Can you imagine having hundreds of cats? Craig Grant can because he does; approximately 600 or more actually. He is the founder of Caboodle Ranch, a nonprofit cat rescue in Lee, Florida that sits on 30 acres of a tree farm. If you’re wondering how one man came to own over 600 cats, it started because he had to take care of one when he didn’t like cats in the first place.
He was living with his son and his son’s cat, Pepper. His son moved out and couldn’t take Pepper so he left her with his dad. After starting to grow on each other, Pepper got pregnant, had five kittens and Craig decided to keep them. Unfortunately, the neighbors started to get upset and the cats were faced with neighborhood dangers.
After seeing an ad for property for sale on a tree farm 100 miles away, Craig visited the property and loved it. In November 2003, he moved into an office trailer on the property and had eleven cats. He’s expanded a little since then. In addition to hundreds more cats, there are also little cat houses all over including those in the shape of a church, a Wal-Mart, City Hall, a guard shack and various other adorable small structures. In an entry on their blog dated August 16, 2010, they were working on a yellow paved path and a new fresh water pond in addition to other projects. There is currently a five foot chain link fence surrounding seven acres of the ranch, which is being expanded. This helps keep wild animals, such as coyote, away from the cats.
In order for the cats to be a part of the ranch, they must be up to date on their shots and be fixed. Starting out, Craig used all of his own money to get Caboodle Ranch up and running. He became a non-profit and Caboodle Ranch accepts donations. For each cat, there is a donation fee of $150 which goes toward the care of the animal. If you want to bring your cat but cannot afford the fee, you are allowed to volunteer to compensate.
No cat is turned away. Craig has taken in cats that were found wandering the streets, starving, injured and some from shelters. You’ve heard horror stories before about how some people treat animals; imagine the stories he has heard since Caboodle Ranch was established. The cats at Caboodle Ranch are not up for adoption. They live there the rest of their lives.
Craig lives at the ranch, but travels 250 miles round trip to and from work several times a week. Considering the amount of cats, even though he has volunteers, the ranch is also more than a full time job. They have a vet frequently visit the ranch. They also have the approval of the local Animal Control as well as the Tallahassee Humane Society.
I heard about Caboodle Ranch from an article on planetgreen.com and the comments in response to the article were quite…colorful. Some aren’t very supportive but the majority of the comments support Craig Grant and his work at Caboodle Ranch. While some think he’s crazy, many think he’s amazing for putting in so much time and effort to help cats that would otherwise probably be dead or alone.
If you are interested in helping Caboodle Ranch, in addition to monetary donations, they accept material donations, which you can find a list of what they can use on the site. According to the site, they also can use the help of volunteers.
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