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APHIS: Rescuing Suffering Animals

Apollo after

Apollo the tiger after being confiscated by APHIS

Each year, APHIS protects millions of animals nationwide that are covered by the Animal Welfare Act (AWA).  The Act, and accompanying regulations developed by APHIS, set Federal standards of care for animals that are bred at the wholesale level, used in research, transported commercially, or exhibited to the public.  Under the law, APHIS has the authority and obligation to confiscate any AWA-regulated animal that is in a condition of unrelieved suffering.

When APHIS inspectors identify a suffering animal, they intervene quickly on its behalf and make sure the animal gets the care it needs.  First, inspectors will clearly explain to the owner what needs to be done, such as requiring the facility’s veterinarian to tend to an injury or health issue, and then set a short deadline — usually 24 hours — for when corrective action must be taken.  Under the AWA, if proper care is not provided by the deadline, APHIS must ensure that the animal is taken to a facility where it will receive humane care according to Federal standards.

While confiscations are rare — APHIS has conducted nine in the past 3 years — they require a great deal of planning, effort, and teamwork to be successful.  “It becomes a flurry of activity, and it’s pretty intense,” says Dr. Laurie Gage, APHIS’ field specialist for large cats.

APHIS Animal Care handles the logistics of animal confiscations, such as locating a new home for the animal and transporting it there.  USDA’s Office of General Counsel establishes the legal basis for the operation and advises APHIS officials every step of the way.  APHIS’ Investigative and Enforcement Services and USDA’s Office of Inspector General provide security and, when necessary, arrange for a law enforcement presence at the confiscation site to see that the operation goes safely for all involved.

Even though they know how emotionally intense and difficult the job will be, USDA confiscation team members work together to get the suffering animal away from its present situation and bring it to a better place.  It’s a mission that’s every bit as rewarding as it is challenging.

“It’s incredible to put everything into motion,” says APHIS’ Animal Care inspector Lori Linn. “You hardly sleep for days before a confiscation.  You think through everything and then you double-think it… And then — it’s great. You see pictures of the animals in their new homes, and you see how healthy they are.  It’s amazing.”

Kahn before

Kahn before being confiscated by APHIS

Kahn after

Kahn after being confiscated by APHIS

Apollo before

Apollo before being confiscated by APHIS

Apollo after

Apollo after being confiscated by APHIS

8 Responses to “APHIS: Rescuing Suffering Animals”

  1. velma jeffries says:

    THIS IS DISGUSTJNG PLEASE DO SOME THING ABOUT THIS THEY ARE STARVING TO DEATH . I CANT BE LIVE ANY HUMAN CAN BE THIS CUREL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. SKY WILLIAMSON says:

    Sky Williamson February 2 at 11:32pm WELL I HAVE TO BE HONEST MARTINA- YOUR COMMENT IS COMPLETELY ACCURATE! “Martina Oaten The hypocrisy of the USDA is hysterical. Until you take Tony the Truck Stop Tigers case seriously and actually do something about it, you are just as worthless as every other Govt agency. It’s not as if Tonys plight has not been brought to your attention repeatedly, who do you think you are kidding?”

    I WAS SHOCKED WHEN I SAW THIS BLOG POST. I CAN NOT BELIEVE THAT THE USDA HAS THE AUDACITY {bold courage; daring; shameless or brazen boldness; insolence} TO POST ON THE INTERNET THAT YOU ACTUAL “SAVE” SO MANY ANIMALS.
    THAT IS A COMPLETELY FALSE STATEMENT WHICH SHOWS HOW CORRUPT THE USDA REALLY IS.

    YOU ARE NO BETTER THAN THE PEOPLE LIKE MICHAEL SANDLIN AT TIGER TRUCK STOP THAT IS ALLOWING TONY TO DIE SLOWLY AT 10 YEARS OLD AS I’M TYPING THIS COMMENT.

    YOU HAVE ALLOWED HIM TO KEEP HIS PUBLIC DISPLAY OF ANIMAL CRUELTY SINCE THE LATE 8O’S RENEWING HIS LICENSE YEAR AFTER YEAR.

    HOW DARE YOU POST ON THE INTERNET SUCH BOLD LIES. YOU THINK PEOPLE ARE IGNORANT BUT THERE ARE EVEN MORE ANIMALS LIKE TONY THAT YOU HAVE ALLOWED TO SUFFER UNTIL THEIR DEATH.

    YOU ARE A USELESS GOVERNMENT AGENCY BECAUSE IT IS EXTREMELY RARE THAT YOU ACTUALLY HELP ANY ANIMALS.
    YOU CARE AS MUCH AS ALL THESE ABUSERS THAT CONTINUE TO GET A USDA LICENSE YEAR AFTER YEAR.
    YOU’RE AN INBARESMENT TO THE UNITED STATES BECAUSE ALL YOU DO IS FAIL AT YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES. YOU ARE NO BETTER THAN THE ABUSERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    YOU ARE DISCREDITABLE FRAUDULENT LIERS BECAUSE YOU “ALLOW” ALL OF THIS ANIMAL CRUELTY TO CONTINUE.
    SHAME ON YOU!
    WHEN TONY DIES HIS BLOOD JUST LIKE THOUSANDS OF OTHER INNOCENT ANIMALS THAT HAD DIES ARE ON YOUR HANDS BECAUSE YOU COWARD DOWN TO PEOPLE LIKE MICHAEL SANDLIN!!!!!
    DO YOUR JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    TAKE A GOOD LOOK AT TONY AT TIGER TRUCK STOP AND YOU HAVE DONE NOTHING.

    YOU HAVE RECEIVED THOUSANDS OF COMPLAINTS ABOUT THIS AND THERE HE SITS SUFFERING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. SKY WILLIAMSON says:

    FYI:
    I HAVE TAKEN SCREEN SHOTS OF MY COMMENT SO DON’T YOU DARE DELETE IT AS YOU HAVE ALL THE OTHER COMMENTS BECAUSE YOU DON’T WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW THE TRUTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. Karen Deakins says:

    That is pretty awesome what you have done for the animals above. Now where are you in getting help to Tony??? You know, the tiger languishing at Tiger Truck Stop in Grosse Tete, Louisiana? The same tiger that has been reported to you many times from across the globe. I am not sure what to say about your inspector for that district…

  5. Dawn Flann says:

    I sit here and look at the before and after pictures….and although I am glad these creatures were Rescued….If they in fact were rescued by you the USDA…
    ..and then my thoughts go to TONY THE TRUCKSTOP TIGER. Ten years you have known about him am I correct? So you know as well as the Public and the Thousands upon Thousands who have been fighting for this Tiger then….
    Two months ago a Picture was taken of Tony by Jeff Dorson of the Louisiana Humane Society. This picture shows Tony in a Very Frail State. This picture was also shown to Three Pro. Vets and one BigCat Expert..none of them knowing each other BUT once enlarging this picture they have all come to the same conclusion that, it appears Tony is suffering from Kidney Failure..I ask you today~WHY HAVEN’T YOU INTERVENED WHERE THIS TIGER IS CONCERNED??? Or is it the same old Story…another corrupt Organization, like the STATE OF LOUISIANA….Even Tony’s own Vet refuses to give him an Examination after all the pleas upon seeing this last picture of Tony. What will it take for you all to realize? HIS DEATH PERHAPS?????
    Take a good look at TONY TODAY~

    http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=324568&id=509497027&l=9d5410b123

  6. Lori Gagen says:

    To all of you who are throwing stones at the USDA for your perceived lack of efforts, I wonder if you know the laws? Do you contribute funds to any non-profit, legitimate sanctuariea who offer permanent refuge to the animals when USDA does confiscate them? As a sanctuary director I know how frustrating the “process” is, however I also know that so many people who mean well don’t know the laws or what it takes to ultimately place any of these animals. It is a slow process largely because there are no “magic” solutions to rehome them – - – PLEASE, if you haven’t already, choose a legitimate sanctuary and donate. They need your help to help these animals, which ultimately helps USDA do their job as well. Professional Animal Retirement Center, Inc., d/b/a Black Pine Animal Sanctuary. 33-1020728. Thank you for your continued efforts to help Tony and others in need!

  7. Jo Daniels says:

    Tony the tiger’s recent deteriorating health and weight loss are not down to being fed less food. Tony is obviously very ill and the veterniarian is going to wait untiil May to do blood tests? This is so wrong. This is also unlawful on all parts. What is going to be done to help Tony and let him live out any time he has left in peace and dignity?

  8. Jo Kingston says:

    I have been made aware of Tony the Tiger and am researching this situation. I am aware that this issue is now getting worldwide coverage and USDA and the State of Louisiana look totally inadequate. I believe that the USDA and other relevant authorities are neglecting their duties to the Tiger. One must therefore question ‘why?’

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