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July 29, 2014

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July 29, 2014

BCR is not only one of the nation's best sanctuaries for big cats, it's also an outspoken advocate for eliminating abusive roadside zoos and faux sanctuaries that exploit these animals for profit.

As a result, BCR is a popular target for animal abusers and their enablers. It's a good
measure of just how effective their advocacy is!

Ways to make it better...

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

Leverage BCR's grassroots support into a legislative powerhouse. Those fans are ready and eager to help.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

July 28, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

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July 28, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

After review BCR 990 (a tax return for non-profits) I discovered the paid employees are family members. If I read the document correctly, it looks like they have quite a bit of liquid assets but can't fix the USDA violations. The state of Florida does not consider BCR a sanctuary. The animals are really part of a private zoo (over 32,000 visitors a year) doing the things that the organization is supposed to prevent. Reading the positive reviews, everyone can wait to go there and see the animals again. Now BCR seems to have run out of big cats to "rescue" and is going after domestic cats such as the Bengal and Savannah which have been around for decades.

Ways to make it better...

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

Allow the animals to have true sanctuary with out the consisted visitor. Quite spreading untruths about domestic cats. Basically, they should not be a non-profit with the set up they have.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

July 8, 2014

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July 8, 2014

In my opinion, Carole and Howard Baskin, multi-millionaires, have created the biggest scam possible to have people donate to support their 'habitual hoarding habit' of exotic cats. By supporting bans on these animals, they create for themselves a 'roadside zoo' with no competition. What's supposed to be 'sanctuary' is not considered a Florida sanctuary by FFW due to the amount of advertising and heavy traffic; with possibilities for tours anytime night or day.
This facility does not meet standards and thee owners guilty of 26 VIOLATIONS of the Animal Welfare Act. That statement right there demonstrates the biggest reason for such a poor rating.

Ways to make it better...

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

SHUT IT DOWN and move the animals to better facilities where people know what they are doing including isolation for incoming animals and how to provide properly for sic animals. Built on and old landfill with the animals receiving water pumped in from the old retention pond. Considering the numerous deaths, the highest of any facility of this type, mostly from cancer and tumors; it is likely from contaminated soil and the water provided to the animals

More feedback...

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Badly

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Some

Will you recommend this organization to others?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

April 16, 2014
2 people found this review helpful

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April 16, 2014
2 people found this review helpful

I interned with Big Cat Rescue back in 2010. We worked long hard days, but every minute was worth it. All of the work done on the sanctuary was centered around making things better for the cats that live there. Everyone is constantly coming up with new ways to improve the lives of the cats stuck in these cages. The efforts made by the sanctuary to educate the public were also phenomenal, educating people through tours about what being a wild cat really means and showing why they shouldn't be people's backyard pets. The fact that they provide information on legislation and contact letters visitors can send their congressmen shows that they are committed to improving the life of big cats every where, not just those of the cats present at the sanctuary. It is truly an impressive non profit that is focused on making the world a better place, taking nothing for itself and giving everything to its cats. The volunteers are friendly and hard working, as are the few staff members employed (the rescue is almost entirely volunteer run which is really impressive). It is a fun place to visit, and a cause I am honored to have supported with my time. I hope to one day return and volunteer there

Ways to make it better...

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

--

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 16, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

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April 16, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

Big Cat Rescue is a wonderful sanctuary. I love it there and cannot wait to go again. I am also a contributor and an Advocat. The cats have spacious catatats with grass and dens and trees. They get enrichment and love to rip open spice bags and cardboard figures. These cats have come from places where they were abused, neglected and abandoned. Some were rescued in very bad shape. They have a marvelous medical team and the cats are given top rate medical care. They work very hard in educating the public about why big cats do not make pets. I have learned so much from them and work with them in spreading the word and educating others. Staff and volunteers do amazing work.
April 16, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

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2 previous reviews - show all
September 7, 2011

BCR is exceptional in education all visitors that if people didn't think these cats could be domesticated and kept as pets then there would be NO cats at BCR... The cats here are all from people that... more

April 16, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

This is a wonderful non-profit! They not only rescue abused, neglected, or abandoned big cats, but they also help to educate the public in an effort to put an end to the exotic animal trade and fur trade that put these poor creatures in these situations to begin with. They have numerous campaigns to help educate the public and get laws passed to bring an end to the abomination of fur farms, exotic pet ownership. I learned not only about each animals history before coming to BCR but also the great care they take care of them after they arrive. You leave knowing that something WILD is never something to have as a Pet.

Ways to make it better...

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

build a raised catwalk with each board being a donated with name of donator...

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

September 7, 2011
2 people found this review helpful

BCR is exceptional in education all visitors that if people didn't think these cats could be domesticated and kept as pets then there would be NO cats at BCR... The cats here are all from people that thought they could keep them as a pet and then within time realized they could not! The first cat we saw was Amazing Grace. It was fun to see how the animals ham it up for the tour groups! They roll around and do all sorts of "cute cat" behavior. All the animals are rescues and the tour guide told us all about the animal's previous lives. It is amazing that people think you can keep wild animals as pets in a basement!
It is not cheap to feed lions, tigers, bobcats, ect. I thought BCR was a truly wonderful place doing great work for these animals to retire to.
I give it two paws up!

The Great!

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

I've seen the work done for the cats and efforts to education the public about the plight of these kinds of cats being kept as pets and the education on the white tiger.... The White tiger is not a normal reproduction... it's forced by humans by mating a son/monther or daughter/father.

Ways to make it better...

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

advise people to bring catnip, boxes, paper towel tubes, etc to make enrichments for the cats.. :)

March 2, 2011
1 person found this review helpful

I went to BCR in November . After learning about the cats since 2000 I was very excited to see them in person. The staff are volunteers and are very knowledgeable in all the cats. Each year there is evidence of change... for the better.. Big Cat Rescue is always evolving, not only providing enrichment for the cats, but also with enclosure modifications and expansions. And, that's only the evolution that you can SEE. Behind the scenes, staff and volunteers work diligently on... petitions and lobbying to benefit captive wild animals, prevent canned hunts and farming of big cats (as well as helping organizations to keep big cats alive in the wild).
Evolution is key to creating better lives for not only BCR's big cats, but big cats everywhere.

The Great!

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

seeing the improvements made to accommodate all the cats.

Ways to make it better...

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

offer more information on how to help spread the word against persons having these wild cats for pets..

April 15, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

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April 15, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

The volunteers at BCR are so amazing on many different levels. The sacrifices they make to ensure the well being of the Big cats far exceeds any level of care that I've seen before. Many Volunteers report to BCR on cold mornings, rainy days and hurricane windy days without a complaint. They do so much to provide a great life for these once neglected cats. They educate and spread awareness to the public that is much needed. I cannot say enough good about this sanctuary or the staff. I have followed BCR since the mid 2005 and more actively since 2010. Thank you to all the Volunteers for all your dedication and hard work!
April 15, 2014
2 people found this review helpful

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1 previous review
June 26, 2011

I have been here twice. The first visit forever changed my life and I have been a monthly donor ever since. Amazing place, amazing people, amazing animals. I am so grateful there is somewhere in this ... more

April 15, 2014
2 people found this review helpful

I love this place. I have been here four times so far. It is always part of my family vacation every winter when we visit Florida.
The stories of how some of the cats got there will break your heart, but your heart will be happy again when you see the life they now get to live out here.
June 26, 2011

I have been here twice. The first visit forever changed my life and I have been a monthly donor ever since.
Amazing place, amazing people, amazing animals.
I am so grateful there is somewhere in this world that cares so much for the big cats.

The Great!

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

In my two visits..I have personally SEEN what my money goes to.

Ways to make it better...

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

There is not anything I would change.This organization is run exactly as it should be, with the big cats the TOP priority.

April 15, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

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April 15, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

I visited Big Cat Rescue in 11/2010 and have been following them daily / religiously on Facebook and in several groups before that visit and since that visit and I am very excited about my upcoming trip this September. Never have I been so impressed with the natural habitats in which the cats are kept...the purring bobcats rubbing up against their cages welcoming us, the cougars lying on their backs purring at us as we passed by, and the tigers splashing at us as we passed...trying to get us to stay and watch them longer. They truly have the best accomodations available ... short of being in the wild. I loved watching them show off...what hams some of them are!

The cats are always treated like royalty and the staff members take every single opportunity to spend as much time as necessary (with no DIRECT interaction of course) to bring the mistreated and/or wild animals that cannot be released to the wild to learn the interaction skills that allow the volunteers and staff to examine them when necessary for any potential problems regularly.

I've seen volunteers and staff spend hours and hours in the BCR hospital trying to bring injured cats back to health ... sometimes successfully, sometimes not... with little > no human contact so they WOULD be good candidates for release-- the cheers and tears as they bound away into the wild... or the acceptance when they know they won't survive in the wild, and they're given a spot at BCR to live out their lives. I've seen the joy when they are successful, and the tears when they are not....but no expense is spared when trying to save an injured cat. It doesn't matter if an empoyee is on their day off or not...if a call comes in, BCR is ready to go to try and get the rescue going!

Any cat that is in need of place to live out their natural live would indeed "win the lottery" if they were placed at Big Cat Rescue, of that I am 100% certain.
April 15, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

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3 previous reviews - show all
November 3, 2011

Big Cat Rescue is an AMAZING place. Not only does BCR provide excellent care to the cats, BCR's staff, volunteers, and supporters have been making great strides in changing legislation regarding exoti... more

April 15, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

I've been volunteering with the Big Cats for years, and couldn't imagine not being a part of BCR!
Everyone from the staff to interns and volunteers care deeply for the animals are are incredibly dedicated to the cause.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

November 3, 2011
3 people found this review helpful

Big Cat Rescue is an AMAZING place.
Not only does BCR provide excellent care to the cats, BCR's staff, volunteers, and supporters have been making great strides in changing legislation regarding exotic/wild animal ownership in the private sector.

This invokes criticism and downright
attacks from private owners and breeders because the end of animal exploitation/ownership affects their livelihood.
The attacks come from those who have never been to Big Cat Rescue, and have never experienced the cats in their large, clean enclosures. The cats at BCR are happy and healthy.

The health of the cats of BCR is no secret. Any time a cat is having a procedure or is in the cat hospital, updates are posted on the public Facebook page for all to see.

Within the past few weeks, BCR said goodbye to two cats, a 15 year old bobcat with severe kidney disease, and a 19 year old serval who had lived 16 of those years at BCR. Both were put to sleep aka euthanized, due to advanced disease and decreased quality of life.
It was the most humane option, and BCR ALWAYS has the cats' best interest in mind.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

September 7, 2011
3 people found this review helpful

I've been a volunteer at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa for nearly 3 years.
My role as a volunteer is "Senior Keeper", meaning I provide care to all levels of the cats, including lions and tigers.
I very much enjoy my role as a volunteer @ BCR, as I get to experience the cats relaxing in their
comfortable enclosures (many that came from unfortunate previous homes).
I also feed the cats, and can tell you for a fact that they are fed very well :)
The cats receive enrichment treats both in food forms and spice bag forms, on a regular basis.
We also work on enclosure modifications and upgrades quite frequently.

Big Cat Rescue receives a lot of criticism from private animal owners because of attempts to change legislation to make it more difficult to obtain big cats as pets. BCR has many cats that were discarded after they became "too difficult to keep as pets".
In my opinion, animals are not expendable. Once you make a decision to own a pet, (or adopt from the SPCA as in my case) it should be for life. This frequently does not happen with exotic animals, especially big cats. There are sanctuaries all over the country that are full due to people relinquishing their big cats either due to the economy or because they "can't do it anymore".
Big Cat Rescue's lobbying and attempts to change legislation hurt the bottom line of those in the private big cat breeding sector, and thus they attack BCR wherever possible.

I am proud to be a Big Cat Rescue volunteer. There is nowhere else in the wold I would rather spend a 12 hour day working for free, having sweat dripping in my eyes in the Florida heat and humidity while I clean enclosures, do projects, etc.

The Great!

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

Seeing the happiness in the cats enjoying their lives. We believe no cats belong in cages; they belong in the wild, but we enrich their lives as much as possible. Enriching cats brings me joy.

Ways to make it better...

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

Pass the laws that ban private breeding, like "Rescinding the Generic Tiger Loophole". Big Cat Rescue is a great organization. I can tell you that from the standpoint of someone who is non-paid and has spent many hard labor hours with a smile at the sanctuary.

June 23, 2011

Our family has been supporting Big Cat Rescue for over three years.

What a wonderful place it is, not only providing excellent care to the magnificent creatures who reside there, but by advocating for big cats everywhere.

The Great!

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

Enjoying watching the cats playing and enjoying their surroundings.

Ways to make it better...

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

Purchase the surrounding land to create more room for the cats :)

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