ALBION, Ind. (WANE) - Meet Delilah and Sammie.
They've just moved to Indiana from Tiger Paw Rescue Center in Ashland, Ohio.
"The biggest challenge of a move like this is keeping the animals' welfare first and foremost, and of course there's a lot of emotion for the owners who are losing their pride and joy," said Lori Gagen, the executive director of Black Pine Animal Sanctuary.
Ohio has cracked down on their private ownership laws for exotic animals after what happened on October 18, 2011 when a Zanesville, Ohio man let 56 of his exotic animals loose before killing himself. Now, his actions are affecting families like Denise Flores who can't afford to have the cats she's had for 17 years.
As of September 2012, Ohio laws on exotic animals require all owners to register their animals, microchip them, carry liability insurance, and more.
"When you can't get the insurance, then those animals will be confiscated from the owners...I didn't want to put them through all of that," Flores said.
Flores said she's going to visit her tigers frequently, but Sunday was quite emotional for her.
"I just wanted them to be able to live out the rest of their lives happy and in a good place and be well cared for, and that's all that matters," Flores said.
Tim Harrison, who's gone on over 30 missions to save animals like Delilah and Sammie, says there're more tigers living in America than in India, where they're from. That's why he says places like Black Pine are so important.
"So, first of all you have to find a sanctuary where the animals can go and won't be bred or abused, and Black Pine Sanctuary is one of five that I can actually trust," Harrison said.
For now, Delilah and Sammie will be in temporary housing until Black Pine can build a new sanctuary for them costing $50,000. The two other tigers Flores has will be transported next weekend.
"It's time for them to move on, so they can go to a place where they have 24 hour care and the ability to retire," Harrison said.
Black Pine staff said Delilah and Sammie are their 19th and 20th rescue missions since 2011.
If you'd like to help Black Pine build a home for the tigers, visit the Black Pine website.
From the Black Pine site:
Professional Animal Retirement Center (PARC), Inc., known locally as "Black Pine Animal Sanctuary" in Albion, Indiana provides refuge to nearly 90 displaced, captive-raised exotic animals for the REST of their lives. We offer a variety of educational programs to enhance people's knowledge of exotic and endangered species, and to encourage responsible pet ownership.
Animal residents include big and small cats, canines, bears, primates, birds, reptiles, and more.
We do not buy, sell, trade, or breed animals, or use them for commercial gain.
Black Pine is licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) as a Class "C" exhibitor under license number 32-C-0191. We are legally incorporated as Professional Animal Retirement Center (PARC), Inc. and recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a tax-exempt 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Our tax ID is 33-1020728. Our Indiana tax identification number is 0117958700 001.
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