Every few months stories appear about someone keeping a wild animal, often euphemistically described as “exotic,” in or around the home, often to the dismay of neighbors and sometimes the animals themselves.

A Mottville, Mich., couple, for example, was arrested in January for illegally possessing wallabies, flying squirrels, exotic raccoons and a monkey, among 20 different animals. A woman in Texas was charged earlier this month with child endangerment for keeping tiger cubs, a full-grown tiger, a skunk, a fox and several monkeys in the same home as her 14-year-old.

Thursday’s seizure in Pahrump, Nev., may set some kind of unfortunate record, however.


According to the Nye County Sheriff’s Office, after receiving reports of animals not being properly cared for, officers arrived at the home occupied by Jacki Freeman, 57, and Abby Hendengran, no age given, to find locked in bedrooms in deplorable conditions the following animals:


2 African lionesses

1 African lion

1 Bengal tiger

8 Canadian Siberian lynx hybrid cats

1 black panther

and 1 serval caracal hybrid cat, essentially a miniature cougar.

Investigators discovered that the residence had a “special conditions animal permit.” But these conditions were anything but special.

According to a Facebook post by the sheriff’s office, animal control officers and officers from the Nevada Division of Wildlife discovered that the animals “were locked in bedrooms and had been urinating and defecating on the walls and carpet.


“The air quality inside the bedrooms was horrific,” the sheriff’s office said.

All of the animals were seized and placed at a U.S. Department of Agriculture approved sanctuary.

Jacki Freeman, who was listed as having custody of the animals, was cited for animal cruelty, according to the sheriff’s office.

The Facebook reaction to the seizure was not sympathetic to the two women, who the sheriff’s office said were engaged in some unspecified litigation with each other.


“What are these people doing in Pahrump and how do they get the animals that do not belong in homes?” asked Joyce Harris.

“What on earth are these people thinking?” said Jennifer Watts.

“This is crazy,” said Debby Gordon.

“Only in Pahrump,” wrote Mercedes Belman.

If you’ve not heard of Pahrump, apparently, you’re really out of it. It’s “a city so famous it needs no introduction,” says the town’s website. It’s “easy to reach and hard to forget.”

Pahrump, population 36,441, an hour west of Las Vegas and an hour east of Death Valley Park, is described as “a place known for extremes.”


In addition to the animals, it’s got two highly rated legal brothels, Chicken Ranch and Sheri’s Ranch, a firearms training institute, a casino, a winery and the Ron Fellows Corvette Driving School.

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