SARASOTA, Florida -- Empty cages were a sign of success at Cat Depot's adoption event this weekend.
Many of the 150 cats brought to Robarts Arena found forever families. They were among 700 felines rescued from a sanctuary in North Florida after the ASPCA said an undercover PETA investigation found they were living in inhumane conditions at the Caboodle Ranch.
"These conditions didn't occur overnight," an ASPCA official said during rescue efforts in February. "This is something that accumulates over a number of years."
The Ranch's owner, Craig Grant, was charged with animal cruelty.
But the supporters of the sanctuary, many of whom write on a growing Facebook page, say their case isn't over yet, and the adoptions shouldn't be happening until it is.
"I think [the cats] should have been returned," said Susan Batta, a frequent Caboodle Ranch visitor who acted as a witness in court. "I never saw anything. I walked the perimeters, all over. I was there for hours, and the cats were really happy."
An order issued Thursday by a Madison County judge said no more animals will be turned over to shelters unless it's an emergency, or permission is granted by the court.