raids the ranch, and instead of taking the cats in question they take hundreds and hundreds of healthy happy cats.
The ASPCA did not raid the Ranch. Law enforcement of Madison County raided the Ranch, on the authority of a warrant obtained through legal channels, on the basis of overwhelming evidence of cruelty and neglect.
Neither the ASPCA, nor PETA, nor any of the more than one dozen animal welfare groups assisting in the care of the animals has the authority to conduct a raid and seizure of animals. But when the Sheriff asked these groups to assist in the care of the animals, they gladly obliged, because protecting animals from cruelty and neglect is their mission.
Why? Well that’s a question no one seems to want or be able to answer.
That’s a question that’s been answered many, many times. The real question here is here is why Nanette is unwilling to acknowledge those answers.
A new infographic summarizes the circumstances leading to the Caboodle Ranch raid. Please help us expose the reality behind Caboodle Ranch by sharing this link with friends on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter.
Donors, cat owners to file class action lawsuit against Caboodle Ranch
Suit accuses founder Craig Grant of consumer fraud — April 2, 2012
A group of donors and former owners of cats relinquished to a nonprofit cat sanctuary known as Caboodle Ranch are coming together to file a class action lawsuit against founder Craig Grant, who was arrested Feb. 27 in the wake of a multi-agency rescue of almost 700 cats from the property. It is one of the largest rescues of animals from a hoarding case in U.S. history.
Records from Caboodle Ranch, located in Lee, Fla., indicate that Grant embezzled and misappropriated donations intended to cover care of the cats for his own personal use. Numerous financial transactions recorded on Caboodle Ranch’s 501(c)3 non-profit account show such items as airline flights, trips to Las Vegas, tickets to Disney on Ice and Daytona 500, purchases at Toys R Us, hotels, online clothing orders, online magazine orders, and gifts. Grant also admitted in court records that he did not routinely record cash donations.
One couple involved in the lawsuit is Larry and Ann Bechler, who rescue and rehome stray and feral cats. In 2009, after reading news accounts that portrayed Caboodle Ranch as a cat utopia, the Bechlers brought two cats there to be rehomed. Larry recalled asking Grant how many cats he had. “Over 300, but I’d like 3000,” Grant told him.
When the Bechlers left the ranch that day, they had a gut feeling that something was wrong. They returned the next day to retrieve their cats, but one, Emma, was nowhere to be found. The Bechlers made several trips back to Caboodle Ranch to look for Emma but never located her. “What a lucrative business charging desperate, caring people to take homeless cats at $100 to $200 each,” Ann said. “When they die a month later, he just takes more.”
In addition to using donations for personal activities, financial records show that Grant also used donations to pay for his personal assets. All of Caboodle Ranch’s land, vehicles, and buildings are owned by Grant. The organization itself has no physical assets. Grant has stated in interviews that he as founder of Caboodle Ranch he got $1000 a month in salary. Any personal expenses he had were legally required to come from his salary, not ranch funds.
Grant was arrested Feb. 27 and charged with one count of felony animal cruelty, three counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty, and one count of scheming to defraud. Bond was set at $250,000, and he posted bail later that day. Grant pleaded not guilty to the charges during arraignment on April 2.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, at the request of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office and Madison County Animal Control in northern Florida, has led the rescue of almost 700 cats from Caboodle Ranch beginning Feb. 27. Animal welfare organizations reported that many of the cats showed signs of severe neglect and were suffering from upper respiratory conditions, ringworm, intestinal parasites, fur loss, and eye infections among other medical issues. Responders also uncovered numerous deceased cats on the property.
Agencies assisting the ASPCA on scene include Atlanta Humane Society (Atlanta, Ga.); Bay Area Disaster Animal Response Team (Belleair Bluffs, Fla.); Cat Depot (Sarasota, Fla.); Florida State Animal Response Coalition (Bushnell, Fla.); Good Mews Animal Foundation (Marietta, Ga.); Humane Society of Broward County (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.); International Fund for Animal Welfare (Yarmouth Port, Mass.); McKamey Animal Care and Adoption Center (Chattanooga, Tenn.); PetSmart Charities, Inc. (Phoenix, Ariz.); and RedRover (Sacramento, Calif.). Staff from the College of Veterinary Medicine and Maples Center for Forensic Medicine at University of Florida-Gainesville are also assisting with the operation.
As of Feb. 27, the ASPCA had spent an estimated $200,000 on this large-scale rescue, an amount that continues to grow daily.
The rescue comes in the wake of an investigation of Caboodle Ranch by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, whose undercover investigator worked as a volunteer at the ranch for five months. Video and photos taken by the investigator show cats suffering from upper-respiratory infections so severe that they gasped for air and struggled to breathe, drooled, and had bloody mucus clogging their noses. Cats had untreated ulcerated corneas that ruptured, causing them to go blind and in some cases die.
The organizers of this class action lawsuit have consulted with Attorney Lucas Taylor from Madison County, Fla., who has been involved in litigation against Grant for nearly two years. Anyone who has made monetary donations or donated goods to Caboodle Ranch and/or has rehomed to the care of Caboodle Ranch is eligible to join the lawsuit. Dana Strunk, one of the organizers, is proposing that proceeds from the case be donated to the animal welfare agencies involved in the rescue and care of the cats. For more information regarding the lawsuit, contact (888) 950-4919 or email email@example.com
The ASPCA has established a hotline for pet owners who relinquished their cats to Caboodle Ranch and would like information about the status of those cats.
In November of 2003, a man named Craig Grant opened a sanctuary for cats: Caboodle Ranch. The sprawling 25-acre property was decorated with brightly-colored, cat-sized buildings, and many visitors were charmed by this adorable cat utopia.
But as the years progressed, rumors of hoarding, neglect, and illness darkened the image of Caboodle Ranch. Complaints were filed with local animal control. Pictures emerged showing sick cats mingling with healthy ones. News of cats being preyed upon by coyotes surfaced.
And people began to question whether Caboodle Ranch was the utopia it appeared to be.
In February of 2012, PeTA released an undercover video of the conditions at Caboodle Ranch. The video showed unspayed cats with litters of kittens, filthy rooms, uncleaned litter boxes, a refrigerator of medicine and food swarming with maggots, and most damning of all, image after image of cats ravaged by illness.
On the basis of evidence gathered, Sheriff Ben Stewart obtained a warrant for the arrest of Craig Grant and the seizure of Caboodle Ranch’s cats.
Fans of the Ranch were horrified at the news. Some angrily declared that PeTA and the Sheriff were conducting a vendetta against Craig Grant, and that the video was staged. Some acknowledged that the Ranch had problems, but maintained that the Ranch should have received assistance instead of being shut down. And some investigated the claims against the Ranch, and decided that they had been deceived by the brightly-colored fantasy world Craig Grant had created.
The purpose of this site is to lay out the evidence and arguments so that you, the reader, may form your own conclusions about Caboodle Ranch.
After you have reviewed the evidence, we invite you to share your opinions on Facebook.