JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

Caboodle Ranch owner Craig Grant, who had almost 700 cats confiscated by authorities in February of 2012, is speaking to the media for the first time in months to try and clear his name and get his pets back.

“I’m fighting with the little money that I have. I am a charity and it’s cost me almost $40,000 at this point,” said Grant.

Grant was charged with animal cruelty last year and pleaded not guilty. He maintains he was giving a home to animals no one else wanted.

“I was giving homeless cats a place to live they were kicked around too much – my Caboodle Ranch was a permanent home for them,” said Grant.

But Rhonda Windman, Medical Director for the ASPCA, said the cats were very sick and in danger with Grant.

“We saw a lot of upper respiratory infections and we also saw a lot of hair matting…so just a lot of signs of neglect and not being cared for very well over a long period of time,” said Windham.

Most of the cats were nursed back to health and adopted out at shelters in around Jacksonville early last year.

Grant is planning to sue the ASPCA citing the group unrightfully confiscated his personal pets, and he wants them back.

“They were not supposed to give out my cats, they were supposed to give me back my personal cats,” said Grant.