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Refuge Raising Money to Get the Cats out of the Cages

EUREKA SPRINGS, AR-- Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Eureka Springs is responsible for rescuing hundreds of wild animals.
EUREKA SPRINGS, AR-- Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge in Eureka Springs is responsible for rescuing hundreds of wild animals.

The organization is asking for some help from the community to get the cats out of the cages.

Tanya Smith, founder of the refuge, said "We find these animals in back yards, basements, locked in closets because the people have gotten scared of them after they got a little larger. This small little cute baby grows into this huge magnificent animal that takes a lot of care and they are raw meat eaters. They are large carnivores."

While the cages are instrumental in saving the animals' lives, giving them a wide open space to play and be free is the closest thing to their natural habitat. The refuge is working on building enough areas so every animal can have the chance to roam. Smith has waited years to see the animals live out on the grass, but the organization functions solely on donations and reaching that goal is easier said than done.

"To see them on those concrete enclosures knowing that we can provide a lot better for them is really frustrating. Our estimate says it is going to cost us right at one million dollars to be able to do everything we need to."

The move from close quarters to wide-open areas is not an easy goal to achieve. So far they have raised about 38 thousand dollars.

"We've got 459 acres that we've been developing for the last 20 years."

Still, Smith is staying optimistic. She hopes to have the cats out of their corners by 2015.

“There is not a better feeling in this entire world to see a cat, a big cat walk on the grass for the very first time in its life."

To make a donation, or learn how you can volunteer, click here.

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