Complaints Force The Sale Of Pet Store Tiger

OLD TOWN, Idaho — A cat is in need of a good home. All you need is $20,000, 10 pounds a meat a day and space, lots of it.

Inside Newport feed and pet, past the rabbits, raccoon and lizards you’ll find Lilly.

“She’s very friendly, very playful,” said David Vanderholm.

She just so happens to be a 350 pound Bengal Tiger. Vanderholm rescued the cat from a poacher nine years ago.

“She’s an oversized kitty cat, she’s big, she’s awesome,” said Lynda Taylor, one of Lilly’s biggest fans.

Lilly has called Newport Feed and Pet home ever since she was rescued.

“Over the last year, we’ve had her on and off and we have received quite a few complaints,” said Vanderholm.

The biggest complaint? Neighbors are worried about the size of her pen. They say it’s too small, but David says vets have recommended the pen to be this size because she’s been diagnosed with FIV, a form of HIV in animals.

“We were cautioned by vets if we kept her activity a little bit lower that it should stay in remission, so far it has,” said Vanderholm.

Despite the explanation, the complaints have become to many and too much.

“We decided to go ahead and put her up for sale and give people the opportunity to kind of put their money where their mouth has been for the last number of years,” said David.

The asking price? $20,000, but money alone won’t be enough to take Lilly home.

“First of all they’d have to agree that nothing is ever going to happen to her,” said Vanderholm. “Never euthanize, not going to sell her to a taxidermist.”

And while some would like her to go to a sanctuary, David says it’s not an option because she doesn’t have experience around other tigers.

While the complaints have made Lilly a sore spot in Old Town, she’s also the reason why so many people stop by the store.

“Just to see one this close up is totally awesome,” said Taylor, who visits Lilly at least once a week.

Taylor has mixed emotions about the for sale sign now posted on Lilly’s pen.

“Hopefully she’ll be able to get in a bigger, more natural atmosphere,” she said.