Josephine Co. officials say Tiger Preservation Center’s allegations are false

Josephine County, Ore. — Josephine County commissioners say an animal preserve is making false statements about the county.

Commissioners said the Tiger Preservation Center, a non-profit organization outside Cave Junction, sent a mailer to people in the county saying:

If my husband Bob and I cant come up with the $10,858 we need… to pay the county inspection fees by Monday, June 15th, they may shut us down, revoke our wildlife permit, and even… God forbid… destroy our 30 big cats.”

Commissioners said it’s all false except for the dollar amount, which they say the non profit owes in fees. Commissioner Keith Heck said it’s been at least two years since the county had contact with the Tiger Preservation Center. That’s when they mailed a letter to the center saying the organization owed more than $10,000.

NBC5 spoke with one of the owners of the Tiger Preservation Center, Bonnie Ringo, who acknowledged there was a misprint on one of their flyers. Ringo said the county would not be the ones killing their cats.

However she said in order to comply with county regulations, she would have to tear down her eight-foot fence and replace it with one that’s specially engineered.

Taking down the fence would mean she would be out of compliance with federal rules. Ringo said it’s a double-edged sword and they’re trying their hardest to come into compliance with all county regulations. She said replacing the fence alone would cost more than $10,000.

“We don’t have that kind of money. We take care of our animals any extra money we get goes into the food, the care, the veterinary costs… We’re a non-profit organization and we’re really trying,” said Ringo over the phone.

Commissioner Heck said they try to work with people to get them into compliance. His concern is that the mailer, which he said includes false information, could be used to raise money.

Ringo said she wants people to know that they’re doing a good thing at the center, rescuing animals that would have no other place to go.

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