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PETA Calls for Immediate Seizure of Cats

Written by PETA | February 24, 2011

Update: After receiving evidence from PETA’s six-month undercover investigation at Sacred Vision Animal Sanctuary, Judge Bradley Mayers ordered the removal of all animals from the facility. More information regarding these new developments will be made available in the coming days.

Some 300 cats are suffering in filthy wire cages stacked inside dark, unventilated, ammonia-filled storage units at the grotesquely misnamed Sacred Vision Animal Sanctuary (SVAS) in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. PETA has submitted a formal complaint to the local prosecutor and is calling for the cats to be seized immediately.

PETA’ s undercover investigator recorded systematic, severe, and often fatal neglect of cats at SVAS, where some cats have lived in these miserable conditions for years. Our findings include evidence that SVAS owner and operator Elizabeth Owen knowingly deprives severely sick, injured, and suffering cats of veterinary attention for conditions including advanced upper respiratory infections, conjunctivitis, seizures, diabetes, gaping and infected wounds, torn ligaments, internal and external parasites, and painful dental conditions—and the list goes on and on. She even refused offers of free emergency care for dying cats. Owen was charged with violating the local animal care and treatment ordinance in September, but the case has been continued four times since, leaving the cats to suffer day in and day out.

Olaf–who is missing most of one eye and has an unsutured, irritated wound–has never been taken to the veterinarian. He’s one of the many sad cases at SVAS.

Please take a moment to e-mail Horry County prosecutor Greg Hembree and politely ask him to pursue the seizure of all cats from SVAS and to file cruelty-to-animals charges against Elizabeth Owen.

Written by Michelle Sherrow

Commenting is closed.
  • Amelia Coates says:

    Before saying what I intend to, let me begin with @gasparin: Spare us the sarcasm and your Tea Party-Obamacare-Grandma euthanizing drivel; you’re on the wrong site for political sparring. This woman is beyond disturbed! The SVAS website is very neat, tidy, the animals pictured their are looking good. I am particularly curious to know her reasoning behind denying the animals care when a vet was at hand, and for holding the medication for years from the animals after giving only one or two doses. These precious babies don’t have any choice but to barely exist at this woman’s cruel whim. Get her the psychiatric help she needs and get the poor darlings out from under her ‘care'(?) ASAP!!!

  • Juanita says:

    Hate is not a word I use but I hate this woman for all the pain and hurt she caused how can u stand by and watch these cats suffer I wuld rather starve myself to ensure my cats or fish or wat eva were fed and care for. Thank you PETA for showing the world wat this woman did Joe hopefully close her down forever

  • KNA says:

    I have had 13 years with my first cat; after viewing this; Zeus & I conferred and we can help with an adoption if needed…we are happy just the 2 of us but we could share our happiness

  • gasparin says:

    Congratulations to PETA’s special undercover investigator in Myrtle Beach for succeeding in having most of these animals killed cleanly. I guess that counts as a victory for animal lovers everywhere. I kind of worry though about what sort of fate these hidden eugenicists in the area would wish for me… Yet, with chronic pain, a falling apart wheelchair, so few whole & healthy teeth that my mouth resembles Stonehenge and I don’t smile too broadly for fear of attracting druids, and there’s undoubtedly some gum-disease going on in there too since SC Medicaid hasn’t provided dental coverage for as long as I can remember — I guess it’s a good thing Kevorkian is out of jail. Then again, I’m a human animal, so I probably don’t even need to have any physical ailments to qualify for euthanasia. And if being human AND crippled isn’t enough to have me “put to sleep”, I haven’t been spayed or neutered… so I’m a BREEDER also! I feel so guilty. Could PETA please have their Myrtle Beach/Horry County enforcer to contact me and help plan my “dignified exit”? As righteous veganazis we should not rest until humans are treated as equals to all other animals. Biocentrism, be damned! Technocracy, here we come! Long live the non-profit industrial complex. Please give money today to help us end suffering in the most humane way possible.

  • Amber Lee says:

    I can’t stand watching such horrific living conditions. These poor cats don’t deserve to be treated so inhumane. I am mind boggled that people feel animals don’t have feelings like you and I. I want so badly to be able to walk up in this Hell and save all those animals and give them the love they deserve. A sanctuary is a place where the cats would be loved, able to roam in clean and safe environments without having to live in fear. How can any police officials allow such a cruel thing to continue. If the cats were humans this would not be toleratd, but because they’re cats no one seems to care. May this own lady rot in eternal hell!

  • KATHI H says:


  • Lisa says:

    Jeez! This is so unbelievable!! I can’t understand how could she let most cat suffering? Arrest her NOW! Save all poor cats now!

  • Melissa says:

    I “Googled” this woman (Elizabeth Owen) and her facility and was shocked to see such a professional website and what seemed to be very caring humans trying their hardest to place homeless cats. I was unable for some reason to view PETA’s video of the horrible conditions and can only go by what the rest of you are writing. From what you all say, I am actually glad I was unable to see the video. Anyway, I believe this woman kept taking in cats with the vision or should I say delusion that she would be able to place them but never could. I can relate; I took in a pregnant female cat thinking after the kittens were born, I would place them in good homes. Even after I had the kittens spayed and given their first round of shots, I could not place them. I had socialized them well and they were and still are cute as can be. In the end I was only able to place 1 kitten and I had to fly her to a woman (friend of a friend) in Pennsylvania (for anyone wondering, she has a wonderful home – I get updated pictures all the time) 🙂 Anyway, the point is that out of 4 kittens, I could only place one and this was after much effort was put forth and money was spent. I have the mother and 3 of her kittens along with another rescued cat I had already taken into my home. This is in addition to the 4 dogs I share my life with. I know I have reached my max and although I can care for the animals who live with me, to add any more would be a disaster. For us animal lovers, we sometimes take on more than we can handle and have nothing but the best intentions when we begin. Those with mental illness simply cannot stop taking in the animals and this is the reason the term “animal hoarders” has been coined in recent years and extensive studies have been done. I truly feel for everyone involved (human and animal) in this case and for those involved in the many other cases which have yet come to light (because you better believe there are many more cases just like this one to be discovered). Whether in great magnitude of hundreds of animals as in this case or in smaller numbers, the animals of hoarders suffer all the same. We must fight in our own communities and have petitions signed for mandatory spay/neuter laws because without these laws in place and enforced we will always have unnecessary death and suffering of the animals. For every dog or cat “rescued” 100’s more are born on the street, in an alley or in an abandoned warehouse. The ONLY way to fix the problem is to force humans to actually be RESPONSILBE where the animals are concerned.

  • Susan says:

    I just called the # for the attorney general to voice a complaint and was put to a recording said that she was scheduled for a March hearing but more “evidence” was produced today that must be evaluated. She is an expert at putting off her hearing date. They also gave her # to call and adopt a cat, which I will do. The number is 843-251-7729.

  • Lucy says:

    I am glad for PETA and their investigation on these kind of animal cruelty. In this case, I am appalled and angered by the people that run this facility but in the other hand, I think they are lacking funds to care for the cats. Where are these cats going once removed from this hell hole? Maybe if we donate to them it will help them clean up and pay for vet care. Just my opinion. They have the space. They just need to get it cleaned and care for these poor cats. I wish I was close to this place. I would visit and help with funds and time.

  • Jill Sherstobitoff says:

    I agree…. She must be stopped this time and never allowed to be in the care or control of any other of Gods gifts to us…. Those poor little Baby’s. Time to put her in the cage and treat her better than she ever treated them. This is utterly disgusting !!!

  • Lisa Del Fante says:

    OMG this is horrible , that woman needs to be jailed for life for cruelty to animals !!!!!!!!!!

  • Andrew Kotka says:

    After receiving a notification from PETA (I can hear you say “another animal rights crackpot” right, Am I right?) on the way your “shelter” is managed I decided to take a look at what your site had to say, offer & what its asking for & claiming to do. Big difference between the two pieces of info I would say! The ‘Sanctuary’ may sound nice but is it a cat friendly environment. According to PETA it is anything but. I did see that all but one of the pics offered on the S page are caged. This is what PETA claims in part to be very cat unfriendly actually. Claiming they are kept caged, as like in the pics, constantly, some for years in utterly deplorable conditions. I see that you have rows of stacked cages in a large warehouse type space. I don’t know what your leasing or renting arrangements are but I would think that if you could take the cages away put down old rugs, carpet, floorboards (donated old unusable stuff), make a large sandpit for litter that in itself would be a huge uplift in the quality of life you force these basically cage-warehoused animals to ENDURE, yes ENDURE. I wonder whether as a cat you would really like/enjoy living in the style you are forcing these cats to exist in, it isn’t life Elizabeth no matter how much you tell yourself that these cats have got it better than being feral strays you really are totally deluding yourself dear lady. Hiding behind a church of all things. How typically American is that? Probably where you derived the name of your cat dungeon, YES CAT DUNGEON ACTUALLY Elizabeth. “Sacred Vision”, save the cats from their free (feral) wandering & scrap hunting (mice too), put em in a stinking, dark, hot, unventilated dungeon-for-cats hid behind a churchy, unsigned, unknown to any passerbys and that is what you call sacred Elizabeth. Are you mad woman, or have you been going to that churchy too much to see your own madness? From my vantage it appears madness! Go read the PETA site pages linked to your operation Elizabeth, you owe(n) it to yourself to see how others in the game of animal welfare view your vision lady. With derision they see your vision. Can you see it or do you live in a vacuum of the possessed mindscape of what is termed a ‘hoarder’? I mean on your Resale Store page you write “…we are always looking for donation of items…” & “…helping out the kitties with out getting so hands on with them.” But according to PETA you have refused donated veterinary care “… “rejected an offer for free veterinary examinations and adoption opportunities for the cats as part of a consent agreement that was presented to her.” (PETA site). Don’t you see, what with your sacred vision & all, that there is a massive contradiction between what you are asking for & what is being offered & what is being accepted by you? Or is PETA making unfounded accusations for some reason? Do tell because I am sending this email on, with any response you will honour me with or not. You say “Bad for them because, especially in our area, not everyone likes kitties or for a good time when you are drunk, lets go torture some kittens!!” (your words) by leaving “The majority of the cats [are] kept caged 24/7 in wire crates, most of which contain two to four cats each. Only one litterbox is provided per cage, and cats—who are naturally fastidiously clean—have no way to escape the sight and smell of the overflowing piles of faeces and urine. The caged cats are denied everything that is natural and important to them—they have no room to stretch or walk around, let alone explore or exercise. See photos from the investigation now… Running out of litter and food is a virtually daily occurrence at SVAS, whose operator Elizabeth Owen, employs no paid staff. Owen herself does little, if any, caretaking or cleaning and spends most of her time tinkering in a thrift store that she runs next door. Owen often hides cats who are visibly ill or injured and in need of veterinary care in the thrift store.” (PETA’S claims). It sounds very much like you’re the biggest kitty hater of them all, short of Primary Children’s Medical Centre which have made some self justifying claims that don’t logically stack up. From my perspective it sounds very much like you have a mental illness my dear lady, & I dare you to write back justifying what you have been & are doing so that I might put PETA on the back foot for making wild unsubstantiated claims against you. It sounds like you would rather potter around in your thrift shop, patting yourself on the back for all the good work you are doing in ridding your area of the feral cat menace/problem, feeling like a good Samaritan, even a saint, towards the “kitties”, they’re not all babies are they? & NOT getting your own hands dirty “without getting so hands on with them” (you’re own revealing words). So are you in the shop most of the time leaving the cat duties to volunteers or are you getting your hands dirty whilst leaving the shop to volunteers? It is on or the other. “Over the last few months, PETA’s investigator documented Owen’s systematic failure to provide veterinary care to numerous sick and injured cats, many of whom suffered prolonged agonizing deaths as a result. A volunteer at SVAS told PETA’s investigator that over the years, she had buried “at least 100” cats who had died at the facility. (PETA’S words). Now compare this with your words Elizabeth. “Left untreated these infections are a horrible, drawn out way to die that includes lots of suffering. Haven’t they had enough.” (your words) Sounds like you haven’t had enough & your strange wording in the excerpt below alludes to you ‘thinking’ in the “kitties” terms, a kind of delusional thinking becos who’s bothering who in this deal? All those kitties stay caged for a few weeks then? BULLSHIT I say! You are either outright lying or this proves your delusional mindset. Evidently you keep hundreds & cannot show pics of any free cats (as in uncaged) becos you have never made a free range space available to all those poor tortured cats who can look forward to being in your mentally-delusional-prison until they die from sorrow & neglect to satisfy your SACRED VISION, yes, deny if you can Elizabeth! You said it when you say they remain in the area, what you are really saying is 99% of them remained trapped until dead when they are released into a hole in the ground somewhere in the area. A great “release” for them, their only release from one very sick, deluded lady who has spent too much time stuck behind another place deluded, sick people go to die, that churchy building in front of your oh so SACRED VISION. It is so unfortunate when people flip out & cannot see the damage they are doing becos they have chosen to ‘cover it over’ with self deluding words & ‘mean well’ intentions that go by the wayside in favour of self congratulations whilst donating other kind people’s time to prop it all up. Very sad indeed! “We keep them in a large cage where they have a chance to chill out and see that this is not a bad place. They do not try to bother me, they feed me and give me fresh water, I have shelter from the elements, this is ok. They stay caged for 1-4 weeks. After being caged 99% of the cats remain in the area they are released…” Please contact us to find out more information or what you can do to help. This is my effort to help & as a co-worker with God Almighty (yes I am a Christian as opposed to the self deluding churchites who attend churchy on the Pope’s Sabbath, i.e. Sunday, like the uncaring fools that attend that one you hide your operations behind) I am giving a timely warning that people who torture animals are on notice, whoever & whatever colour they are, whatever their reasons/delusions, God’s Sacred Vision sees these human munny based, ritual, tradition, manhood based practices of animal cruelty & torture to be yet another abomination to nature that He intends on stamping out. If that means stamping on some old biddies hiding behind a dumb churchy whilst they do their thing, he will do it. Get the idea Elizabeth??? You are accountable to Him & will “be held liable for any injuries or damages that occurs while handling cats.”- should you be found to be lying, making false claims & not seeing so when others put you to task of really seeing how you’ve made things, not rebutting serious queries made in the interests of those cats you keep (your words) & continuing to manhandle God’s natural & innocent beings to their detriment & death. For crimes against various species a heavy toll will be exacted. YOU HAVE HEREBY BEEN NOTICED ELIZABETH OWEN.

  • Michelle says:

    I have just watch the above video and to my horror I can’t believe that someone could be so cruel & neglectful to these darling cats….please help them!!! She is not saving or helping Cats!! 🙁

  • Charles Lyonhart says:

    This is deplorable. How can they keep this place open while they are investigating? Whose brother is on the police force or in local politics in Myrtle Beach? How much money is this witch paying people to look the other way? This is one of the many reasons why mankind is going to hell. How can anyone treat a poor defenseless animal like a cat or a dog like this? Please sign the petition, join PETA, make a comment, rescue a cat, do anyhting to stop this madness.

  • Ana A. Garcia says:

    I am in agony over this…….

  • Monica Affleck says:

    This witch should be put in jail, she is obviously mentally ill and to let a cat have convulsions and no vet care is evil.  She should be banned from having any type of animal.  She is a cat’s worst nightmare.  It was disgusting to see dying cats with NO VET CARE AT ALL.  She obviously is NOT saving cats, she is destoying their trust then their lives.  Please put this horror of a female behind bars, a real woman would not do this to an animal.  God’s gifts to us and she is taking God’s gifts and showing them HELL.  Please do something before she purposely kills more cats.  

  • Christina says:

    Please put this to a stop. Allowing the cats to suffer while the case is being continued is making you an accessory to her horrible crime. Please consider the very painful suffering these animals must be going through right now and let those who want to, help them.