UPDATE: On 10/8/14, we won! The CA Fish & Wildlife Commission very sensibly voted to reject the petition to ban Savannahs and other hybrid derived domestic cats in California. We are very grateful to them all!
And we especially appreciate this quote from Commissioner Rogers after the vote: “If someone brings to us a petition to preclude other people from enjoying something they do; I think it is very incumbent upon them to be loaded with information as to exactly why that does pose; not might pose, not could pose, not maybe will pose; but poses a risk. Anything less than that I regard as just mean.”
Commissioner Rogers, we couldn’t agree with you more.
Now that we have seen how astonishingly unscrupulous these organizations have been in their efforts to take away our rights to keep our cats, we are gearing up to correct ALL the misinformation that has been spewed about.
So, dear visitors and friends, we welcome your questions, and links to statements about Savannahs (or other hybrid derived breeds) that may have brought you concerns. We will do our best to provide accurate and helpful answers!
Here (below) is our original 7/1/14 response to the ban petition, and some links to good sources for more information. More info and links coming soon!
People who run and work within animal rights and rescue organizations are constantly exposed to cases of abuse and neglect, to ignorance and lack of caring, to all the worst examples of animal and human relationships. So it is not surprising that their outlooks can become bitter. They can feel forced into the role of overburdened rescuers pitted against the selfish, unfeeling, dishonest masses. They can lose the sweet side of idealism that they started with.
However, terrible as some of the cases they deal with may be, overall those still are the exceptions. Most pet owners love their animals and provide the best care they know how, within the parameters of the society in which they live.
How do we ensure that companion animals are well cared for and have fulfilling lives?
We can take steps to improve the education of prospective pet owners. And we can greatly improve and support the systems in place for solving problems that crop up in the interwoven lives of humans and their pets (shelters, rescues, etc.).
But we at Jua Ini Savannahs do NOT believe we need to impose more blanket restrictions on our rights to own and to breed any animals intended as pets.
On 6/26/14, a group of animal rights organizations that specialize in wild feline species petitioned the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), pushing for banning ownership and breeding of all the domestic cat breeds derived from crossing with a small wild cat species ancestor (Savannah, Bengal, Chausie and others). In their publicized statements, they made alarming claims about dangers from these domestic breeds. But we have learned from our own experiences and close observations over many years, that those claims are simply not true.
Not only that, but the consequences of such regulations would be likely to result in all kinds of unnecessary tragedy. Thousands of people would be forced to lose pets who are their beloved family members. Many of those harmless and loved pets, after being torn from their homes, would be euthanized. Breeders who strive to be thoroughly responsible, and who love all their animals, would suffer drastic losses.
So we would like to urge you to become truly well informed on this issue.
Here is the press release about their petition –
Animal Legal Defense Fund, Cat Sanctuaries Ask California Fish and Wildlife to Regulate Hybrid “Franken-Cats”
HERE is a petition we hope YOU will sign and share widely! It is supported by owners of hybrid derived domestic cats, countering this attack – Petition – Charlton H. Bonham: Stop Breed Discrimination Leave California’s Hybrid Cats Alone
Short video of speeches by Kristine Alessio, Vice Mayor of the City of La Mesa, and Danelle Fellowes, at the California Fish & Game Commission meeting on 8/6/14, explaining why this proposed ban is a really bad idea – CA Fish & Wildlife Public Forum speeches against the proposed Hybrid Derived Domestic Cat Ban
Here is a great article by renowned cat behaviorist, Marilyn Krieger – Why Cat Breeds Like the Bengal, Savannah and Chausie Have No Business Being Banned
Another great article explaining the realities of these wonderful cats, and why bans are a big mistake – Paws and Think– Article in Response to Savannah Breed Bans
Here is a video explaining how we feel about our beloved Savannahs – Savannah Cats And Friends
Here is an article about what is at stake – Exotic Hybrid Cats Under Attack
Here is a well written article – Savannah Cats Do Make Great Pets, Don’t Believe BCR’s Hype. BCR aka Big Cat Rescue, is one of the organizations now pushing for restrictions on Savannahs and other hybrid derived domestic cats in California. The descriptions of hybrid cats on BCR’s website are FAR from what we have found to be true. They may feel that this is acceptable and “the end justifies the means”. We disagree. Honesty will heal misunderstandings and solve problems. Propaganda only worsens them.
Wondering if Big Cat Rescue’s founder, Carole Baskin, really makes outlandish claims? Here is a news exposé about her and BCR – In All Fairness. The Truth About Big Cat Rescue
Here is another news program on the same topic – Big Cat Rescue Exposed on News 10
Here are examples of Carol Baskin contradicting herself entirely (in words and deeds) regarding hybrid domestic cats (also MUCH more) – Carole Lewis Baskin is fighting to ban all hybrid exotic cats
Here is a downloadable copy of the PETITION TO BAN HYBRID CATS IN CA 06-26-14 Petition for Rulemaking – Final that we received on 7/2/14. Very soon we will provide rebuttals to the claims within this document.
Here is the letter we submitted to the California Fish & Wildlife commission during their meeting on 8/6/14 – Jua Ini Savannahs letter to CA F&W 8/6/14.
Many people have written letters to California Fish & Wildlife, objecting to this proposed ban in their own words. We urge you to do the same. Letters make a much more powerful impression than signing a petition. This particular letter from us is addressing our concerns for the well being of F1 and early generation Savannahs.
Here are two heartfelt articles from a nice blog about the Bengal cat breed, and about the author’s own Bengals and Savannah – CA Hybrid Cats Are In Danger, and Please CA, Don’t Ban Hybrid Cats! About Bengals: Originally derived from a hybrid cross between domestic cats and Asian Leopard Cats (a small wildcat species); in TICA (the largest domestic cat registry in the world), the Bengal is the most popular registered breed of cat in the world. And some misguided donation-funded organizations are actually trying to ban them! As well as the (also immensely popular, and growing more so) Savannah breed!
Here is an educational Facebook Page providing facts about our cats and this issue – Save Our Hybrid Derived Domestic Cats. Please join us there! And please Like the Page!
Here is a Facebook Group dedicated to stopping the ban in California – SAVE CALIFORNIA’S HYBRID DOMESTIC CATS! EDUCATE! DON’T LEGISLATE!. IMPORTANT RE: MEMBERSHIP: Each requester will be sent a message via their Inbox, to respond to before they can join. So PLEASE make sure your filter settings will allow us to message you! You can read how to here.
If you have any questions and constructive thoughts you would like to share on this, please contact us. We would love to hear from you.
If you would like to help to stop this misguided attempt to ban our very loved cats, please let us know!