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Statement from LCA Investigator about Tiger Ranch
IMPORTANT STATEMENT FROM FORMER LCA INVESTIGATOR ABOUT TIGER RANCH
The statement below was released yesterday by Mike Winikoff, former Investigator at Last Chance For Animals, who left the organization after the initial evidence on Tiger Ranch (a so-called "cat sanctuary" in Tarentum, PA that was raided and shut down last Thursday evening for animal cruelty) was presented to LCA and ultimately rejected with no clear explanation given.
Voices For Animals of Western PA can only question how a California-based organization, whose founder Chris DeRose had never heard of the establishment until recently, and who had never visited the property when the animals were present, could possibly be in a position to judge the conditions at Tiger Ranch. VFA does not wish to enter into a conflict of opinion with another animal rights organization, notably since we do not know the position of all remaining LCA staff on this issue. Once again, we would ask everyone to wait and judge by the evidence as it is presented.
"I was working for Last Chance for Animals when the initial complaints about Tiger Ranch came in to the office. I was assigned to conduct a preliminary investigation, which I did. I concluded that there was evidence of horrible suffering at Tiger Ranch, and requested authorization to conduct a more thorough investigation. My request was approved but then abruptly withdrawn. I've never fully understood why LCA pulled me off of that investigation. After I left LCA, I continued to look into Tiger Ranch and became more and more convinced that the allegations were valid. As a 20-year veteran of the animal rights movement, including a decade as an undercover investigator, I remain convinced that Tiger Ranch deserved to be closed and investigated for animal cruelty. I believe that our mission as animal advocates is to prevent and alleviate suffering wherever it occurs, even when the suffering is created by those who may be trying to do good things for animals.
I do not believe that good intentions absolve us of the consequences of our actions. That applies both to Tiger Ranch and the people who dumped cats there without fully investigating their likely fate."
Voices for Animals of Western Pennsylvania
Post Office Box 7181
Pittsburgh, PA 15213