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.”
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.