Animal Planet Crew Screws Up Raid

Somewhat reminiscent of the Mason Raid, something similar happened below because of filming by Animal Planet during a raid.

Linda Bruno has been charged with 14 counts of animal cruelty, accused of illegally housing hundreds of cats at Tiger Ranch after a raid last month.
But the case has become complicated by the fact that a crew from "Animal Cops," a show on Animal Planet, was present for the raid.

The raid moved Howard Nelson, the head of the Pennsylvania SPCA, to tears.

"I carried animals as they were dying into cages last night," he said on March 14. "Cats that were just screaming to get out of there."

But Last Chance for Animals, a California-based animal rights group, calls the investigation tainted and is in turn investigating the SPCA.

Chris DeRose, of Last Chance, says the SPCA's action was compromised by their contractual arrangement with Animal Planet and their program "Animal Cops" to produce a series of programs.

A judge in New York threw out animal cruelty charges against a man, ruling that the SPCA agent had played for Animal Planet's cameras and hyped up charges against him. DeRose predicts the same thing will happen with Tiger Ranch.

"And that just conclusion is going to be that these animals are returned immediately back to Tiger Ranch and that this witch hunt is stopped immediately," he said.

The SPCA, based in Philadelphia, confirms they received some money from Animal Planet for space in their offices for the show's crew while they were in town. But they also say they have not been influenced by the program and stand by their evidence, given to them by Deborah Urmann who volunteered at the ranch, conducted an undercover investigation and recorded video of sickly cats.


Anonymous said...

You know, I'm a daily viewer of all the humane law enforcement shows on Animal Planet, but I have to admit, my perception of them has been affected by what happened to Ron Mason. I used to just implicitly believe everything the HLE officers said, but now I keep wondering how much things are getting colored by the presence of cameras, and by the need to legitimize their presence.

Certainly there are situations that are indisputable cruelty, where animals are emaciated or injured. But every once in a while, when I hear officers say the same stuff that was reported, then debunked about Ron's place (no health code violations, for example) I just start to wonder.

Anonymous said...

Poster one, I agree. I used to totally believe Animal Precinct shows. They made you hate the person for being cruel to animals. Now I really wonder.

I remember a show where a woman had maybe five cats. She was trying to care for them but was poor and spoke little english. The cats actually looked fine but the show made her look like some crazy evil person because her apartment looked super cheap with cheap furniture, torn wall paper. Now I look back at some of those shows and wonder.

The Animal Planet crew comes to town for a couple of weeks to film the units. Those units must find some really good video for the show. It'd make more sense if they just did a lot of investigating before Animal Planet comes to town and wait to bust them until the film crew arrives. Instead they seem to gravitate towards busting a weak or nonexistent case instead.

Animal cruelty task forces and spcas should be about preventing and stopping cruelty. It shouldn't be about setting people up to get good video so they can look good and raise donations. Animals first.

Anonymous said...

Chris DeRose has no idea what evidence exists and the truth behind the Tiger Ranch Raid. He does, however, know about destroying a case:

"One of DeRose's most controversial actions was arranging for two undercover operatives to pay Wisconsin animal dealer Erving Stebane $50 to kill and butcher a dog while DeRose secretly videotaped the action. Felony charges were filed against the dealer, but in June 1993 Calumet County circuit judge Donald Poppy ruled that the case constituted illegal entrapment and ordered the return of 143 dogs which had been seized."

I would like to know how the other members of LCA feel about Chris supporting animal cruelty.

Anonymous said...

That's really disturbing to hear about Chris! Sacrificing a dog though he thought it was for the higher good, but didn't turn out to be? That dog didn't have a say in being a sacrificial lamb. I am very disturbed.

theNotSoDivineMsM said...

The truth be told, Chris DeRose didn't pay anyone to go after Ervin Stebane. Maybe that is why Chris was never tried nor convicted of any crime. How some of these ridiculous things get onto the net, is beyond me. I see why Wikipedia is NOT the most reliable source of information.

Anonymous said...

Chris DeRose didn't pay anyone to go after Ervin Stebane. Every wonder why he was never convicted of any crime? Where some of the misinformation comes from is beyond me. Someone might want to ask Deb Urmann how being a 5 week per diem employee of the Butler County Humane Society in any way qualifies her to judge abuse. Ask her what happened to her license? could she stand by and watch a cat die while filming. Her actions, to me, constitute willfull neglect, not Linda Bruno's.

Anonymous said...

You missed part of the point:

...while DeRose secretly videotaped the action.

DeRose grimaces at the words. “I made a painful decision,” he admits, “and a dog died.” The memory of that night still carries more than its share of remorse. To fend it off, he reminds us and himself that the dog’s death was imminent, with or without the presence of a camera, and that the camera brought at least some degree of meaning to its sacrifice.

The good that came from this:

Indeed, the public outrage precipitated by the case galvanized not only the community, but drew the attention of U.S. Representative Toy Roth (D-WI), who introduced the Stebane Bill,” legislation designed to strengthen penalties for violations of the Animal Welfare Act. Roth also wrote a letter to Mike Espy, Secretary of Agriculture, voicing his deep concerns with unlawful Class B vendor activities. His sentiments are echoed by U.S. Senator Fiengold (R-WI).

With that folks I am also hoping that the Tiger Ranch case will bring change not only in the US but Worldwide...

Let your voice & conscience be heard throughout the world:

No More Tiger Ranches

So with that being said:

Unknown said...

Infoman--here's a little tidbit of info for you:

The Pennsylvania SPCA surprised and hurt the Monroe County animal rescue community this week. They terminated the employment of Stroudsburg Adoption Center employee, Barbara Marinelli.

There was only one decent employee at the Stroudsburg branch of the PSPCA, which of course is my opinion, but not only my opinion and I am sure that you all will be hearing in upcoming weeks from other members of the volunteer and rescue community who are aware that the animals in Monroe County are doomed without Barbara there to advocate for them.

Barbara was a whistleblower. She would complain to management that other employees would not do their jobs. When management would do nothing, Barbara would go over her head to other people in the PSPCA organization and finally when Howard Nelson refused to correct the problems, she went to the Board of Directors of PSPCA with her allegations and then Barbara was fired because she makes others uncomfortable because she exposed them.

Animals at the shelter would not be given their medicine when Barbara was not scheduled to work. There were cats with mold in their food and filthy cages. There were animals killed by being stabbed in the chest or stomach by the other employees who are still employed there. There was constant corruption, trouble, ANIMAL ABUSE and NEGLECT at the shelter and Barbara loves animals too much to not report it. So they fired her.

This seems to be a trend for the PSPCA. Whistleblowers, those who are concerned with following rules, the true care and welfare of animals are terminated. Those who are concerned with the killing of over one third of the animals that come into the custody of the PSPCA, who work with animal rescue and attempt to get animals out alive, have no place in the PSPCA. They are a threat to the corporate greed and animal abuse/killing committed by Howard Nelson and those others who would rather kill animals and pretend to be animal lovers, than actually find them new homes and help them to get well and thrive, while blaming the community for the problems.

Unknown said...

am sure I am not the only animal lover in Monroe County who hopes that the PSPCA does carry out their threat to leave Monroe County. The PSPCA is the only supposed animal “rescue” group here in Monroe County that kills animals, whether those animals are sick or vicious or not, they are in danger if they are made to stay at the PSPCA shelter in Monroe County.

The PSPCA claims to have 14 veterinarians. Do not be fooled Monroe County. If any vet care is given to an animal at the shelter in Monroe County or is even spayed or neutered prior to leaving the shelter, it is because of volunteers and rescues. The PSPCA does not employ a vet at the Monroe Shelter.

The true animal rescue groups, Camp Papillon, Dogs Deserve Better, For the Love of the Underdog, Animals Can’t Talk, WORK HARD to save animal lives. They do not have endowments, and people dying and leaving them thousands of dollars in donations like the PSPCA does. They donate their time, their own hard earned money, everything they have to save animal lives. And they have a proven track record of spaying and neutering all the animals that come into their care prior to those animals going on to adoptive homes.

The PSPCA does not fix the problems but they do get rid of those who point out what the problems are and refuse to admit there are problems, only people with big mouths that are in their way.

They have employees sign confidentiality forms so that they are unable to let the public know what is going on within the walls of their so called shelters, and then when employees no longer are in fear of losing their employment and are able to speak out, they call them disgruntled former employees. If PSPCA is so open and blameless, they should tear up the confidentiality forms and encourage their employees to go to the public and talk about how blameless and wonderful their organization is.

These comments were on a messageboard for the Pocono Record. No more PSPCA!

Unknown said...

Hey infoman/Dave/Howie: Read this-

The PSPCA has been accused of animal abuse, neglect and torture.

Unknown said...

I agree Infoman - I hope the TR case will bring about change. I hope that there will be no more PSPCA's. Organizations that take people's animals to boost their donations and then kill them.

Anonymous said...

Update: Tiger Ranch/Linda Bruno/Lin Marie Takes The Plea Deal

She pleaded guilty to 13 counts of cruelty to animals. Each count carries a maximum of a $5,000 fine and two years in jail. Bruno also pleaded guilty to two counts of tampering with records, each of which carries the same maximum penalty. In all, Bruno faces a maximum of 28 years in prison and $75,000 in fines.

She also must pay $200,000 to the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in restitution for caring for mistreated animals.

Anonymous said...

Has the PSPCA been charged with any crimes? Just wondering. Take a look at the LCA undercover video on youtube. You decide who the real criminals are here.

Anonymous said...

The deal is over: Former Tiger Ranch owner's bond revoked

By Chuck Biedka and Matthew Santoni, VALLEY NEWS DISPATCH
Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The owner of the defunct Tiger Ranch cat sanctuary in Frazer will await sentencing from her jail cell for violating an agreement while she was free on bond, an Allegheny County judge ruled Monday.

Allegheny County Judge Jill E. Rangos ordered Lin Marie, 47, formerly of Miller Drive, Frazer, jailed for having contact with animals, even though Marie agreed not to do so as part of her release before her sentencing.

Sentencing was supposed to occur yesterday, but the judge postponed it until Dec. 4 because Marie didn't have a psychological evaluation done as the judge had ordered.

Marie, also known as Linda Bruno, would have continued to stay out of jail until sentencing even after the judge learned Monday that Marie was living at the house of her mother, who has cats, and that Marie couldn't be readily found by a probation officer.

Both could have been grounds for revoking Marie's non-monetary bond.

Rangos warned Marie, "I will revoke your bond if I get one more piece of evidence of any sort."

Then the judge was told that there still may be cats living at the supposedly defunct Tiger Ranch.

Tiger Ranch was touted as a no-kill cat sanctuary, but when animal rescuers from the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty of Animals and a county detective raided the 29-acre property March 13, 2008, they found 467 cats, four horses and a goat that were sick, dying or dead. Some dead cats were found stacked in a freezer; others were alive but suffering from disease due to improper care.

On July 13, the date she was to go to trial, Marie pleaded guilty to 12 counts of animal cruelty and two charges of tampering with records. Marie also agreed to pay $200,000 in restitution to the PSPCA, and shut down Tiger Ranch.

In exchange, prosecutors dropped about 600 of animal cruelty charges.

Despite the charges, Marie continues to have ardent supporters. Rangos allowed about two hours of pre-sentencing testimony Monday morning in support of Marie, more than 90 minutes longer than the judge had expected.

But a handful of them did Marie no favors Monday.

When Judge Rangos heard about cats at Tiger Ranch, she ordered county sheriff's deputies to see for themselves. All cats were to be removed from the property under the terms of Marie's pre-sentence release.

When the deputies got to the property around lunchtime, they found cats.

But Detective Richard Manning testified they also encountered five of Marie's supporters — the same ones, Manning testified, who had been in the courtroom for her 9 a.m. hearing.

Almost all the doors around the Tiger Ranch complex had been opened, a fire was burning in a trash barrel and four to five cats were wandering the property, Manning said.

Manning said a man who identified himself as a caretaker said he was burning household trash stuffed in used cat food and cat litter bags. Manning said he saw fresh cat feces and about 15 empty food and litter bags in a garage, along with a bag of dog food.

At least three of the cats had names, Manning said, which Rangos said contradicted the defense's claims that they were feral.

"No matter how you spin this, at a minimum it's suspicious," Rangos said before revoking Marie's bond.

"How ridiculous to assume that there were five friends who met with her and came here with her by their own admission ... would race out to the property and have a bonfire.

"I leave it up to the prosecutors, but there could be criminal charges of tampering with evidence," Rangos said. "Whether or not it was done at (Marie's) behest, clearly it was done for her benefit."

In December, Marie could be sentenced up to 24 years in prison — two years for each of the 12 cruelty counts — and fined $60,000 — $5,000 for each count — if the maximum sentence were to be imposed.

A court official said the tampering with records charges are summary offenses.

Anonymous said...

Apparently the PSPCA, Ms. Jugan, Becky Morrow and the V.F.A. gang left animals behind at T.R. to fend for themselves. I guess it's illegal for anyone to feed the animals they couldn't catch and they say they care about animals. Really? I guess they were too busy picking through people's trash.

Phil Anthropissed said...

I was involved with LCA at the time of the Erv Stebane Circle S Ranch brouhaha. Anonymous, please know that DeRose did indeed pay an Asian couple (I won't say the racial slur that DeRose called them) $1100 "expenses" so they could take the day off from their jobs in order to buy a dog for human consumption so that DeRose could get the video of Stebane killing the dog. The plan was for them to select a dog while DeRose filmed with a spycam hidden in a fake cast on his arm. The couple chose a Springer spaniel. Stebane tied the dog to a post and killed him/her. With the intention of publishing a book and getting himself on TV, DeRose then tried to sell the story to the tabloid show "Hard Copy". When HC aired it but failed to give DeRose a credit, he became enraged and violently destroyed the LCA office, terrifying everyone who was present. As a marketing incentive, a video copy of the dog killing was offered to anyone who gave a $50 minimum donation to LCA. These and similar controversial activities have caused DeRose much alienation among the humane community nationwide. He also has a reputation for stealing the campaigns and hard work of other organizations, marketing it as his own, and fundraising from it.

Anonymous said...

An update on Linda Bruno/Lin Marie of Tiger Ranch... Sentenced:

Hello...Ted B AKA Evan D AKA iamlazarus AKA Taryn, Madras & all of the other Supporters Of Tiger Ranch (SOTR),

Just wanted to let you know that Linda Bruno AKA Lin Marie self proclaimed steward of Tiger Ranch Cat Sanctuary probably won't have much trouble paying her fine...She'll be using YOUR donations!:


Marie has received a little more than $200,000 in legal defense and other contributions, Jugan said.

Marie's lead attorney, Robert Hollister, of Montrose, in the northeast corner of the state, declined to say how much of the fine will be paid with contributions to Tiger Ranch or how much of the money will be used in legal defense.

Oh & in case you missed the news of where all of the previous donations went?

pay her mortgage,
to buy hay for a horse-breeding business,
her own dental work,
trips to the hair salon
and Italian restaurants

Copy & Paste the Links:


Lest You Forget Heed The Following Words:

Statement from Mike Winikoff, Investigator, formerly with Last Chance for Animals

"I was working for Last Chance for Animals when the initial complaints about Tiger Ranch came in to the office," Winikoff said in the statement. He conducted a preliminary investigation.

"I concluded that there was evidence of horrible suffering at Tiger Ranch, and requested authorization to conduct a more thorough investigation. My request was approved, but then abruptly withdrawn.

"I've never fully understood why LCA pulled me off of that investigation," he said. "After I left LCA, I continued to look into Tiger Ranch and became more and more convinced that the allegations were valid.

"As a 20-year veteran of the animal rights movement, including a decade as an undercover investigator, I remain convinced that Tiger Ranch deserved to be closed and investigated for animal cruelty.

"I believe that our mission as animal advocates is to prevent and alleviate suffering wherever it occurs, even when the suffering is created by those who may be trying to do good things for animals.

"I do not believe that good intentions absolve us of the consequences of our actions. That applies both to Tiger Ranch and the people who dumped cats there without fully investigating their likely fate."

Sentencing: pg/10009/1027026-54.stm
"You couldn't walk on Tiger Ranch without stepping on cat bones," Ms. Jugan said. "I often wonder if she told so many lies she started believing them. It's amazing how many people this woman was able to con." x/valleynewsdispatch/s_661432. html

"I came into this case thinking ... you were most likely a woman who had good intentions but became overwhelmed. From that perspective until today, I have learned quite a lot," Rangos said. "You have chosen not to cooperate and spew vitriol in others' direction without taking any personal responsibility for the disaster that Tiger Ranch became."

Sad Truth said...

I know the local invesigators personally. Chris DeRose actually gave one of them information on how to gather evidence so that something could be done to shut down the deathcamp that was Tiger Ranch.

The investigators got this video footage (, pictures, and a statment from the undercover worker.

Initially DeRose promised help to rescue the suffering cats, but after pleading of his niece who was a big supporter of Lin Marie, he not only didn't help, but TOLD the animal abuser that there was video, pictures, and a spy.

Thank God she fired the wrong person (sorry Maureen) and the investigators were able to continue gathering evidence and finally get help from the PSPCA.

The sad thing is, had DeRose acted in November 2007 as he initially promised, over 1,000 cats would be alive today. I hold him personally responsible for this.

Anonymous said...

This article is completely bogus.