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Cage Born

"There is little known about the lions, tigers and bears living in spaces barely large enough to turn around in--in American suburbia. Exotics are sold online, at auction and in some states, no license or education is necessary to own one of these animals. In the wake of the Zanesville, OH massacre of 50 exotic pets, the laws nationwide are slowly changing; but the public remains largely unaware of what is living in their neighborhoods.

As of recent, owners in Ohio are being faced with new high fees, and very strict renewed regulations which most owners can’t afford. The result: confiscation. But, what happens to the animals? Where do they go and what kind of a life then awaits them? Government agencies are not equipped for such an influx of animals. Accredited sanctuaries are full. Zoos will not take pets. Hundreds of thousands of dollars a year are needed for good sanctuaries to exist--they are the only hope for these exotics that will lose their owners. Through no fault of their own-these animals are captive born and bred-with no say in their own existence.

Denise is a private animal owner in Ohio. Denise knew the laws were changing, and although she promised her cats that they would never have to live anywhere else than with her, she made a decision to give them a better life—on her terms. Denise searched for sanctuaries that could provide her cats with room to move, grass under their feet, and a life better than she was able to give them. Denise took matters into her own hands and cried as each cat left her backyard to a better life. Not all owners will be so lucky."

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"Karine is a self taught wildlife conservation photographer, constantly in search of documenting the relationship between people, wildlife, and the environment."