4 big cats taken from Even Keel Exotics relocated to MN, USDA trying to find homes for 100+ other animals

Published: Sep. 1, 2023 at 6:15 AM EDT
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TEMPERANCE, Michigan (WTVG) - We are learning more about the nearly 150 exotic animals removed from the farm, Even Keel Exotics, in Temperance, Michigan.

The owner there, Zachery Keeler agreed to surrender his animals to the USDA by August 29th.

Kristy Scsavnicki says she has been waiting a long time for this place to get shut down, ever since she says Keeler sold her a sick puppy almost five years ago. “He tortured these animals for years and years and years,” said Scsavnicki. “It’s been all strictly about getting him shut down so he couldn’t profit off sick animals anymore.”

Right now, we know four cats removed from the farm have been relocated to The Wild Cat Sanctuary in Minnesota.

The Executive Director, Tammy Thies says her team was one of the first on the Michigan property. “They’re very hungry and have good appetites, but we’d like to see a little more weight on them. They’re definitely settling in.”

When it comes to the other, nearly 150 animals needing new homes, a spokesperson for the USDA tells 13 Action News in an email:

“At this time, we are unable to divulge that information. What I can tell you is that we work to identify and secure placement at Animal Welfare Act-licensed facilities equipped to handle the species identified.”

R. Andre Bell Media Contact – Animal Care, United States Department of Agriculture

“We understand the discretion because there can be a lot of retaliation. There’s a lot of personal danger that can come with saving animals especially when it happens in a hostile environment when the owner didn’t want to give them up,” said Thies.

Scsavnicki says she knows these animals will live happier lives now that they’re off the Michigan property. “We will make sure he never has any animals again.”

13 Action News has reached out to Keeler and his attorney several times about this, but we have not received a response.

We will continue to follow up with the USDA to see where these exotic animals go.

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