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Friday, May 6, 2016

Rescue Center hosts Pumpkin Party

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Canadian Lynx is one of the nine species on display at the Exotic Feline Rescue Center, Center Point, which is home to 233 cats. [Order this photo]
The Exotic Feline Rescue Center (EFRC), Center Point, is hosting its fifth annual Pumpkin Party, Nov. 5.

According to Assistant Director Jean Herrberg, approximately 200 patrons visited last year's Pumpkin Party.

"We fill pumpkins with meat and treats and then give them to the cats; you get to watch them play," Herrberg said.

The EFRC is in its 20th year and is home to 233 cats of nine species from 24 different states. The 108-acre facility is open six days a week, from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Herrberg said that the facility is home to more tigers than any other species, which includes several white tigers.

Understandably, keeping a large facility like this running is a tough task.

"We go through 3,500 pounds of meat every day," Herrberg said. "Most of that comes from farmers in the area. When they have a cow, calf or horse die because it's old, ill or injured, we will send a truck out to get it and then process it."

The Puma, which is native to Indiana, is a cat that can be seen at the 108-acre facility. [Order this photo]
When Founder and Operator Joe Taft started the not-for-profit organization it was home to only three cats.

Herrberg said the EFRC is now the largest USDA licensed facility in the U.S.

"We work with other reputable facilities, including zoos," Herrberg said. "Sometimes zoos just want an animal for display, not for breeding purposes."

Herrberg said that they obtain roughly thirty new cats a year.

Every day, but Monday, tours of the facility are given. Herrberg said the educational tours take place on one of three different areas and last about an hour.

"You get to see about 100 cats on tour," Herrberg said. "You find out about the different types of species."

Herrberg said many of the cats at the EFRC have come from bad backgrounds.

"(The cats) come from a whole variety of horrible conditions. (From) circuses, illegal owners, abuse, neglect, (and) abandonment," Herrberg said.

The Pumpkin Party starts at noon, on Saturday, Nov. 5, and is $5 for children and $10 for adults.

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Anyone remember the cougar that escaped in 2007? Any word on the big cats where abouts?

-- Posted by 1a2b3c4d on Sat, Oct 22, 2011, at 10:26 PM

with all respect to all involved if that cat was still around here we would all know it as in dead cattle etc,remember this animal had always been in in a cage so it would pick the easiest kill in order to survive...I suspect it migrated on its own to a place more suitable for the species, or could have mated with a lessor species, its the way of the wild

-- Posted by dovelw on Sun, Oct 23, 2011, at 11:19 AM

We raised goats just north of Center Point and never once had any sort of cat bother our goats. We saw plenty of bobcat and coyote prints in the sand near the creek [native to the area] and the only time our goats were chased was when some irresponsible two legged creature let their dogs run loose.

Without the rescue center nearby I suspect we would have many more problems with feral dogs, coyotes, and subsequent rabies cases as though many livestock owners bury their dead stock according to the law, there will always be some who drag them to the back 40 and leave them there for wildlife to consume, thus causing rise in local wild canine populations.

If there were problems with this facility, it wouldn't remain licensed and multiple sitings would occur.

They are actually doing the community a service but few seem to see this point. Repay them the next time you see a newly hit by car deer on the road. Call the center and likely they could pick it up use it to help feed the cats.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Mon, Oct 24, 2011, at 4:14 AM

I am glad that Mrs. Moore is able to point out the positive qualities that come with having 233 big cats kept in our backyard. We livestock owners, lazy and dumb would probably just dump animal remains everywhere.

The fact is we worry everytime a heavy wind or ice storm rolls through and could take down a tree across one of the fences housing the animals. Does the Center have a plan for that occuring?

I currently live in Clay County and own property in the county. I worry about that dangers of the Center and what could happen. If I lived in another country, say Germany, I would not be too worried either. Right Mrs. Moore.

-- Posted by 1a2b3c4d on Thu, Oct 27, 2011, at 11:15 PM

My wife and I have visited the center, and donated, on numerous occasions. When company comes in from out of town, it is one of the highlights of their visit here, as well. We have even stayed overnight on the premises, in the rental. What a great mini-vacation!

We love the center, and really appreciate what they have done for these cats. Without it, most would have had to be killed.

Of course there is, and always will be, a risk of an escape. We just have to have faith in the experts of being able to catch the escapees. The fact is; local livestock, and even people, are at much higher risk of being hurt or killed by another human than any of these cats.

If you have not been to the EFRC, please go. You won't be disappointed.

-- Posted by olmedic on Fri, Oct 28, 2011, at 8:38 AM

I realize I am more likely to be in a car accident than attacked by a tiger, but because the EFRC is less than five miles from my house the risk of attack in now possible. That risk should not exist. The safety of people needs to be above that of animals.

And as for visiting the center, I have and I thought the t-shirts that said "I was sprayed at the EFRC" were very classy. I do not need to visit it again. I can hear the cats every single morning and night from my back steps. It is a chilling sound.

-- Posted by 1a2b3c4d on Fri, Oct 28, 2011, at 8:33 PM

I feel sorry for anyone that would rather see these animals put to death than allowed to live in a sanctuary. The fact is, because of humans, these animals have no chance at surviving in their native habitat. Therefore, it is our responsibility to see them taken care of.

The cure is to prevent private people from owning them in the first place. If it were not for dumb people and their desire to domesticate a wild cat, places like the EFRC would not exist.

-- Posted by Oldtown on Fri, Oct 28, 2011, at 10:35 PM

to all of these people that want to express their fear of a possible escapee so close to their back doors I say move!! It would be a lot easier for you to find a new home than it would be the animals. Not to mention there are many animals lovers that would be willing to swap you a deed for deed. They are those of us that can aprreciate all of Gods creations.

-- Posted by houseofhate on Sat, Oct 29, 2011, at 6:33 AM

So I should move because I expressed my concern about living close to a facility that houses wild animals, a facility that has had an animal escape, even though I have owned my land decades before the EFRC came into being?

-- Posted by 1a2b3c4d on Sat, Oct 29, 2011, at 4:04 PM

I too live less than 5 miles from this wonderful facility.....4 miles to be exact! I have very expensive show horses and am not the least bit concerned about "wild cats"!

If you are so concerned about the cats why don't you put a barrier up around your property to ensure your safety and those that live with you. Surely that will give you peace of mind.

Jenny is correct in what she says but you sound like a hater in all regards so.....whatever!

Keep up the great work that you all do at the EFRC. I applaud your undertaking and it is the love for these great beauties that make it right. Never mind the "haters" or the ignorant, they are everywhere. And yes, they have several plans for a variety of disasters that might occur, they have to have them to continue to operate.

-- Posted by Proud of My Country on Tue, Nov 1, 2011, at 9:28 AM

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