Lions, Cougars And A Tiger Rescued From Hunt County Property

WYLIE (CBSDFW.COM) – When Vicky Keahey and her husband Eddie arrived at a horse stable in Hunt County, they didn’t find horses. Instead, the couple found ten cougars, nine lions and one tiger.

“There was a cougar laying in the corner,” said Vicky as she welled up with tears. “He had the shakes real bad, so we quickly went over to give him water. He tried three times to get up and get to the water.”

The Keaheys say the cougar was so sick, he couldn’t stand up to take a drink. The exotic cat was one of 20 big cats found on the property about 40 miles east of Dallas. The couple says they’ve never seen more horrible conditions, where malnourished animals were held in filthy pens covered in urine and feces.

“I took a picture of some meat that looked like it had been there for a week,” said Vicky. The cougars were eating a little at a time. The top of it was a little bit red, but the outside was black and there were bugs crawling around it.”

cats 12 Lions, Cougars And A Tiger Rescued From Hunt County Property

A rescued lion and cougar

The Keaheys run a wildlife sanctuary in Wylie for rescued exotic cats. “I don’t feel it was an abuse situation,” said Eddie. “I think it was that the lady’s health gave out and she could no longer do it.”

Vicky and Eddie are not blaming the owner, who according to the couple, was elderly and slowly dying of cancer. She passed away last week.

The couple has agreed to take eight cats back to their sanctuary in Wylie. The remaining 12 animals will be sent to rescue centers in Indiana and New Jersey.

  • Hemroidious

    Bless their hearts, they just want to survive.

  • Wayne Washburn

    The Keaheys and all the volunteers at In-Sync are saints.

    • Carol Holliman, PrideRock Wildlife Refuge


  • Tango

    A big THANK YOU to all who reported this horrible situation and to the wildlife santuaries who are making room for these great animals.

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  • Telecom night shift

    I donated some money just now. You can support this organization by visiting the In-Sync location in Wylie or by making a contribution on-line via Paypal. They can really use the help right now.

  • Ron Jeremy Spoke In Class Today

    Can I have the phone numbers for all the cougars?

  • Crosstimbers Wildlife

    We have known Vicki, her commitment to her work, and her crew of volunteers at In-Sync Exotics for years. Their hard work, dedication and love for these animals is above reproach. These cats come from a sad past and from someone who likely lived them and cared for them until the money and health was no longer available. ALL of the cats at In-Sync and other cat rescues do. But these cats have been truly blessed to have landed in Vicki’s loving hands. It only saddens me they they couldn’t ALL come to her to care for. As a rescue ourselves, and unprovoked by anything other than this very sad story, we beg of anyone able to contribute financially to assist the second to NONE care that these animals receive here in our own back yard, PLEASE help them with a monetary donation. Eight new cats is a mammoth financial commitment! Caging alone can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars for so many animals. Businesses, individuals, animal lovers ~ only YOU can insure that these wonderfully beautiful animals have the caging and staff that they need. Please make a donation to In-Sync today! They have WONDERFUL donor packages!! Visit their website for further information. Thank you to all who can assist from another committed rescue resource to all you animal lovers. Reach out to everyone you know who might be willing to help. Vicki does work that the DFW area can be proud of! Let’s all show her our appreciation for yet another big rescue well done!!

    • Carol Holliman, PrideRock Wildlife Refuge

      Val – You know there are other sanctuaries out there who are just as committed to the cats as Insync, but aren’t nearly as fortunate and well-funded as Insync. We are one of them. You have to admit that lying and making another person who loved her cats with everything in her, look as bad as they did, is about as low as you can go. I would much rather have to work outside the home and be broke, and honest, than have to stoop to the levels Insync did. :-(
      I’m really disappointed in you..

  • Billy Wilcher

    Vicky Keahey and her husband are lying about the animals starving and they are lying about the 3 boxes of meat being bad. The meat was frozen and left out to thaw. I was there when she cut open the package then stuck her hand in the meat and commented it was still cold. They then fed it to the animals. Her husband ED commented at least 4 different times the animals were in good shape and were not starving. The cougar that was sick is 20yrs. old and had artheritis. Vicki was not upset at all, another lie. Also they did not expect horses they were called by the family because their owner was dying of cancer at 59 yrs. old in the hospital.

    Billy Wilcher

    • Mad in Poetry

      Thank you Billy
      The truth will get out
      IN-Sync & Vicky K needs to apologize for lying and defamation

      • Carol Holliman, PrideRock Wildlife Refuge

        Unfortunately, I’ve heard that this sort of behavior is typical of Vicky K. It’s all about media and money..

    • Carol Holliman, PrideRock Wildlife Refuge

      Very sad.. I also wondered my she was being considered elderly at 59? I guess I’m closer to being elderly than I thought!!

      • Carol Holliman, PrideRock Wildlife Refuge

        “why” she was being….

  • Kristina

    In-Sync Exotics is doing a fantastic job, taking on this additional responsibility without any support from other animal groups. These folks go each day to feed, water, and clean up after the animals, and will continue to do so until all the animals are placed in really good homes.

    I’m sadden for the passing of the woman who cared about her animals, I’m sure she loved them very much. I am relieved the owner was able to contact In-Sync to ask for their help during this most difficult time.

    In order to continue feeding and caring for the animals, would you please consider making a donation at

    Please pass on the word that In-Sync truly needs everyone’s support right now via Twitter and Facebook.

    God Bless the animals, staff, and board of directors of In-Sync Exotics.

  • Carol Holliman, PrideRock Wildlife Refuge

    Vicki Deadman, the owner of the cats in Poetry, was a blessing and joy in my life for the last 20 years. She is the reason I have devoted my life to them with my own refuge in Terrell, and her expertise and knowledge were invaluable as I got started in what has turned out to our labor of love. Ovarian cancer robbed her of her health and being able to care for these beloved cats as she knew how to. I cannot fault her for doing the best she could in her situation. I wish I had been there for her more in the end and it will be my greatest regret. I’m very saddened that the media chose to cast her property and cats in such a poor light so publicly, but I guess that’s what makes news. I know how upsetting this would be for her, but I’m very grateful that the cats will be cared for, which is most important.
    Rest in peace dear friend..

    • David Emard

      Thank You CAROL,
      We live across from Vicki Deadmon for the Last 17 years and our son, SPC. Jonathan D Emard (KIA 04 June 2008 in IRAQ) helped Vicki for Years with her Cats and all her animals and there was never any neglect!!!!! The animals were her life!!!!! Our family helped for years and got the pleasure of watching her interact with each animal 1 on 1. The Vicky Keahey from In-Sync Needs to apologize to the Deadman Family for her Lying comments and to set the record straight!!!!! I am a Dallas Native and Sad that Ch 11 did not do the research 1st

      PLEASE KTVT & Karen Borta & Jay Ghormley set the story straight!!!!!

      • Beth


      • Carol Holliman, PrideRock Wildlife Refuge

        I agree that an apology is in order. I’ve been sick over this horrible portrayal of my dear friend who loved those animals more than anything.

      • Carol Holliman, PrideRock Wildlife Refuge

        I’m hoping the truth will get out once and for all about what Insync is all about – publicity and money.. Shameful…

  • I hope you can look at yourself in the mirror every day

    What kind of human being or in your case, a MONSTER, would do such a thing as to degrade a woman who lost her 2 year battle with ovarian cancer in an attempt to make a profit?! REALLY?!?!?! I understand that as a nonprofit organization, you are able to survive through donations, but did you really have to portray your story the way you did? Have you no sympathy for the dying? There were better ways of getting your point across that you need money to help care for the cats. Was it necessary to make a woman who was on her death bed look bad when she couldn’t even defend herself? Sure you say you said you didn’t think the cats were abused, but it was said so quickly and without any empathy and you were quick to show her in a bad light. What you did was horrible and unforgiveable to a wonderful and amazing woman who devoted her life to those cats. A person who may have been stubborn to give up her cats, but she held on to them because she felt that if she gave them up, then she was giving up on them and giving up on the hope that she would make it through. This story shredded this woman’s legacy into pieces. I’m not sure if you have ever had a loved one die of any cancer, but it is HORRIBLE. To see them suffer day in and day out, to see their bodies waste right before your eyes, and to see the agony in their eyes as they continue to fight is one that I don’t even wish upon my enemies! This is the PAIN that I had to deal with for 2 years and you my friend, just topped it off with you news story. Bravo! To think the family even set up a website to help get donations for your sanctuary and you go and do this!! Maybe it was a good thing that you ran this story after she passed because I’m sure that had she seen or read this story, she would have died from that before the cancer got to her. I am truly speechless at how your organization could do this to someone in their darkest moments…….

    • Carol Holliman, PrideRock Wildlife Refuge

      Thank you. I have been physically sick over this. What some people will stoop to is amazing, and to think that Vicki is not even able to defend herself is shameful to say the least. When I heard the family had chosen Insync, I tried to take the high road and keep my mouth shut, but I was afraid this was how it would go..

  • Karen

    Shame on you channel 11. Do you ever research your stories before they are put on TV? If you did, you would have found what a wonderful & devoted person the owner of these animals was. She lived her life for God, family & animals. I have know this lady for many years and she would never mistreat any animal or human. This was a lady that only 4 weeks ago (dying from cancer) mowed her yard with a push mower. My family was going to donate money to InSync until they did this lying story. My family & friends will just donate to Ovarian Cancer reseach. IT would be nice channel 11 if you would do your research before goin on the air & letting people lie and act like they are crying to raise money.

  • Debbie

    I was really upset with news clip, but I do appreciate the news reporter NOT mentioning the owners name and clarifying at the end of the report that the owner was NOt at fault with the care of the animals. I did speak with the reporter today and shared my concerns about this story and he told me that channel 11 made sure that the family’s privacy was protected.

    It is very disheartening to hear Vicky Keahey say “This is the worst case ever seen”, when just a few days before her stating the cats were in good shape.
    I agree with others that I was looking at supporting In-sync exotics until she came on TV with misleading the public on the care of these cats in Hunt co,.

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  • Pamcake

    Shame on you Vicky Keahey and Channel 11 for sensationalizing a sad story with lies and self promotion. Vicki’s life was devoted to these big cats. And how will you be walking around when you are very old? Did Channel 11 or Vicky ever say how old the cougar was? His condition had nothing to do with lack of water and/or care. It had everything to do with being very old. Have none of you ever left your home for a few days vacation and come back to find the litter box overrun? Give me a break. What Channel 11 was trying their hardest to misrepresent was a couple of days of not cleaning the cages. So sorry that Vicki was in the middle of dying and her family were busy attending to her needs. These people also knew exactly where they were going before they arrived. The family called them! This was not a “rescue” situation. To say that they arrived and found such deplorable conditions just to raise money for themselves by making someone else looks bad is pathetic. I agree, I will instead donate to the Cancer Society before a dime of mine goes to the wonderful actress that is Vicky Keahey. We in Poetry are very proud to have known such a wonderful person and will remember her fondly for the great person that she was. Not the person that Keahey and her bunch nor Channel 11 tried to make her out to be. SHAME on you! Time to change the channel to Fox 4.

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