Illinois congressman visits Black Pine | Albion New Period

ALBION — Mike Quigley has a distinct memory from a household holiday vacation out West…

ALBION — Mike Quigley has a distinct memory from a household holiday vacation out West in the 1960s when he was a youngster.

On a warm day, there was a pet dog in a auto with the home windows rolled up. Although everybody else wrung their palms and reported how awful it was, Quigley’s father took action.

His father picked up a hefty metallic ash tray and broke out a window to conserve the doggy.

Nearly 60 decades afterwards, Quigley is next in his father’s footsteps, attempting to prevent the mistreatment and abuse of massive cats such as lions, tigers and cougars.

A member of Congress from Illinois, Quigley toured Black Pine Animal Sanctuary on Thursday as portion of a simple fact-getting tour in relation to his Big Cat General public Basic safety Act.

The act would prohibit the personal possession of major cats like tigers, lions, leopards and pumas and conclusion the abusive cub petting business by prohibiting exhibitors from letting public get in touch with with cubs.

The legislation passed the Property past calendar year but did not get a vote in the Senate. It is now performing its way by way of the Property all over again and Quigley is hopeful it will get a vote in the Senate.

In the meantime, he is continuing to educate himself on the ramifications of the non-public ownership of big cats, which is what introduced him to the Albion sanctuary. He learned the tales of numerous of the large cats who have been settled at Black Pine, most of which have been abused or neglected by their proprietors.

Quigley lauded the get the job done down at Black Pine.

“We want to see how these sanctuaries run in person,” he explained. “A stop by like this is very, extremely useful.”

Animal keeper and veterinary technician Jordan Hartleroad and Black Pine executive director Trish Nichols gave Quigley and two of his employees users the tour on Thursday.

Masks are however mandated at Black Pine to protect the tigers, primates and canines which are still vulnerable to the coronavirus.

Quigley’s legislation would not only preserve large cats from exploitation and abuse, it would also advantage law enforcement, firemen and 1st responders. He spoke of a single occasion in which emergency responders have been termed to a house only to see large tiger free in the home. The tiger was the resident’s pet, and it had to be dealt with in advance of aid could be presented to the human in problems.

Quigley reported his father was an orphan, and the relatives home was normally stuffed with animals, a lot of of them chosen for the reason that of their unlikelihood of adoption for 1 reason or one more.

“He understood what it was like to be an orphan,” Quigley said. “I was lifted that way. It is hard to see innocents suffer.”

Quigley and his legislative director, Max Frankel, questioned employees, inquiring for particulars of Black Pine’s operations as properly as additional in depth histories of some of the animals there.

Black Pine was started in 2000, and moved to its current place on C.R. 300N in 2003. In accordance to Nichols, it requires 1,000 pounds of meat a 7 days to feed the animals there. The expense to feed on tiger for a 12 months is $4,000, and veterinary expenses and staffing expenses are on best of that.

Quigley appeared stunned when Nichols instructed him that the facility survives solely on donations and does not receive any tax bucks.

Frankel claimed the Household should acquire up the Major Cat Community Protection Act once again this drop. When it passed the House last yr, it did so by a 2/3 bipartisan vote.

If it goes as a result of, the trade in exotic animals — at minimum the large cats — will turn out to be nonexistent. Because individuals won’t have them to begin with, they will not a single day have to give them up to a position like Black Pine.

When questioned what he anticipated to come across at Black Pine, the Chicago-spot legislator stated, “I anticipated to meet up with folks like this, focused, professional, clever. That’s the irony of currently. I really don’t want (Nichols) to have any cats to rescue.”