Cats Seized At Sacred Vision Animal Sanctuary
by Elisa Black-Taylor
Good morning readers. I’ve been sitting on the case I’m about to tell you of since September 2010. I decided not to inform the readers at pictures-of-cats.org about Sacred Vision Animal Sanctuary in the Myrtle Beach area of S.C. until an investigation was completed on the sanctuary.
On Tuesday, March 1, 2011, over 200 (possibly closer to 300) cats were seized from Sacred Vision located on Forestbrook Road and placed in protective care as the sanctuary owner, Elizabeth Owen was accused of mistreatment of the cats.
Assistant solicitor for Horry County, Michael O’Sullivan, stated that PETA submitted a 42 page report on the sanctuary last Wednesday (February 23, 2011). An undercover PETA representative spent six months as a volunteer and reported the cats were constantly without food, litter and necessary medical treatment. This was confirmed by PETA Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch, who attended Tuesday’s hearing.
Greg McCollum, attorney for Elizabeth Owen, does not believe it’s fair for the county to seize her cats. Owen was charged in September with improper care and treatment of animals after Horry County officers went to her home to investigate.
Conway magistrate Bradley Mayers did consent for Owen to be allowed to keep 30 of the cats which she claims are her pets. All seized cats, including the 30 she says are her personal pets, will remain at a facility until they can be tested and until the case is tried.
No court date has been set at this time.
The Horry County Animal Care center employees were prepared for the arrival of the cats and already had an area for the cats set up. Donations from PetSmart Charities funded a temporary shelter where the cats will live until everything is resolved.
Elizabeth Owen’s attorney insists this is all a big misunderstanding. Owen has not taken in any addition cats since June 2010 and had adopted out at least 25 cats with 50 more planned to go to new families before these cats were removed from her home.
Friends and neighbors are defending Elizabeth saying she lives for her cats. This could well be a case of a woman who started caring for cats and was overwhelmed and simply took on way too many.
Veterinarians are set to examine all of the cats in the coming days and will treat those who are sick and humanely euthanize those too ill to live.
This case reminds me a lot of the Caboodle Ranch story I did awhile back entitled Caboodle Ranch: Cat Heaven or Cat Hell? Except Elizabeth Owen wasn’t charging people to take their cats and the cats at her sanctuary weren’t in danger of being eaten by coyotes.
Are any of the readers out there familiar with this sanctuary? I’m on the other side of the state from Myrtle Beach. I’d love to live there as it’s a beautiful place and a top tourist attraction for the whole country.
Do you think she’s guilty? Has enough evidence been gathered to charge her? It’s really to early to call a verdict on this one. And we must remember “innocent until proven guilty.”
Personally I believe it’s a bad sign for a one woman sanctuary to house 300 cats. I run a small sanctuary with my daughter and I can assure everyone that 20 cats will be my limit. People who run sanctuaries shouldn’t bite off more than they can chew because you’re not helping the cats. You’re hurting them.
For those of you who would like to help with the care of these poor cats, please contact Horry County Animal Care Center for information at 915-5172. I feel sure they need monetary donations with 300 extra mouths to feed.
The reference for this article also has a video attached of Elizabeth Owen in court.