Karl mitchell tiger

Karl mitchell tiger DEFAULT

Pahrump veteran claims tigers are emotional support animals

There's a critical need for service dogs and support animals but lately some people say it's getting out of hand. Now a Nye County veteran says the sheriff may be trying to take away his emotional support tigers. 

Vietnam veteran Karl Mitchell says the 10 tigers at his Pahrump home provide emotional support from the trauma of war. 

"In my case I have PTSD," says Karl. "And my doctor has written that she feels that the tigers are beneficial to my psychological well-being and so therefore I got what the law requires."

Mitchell says this isn't new. He's used the tigers for emotional support for years. 

But documents submitted by the Nye County Sheriff's Office to county commissioners show the sheriff is denying Mitchell the permits he needs to keep exotic animals because he failed to pay fees. He told authorities he wants those fees waived under the Fair Housing Act as he claims the tigers are emotional support animals.  

But he told us it's not about the money.

"If they don't want to go by their own rules and they want us to pay, then we will pay. It's not that big a deal."

Mitchell says it's a fight for his rights. 

"I have a right to have them regardless of the emotional support situation," Mitchell explains. "And the right to have them as property in Nye County as a private person. I have that right."
  
The Sheriff's Office declined to talk on camera before Nye County Commissioners take up the issue.  

County records claim Mitchell continues to possess Special Conditions Animals without required permits from Nye County or the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  

Mitchell used to have a USDA license but it was revoked years ago for multiple violations of the Animal Welfare Act.  Now, he claims he doesn't need anything from the feds. 

"Only if I'm involved in a business. If I'm doing a movie job or a stage show with a magician, you have to have licenses for that stuff. But for me as a private person with my personal animals? No."

County records refer to numerous photographs of Mitchell's animals with celebrities posted on social media.  Authorities allege he was "illegally exhibiting his tigers," which he refutes. 

"This could be considered exhibiting. I don't think I'm exhibiting. I think I'm doing a news interview."

He claims the celebrities, like Golden Knights player James Neal, are his friends who visit his property and take pictures with his pets. 

"My personal friends who happen to be famous can come and visit me. And there's no proof that anybody paid me anything."

But authorities say they do have proof. County records show magician David Goldrake paid Mitchell $750 to bring a tiger cub to the Tropicana hotel for his wife's birthday.

"We agreed to go and take a visit and see them for 10 minutes at the close of their show," say Mitchell. 

As for the $750?

"A donation is a donation," says Karl. 

Mitchell's Big Cat Encounters ranch is described on his website as "a private shelter not open to the public."  But he does solicit money, saying his operation "survives solely on donations."

The sheriff is also concerned about public safety, referring again to social media photos showing what they describe as "tigers loose on public lands."  Authorities call it,  "...irresponsible, careless and NOTHING less than a serious public safety concern."

"After 30 years of supplying animals of every description and size," Mitchell refutes, "I more than anyone know and understand what the possibility for risk to the public is. I also know not to expose the public to these animals in a way that they might be injured."

Mitchell's attorney Arlette Newvine claims the sheriff is trying to mislead Nye County Commissioners, saying the permit problems began when the Sheriff's office took over Animal Control and started making changes.

"He's done everything successfully in the past to get his permits," explains Newvine. "He did the same thing this time and now they won't give him his permits."

She questions what will happen to the tigers if Mitchell doesn't get his permits.

"Do they have the experience that Karl does? Are they going to be able to provide the type of care that Karl gives them? They're never going to have the bond that Karl has with them. And his wife as well. So I don't know the answer to that question and I don't think Nye County knows it either.  

Nye County commissioners will have a hearing on all this on November 20th. We called them all but only one would comment, saying Karl Mitchell is smart and knows what he's doing with the tigers but he has to follow the law when it comes to permits. 
 

Sours: https://www.ktnv.com/news/investigations/pahrump-veteran-claims-tigers-are-emotional-support-animals

Pahrump man wins appeal; Nye County Commission grants permit to keep 10 tigers

Karl Mitchell, a Pahrump exotic animal owner who fought to keep his tigers, won his appeal with the Nye County Commission Friday.

Nye County Commission voted 3-1 to overturn a previous judge’s ruling and grant Karl Mitchell’s appeal by reversing the denial of a Special Conditions Animal Permit. 

Watch what happened in the meeting below.

The exotic animal owner has been tied up in a legal battle over keeping his tigers for years.

The I-Team has reported about Mitchell exotic animal battles for more than a decade, including when he was openly defiant of the U.S. Department of Agriculture by showing off his tigers, despite a federal court order that said Mitchell was violating federal law.

RELATED STORY: I-Team: Tiger owner vows to defy federal law

Mitchell is now allowed to keep 10 exotic cats at his ranch in Pahrump legally, but special conditions were attached to Mitchell being able to have his tigers back.  

Read more about that here.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Sours: https://www.8newsnow.com/news/local-news/pahrump-man-wins-appeal-nye-county-commission-grants-permit-to-keep-10-tigers/
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Animal Trainer with Checkered Past Back in the Spotlight
An Animal Rights Article from All-Creatures.org

FROM

George Knapp and Matt Adams, LasVegas.Now
July 2009

The idea that tigers can get out of control isn't an idle concern. Mitchell's former neighbors say his tigers and lions got out of their compound several times and were running free. In 2002, Mitchell shot and killed one of his tigers that got loose during a move. Two years later, one of his cats bit the finger off of Mitchell's girlfriend at the time.

The former sheriff of Nye County described Karl Mitchell as a man with a short fuse. His neighbors in Pahrump make no secret of the fact that they're afraid of him. He's been known to issue threats, point guns, and a lot worse.

The I-Team has followed his tumultuous animal training career for 16 years. When Mitchell was sent to prison five years ago, some thought that would be the end of his troubles with animals.

But while searching for her new BFF, reality TV star Paris Hilton required contestants to pet a live tiger at the home of Wayne Newton. The tiger came from Pahrump, one of five owned by the notorious animal trainer.

What Hilton doesn't know is that Mitchell is now using her name and likeness to promote his business, Big Cat Encounters. His website entices tourists to visit his "tiger reserve," described as five acres of grassland, almost like a zoo, where tigers roam free and where paying customers can pet, photograph, and even swim with the large carnivores.

Suffice to say, the description of the property is a bit misleading and so are the glowing accolades about Mitchell himself. A world-renowned animal expert? Notorious is more like it.

"I'm always appalled whenever Karl Mitchell has anything with a heartbeat because of his history of neglect and abuse," said animal activist Linda Faso.

Faso has shadowed Karl Mitchell ever since he first moved to Nye County with his cats. Her concerns prompted an I-Team investigation back in 1996, which found horrible conditions at Mitchell's previous animal compound -- tiny cages, rotten food, flies, feces, and lack of water.

The USDA came in and cited Mitchell for 45 separate violations of the Animal Welfare Act. Mitchell didn't miss a beat. "Someone like him who doesn't respect laws at all is going to do what he wants to do," said Faso.

Since arriving in Pahrump in the early 90's, Mitchell has been arrested more than a dozen times and his arrest record in California stretches back even further. He was busted for trying to drive over two fish and game wardens who were chasing him. California officials describe Mitchell as a threat to both humans and animals.

"He threatened to hunt me down. I'm worried he will kill me," said Kari Bagnall. Bagnall married Mitchell, and then he put her in the hospital with broken ribs. She says her ex was barred from a film set after using a needle and thread to sew shut the mouth of a snake.

Stylist Katie Taylor witnessed how Mitchell treated a chimp during a TV taping for Super Dave Osborne at the Rio hotel. "He started beating this chimpanzee. We were like, ‘What are you doing?' He said, ‘That's how I get him to do what I want him to do -- beat him in the back.' Punching the monkey in the back, he was just a jerk," she said.

Mitchell lost one batch of big cats in 2005 while he was doing a two-year stretch in prison for grand theft, but now he has a new collection in the backyard of a rented house. He sells tours even though his exhibitor's license was permanently revoked in 2001. "He didn't seem concerned about not having one," said Pahrump Valley Times reporter Mark Waite.

When Waite spotted Mitchell exhibiting one of his cats in February, he wrote a story about it. Mitchell came unglued. "He was pretty angry. He implied I shouldn't write anymore about him. He used street lingo on me," he said.

But the story came to the attention of the USDA, which has sent inspectors to Mitchell's place three times in recent months. A formal complaint shows the government plans to come after Mitchell once again.

Faso worries it might come too late. Every time Mitchell conducts one of his tours, she says, he puts visitors at risk. As Roy Horn knows, tigers are unpredictable. "It is an accident waiting to happen. It's just a matter of time," she said.

The idea that tigers can get out of control isn't an idle concern. Mitchell's former neighbors say his tigers and lions got out of their compound several times and were running free. In 2002, Mitchell shot and killed one of his tigers that got loose during a move. Two years later, one of his cats bit the finger off of Mitchell's girlfriend at the time.

Mitchell declined an interview request but thanked us for our continued interest in his activities. Late Monday, he sent an email denying that he has ever been kicked off a set or that he sewed up the mouth of that snake. He also hinted there will be legal action against Eyewitness News.


Return to Animal Rights Articles

Sours: https://www.all-creatures.org/articles/ar-trainer.html
04/17/2013 Karl Mitchell Big Cat Encounters Part 2

Karl Mitchell & Buk

Karl Mitchell, owner and operator of Big Cat Encounters Ranch, started in the animal world 25 years ago when he trained his house cat to ride on his motorcycle with him. A veteran animal trainer was impressed and invited Karl to help him in his business. Eventually Mitchell became a sort of animal guru, able to train animals ranging from antelope to zebra. His real passion has become the big cats of Africa and tigers from India.

Mitchell is dedicated to the preservation of rare animals. "The tigers are much more rare than the lions," he says," though they are more difficult animal to work with since they are lone individualists, not family- oriented like lions." Tigers are also bigger. A mature lion can weigh 500 pounds, but a full-grown Bengal tiger can tip the scales at 700 pounds.

Mitchell does not believe in surrounding his tigers and lions with concrete. His animals are often roaming the fenced-in ranch, and are leashed only when visitors arrive. He trains the animals using love and positive reinforcement, techniques he learned from the trainers he was apprenticed to in Hollywood. He has worked on numerous television shows including Barretta and Emergency. His trained lions and tigers have appeared in many movies, television shows and in photo layouts in such prominent magazines such as Vogue and Elle. Las Vegas convention delegates sometimes see the animals making appearances at various conventions and trade shows on the Strip. The Ranch is often used as a location for international magazine and rock video shoots.

Return to India

Show business is one thing but Karl Mitchell's long-range goal is to take some of his Nevada-born tigers back to India. "There are 23 wildwife sanctuaries in India cooperating with Project Tiger, a program with the express goal of repopulating these areas with tigers to make up for those illegally poached before there were parks established," says Mitchell. "I'm contacting them to see what their needs are so that enventually one of my tigers can grow up in what should be his native land."

Sours: http://www.bigcatencounters.org/karlmitchell.html

Tiger karl mitchell

A longstanding battle over tigers in the Pahrump Valley has finally reached a conclusion, with the Nye County Commission voting to grant local tiger owner Karl Mitchell’s appeal and reverse the denial of a Special Conditions Animal Permit.

Mitchell is now allowed to legally keep his 10 exotic cats at his valley home, located on Woodchips Road near the northwest edge of town. Special conditions were attached to that action however. Mitchell is restricted from exhibiting the tigers or transporting them for any reason other than medical care or in the event of an emergency.

In addition, when transporting them, Mitchell is required to provide Nye County Animal Control with 24 hours prior notice.

The appeal hearing was held during the Nye County Commission’s Tuesday, Feb. 19 meeting and included more than two hours of intense debate between Mitchell’s legal representation and members of the Nye County Sheriff’s Office, which operates animal control.

There are two permits needed for someone to keep animals such as tigers in Pahrump. First is a Conditional Use Permit. The second is a Special Conditions Animal Permit.

Both of these permits for the tigers in question had originally been held by Kayla Mitchell, Karl’s attorney Arlette Newvine explained. However, Newvine added that delays involving inspections necessary for the renewal of Kayla’s permits in 2017 prompted Karl to apply for entirely new permits in his own name, with the intention of ensuring they remained in compliance.

Karl had successfully obtained a Conditional Use Permit for the tigers in Feb. 2018. At the same time, he applied for the second permit, the Special Conditions Animal Permit, Newvine explained.

The Nye County Sheriff’s Office then denied Karl’s application for the Special Conditions Animal Permit in July 2018, leading Mitchell to appeal that decision to the commission.

The sheriff’s office cited a series of reasons for denial, including a slew of allegations regarding exhibition of the tigers, which Karl is not authorized to do without first obtaining a USDA license for such activity.

In its denial letter, the sheriff’s office stated it had received complaints about the Mitchell’s exhibiting, both on their property and outside of it, providing photos of several people interacting with tigers.

The letter included details of an interview with a gentleman who stated he had paid Karl to bring a tiger cub to the Tropicana in Las Vegas, which the office deemed exhibiting.

The sheriff’s office also stated that Kayla’s Conditional Use Permit had expired so the couple was essentially in violation of the county’s code, another reason the office decided to deny the application.

Newvine argued fiercely against each of the sheriff’s points of reasoning, declaring that the sheriff’s office had failed to provide concrete evidence of exhibiting.

She backed up her statement by citing the fact that no charges had been filed against the Mitchells, either by Nye County, Clark County or the USDA.

She also asserted that the photographs the sheriff’s office had provided as evidence of exhibiting did not really constitute exhibiting, as they were either quite old or otherwise featured close friends of the Mitchells.

After each side had had its say, the decision was in the hands of the commission, which was divided in its opinion and only narrowly reached a conclusion.

Commissioner Donna Cox made the first move toward resolution, motioning to overturn the denial and issue Karl his Special Conditions Animal Permit.

Commissioner Leo Blundo seconded the motion but when put to a vote, it resulted in a deadlock of 2-2, with Cox and Blundo for, commissioners John Koenig and Debra Strickland against, and commissioner Lorinda Wichman absent.

Strickland then made a motion to deny the appeal, which Koenig seconded. That vote, too, resulted in the same tie. Strickland explained that her main concern was with transportation of the tigers and Blundo took that information in consideration to form yet another motion.

Blundo proposed to overturn the denial of the permit contingent upon adding special conditions. These include the restrictions on exhibiting and transporting the exotic felines as well as the requirement of advance notice of transport. That motion passed 3-1 with Koenig the sole voice against.

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at [email protected]

Sours: https://pvtimes.com/news/pahrumps-tigers-saga-reaches-conclusion-67285/
04/17/2013 Karl Mitchell Big Cat Encounters Part 2

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