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Animals are safely en route, soon to find refuge at sanctuaries

November 24, 2015 (Alpine)--Bobbi Brink, Founder/Director of Lions Tigers & Bears (LTB) in Alpine, and her team are making a 5,000 mile round trip journey to rescue and provide transport to six exotic animals, including four tigers from Ohio. The animals are en route to reputable sanctuaries in Nevada and California.

"We are happy to be able to provide these animals with a second chance." states Brink, in regards to this cross-country rescue.

The four tigers were surrendered as a result of state legislation in Ohio, SB 310, which regulates the private ownership of exotic animals. One of the tigers, a white tiger, is being transported to Safe Haven Wildlife Sanctuary in Imlay, Nevada, while the three other exotic felines will be calling The Shambala Preserve in Acton, Calif. their new home.

"It takes a lot of coordination and the collaboration and cooperation of many to put together a rescue like this. It takes all of us sanctuaries coming together to do the right thing for these animals, to really give them an opportunity for a new life,"says Brink.

This rescue is the third rescue mission in three consecutive months for LTB .  LTB is the only accredited sanctuary in the United States that has a fully-self contained animal transport hauler with features including: onboard first aid (for both animals and humans), an anesthesia machine, running water, air-conditioning, fans,  tools, capture equipment and safety transport cages. This hauler is the safest and least stress-inducing way to transport inherently dangerous wild animals like lions, tigers and bears.

Since 2012, Brink and her rescue team have successfully relocated over 60 captive big cats (lions, tigers, cougars) and bears out of Ohio, to reputable sanctuaries across the United States, more than any other sanctuary or transporter. Each animal was provided baseline medical examinations and transport to lifetime homes at reputable sanctuaries.

Lions Tigers & Bears (LTB) is a federally and state licensed non-profit 501(c)(3) rescue facility dedicated to providing a safe haven to abused and abandoned exotic animals while inspiring an educational forum to end the exotic animal trade. LTB is a NO KILL, NO BREED and NO SELL facility that allows the animals in its care the opportunity to live out their lives with dignity in a caring and safe environment. LTB is one of few sanctuaries in the United States with the highest level of accreditation from the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries and the American Sanctuary Association.

For more information or to make a donation to help care for the animals at LTB, please visit or call (619) 659-8078.


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Get your facts straight!!!

How can you even begin to start spouting all thus when you don't even know who the rightful owner is...... these cats were stolen from Mike Stapleton who takes better care of his cats than any zoo.... his cats were not stuck to 10x10 cells like they were with the oda. How can you even condone such abuse of animals and then blame it on the one person who ACTUALLY cared for them? Did you know they murdered Kenny Hendricks Leo the lion? He died in a cold cell alone, confused, and in pain because the ripped him from the only home he has ever known and was deprived of medications that kept him healthy, and then disolved his body in acid to cover up all the sores from the neglect and abuse he had to go through while In the care of the oda.... don't believe me? Do what your paid to do and actually do some real journalism that doesn't include word for word bullshit from the oda.... they stole these cats and you helped them.....

The lion was put down by the Ohio Dept. of Ag

that seized an older lion in failing health.  While there is controversy over that decision ( that animal was not the subject of our article, which focused on a local San Diego organization.

To clarify, your use of "they" in referencing the lion being put down had nothing to do with Lions, Tigers and Bears or Bobbi Brink.

Here is the necropsy report conducted by a veterinarian with the state of Ohio.  It shows the lion had serious health conditions that obviously predated the seizure by the state. Among other things it was anorexic, had degeneration of five disks, a large mass under its tongue, watery diarrhea, cirrohisis, hepatitis, kidney disease, internal cysts, lesions, and pneumonia. To suggest the state euthanized a healthy animal, or that this lion was well cared for when left to suffer in pain this way, is absurd.  Also hepatitis is a contagious disease which may be why the state chose to dispose of the body in the manner that it did.

I would caution all commenters here to please refrain from any libelous statements and stick with facts or your own opinions, otherwise we will need to restrict comments on this story.



Why does nobody ever verify the validity of these press releases? These animals are not rescues, nor were they voluntarily surrendered, they were basically stolen, the owner forced to sign away rights at gunpoint, or be shot or arrested in which case they would have taken the animals anyways. All thanks to unconstitutional legislation, stripping honest, law-abiding citizens of their rights to their pursuit of happiness. And places like Lies, Tigers, and Bears advocate to push these laws all over the country, lying and manipulating the truth to legislative bodies, much like this farce of an article, and then they are the ones who profit from it all. While Lies, Tigers, and Bears is begging for money to care for these stolen animals, they are sitting on $250,000 they recieved from the state of Ohio to take these animals away. If you have a smidge of integrity or ethics, I would remove this fake story and research the truth and report on that.

What's your source of info on these claims?

The white tiger arrived at its new home at Safe Haven Wildlife (Lions Tigers and Bears merely used their vehicle to transport the tiger).  According to Safe Haven it needs a lot of dental work and the video shows the animal arrived limping - doesn't seem like it was well cared for wherever it was before.

The other three tigers were taken to Shambala preserve in California, which says all three tigers were living in one "small cage" and were confiscated by the state of Ohio: Again, these do not sound like humane conditions. Why would you defend such treatment of these animals when there are better places that can offer them more space, veterinary care and humane treatment?

The Ohio law was passed after an irresponsible owner of many exotic animals in Ohio let them all loose before killing himself. It was night and most wound up shot and killed by authorites to protect the community. So Ohio banned private ownership of these animals. Now they have to go somewhere. If not for groups to transport them to safe havens, they would have to be killed.

Many would argue that "pursuit of happiness" should not include the "right" to keep exotic animals and treat them inhumanely.  I've visited Lions Tigers and Bears many times and seen the deplorable shape many animals were in when they arrived there, and how they thrived in the coming months and years with good veterinary care, TLC and more room to run.

It is simply libel to state that the animals were "stolen"  unless you have proof of that. If you do, send it to me at  If you don't, we'll be removing your comment in the future since our site rules prohibit libelous remarks.






Are you seriously using posts

Are you seriously using posts, updates, and press releases from Safe Have, Shambala and Lies, Tigers, and Bears as source material? They are all part of the overall conspiracy to end exotic animal ownership. It was barely 2 weeks ago that I had to sit and listen to Brinks, and her paid cohorts, fabricated testimony to the Clark County commission to outlaw exotics. I'm not sure if the white tigers condition is from transport or the 6 weeks it was held by the state of Ohio, but it certainly was not in that condition when taken from its original home. Yes, Ohio outlawed ownership over one bad keeper....ONE! Special interest groups, with the sole goal of ending animal ownership, used that single incident as a springboard to push for this over reaching legislation the same as they have been doing sytematically through the entire country. Perhaps 'stolen' is not the right choice of words, but not sure what else you would call it when held at gunpoint and your only options are sign your rights away, be arrested or shot, all with the same end result of them taking your animals without fair due process. Certainly does not sound like America to me. And speaking of libelous statements, you said the constitutional argue does not apply to keeping exotics inhumanely, insinuating that these exotics were kept inhumanely. There are plenty of people out there that keep exotics with better care standards than even these santuaries. If someone could just research all this from an impartial perspective (which you apperantly lack), you would find an entire underworld of corruption, not in the people that keep exotic pets, but in the multi-million dollar 'non-profits' and 'sanctuaries' bent on ending all animal ownership.

See above, we posted links to the state of Ohio


necropsy report on the lion that clearly shows it had many serious conditions, some of which take time to develop.  The animal was far from healthy when seized, whether due to neglect or other reasons I cna't speculate. But for someone to suggest it was "murdered" when the state put down an elderly feeble animal with conditoins ranging from 5 degenerative disks to hepatitis, liver and kidney problems and pneumonia was clearly an exaggeration. I did not suggest "abuse" though perhaps some of these animals were neglected given things like the medical report on the lion. 

What constitutes "humane" treatment is an entire separate discussion. but keeping large animals confined in small cages is of concern to many.  Is it possible some individuals have profited off the new law? Perhaps.  But as for profiteering, there has been a great deal of that in the exotic animal trade for many years and also some clear misuse of these animals. For instance in border states that allow ownership of big cats, they have been used by drug smugglers who hide drugs in tiger or leopard cages knowing Border Patrol agents will be wary of looking too closely. Some use the animals to guard their drug caches, too. I've heard this directly from Border Patrol agents. 


If you actually did your research and investigation you would know the truth and that's what the other person posted. Those "sanctuaries" are being paid to take those animals from the state of ohio. And if you did your research you would know that the tigers taken from Mike Stapleton were in the care of the oda since the 4th or 5th. So yes they were in TINY CAGES AT THE ODA! Mikes cages were more than adequate. We even have the voicemail from Dr forshey at the oda saying ALL HIS CATS WERE IN GOOD HEALTH. Obviously you people get your facts off a facebook page and don't bother to verify the actual facts. Those animals, every single one taken from ohio were in good homes and loved until thrown in the odas facility in 10x10 concrete prison cells. INVESTIGATE BEFORE PUTTING OUT SUCH CRAP, oh and telling someone you're deleting your comment because it goes against your article is pretty low and makes it look like you are sensoring what you want people to see and believe.

Hi Exotic owner

Hi Exotic owner

I would not mind to listen to your side of the story, but creating multiple anonymous accounts and calling an article crap etc...  with no evidence
and very little info is not the way to get people on your side. (who is "We") "We even have the voicemail from Dr forshey"

Take a look at this:

I'm not sure who's cages those are, but your not going to get much sympathy from Californians who see locked up cats in Ohio.

More on caged animals (exoticowner) sorry I need to laugh at your mind set.... LOL

Looking more into Mike Stapleton, he might have a good attitude with the cats but
looks like he is limited in resources and It would be hard to ask the cats "are these cages adequate for you"

here is a news story showing Mike building a bigger cage, but this many many years after he rescued the cats.

In contrast, look at this solar powered Sanctuary in Nevada that offers tours, vets, lots of space.
This is where some of the cats went. If I were a cat.... hmm let me think "Property of  someone in Ohio" (in tiny cage for 15 years)
or Solar powered, environmental enrichment, toured, dedicated facility in Nevada. No webcams though, they could use those.

I am not a big tree hugger, but I am not a Michael Vick fan either. If someone gets on the side of the animals even if its the state
they will have my support and others too. If you want people to hear your message, give it to them. Don't attack a messenger that is trying
to give alternatives to mainstream media.


First off...this is my one

First off...this is my one and only account and I'm sorry you can't grasp the idea of others might have input into this contentious issue. Next, there is absolutely ZERO credibility to any link from PETA or their extremist affiliates. The video of Mike trying to build bigger enclosures had nothing to do with the sufficiency of his current enclosures, but to meet the guidelines of a 'sanctuary' in order to qualify for exemption as he was denied his permits, as was everyone else who applied, due to 'an error' in the application. And finally, I'm not saying there is anything wrong with Safe Haven exempt they are begging for money for upkeep which lends one to believe they can not afford to keep it, and that Brink recieved $250,000 from Ohio...why don't they give some of that for thr upkeep of the animals?

Interesting, thanks for the video.

It appears Stapleton had some good neighbors who tried to help him build a bigger tiger enclosure for the tigers he'd long kept in fairly confined spaces, but Ohio outlawed ownership of tigers by private individuals, so no matter how big a space he built this would not have been legal. So his battle really is with the state of Ohio.

I doubt his claim of a constitutional right to own exotic wild beasts will hold water.  Plenty of states ban ownership of far less dangerous animals, for instance owning ferrets is illegal in New York and California. 

This is a complex issue with many facets.  For instances, the exotic pet trade creates demand for capturing these animals from the wild, where some are endangered or at risk of becoming endangered.  Governments arguable have a role in helping to protect endangered or threatened animals,  to protect the health and safety of animals that are owned by humans, and also to protect the health and safety of the public from potentially dangeorus animals, which is why many states outlaw ownership of lions, cats, bears, etc.