In case it wasn’t obvious already, some people will do anything to get their hands on exotic animals. Many times that means stealing the animals from their natural habitat, spending quite a bit of money to purchase an animal from the illegal wildlife trade, and sometimes the plan is even more deceitful, with groups opening pseudo-sanctuaries so that they can acquire wildlife animals and use them as they please. While the corruption in these operations may not be apparent at first, at some point or another, they decide to do something that, as animal lovers, we know no reputable organization would do.

Carson Springs Wildlife Conversation Foundation is sadly one of these groups. Although the foundation is home to several wild animals, they often breed their exotic cats and exploit them by taking them off-site and allowing them to be handled by the public. Just recently, the “conservation foundation” announced a fundraising event on their Facebook. Raising money for their animals seems nice … until you realize that they’re bringing their exotic kittens along with them as a shameless money-raising gimmick. Worse yet, the kittens won’t be in a cage, separate from the masses present at Paramount Grill restaurant for the fundraiser. Nope, they will be passed around so that guests can meet and hold them.

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The fact that Carson Springs is bringing these kittens to the event as if they were props highlights the level of concern for the animals’ wellbeing. These kittens are not objects, they are living creatures who surely don’t want to be passed around a room, met with prodding hands and gawked at. Exotic cat advocacy group and legitimate big cat rescue and rehabilitation sanctuary, Big Cat Rescue, reached out to the owner of Paramount Grill, Clif Nelson, several times to explain that Carson Springs was not a “true sanctuary” and that they should not participate in their gimmick. Big Cat Rescue also reached out to Carson Springs but was met with nothing but a threatening attorney statement.

As with many things in life, sometimes the only thing you can do is play your part in raising awareness. If this issue upsets you, click here and take a moment to let Clif Nelson and Paramount Grill know that big cat lovers do not want to see exotic cats exploited at off-site events. It is our duty to stand up for these defenseless kitties!

Lead image source: Carson Springs Wildlife Conservation Foundation/Facebook