Neglected tigers find new home at Collin County animal sanctuary

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by STEVE STOLER

WFAA

Posted on September 17, 2010 at 6:08 PM

Updated Saturday, Sep 18 at 8:52 PM

WYLIE - It's hard for most to imagine how anyone could mistreat or neglect exotic cats, but that's what happened in Leona, Texas. 
 
Six neglected tigers, several of them injured, were rescued and now have a new home near Wylie. The tigers are slowly recovering at the In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue and Educational Center. 
 
One of the tigers, known as “Grumpy” because of his demeanor, was the worst off. His overgrown toenails were curled around and splitting the pads on his toes. He required medical attention at the Texas A&M Veterinary School. 
 
“We had to take them away from there and give them the life they should have been having for the past 11 years," said Vicky Keahey, the president of In-Sync. 
 
Keahey is nursing the six tigers back to health, even though it's expensive and creating a financial burden for the sanctuary. 
 
“I go by my faith," she said. "I fly from the seat of my pants, on a wing and a prayer. If God brings me these cats, he's going to provide for them too."
 
Another injured tiger was declawed improperly. When they found him, he had bloody cuts on both front paws. 
 
“We were able to get him off of the den about an hour ago," Keahey said. "As soon as his feet touched the ground, he jumped right back up."
 
The sanctuary didn't waste any time in creating a new home for their newest residents. They're building a habitat, complete with welded fencing, concrete and cinder block shelters. Add the veterinary care and food, it's creating a hefty price tag. 
 
“The bottom line just drops out totally," Keahey said. "It's just going to be real scary for a while."
 
The founder of the big cat sanctuary said she can't deny exotic cats in need. And, while she says the abuse and neglect never ends, her supporters always come through to help.
 

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