- Associated Press - Monday, September 1, 2014

FRIERSON, La. (AP) - The owner of a Baton Rouge-area truck stop that keeps a live tiger was among volunteers helping a northwest Louisiana big cat owner bring facilities up to state standards.

Officials at Yogie and Friends Exotic Cat Sanctuary in Frierson have a Sept. 3 hearing in DeSoto Parish Court to answer a state citation, The Times (http://bit.ly/1tmDnGG) reported.

The facility must show progress on a list of deficiencies noted in July by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, which also cited executive director Jenny Senier for having the animals without a permit.

Three big cat owners who have had their own run-ins with state regulators - Tiger Truck Stop owner Michael Sandlin, Doug Terranova, of Kaufman, Texas, and Joe Schreibvogel of Oklahoma - and other volunteers spent up to three days last week enlarging dens and doing other work.

Yogie & Friends has state permits only for a bobcat and servals. Its tigers, lions and leopard are licensed through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which had considered the facility a Class C exhibitor in good standing since it opened in 2000.

USDA has made repeat visits since the state station was issued, Senier said.

“We take what they say seriously but we were just not able to get the help,” Senier said.

Schreibvogel organized the volunteer crew. He’s done this before, he said, helping to rebuild a zoo in Missouri in three days.

He said some of the state orders don’t make sense to him, such as one requiring doors on den houses so cats can be locked in during bad weather. They’re smart enough to avoid bad weather on their own, and each pen already has a secure area where cats are moved when their cages need cleaning.

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Information from: The Times, http://www.shreveporttimes.com

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