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Animal Cruelty Near My Own Hometown…..

Moulton is a small town of 3,000 people located in northern Alabama. It’s less than an hour from the town where I grew up. The people are friendly, church-going conservatives.

And it’s the home to horrific animal cruelty.

.

Meet Carolyn Atchison. For a decade, she contracted with Lawrence County, Alabama, to operate the holding facility for the county’s animal control services. In return she received $70,000 a year, use of and gasoline for a county truck, and a cell phone. She lost her contract in 2013.

She’s also the owner of Animal House Zoo, a backyard zoo housing all sorts of exotic animals. She used to have a USDA license to own exotic animals, and in 2004 owned 29 tigers. Her license wasn’t renewed in 2006 because of violations of the Animal Welfare Act.

What do these two things have in common? Simply put, she used to feed the dogs and cats from the shelter holding facility to the big cats she kept in the zoo. 

When rescue groups went to Atchison’s property to remove the county’s remaining shelter dogs and cats, they saw evidence of the horrific treatment of the animals. A leopard had a huge gash on him, and the rescuers were told it was caused by a doberman placed in the cage for the leopard to eat, but the dog first put up a fight. 

There are other photos that show how horrible the gash truly is, but I didn't want to gross you all out.

As awful as this photo is, there are other photos that show how horrible the gash truly is, but I didn’t want to gross you all out. (PHOTO: 911animalabuse.com)

This leopard died, but not before languishing for almost a year. He received no vet care. And no government agency intervened, though the USDA, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the local sheriff were informed of what was going on there. 

Big Cat Rescue tried to get Atchison to surrender the leopard to them so they could provide care, but she refused. Since the leopard’s death, she has surrendered Mickey, a lame cougar. Vets with BCR have determined Mickey has been lame for over a year because both knees have torn ACLs so that they buckle when he tried to walk. Mickey also had rotted teeth and infected gums. They aren’t sure yet if they can treat Mickey’s knees; they’re awaiting further test results. 

This is Mickey. His knee ligaments are torn, and, as a result, he's been lame for approximately a year.

This is Mickey. His knee ligaments are torn, and, as a result, he’s been lame for approximately a year. (PHOTO used with permission from bigcatrescue.org)

Carolyn Atchison still has two tigers, two bears, wolves and lemurs in her care, though she is said to be suffering from dementia.

There is no government agency that will step in to help these animals, and rescuers can only take the animals if Atchison surrenders them. Atchison has agreed to surrender the wolves and one of bears, but, as of yet, there’s no rescue found that can take them.

Dear readers, THIS is why we need federal legislation to regulate the ownership of exotic animals. This woman’s horrific treatment of animals has gone on for years, and it was bankrolled by local tax dollars, entrance fees, and tax-deductible donations. Now the community that made this tragedy possible has turned a blind eye to the few remaining animals left behind. 

What can you do to help these poor creatures? Truth be told, there’s not much that can be done. Unless and until Atchison is deemed incompetent, she alone is allowed to make decisions about their well-being- or lack thereof.

However, there ARE things you can to do stop others from creating these ridiculous backyard zoos:

  • Donate money to Big Cat Rescue and other legitimate rescue groups that care for animals such as this.
  • DO NOT pay to pet exotic animals or to tour backyard zoos.
  • Support legislation to end the personal ownership of exotic animals.
  • If you live in the US, write your elected officials using StopBigCatAbuse dot com, and tell them where you stand. 

Most importantly, don’t assume this is an isolated case. With more tigers held in captivity than living in the wild, stories such as this one are all too common. 

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About Rumpy's Kitty Siblings

Rumpy has gone on from this plane. We, his kitty siblings,continue to blog about animal welfare- and other things- at rumpydog.com in his stead. You can follow us on Twitter - @RumpyDog. And don't forget to LIKE our Facebook page! Thanks!

Discussion

123 thoughts on “Animal Cruelty Near My Own Hometown…..

  1. We read about this on Big Cat Rescue! We were very saddened by this terrible thing.

    Posted by Dennis Rogers | August 25, 2014, 2:41 PM
    • I can’t believe how awful it all is Dennis.

      Posted by rumpydog | August 25, 2014, 2:57 PM
    • I went to this womans house years ago (about 1990). My ex-husbands property was in front of their property. I remember meeting her husband and he invited us in to show us something. My husband and I looked surprised but, took him up on it. Inside, down a hall from their kitchen, he opened a door.R
      unning up to us were these beautiful little leopard kittens.I have not forgotten how precious those kittens were and wanted to be loved on (seem tamed). I heard about this woman and how she fed the exotics. And I also remember how her husband appeared scared of her. Its the first and only time I met Carolyn.
      I’m just saying, if her husband appeared scared… then what did he know in 1990? This is a sad situation and something needs to happen! Get those animals away from her!

      Posted by Connie | August 26, 2014, 1:05 PM
      • Thanks for speaking up, Connie. Apparently we have some trolls who don’t believe me. Not surprising, yet still incredibly sad.

        Posted by rumpydog | August 26, 2014, 1:16 PM
    • This is abuse pure and simple and if she has dementia she is not capable of caring for these beautiful animals. What are they going to do, wait til one of them attacks her and then they have to put the animal down. Baker Act her and save the animals!!

      Posted by Rosemarie Mohr | August 27, 2014, 6:55 AM
    • I worked for Carolyn in or around 1991/92 ish …and helped her in 2006……I could not believe the decline and the monies she received were not going to the well beings of the animals. She had face lifts while pens and animals went on the decline. I was told the zoo had closed and the exotics that remained were just pets. The pound upset me so much…I cried and could not go in it. I couldn’t tell if she was mentally loosing it or closing up. That leopard was probly put beside a dog….I know she did that once, and I took the dog home with me, because I was afraid he would get hurt. She was feeding the dog raw chicken !! So he had heart worms…which I treated when I took him. I am so glad someone stopped her. In the beginning the zoo had bear pools, water misters, and plenty of help… I was in shock when I returned years later. Will their be a prosecution ? Will there be a charge on abuse ? I will provide more information if needed….thank you

      Posted by Ms M | February 21, 2015, 3:40 PM
  2. WTF!!! This is insane.

    Posted by The Persecution of Mildred Dunlap | August 25, 2014, 3:09 PM
    • And yet, it is oh, so real. The zoo’s web site claims the place was started as a front for the feds to investigate the black market sale of animals. How ironic that she claims to abhor animal cruelty, and yet here she is doing things just as bad, if not worse.

      Posted by rumpydog | August 25, 2014, 3:10 PM
  3. I don’t actually know which part of this post is more horrific 😦 How is it that this woman won’t for in prison for the rest of her life? Humans disappoint me ever so much.

    Posted by bumpyroadtobubba | August 25, 2014, 3:58 PM
    • Probably because no one wants to be stuck caring for the animals.

      Posted by rumpydog | August 25, 2014, 4:12 PM
      • There is in fact an incredible woman caring for the animals in Lawrence County. She would send people to this nightmare place to pull animals and take them to her pro-life/no-kill shelter where she vets them and cares for them and gets them adopted. She has asked for the shelter contract every year knowing what Carolyn Atchison does to the animals, but unfortunately the city commissioners laugh at this older lady named Bobbie Taylor while making a mockery of her and ignore the amazing work she has done and still does at this very moment. Basically the commissioners in office right now have fought against Ms. Taylor and refused to acknowledge her work in helping the animals in Lawerence county, but she keeps on helping these animals and struggles every month with barely any funds to save these beautiful animals. It is shameful that these commissioners want to build a center block building by the landfill so the can dispose of the animal that are euthanized easily. This is not an exaggeration. There is a documentary being made about Bobbie Taylor that has been in the works for the last two years entitled BOBBIE TAYLOR’S DREAM.

        Posted by Admin | August 27, 2014, 11:10 AM
    • I too am disappointed that people that can and should step up to the plate won’t. They are no better than Ms Atchison in my opinion. In the real world, even if you are just along for the ride and someone gets murdered, you are charged also – even though you did not commit the crime you had the opportunity to prevent it. These organizations should be treated accordingly. In Canada, the S.P.C.A. can and do have these people charged with animal cruelty and they immediately remove all the animals that were in their care. Doesn’t the A.S.P.C.A. have the same clout? As for the rest of the people in town, get your heads out of the sand and do something! You are now painted with the same brush as this crazy lady!

      Posted by carol wiggins | August 26, 2014, 9:41 PM
  4. Very sad by what I’ve read and seen there must be something done about the matter!

    Posted by temitayomiyoshiseun | August 25, 2014, 4:22 PM
  5. This post made me cry. I feel so sad and so angry.

    Posted by Megan @ My Very Veggie Blog | August 25, 2014, 4:25 PM
  6. This makes my blood boil and makes me feel ashamed to be part of the human race. We need to change the laws in order to help animals in this kind of situation.

    Posted by Barbara | August 25, 2014, 4:59 PM
  7. We need a face book link so this can be shared.

    Posted by Audrey Hill | August 25, 2014, 5:40 PM
  8. This kind of story infuriates me and breaks my heart. WHY WON’T PEOPLE BE RESPONSIBLE?

    Posted by Kimberley@Black Dog Runs Disney | August 25, 2014, 7:11 PM
    • Remember, it’s not about my responsibilities, it’s about my rights! That’s all we hear in the news and from our politicians. We have the right to be as irresponsible and selfish as we want.

      Posted by rumpydog | August 26, 2014, 5:51 AM
  9. What? Definitely a conflict of interest with that woman. Some states have cronyism/ buddy-buddy systems that are hard to fight – especially from out of state.
    The only way to fight these kind of places/people is to shine light on them when they are discovered. Your blog is a big force with that.
    As you say, this isn’t the only person/ place/isolated incident. And like you say, research is necessary before throwing support behind a group.
    Big Cat Rescue is a good organization. They need big numbers of people willing to stand with them and support them.
    Meanwhile, check state laws. Locate decision makers and power brokers in your state and go see them armed with facts.
    Go Rumpy, Keep barking to motivate!

    Posted by philosophermouseofthehedge | August 25, 2014, 7:27 PM
    • And there are other good organizations out there fighting the good fight. But for every good one, there are dozens of not-so-good ones. This zoo may have started out with good intentions, but with only one cook stirring the pot, eventually the cook will forget the pot’s on the stove and the food will burn.

      Posted by rumpydog | August 26, 2014, 5:53 AM
  10. It breaks my heart! Thank you for publishing it.

    Posted by Mrs Bushranger | August 25, 2014, 8:45 PM
  11. So heartbreaking! Especially when it’s so close to home. Sending purrs and purrayers. XOXO

    Posted by prancer pie | August 25, 2014, 10:05 PM
    • It’s incredible that this has gone on for so long and no one has done anything about it….. there have been pleas to government agencies, local, state, and federal, and no one will do anything.

      Posted by rumpydog | August 26, 2014, 5:55 AM
  12. If you eat meat, you contribute to animal cruelty every single day!! I hope all the people outraged by this article are vegetarians, because if you’re not you contribute to the pain, suffering, and untimely death of THOUSANDS of animals. At least be honest with yourself.

    Posted by Kara | August 26, 2014, 12:29 AM
  13. You can end this sort of abuse across the nation by sending a quick and easy form letter to lawmakers at Stop Big Cat Abuse . com

    Posted by bigcatrescue | August 26, 2014, 6:31 AM
  14. This is disgusting! I can’t believe people think they should be allowed to treat animals this way! This is no-ones “right”!

    Posted by Tanja Pirttilä | August 26, 2014, 6:38 AM
  15. Oh no…this is very terrible….awful….In fact…I couldn’t look at the first picture…..it scared me….I still remember the scene of the picture…..I’m so sorry…this has happen in real…..

    Posted by eripanwkevin | August 26, 2014, 9:59 AM
  16. How very very sick. I think I’m going to puke. Those poor poor animals. 😥

    Posted by Nature by Dawn | August 26, 2014, 10:46 AM
  17. HOW OLD IS THIS STORY? APPARENTLY SHE HASNT HAD THE CONTRACT FOR 4 YEARS! THE REASON I’M SCREAMING IS BECAUSE IM FROM MOULTLON ALTHOUGH I DO NIT LIVE THWRE NOW! I POSTED IT UN ON MY FB PAGE BECAUSE THE GOOD PEOPLE IF LAWRENCE COUNTY WOULD WANT TO KNOW… ONLY TO BE CORRECTED AND INFORMWD THAT THIS IS NOT A CURRWNT STORY. WHY WOULD ACT THIS WAY?? I WILL NEVER PIST AGAIN WITHOUT CONFIRMING THE SOURCE. Thank you!

    Posted by Montgomery | August 26, 2014, 10:47 AM
    • Sorry for the typos… This is from my phone:-/

      Posted by Montgomery | August 26, 2014, 10:49 AM
      • You didn’t read the post, did you? If you did, you’d know it’s still VERY relevant today. As for attention whore, if the shoe fits…..

        Posted by rumpydog | August 26, 2014, 12:08 PM
      • I read the post all the way through. However, there are better ways of raising awareness than out right lying! Have you ever been to this place? Do you even care what you say?? Treating this incident as current, is fraud. You don’t have to be a hack writer to post this story as factual and in the past. BUT, when you don’t reference sources or a time line I call you an embarrassment to the people actually doing good for animals and the community…. I said don’t be an “attention whore” because you were bragging how your post went viral!! ALL IM SAYING IS THAT YOU COULD BE MORE FORTHCOMING WITH ALL THE FACTS INCLUDING TIMELINE!

        Posted by Montgomery | August 26, 2014, 12:43 PM
      • The timeline is that she currently has no domestic animals in her home that I’m aware of. She lost her contract with the county in 2013 and the animals were removed then. She does, however, as I pointed out, still have animals on her property. These are the animals I am concerned about. Have I made myself clear? Or do you still want to argue with me?

        Posted by rumpydog | August 26, 2014, 1:14 PM
      • In fact, it appears there are still dogs and cats at Atchison’s place. And lemurs.

        Posted by jennybird | June 26, 2015, 6:04 PM
    • She lost her contract in 2013. You can Google that and find out for yourself. I found it in the Decatur Daily.

      Posted by rumpydog | August 26, 2014, 1:15 PM
    • This is making the news now in Florida because Big Cat Rescue JUST took in one of the cats last month.

      Posted by Kathleen | September 13, 2014, 1:19 PM
  18. i am saddened by this post. hope and pray someone can help soon.

    Posted by an uncommon girl | August 26, 2014, 10:51 AM
  19. Oh my god… This is just terrible 😦

    Posted by Marc-André | August 26, 2014, 10:59 AM
  20. It’s horrible. I’m glad that to own exotic animals is not allowed here or just under strictly requirements. I hope this case will open the eyes of the officials that they pass a law what protects exotic animals.

    Posted by easyweimaraner | August 26, 2014, 11:42 AM
  21. What you are doing with this post is creating awareness, a way for the conversation to begin, a way for thoughtful action such as writing letters. Now that I know about it, I have a way to begin. You are keeping the conversation going. Thank you.
    Karen

    Posted by KM Huber | August 26, 2014, 12:11 PM
  22. Oh my dog….how horrid!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

    Posted by Jenna,Mark “HuskyCrazed” Drady | August 26, 2014, 12:16 PM
  23. This is a load of BS. I have been there multiple times. She took great care of these large animals. This is a crock of bs spun by the psycho lady that wanted and got the contract. Enough lies always seems to get their way now days. It had been proven false many times.

    Posted by Phil-- GBHS | August 26, 2014, 12:55 PM
  24. Question???? Could this post not be considered slander??? If no sources are cited???? Can we contact WordPress about this?? Or the authorities??? How can you smear someone like this without a trial, jury, or conviction??? Not even a genuine newspaper article! I mean, aren’t people prosecuted for animal cruelty when you are at this level??? What tha… ? I’m open to explanations for both the article and the “zoo”.

    Posted by Montgomery | August 26, 2014, 1:16 PM
  25. I promise to read the information but, can’t at this very moment. Thank you for those sources…

    Thes are very serious allegations. I don’t know if losing her permit is the same as the cruelty you shared in your original post. But, cruelty ang neglect are , of course, unacceptable!

    As you probably know, animal cruelty is a CLASS C FELONY in Alabama. So, if she were as guilty as you make out, she would/should be in jail. Then again, it has to be proven….

    Posted by Montgomery | August 26, 2014, 1:40 PM
    • It also has to be pursued by law enforcement. It’s my understanding it hasn’t been, but that is what I’ve been told, not what I know.

      Posted by rumpydog | August 26, 2014, 2:37 PM
    • I would urge you to read the information- and look at the photos posted which are pretty obvious- before YOU make so many “serious allegations” and “slander” those who are trying to educate the public that it does happen, the laws are not sufficient, and enforcement is not guaranteed. If you really want to help against animal cruelty, choose your battles- the writers here are the good guys, not that poor sick woman who kept these big cats in torturous conditions.

      Posted by Cindy | August 26, 2014, 9:51 PM
      • Torturous conditions? How many times did you visit? Also I wish that the wonderful posting this stuff who don’t even live nearby would research that the courts apologized for the allegations.

        Posted by Phil | August 27, 2014, 7:42 AM
  26. This is so sad and disturbing..

    Posted by Mother Hen | August 26, 2014, 3:53 PM
  27. Although I don’t live that far from Moulton I have never been to this place!! I am right now saddened and enraged!!! I am going to write to the governor of Alabama and express my disappointment that no one has done anything for these poor animals!! I see on the news quite often about people being arrested for animal cruelty!!! Why is this not the same???? I am an avid animal lover and I can’t let this go without trying to do something!!! Maybe send this to the newspaper and news channels!!! Ugh! My heart is breaking for these animals!!!

    Posted by Denise Key | August 26, 2014, 4:16 PM
  28. I understand how you feel, i worked at this zoo for 10years back before all of the problems. I never had one animal mistreated while i was there, but i cannot answer as to what happened after i left many years ago. I will tell you i was out there about 9 months ago and the animals that were left were all in good shape, they had been fed none of them were starving and no wounds that i could see. I have known carolyn for many years and a lot of what she told people were lies and she is now in a serious state of dementia and she will not give up the rest of these animals. What you dont however understand is she has tried to give many of them to other zoos and they will not take them due to their age. What she has left are the ones that are the oldest that nobody will take. Nobody is going to step in and take those animals from her as much as she needs to get rid of them due to the fianacial burden. If you find someone who will take elderly big cats and bears then you let me know and i will be glad to see if i can convince her to let them go. If you want to do so much than you get on the phone and you try and find someone who will take them because i have tried very hard and cannot find anyone that would take them at their age. I agree exotic pet ownership must stop but that is something that will take many more unfortunate accidents with humans to make happen because the government does not care about animal welfare.

    Posted by Jennifer | August 26, 2014, 4:41 PM
    • Here is Louisiana there is a rescue called Wings of Hope. Leslie is the director. Maybe she can take them in and help them.

      Posted by Darleen Watts | August 26, 2014, 5:36 PM
    • Thank you Jennifer for your clarity and comments. Having worked there, and the tone of your comment, I have no problem believing what you say. You are amazing for taking the time to share your experience and your view of the present situation. I hope both the animals and Carolyn find health and peace as they continue to live. Maybe Jenny/rumpydog can update her post for a call to action! Maybe this post can do more good by shining a light on the fact these animals still need homes. If one is offered, I hope tht your connection there can convince Carolyn, despite the dementia. Bless you and anyone who confronts this situation with hope instead of hate. In not upholding any wrong doing they may have happened but please, Jenny/rumpydog, use this platform and opportunity to move forward in the best way possible. Good Luck!!

      Posted by Montgomery | August 26, 2014, 6:15 PM
      • Oh, so I have to provide proof beyond a reasonable doubt, Jennifer can make a comment with no proof and you believe her? Methinks I smell a troll.

        Posted by rumpydog | August 26, 2014, 7:17 PM
      • If you people took so good care of the animals, why did she lose her USDA licence? I mean, lots of awful places still have that licence. It’s takes quite a lot to lose one, don’t you think?

        Posted by Tanja Pirttilä | August 26, 2014, 11:23 PM
      • I can provide pictures of when i worked there, i have nothing to hide, i said i used to work there and i can only account for what happened when i was there. I work for a judge now and there is no need to call me a troll. I can prove i worked there, i am just asking you to step up and find someone who will take the older animals and all you can do is call names.

        Posted by Jennifer | August 28, 2014, 9:24 AM
    • Thank you Jennifer! I also worked there and knew Carolyn personally and this article is a bunch of bs! She always put her animals before herself and never fed dogs or shelter pets to them! She called me even one time to take in a dog to keep from putting it down! I hope the ones spreading rumors get slapped with slander suit and made to help carol find homes for what she has left there!

      Posted by Susie | August 26, 2014, 6:38 PM
    • Jennifer, if you were there 9 months ago then you probably saw that Mickey was lame. Is that what you call “in good shape?” Was the leopard in “good shape?”

      Posted by rumpydog | August 26, 2014, 7:12 PM
  29. Jenny, yours is one of bitter diatribe. There were never charges filed. You want to be hero by complaining and nothing more. That is my hometown and I have a vested interest in the community. Unlike you, who only seems to care about your blog going viral and you being right. News Flash: if your big cat rescue cared so much l, why didn’t they take the other cats? You’re approach and tone are all wrong. You couldn’t provide information to back up the accusations because you don’t have any. What you do have is a big mouth and fragile ego. If you think that any of us want to see animals abused and communities trashed then I tell you that you are badly mistaken. I gave you a way out of your lies by asking you to do the right thing and bring attention to the fact that this lady has dimentia and there’s a very good chance that the animals left could be re-homed. But all you wanted to do was bash me because I didn’t take your word as the gospel. Jennifer’s approached was a valuable and balanced insight that you pissed away with your negativity. You, safely sit behind her keyboard, making felony accusations, without a drop of journalism integrity. Troll you say? More accusations to cover the fact that you have a lack of intelligence and evidence to support this farce.

    Posted by Montgomery | August 26, 2014, 7:37 PM
  30. Wonderful post. You have passed on a wonderful message too.

    Posted by SARA | August 26, 2014, 8:28 PM
  31. I think there needs to be stronger penalties and agencies governing exotic animals. But to legislation that denies ownership to basically everyone can be dangerous, and will lead to problems homing existing exotic animals. Many Animal Right groups only show the worst case senero, ignoring the thousands of exotocs treated well in private owned. Many agencies failed these animals, and it is disgusting and wrong. How the agencies regulating these animals should be fired.

    I will be honest, I am not a fan of BCR because many of their information is biast, deceitful and geared like PETA and HSUS to make you believe that everyone in whatever industry is heartless and cruel. For instance, their stance on hybrid cats is they are horrible pets wild, aggressive, with behavior and health problems. This is not true, and ridiculous. Most people who own a Savannah or a Bengal will agree. This is just to support their agenda.

    I would be weary of over regulating. Eventually, if BCR has their way, Tigers, lions, and other big cats will not bred in captivity. That is great right!? Well, many of our young people only see big cats in zoos and other places, and this makes them interested in protecting their habitat, and loving cats. Captive cats are often ambassadors for their wild counterparts.

    The ultimate goal of HSUS, BCR and PETA is that there are not any zoos, domesticated animals of any kind. Regulation, more regulation, and is just the start. What about all the responible owners? Again, BCR is going in and on about Tony the Tiger. I worked for animal control. How do you know if an animal is being neglected? It is not being properly fed, given veterinary care, does not have adequate space, is not stimulated. None of that is true in the case of Tony. He has a huge enclosure, is properly fed, given vet care, and all his needs are met. So, wtf!?

    Oh, after big cats, all ready they are going after hybrid cats. My guess it will be pit bulls. PETA already declared war on them. It will be one breed after another…

    Posted by Steffanie Byrnes | August 27, 2014, 12:02 AM
  32. I also worked at the zoo/ shelter when the shelter was first established and started a friends of the shelter organization to help raise funds and host adoption drives, etc. I have to say that during my time there carolyn and her husband always had the well being of the animals first and foremost. She was very strict with the help that the county provided us to make sure that they understood the rules and regulstions that were to be followed. I gave countless tours to all sizes of groups and never had any complaints on animal care or the up keep of the habitats. And more than once carolyn would house newborn or sick animals in her own home to keep them vomfortable and to care for them. And while carolyn may not have been the best people person she always loved and cared for the animals. I have personally seen her get very upset when people would bring in their unwanted pets whether it be a dog, cat, snake, monkey, or iguana, but she would always take them in for fear they might be mistreated if she didnt. We worked very closely with the game wardens there to provide shelter for any wild animals they found that needed care. I can not attest to the conditions of the facility today but I do know that during my time there these accusations were not the case. I sincerely hope that this is not the case now.

    Posted by Randi | August 27, 2014, 12:18 AM
  33. All of this bickering is really sad. It is taking our eyes off of the big picture. A solution needs to be found to solve this horrific situation. Their are animals that need new homes. And a person that has been diagnosed with a serious disease such as Dementia can not take care of any animals of any kind, she is not able to care for her self. So having the animals removed shouldn’t be very difficult with a letter from a Doctor stating what stage she is In and if she is capable of caring for self or others or animals in need. I hope that the writer finds the kind of help that is needed to get the animals to new homes and safe places to call home. If I had money none of this would even be an issue but I’m dirt poor and disabled myself so all I can offer is a small donation and lots of prayer and lighting candles and pray some more. My heart hurts for all of these precious beautiful animals that did nothing to deserve this miserable life they live. The one thing I can not stand is a back yard circus where people abuse and make animals suffer for the thought of entertaining us. Shame on us. Animals were not put on earth to entertain us. When my son was small and in school and asked me to sign a paper so he could go to the circus for a field trip the answer was no and I was bagged as the bitch mother who wouldn’t let her son have any fun! Fun for who, the Elephant who was tortured into doing what he did not want to do because it didn’t come naturally. I could go on for hours but who cares, Circus’s are fun and entertaining and we are bored so make a Tiger jump through a burning hoop and they have a natural fear of fire, So he is tortured with electricity and shocked until he does his trick! Mean people suck! And I have a terrible hatred for people that make a profit from animals. If you wear fur, real fur I hope you are mauled to death by a big black bear because you deserve it. If you make a big kitty your pet and it turns on you oh well, didn’t see that coming. Like the woman that kept Boa Constrictors in her home. The biggest one turned on her and squeezed her to death. Who would have thought that could happen. I have 2 Chihuahua’s that will bite and it surprises me when I tell people please don’t, my dogs bite they laugh it off and still try to pet them! Several have been nipped, no one seriously bitten yet. Leave animals alone where they belong and it wouldn’t be a problem now to find them homes if they were never removed from their natural habitat to start with. When will we learn……….

    Posted by Joe Saenz | August 27, 2014, 2:29 AM
  34. Ghastly – could hardly bear to read your piece. Poor creatures.

    Posted by mrpipponders | August 27, 2014, 2:51 AM
  35. I am from Moulton and as a child went to this “zoo”. Even as a child I realized something was off. Though I didn’t see clear signs of abuse or lack of medical treatment the animals (especially the big cats) lived in small cages their entire lives. I felt sorry for the animals then and even more so having read this. I assumed that it got closed down not long after I left Moulton as I remember reading about it. I had no idea that she still had animals there. This is ridiculous.

    Posted by Laura | August 27, 2014, 6:08 AM
    • you need to look up the definition of small cages, the federal government only mandates a large cat be able to get up and turn around, these cats had twice as much room and some even had bigger enclosures then my first apartment.

      Posted by Jennifer | August 28, 2014, 9:27 AM
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    Posted by filemissile | August 27, 2014, 11:52 AM
  37. Bobbie Taylor in Moulton, Alabama is a hero of the No Kill Animal shelter revolution.

    Posted by Ray | August 27, 2014, 12:09 PM
    • Love this woman, shared on twitter…what’s the status of her shelter?

      Posted by Lisa Pizzato | August 27, 2014, 4:11 PM
      • Hi Liza, After getting no support from Lawrence County to back this pro-life shelter we left behind the idea of putting on a concert there and filmit, instead we are filming a fundraiser concert for her and the Moulton animals in Los Angeles. We have been documenting her for 2 years. I have stayed at the facility when I am there and what she goes through is mindboggling. I know no one else that could do what she does. She has been put down, made a mockery of and lied about. My production team has witnessed this.

        Posted by Admin | September 18, 2014, 1:36 PM
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  39. I dealt with Carolyn on a one-on-one level MANY TIMES. I called her repeatedly to report a resident with a large amount of dogs being neglected. There were even dead puppies lying around the yard being fed on by the hungry dogs. She repeatedly told me, “I know that woman. Ain’t no problem out there.”

    DISGUSTING.

    Posted by Maria | August 27, 2014, 5:43 PM
    • What you are stating about Bobbie Taylor is called defamation, which is a purposeful act to hurt someone’s reputation thru lies and deceit. Bobbie Taylor took this smear campaign that was set up to hurt her and her shelter, thru the court system and all of this was proven to be a lie. You people who helped tell this lie, If you want the truth then call the animal control officer or the Mayor. But I do not think you want the truth. You didn’t then and you still want to cause harm to this lady and ignore the work she does for the animals. If you continue then your declarations will be challenged in the court of law. Honestly, we are sick and tired of this small group of haters who keep trying to rile people up. This woman works herself to the bone to help the Lawerence county animals with no help from the city. It is shameful all the way around. I don’t live there but I am appalled by what I have witnessed.

      Posted by Admin | September 1, 2014, 9:07 PM
      • The only “smearing” is from dogs living in their own feces in tiny wire crates.

        Is this acceptable to you, Admin?

        Photos don’t lie, and neither did the video showing her striking a dog about the head with her closed fists. Some “animal advocate” she must be.

        Posted by jennybird64 | June 26, 2015, 6:33 PM
  40. I was born and raised in Lawrence Country. Even tho I now live in the next county over I still have family and I own a business in Lawrence County. It is true what the article starts and most people know it. There was an undercover video showing animals being thrown to the big cats and abuse. She was stripped of Lawrence County Animal Control. This person was getting $70,000 a year. A lot of this is swept under the rug here because of the locals. Lawrence County commission will not give anything to Ms. Taylor to help with the cause now. I know of Bobbie Taylor and she is a wonderful lady and devotes just about all her personal resources to the rescue cause she runs. I am not kin to Ms. Taylor. She has been to the commission meetings and most of them mock her and degrade her. Lawrence Country is running illegally with out any type of shelter for animals which is in the laws of the state. If you search Lawrence County, Al Commissioners Office you will find out all kind of lawsuits and settlements they have dealt with and a majority of them are because of the commission. Even the state has done some type of audit on them. Some of the comments on here from the locals is just that (hush-hush and deny-deny). What a sad state of affairs we live in this day and time. Our animals need protection just like our citizens. Lord help us and always best America. This is from a devoted animal lover.

    Posted by Lynn | August 28, 2014, 4:06 AM
  41. This is so sickening and yes it is rife all over the world. Why are we humans such uncaring money grabbing. So much evil in this world it makes me weep.

    Posted by willowdot21 | August 28, 2014, 4:17 AM
  42. Rumpy/Jen, please stay resilient…all of this vitriolic commenting can drag you down. Stay healthy, please — you’re doing really good stuff here.

    Posted by Mrs Bushranger | August 28, 2014, 7:54 AM
    • They don’t bother me, my friend. The more people yell foul, the more I feel I’m being fair. After all, I don’t do this to make happy those who choose to be anything but. I do this for the animals.

      Posted by rumpydog | August 28, 2014, 11:40 AM
  43. i agree there have been some questionable things that have happened there, no doubt, not when i worked there, i kept very good vet records of all of the animals, i fed them and cleaned up after them. We had inspections all of the time. When i left however and everyone stopped coming and supporting the zoo, i cant say as to what happened but if you want to do something find a rescue that will take the older big cats and bears that are left, matter of fact i challenge you to do so. All of your talking does nothing. Ive called 14 shelters and 3 zoos they all said no because they were either too full or the zoos didnt want them because you could no longer breed them. You think all zoos are so hot, you would be surprised. I agree she has done some horrible things in the last few years but the many years i spent out there i will never forget and anybody who knows me knows how i feel about animals. Matter of fact the last year i worked out there might have been when things started to go south because there was a capybara that was injured and i asked thomas about 5 times to go get it out of the hippo pen. He would not take the time to do it so i took it upon myself and climbed in the hippo pen and got the cappy out myself, which if you know what that is they are not light on their feet. It was around then that i stopped working there at the end of the season. I dont agree with what all she has done lately but you running your mouth does nothing to help them but to boost your own ego. Find them a home, if you want to give me your number then i will go out there this weekend and get a count as to how many cats and bears are left, if i can convince her to let them go, then i will make sure they get there anyway i can.

    Posted by Jennifer | August 28, 2014, 9:36 AM
    • Actually Jennifer there WAS a rescue begging to take the leopard for a year before it died and she kept saying no. Where were you then?

      Posted by rumpydog | August 28, 2014, 11:38 AM
      • like i said that was a long time ago he has not been there for a long time you just keep looking to the past but are unwilling to do anything now but talk, well talk is cheap find a rescue and i will try and get them there, i had not been involved with that zoo for a long time and i am not affiliated with it now but after the first of the stories came about when transfer of the county shelter was happening i went for myself to see the conditions. The animals were all healthy that i could see and when i went there i tried for months to find someone to take the remaining animals hoping that if i had found someone then she would let them go but no one would take them. I am not talking about mickey i am talking about what is left. Mickey was not there went i went down there

        Posted by Jennifer | August 28, 2014, 12:56 PM
  44. There is no action enforced by the law cause there’s a big chunk of money that went into the politicians pockets. Also.. drugs… This whole community knows this lady was crooked and some bugs wigs that backed her are as well. Take it to Montgomery.. get the word out there and she can’t hide. She’s a disgusting women and she’s been rode hard and put up wet. These animals should be taken. I’ve been out there as a girl and the living conditions for these animals was horrible and cramped. If this is a class c felony.. then she needs to go to jail and people of this community act and make our voices heard about this!!! Write the governor, and any and all people in power!! And don’t stop until something is done.

    Posted by Sherry | August 28, 2014, 12:52 PM
  45. There are two people left down there doing all of the work themselves i was bringing supplies for a long time but became unable to due to finances. If i go down there and they look underfed do you want to donate to the cause to help feed them? If so i would be glad to meet you somewhere and you can buy them a big box of chicken or their vitamins they need or produce for the bears and i will video tape myself feeding them to the animals, cause like i said talk is cheap.

    Posted by Jennifer | August 28, 2014, 12:59 PM
  46. All i see on here is how you all are talking about the problem, but if you banded together and raised money i would get a vet on the property, buy them extra food, extra cleaning supplies for the cages, dont just talk about how bad it is ban together as a community and help her with the problem. does she deserve it no, but the animals deserve it

    Posted by Jennifer | August 28, 2014, 1:01 PM
    • Hi jennifer my name is randi richey I commented above that I also volunteered/worked there. I think I have possibly found a place interested in taking the remaining animals. I want to get them in touch with you. Can you try to message me on fb please. Just search my name you should be able to find me.

      Posted by Randi | August 29, 2014, 3:10 PM
  47. Like Jennifer, I volunteered at the sanctuary before all this cruelty and neglect took place. I started volunteering in about 2003 and stopped in about 2006 (exact dates elude me at the moment). My husband started coming with me after about my third trip up. We lived TWO hours South of Moulton, yet were so devoted to working with the animals that we made that trip EVERY weekend. Sometimes BOTH Saturday and Sunday. I am posting here to share what I saw and witnessed at that time:

    When we started volunteering there, there were plenty of other volunteers (Jennifer, I think you were there once or twice while we were?? I remember Susie.). The sanctuary was in order. The animals were healthy and clean. Carolyn was married to a man named Thomas at the time. Shortly after we began volunteering there, they were separated and then divorced.

    It was my understanding that Carolyn had something worked out with the local chicken plant in Moulton/Lawrence Co and that was where most of her feed for the predatory animals came from. There were also donations such as cat food and other items for those animals that did not eat meat. It is also my understanding that Carolyn had an arrangement with the local grocery store in town to get produce for the herbivores. I, myself, cut up fruit and veggies many a time while volunteering – and, also threw raw chicken to the big cats.

    At no time did I ever once see any abuse/neglect. Had I, I would have reported it immediately. Towards the end of our time there, USDA did indeed revoke Carolyn’s license. We were told it was b/c she was not able to keep the pens and other required things up to code. At that time, losing her license did not mean she had to surrender her animals, it meant she could no longer be open to the public. Being open to the public allowed money from admissions and gift shop sales to help with the expenses of caring for the animals there.

    While I was there, I knew Mickey the cougar. He was (and still is) an amazing cat. He was NOT in the shape then that he is now. And, it SICKENS me to my core to watch that poor, sweet creature try to walk and not be able to. I know that when I was there as a volunteer that Carolyn took care of those animals. She used her own finances to care/feed for them or so we were told.

    I cannot attest to what transpired once we stopped volunteering. We did go back one last time many months after we’d stopped volunteering, and both felt things “had changed.” That being said, none of the animals were malnourished. There was NO sign of dogs/cats being fed to anything. The “feeling” of the park had just changed.

    With respect to Carolyn running the shelter there in Lawrence Co, I know she rescued and adopted out many dogs (some cats) and also rescued horses. I watched as she nursed many abused horses that were near death back to health. I also recall Carolyn wanting to send several dogs home with us in an effort to not have to put dogs down. It was something, at that time, she detested (as did we all). I know it was nothing to be there for a day and see at least 10 dogs being dropped off on her property in a small cage at the end of a driveway before the actual shelter was built on her property.

    Again, what I have written here is what I have personally witnessed. Its not an attempt to defend Carolyn or anything that may/may not have happened. After we stopped volunteering, I have no idea what went on. What I do know, is it was once a happy place. Maybe bad things were kept from us??

    In any event, my heart HURTS for those animals that I called my friends. Even tho its been so long, I can recount every animal there while I was there. Where they were kept, their names and their personalities. As I type this, I have tears in my eyes.

    I trusted Carolyn. She was our friend. IDK what led her to no longer care for these animals and let poor Mickey and Tara get into the shape they are in, but I do know that once upon a time, she did have good intentions. I do hope that she will be able to find good homes for the elderly animals that are still there. And, I am glad that the others have all been rescued and taken to sanctuaries that will let them live out their remaining years with the vet care they need.

    Posted by Sondra | August 28, 2014, 1:21 PM
  48. I am just shocked! I have friends who live down south and abuses tolerated there are sickening. It’s really difficult to even get anyone’s attention let alone any meaningful action. I truly hope that changes soon.

    Posted by Oui Oui | August 28, 2014, 10:39 PM
  49. I as lot of other know carloyn i have been gone 20years I think she need help.i know she lost a son as I did and that take a lot out of you I hope she will get help

    Posted by sherry | August 31, 2014, 7:33 PM
  50. Jennifer please contact me on face book if you can. I have a pissibke place for the animals. My name on fb is randi richey

    Posted by Randi | September 2, 2014, 1:34 PM
  51. Feel so sick this has/is going on so happy to read comments of people who maybe able to help now x

    Posted by mythreemoggies | September 3, 2014, 4:42 AM
  52. I have volunteered at carolyns shelter for 7 years. She NEVER fed dogs or cats to the animals. Your story is disturbing. We fed them raw chicken. Carolyn loved each animal that ever came into her life. This story disgusts me

    Posted by Trudy wyatt | September 23, 2014, 3:43 PM
  53. Had a friend give me a dog and was telling me at one time she lived near this place.she said she came home one day to see a hyena is the pasture. Her boyfriend didn’t believe her later he seen it and shot it.apparently she had 3 of them and wasn’t supposed to and she turned them loose.also heard numerous stories about cats getting loose there.

    Posted by nat | February 5, 2015, 1:59 AM

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