Fayette Co. Woman Hoping To Care For 3 Bobcats At Home

By: David Highfield

CONNELLSVILLE (KDKA) – A woman from Connellsville Township, Fayette County wants permission to care for three bobcats in an enclosure in her backyard.

Karen Osler has a history of working with exotic animals, and told neighbors at a township supervisors meeting that safety precautions are in place.

The bobcats, Boris, Norman and Olivia, are currently with a woman in Uniontown who said she can’t care for them anymore. They are all declawed.

Some residents at the meeting asked questions about safety, and Barbara Hennessey doesn’t want to see the animals in the township at all.

She said there are enough wild animals in the area.

Township Supervisor Robert Carson said he has concerns over whether the family has the financial means to care for the animals.

However, Osler’s neighbor and a father of four, Chris Gettemy, said he has no concerns. He said he’s seen the bobcats firsthand and believes the enclosure Osler has built is sturdy and safe.

Osler will find out in two days if the township will grant her a letter of approval. She said if she doesn’t get it, she will appeal.

Even if she gets the letter, she still has to get permission from the Pennsylvania Game Commission.


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  • bruceUSA

    These are wild animals that belong in a professional institution. (zoo, animal reserve, etc…) Not in someones residential back yard, If these wild cats hurt someone or got loose, what then???

    • Ashlye Luedke

      What happens when they get out at the zoo? It Happens….

    • r

      Ever heard of biting? Declawed are not….they can still hurt…think about that Sam -of-STUPID!!!

  • ruth

    the best place for these is with Dr Shepherd in uniontown pa he is a expert on cat he takes very good care of them they are wonderful and happy there he specializes in big cat and know there need and proper care they do not belong to someone who want a hobby or live in the city Dr Shepherd place is safe and he gives these animal the love and care they need

    • Seeking balance

      Wait a second. The woman in the video is the basically the head keeper at Doc Sheppars facility. I’m certain she knows what she’s doing, and knows all the regulations for appropriate enclosures. It’s a bit different than me or someone else wanting them because they’re ‘cool or unique’. I would support her taking them….

  • Tom

    I am a sportsman and, like others, am aware of my natural heritage — the wildlife and their native habitat. I am angry and disgusted that someone has declawed these wild and beautiful creatures. It ought to be illegal to do that.

    • John

      I agree with bruce, ruth, and Tom. Excellent points.

  • DP

    What Vet would have done this?

  • rose

    DP, I,too am curious as to what moron would have essentially mutilated those beautiful animals….Declawing consists of removing not just the claw, but the whole digit.

  • Gabrielle Rose

    Dr. Sheperd lost his license to practice & from what I understand is in bankruptcy as we speak. He lost Camelot because of these reasons. He most likeley would have been the vet that declawed the cats because the current owner used to work for him as a vet tech. As for the first comment, Ms. Osler is trying to create a wild animal reserve in another location but she has to get the intial permits from the Game Commission to do that. I just think that the Board needs to give this a little more thought because if she cannot take them in they will be destroyed. I KNOW for a fact that many ppl own exotic animals illegally in SW PA. At least she was honest enough to get the proper permits. That in itself shows that she is responsible. She lives on the side of a mountain. Her neighbors could walk out to get the paper & be attacked by a bear. One was hit & killed this summer just four houses up from this residence. I am sure bobcats are living around the stone quarry & in the caves in these ppl’s backyards aleady.

    • Steve

      difference is those animals have there natral fear of humans intact and wont pose nearly as much of a threat as a domesticated or captivated bobact would. I just feel bad that they have to live in captivity period, either free them or humanely destroy them.

      • kristy

        i agree with you, steve. zoos suck. why can’t this nut job rescue domesticated cats from shelters and save lives? oh, i get it – she needs to be “different” and draw attention to herself. people like her make me sick.

    • Seeking balance

      I had not heard that about Doc Sheperd. What happened to the big cats he’d been caring for/housing??

      • Gabrielle Rose

        I asked the same question today. I was told that they were “placed” in zoos & various locations that take in big cats. As for Camelot, his Assitant Veterinarian, Dr. Justine Blout, just opened a new practice in Hopwood PA. She is the one that will be taking care of the bocats from now on in.

  • Seeking balance

    That’s a simplistic view and not very accurate. Dogs are domesticated, and ‘most’ will not view small children as potential prey – which is the primary concern when dealing with ‘semi’ domestic predators.

  • Brandy

    Why are these cats declawed? They are wild beings who are meant to live naturally.. Not my house cat that tears up the sofa. Now that they are declawed, they need to be kept caged up so I would suggest they stay with her.

  • Blessed Geek

    Declawing a bobcat is like de-Rudolphing Santa,

    is like de-nosing Rudolph,
    or painting Rudolph’s nose white,
    is like defrocking the Pope, or unfrocking the Pope to bare essentials,
    is like confiscating the Bible or the Quran or the Mahabhrata from the hands of the Creator,
    is like banning display of pine trees (real or otherwise) during Christmas
    is like the banning oft turkeys from Thanksgiving,
    is lox without the salmon, or bagels without lox,
    is like a rabbi without a Torah,
    is like GWB without the Iraq war,
    is like Bachmann without the T-party.

    Sheeesshhh !

  • Ken

    Game commission will never allow it…in face they’ll probably fine her.


  • Jeeperz

    Blessed Geek-

    You forgot…

    is like Obama without the sunshine and rainbows

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