October 22, 2012
I was raised on a horse ranch which dealt with many rescue horses and mustangs. We did our level best to provide happy, healthy homes for every orphan that graced our gates, which sometimes meant we cared for as many as 75 horses at a time. We were taught as children to always care for the critters, never cause harm, and to always look out for their welfare. Now I'm grown, with an adult child of my own, and I see a kindred spirit in the people at IEAS. It is ironic that Texas has 1/3 of all the world's tigers (4,000 of 12,000 worldwide), most of which are in the hands of private individuals. If they care for them, and make sure they have a safe, healthy home, great. Too many times, however, people bite off more than they can chew, not realizing that the needs of an exotic animal usually out-weigh the novelty of having one. It's not the animal's fault, and these are CERTAINLY NOT the kind of animals you can drop off at your local shelter for adoption. As endangered as many of these species are, euthanasia is not a viable option, and it's certainly not fair to the animal. IEAS provides an answer, as best they can. Limited resources prevent them from caring for all the animals that need it, but they don't compromise by lowering the standard of care for the ones they do have, just so they can afford to take on more. It's a terrible position to be in, trying to decide which ones they can take and which ones have to take their chances elsewhere. I love tigers, and think they are some of the most beautiful creatures on Earth. Their habitat, sadly, has shrunk far faster than their ability to adapt, which puts them in serious jeopardy. This is usually the case with many exotics. IEAS needs more resources to do what they do best: provide life-long homes for these amazing creatures, while educating the public on WHY we need to do so. -Russell Boyd
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MY ROLE:General Member of the Public