Pumpkin and Spudnick are residents at the Southern Florida Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, Inc. in Homestead, Florida. Aside from rescuing and rehabilitating local wildlife, the center specializes in caring for abused and negelected big cats.
Pumpkin is a female panther who had been kept illeagally by her previous owner. During her time with this individual, she managed to escape from her cage on one occassion. Following her escape, her previous owner took a hammer and broke the bones in her left front paw as punishment. As a result, Pumpkin is very distrustful of humans, and does not like people touching her. With the help of some of the center’s volunteers, her previous owner was successfully prosecuted for animal cruelty, and sent to prison for 2 years.
Spudnick is a male panther who had been confiscated from his previous owner by animal control authorities, and brought to the center. His previous owner had used him to fight up to 3 pit bulls at a time while gambling on the outcome. Spudnick was in very bad physical shape with 14 bite wounds when he arrived at the center, and still does not trust people. For a time, he was placed in a cage with a female panther named Elsie in order to help socialize him. Both cats were thought to have been neutered/spayed however, this was discovered not to be the case when Elsie subsequently had 3 kittens: April, Indy, and Miri.