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341 Reviews
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August 28, 2014

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August 28, 2014

I have been to Big Cat Rescue twice and both times were wonderful! I will never forget the experience. I am thankful to BCR for the opportunity to see such beautiful animals up close, as well as to participate in enrichment activities and operant conditioning activities. It was really something to see all these animals, whom I would never encounter otherwise except maybe glimpsing them in a zoo, and to see them so well cared for and treated with reverence, as they should be. It was educational, fun, breathtaking at times when watching them play. In short, I love BCR and everything they stand for, and I am thankful there are people who care enough to step up and be good stewards to these animals who have encountered so much misfortune at the hands of humans in their past. The Tampa community is very blessed to have such a unique place and to have good citizens who recognize the real value of these animals and do not kill, coerce, breed, sell or exploit these animals in any way. I only wished I lived closer than North Carolina so I could visit much more often.
August 28, 2014

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August 28, 2014

I visited Big Cat Rescue in July, 2013 with my dad while in Tampa to visit my sister. Unfortunately, our tour was cut a little short due to thunderstorms and rain (classic summer weather in south Florida!) For the time that we were there and the cats that we saw, it was undeniable to see first-hand how much these amazing cats are loved and cared for by the volunteers at the Rescue. It was so inspiring to see the keepers care for such amazing animals with such respect and compassion that they deserve.
Although our tour was cut short and were unable to use the "rain check" tickets because of our schedule in FL, I've continued to follow BCR online and various social media sites. I absolutely love reading the updates and stories that they post, as well as the quality of information and ease of access to public awareness campaigns and letters to legislators about big cat abuse.
Even from where I live in the Northeast, I have and will continue to support BCR anyway that I can.
Keep up the great work!!!
August 28, 2014

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August 28, 2014

We had a wonderful tour seeing this place! What incredible work they do to enhance the lives of these magnificent creatures who have suffered at the hands of unthinking or plain exploitive and cruel people. Important work is being done there by those who serve God's creatures!
August 28, 2014

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August 28, 2014

I visited Big Cat rescue and found the staff to be very knowledgeable and deeply concerned for the welfare of the animals. All the habitats were clean and the animals appeared well cared for.
I enjoyed my visit and have supported them with donations since.

I have volunteered at
wildlife rehabilitation centers in NY for over 20 years and so I have some experience on wildlife care and animal behavior.

Ways to make it better...

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

Find a way to give them more room and funding to help more animals

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

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

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

August 28, 2014

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August 28, 2014

I had the priviledge to visit Big Cat Rescue many years ago. Back then it was called Big Cats on Easy Street. I enjoyed the entire park for three days, exploring all the areas where the cats were. It was impressive the size of each cats' home, with alot of vegetation, seeming very natural and at times we couldn't find the cats in there areas because it was so big they could hide if they wanted to. Their tours are very informative. I enjoyed feeding time, walking with the volunteers. I was also impressed with how they made sure no cat was ever out of water in the Florida heat. I walked past a cougar's area and there was only 12 inches between me and him...awesome, majestic animals. BCR is by far the very best animal park I've visited in Florida.
Barbara Jimenez
Florida
August 28, 2014

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August 28, 2014

I've visited the sanctuary and followed the group online for years. All appears totally legit. They rescue big cats from horrible situations and use donations to aid rescued animals and to update/maintain the facility where rescued animals live out their lives. Spacious enclosures and no forced interaction. Everyone has ample space to move, play or hide and appears in excellent condition. This group also actively lobbies at state and fed govt level to change the situation for big cats where the problems start.
August 28, 2014

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1 previous review
January 31, 2013

I have donated to Big Cat Rescue for years now. I have visited this facility numerous times. I am extremely impressed with the passion their staff and volunteers care and advocate for their animals.... more

August 28, 2014

I've donated for almost 10 years now and have visited four times and am astounded with the service they provide to abused and neglected big cats. These aren't big cats that you can pay to pet. These are big cats thrown away by greedy people who pretend they care about the animals but use them for personal profit then abuse them and throw them away once they are too big to be cute. Big Cat Rescue provides these magnificent animals very large enclosures stocked with trees, grass, caves, and enrichment activities so they can live their lives out in dignity. Some of these cats experience grass for the very first time after being chained up in a small concrete pen by their former owners. 100% of all proceeds go towards the care of these cats. Big Cat Rescue also spends much time educating the public about why these animals DO NOT MAKE GOOD PETS. Many of these animals here were once pets that just got too big to keep. This is a very worthy charity and I encourage anyone who is in the Tampa area to visit and take a tour to see what fantastic work they do!
January 31, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

I have donated to Big Cat Rescue for years now. I have visited this facility numerous times. I am extremely impressed with the passion their staff and volunteers care and advocate for their animals. Not only are these big cats not locked in cages, they are afforded huge "Cat-a-tats" that are up to an acre in size. These enclosures are exceedingly spacious, well build, very well secured, and maintained daily. These animals are provide outstanding medical care, food, and enrichment. The volunteers who conduct the tours are extremely up-to-date on big cat behavior and the situations these cats came from and do their level best to convince anyone they come in contact with why it's important to never support places who "use" Big Cats in shows, taking photos with tiger cubs, etc. because that just perpetuates the problem.

While these cats have come from very sad and abusive backgrounds, they are well cared and provided for and can live out their lives in safety and comfort. I cannot imagine a better run, efficient, and maintained charity. The City of Tampa has supported this organization for years engaging in numerous fund-raisers and many community groups come to volunteer to do all sorts of work here. While I live in Columbia, SC, I visit Tampa, FL and Big Cat Rescue every chance I get and give as much as I can.

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?

2012

August 28, 2014

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August 28, 2014

Big Cat Rescue is a model sanctuary for the care of exotic animals, and I have nothing but the highest praise for them. BCR has made great efforts to provide naturalistic enclosures with targeted enrichment programs for these cats, and the top-notch quality of their care shows in the health and behavior of the cats. Not to mention the fact that a significant proportion of the cats they care for live well into their 20's, the maximal end of any felid's lifespan. BCR has been nothing but revealing in their day-to-day operations and vet procedures. Caring for these cats costs money. A LOT of money. The cats' health and well-being come first, and BCR makes that very clear (as do the cats themselves, who can't lie). Any rescued exotic cat that can call BCR home is very lucky indeed.

Ways to make it better...

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

I have no changes to recommend at this time.

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?

2014

August 28, 2014

more

August 28, 2014

Big Cat Rescue does a wonderful job in rescuing big cats from neglectful or abusive situations. The animals are treated with respect and given veterinary care. They have natural surroundings in their enclosures and are given enrichment materials. BCR even has a large vacation enclosure so big cats can explore for several weeks at a time. I believe in and support Big Cat Rescue!
August 28, 2014

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1 previous review
April 15, 2014

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 tr... more

August 28, 2014

I visited Big Cat Rescue back in 2010 and we came away a changed family. Seeing these gorgeous cats, up close (4' away, safely caged beyond anyone's reach) and personal, hearing each of their stories whether they were "housepets" (BAD idea), retired from shows/circuses, or attempted to be rehabbed, but just couldn't make it in the wild, they ALL enjoy spacious cat-a-tats...not cages, mind you, but LARGE enclosures that are as close to what their natural habitat would have been in the wild. (They even have what they call a "vacation rotation" which is over 2 acres of fenced area with trees, lakes, sprinklers and different "enrichment" objects to keep the cats from being bored. Each cat/s take a two week vacation in an area where they can really run full speed ahead..and they love it. There's a smaller vacation rotation planned for the smaller cats.

They received the BEST in medical care...and animals are never euthanized unless it's the best thing for the cat...illness, injury, something that modern medicine just cannot heal.

Since my trip in 2010, I've kept up with BCR on a daily basis, and was even the lucky winner of an Animal Lover's Vacation they give away annually. If you visit their website, you can see where to register and I strongly advise you to do so! My "Animal Lover's Vacation" is set up in just a few weeks, and while I know that a lot has changed at the sanctuary (all for the better)...some cats have passed away, most due to extremely old age, there are others there I've never seen. To say that this vacation is a trip of a lifetime is an understatement. BUT..winner of the free vacation or not, if you are ever in the Tampa area Big Cat Rescue is somewhere you definitely want to visit while you're there.

You will never see such beautiful animals up close, the sound of a cougar lying on his back at his fencline purring at you...the talktive Ocelots...the Bobcats that make you feel so welcome, and the tiny Sand Cats...you'll learn about each animal and why they are there, tour the beautifully kept grounds, and even bet you come out of the gift shop with a souviner or three.

Check out all the available tours (and don't forget to registerfor that free vacation..given away each March) at www.bigcatrescue.org !
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.

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