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Big Cat Rescue, Corp.

Rating: 4.76 stars   522 reviews 32,115


12802 Easy Street Tampa FL 33625 USA


Caring for cats - Ending the trade Care of our cats. The narrow mission of Big Cat Rescue is to provide the best permanent home we can for the abused, abandoned and retired cats in our care.  We do this by building enclosures in a very natural habitat with foliage and shelter on our 45 acre site, by providing the best nutritional and medical care possible, and by having active operant conditioning and enrichment programs to provide for their physical and psychological well being.  Education. The broader mission of the sanctuary is to reduce the number of cats that suffer the fate of abandonment and/or abuse and to encourage preservation of habitat and wildlife.  We urge people to behave in a way that will support these goals by teaching people about the plight of the cats, both in the wild and in captivity. We accomplish this through educational guided tours, educational programs for young people, and by maintaining a website that is the world’s largest and best resource for information about exotic cats.


See our annual report at http://bigcatrescue.org/2012/2011-annual-report

Target demographics:


Direct beneficiaries per year:

100+ big cats


Rescuing and providing permanent care for big cats. Saving cats in the wild.

2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Reviews for Big Cat Rescue, Corp.

Rating: 5 stars   Featured Review

12 people found this review helpful

Big Cat Rescue provides an awesome service for big cats that, sadly, is more necessary now than ever. Big cats deserve to live in the wild, but there are so many in the hands of private citizens that are abused and neglected. BCR helps these animals and gives them a home for the rest of their lives, complete with plenty of food, enrichment, vet care, and love. BCR also plays an important role in advocacy for big cats, trying to help them in all areas. The world would be a much worse place without the staff and volunteers at Big Cat Rescue. I visited them in November 2014, and I wish I lived closer so I could visit over and over. To see these amazing animals is a rare treat, and to see them healthy and happy after what many of them have been through is nothing short of a miracle.

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

My friend and I did the Keeper tour and it was worth every penny!
They let you take your time taking pictures, tell you the story of where each cat came from, they educate you on each animal and how we can help stop people from being able to have these wild animals as pets. They are not only saving lives, they are educating and helping to pass legislation. There volunteers are dedicated and humble individuals and you could tell the tour guide lives breathes and sleeps advocacy and conservation. A life changing experience, wish more places where run like this!

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Rating: 5 stars  

We took our 12 year old twins to Big Cat Rescue for the Keeper Tour. It was worth every penny! Our guide Jennifer was very informative and you could tell she loved the cats and her volunteer job! We have been donors for over 10 years and visited over 12 years ago and we see that our donations are very well spent. We also learned that we can do more to be and "Advocat" and make sure that our political leaders are working to stop private ownership of these majestic, wild and wonderful creatures. Thanks Big Cat for everything you do!!

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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 4 stars  

To re-train an animal for wild release, it may be necessary to use live prey. In domestic cats, the mother teaches kittens to hunt for mice by first bringing back dead mice so they learn what to hunt for. She then brings back stunned live mice and demonstrates how to kill. Instinct alone will not produce a good mouser. However, if there is no intention to ever release these wild cats back into s natural environment, I agree live prey are not necessary. Let's admit it, cats can be lazy they are quite happy with killed butchered meat. Yummy for cats. Cats are obligate carnivores and do require meat in their daily diet, trying to force these wild cats into total vegetarians would be cruel. But the prey animals must be treated humanely also.

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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Probably the best rescue for lions, tigers, and other big cats in North America. A huge percentage of donations go directly to improve the facility, feed the animals, and provide all the health care and enrichment they do. Great place to donate

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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 1 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

Big Cat Sanctuary feeds live prey (domestic rabbits) to their cats therefore I cannot support them as this is cruel and unethical. It's absolutely inhumane to throw a live prey animal into a cage with a huge predator like this.

First of all the cats claw them, bite on them before they even die, it's a slow torture process and then are ripped to shreds.
How can anyone be okay with this kind of horrific cruelty?

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Rating: 1 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

After visiting, I was greatly disturbed to hear of the "live feeding"...using living rabbits to try to train bobcats for re-entry into the wild. It seems unethical to me to torture and kill one animal (rabbits) , trying to save another one. Especially since experts disagree that this approach even works! I think the effort to rehab cats is noble...but this barbaric practice destroys their credibility. Many experts feel the instinct to hunt is innate and there is no need to torture rabbits, and that "retraining" is not really possible or necessary. Very disappointed.

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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 1 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

The practice of feeding live domestic animals to carnivores is cruel, inhumane and lacks any scientific base and has no education value.

Despite thousands of animal advocates calling for an end to the brutal practices at Big Cat Rescue (a purported Sanctuary) they continue to practice this unethical protocol while displaying it widely over the internet in videos without guilt or feeling.

Real Sanctuaries & Ethical Rehabs do not value one animal’s life over another.
They do not disrespect the Rehab Code of Honor - "Do No Harm".

Real Sanctuaries do not practice outdated barbaric protocols such as unnecessarily LIVE FEEDING tame helpless domestic rabbits (that have no relation to a wild rabbit) to rehab Bobcats
because there are viable ethical alternatives. BCR also promotes the torture and killing of Live domestic rats & turkeys.

Real Sanctuaries do not pretend a need of teaching hunting instincts to wild animals that are
born with hard wired killing instincts that carries within itself, generation after generation. Just like a domestic cat that wreaks havoc on wildlife.

Real Sanctuaries do not feed wild predators tame animals that are not their natural food source in the wild because this practice is detrimental to the cat as far as survival, as the cats
won't find tame sitting targets (disease free) waiting to be eating in the woods.

And, they Most Certainly do not support the cruelty of breeding domestic rabbits that live in squalor while kept their entire short lives in small cages with wire floors for the purpose of taking their lives to unnecessarily feed them to Big Cats as TREATS while putting the heartless act on public display.

A true Animal Sanctuary is a place of refuge where abused, injured, abandoned or captive wild animals may live in peace and dignity for the remainder of their lives.

Please support Ethical facilities that don't torture and kill our pet rabbits or any other living being.

For The Rabbits,
Linda Sue

http://causes.worldpeacemeet.com/stoplivefeeds/the-shame-big-cat-rescue- tampa/

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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful


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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

I have volunteered, visited and supported this true sanctuary for over ten years. A crew of dedicated and carefully trained volunteers and staff make a wonderful life for rescued wild cats. A TEN STAR EXPERIENCE for all!

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I am both a volunteer at and a donor to BCR. It's a wonderful organization focused on the rescue and care of abandoned, abused and/or retired performing wild cats. No breeding is done and every animal has lifetime care in spacious natural habitats, never concrete cages. BCR's bigger mission is to end the private ownership ans abuse of wild animals and the preservation of natural habitats and species in them. The founders take no salaries, expenses are bare bonres and focus on the proper care and feeding of our residents.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the 5 years I have volunteered there.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

need to clone myself!

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The dedication of all volunteers and the continuing efforts to educate and be the best we can be.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Dedicated, hard working, well trained, passionate in their love for the big cats!!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Be secuyre in knowing the future expenses (almost $1 million in food and vets annually) would be taken care of. Funds to focus on the greater mission of passing people/animal protecting legislation... habitat preservation and restoration.

Ways to make it better...

I had the physical strength to be a keeper and work directly in caring for the cats.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Exotic pet industry. Those who feel they have a "right" to own wild animals which NEVER make good pets. Lack of natural habitat.

One thing I'd also say is that...

The day following my first tour at BCR in 2005 I became a volunteer. I have never regretted it and sometimes think I've never worked so hard!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?


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Review from Guidestar