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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

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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.
July 30, 2014

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July 30, 2014

I love this group. Exotic pet ownership is such a serious problem in the U.S. and it's nice to know there is a sanctuary like BCR that is able to care for them. They stand up to a lot of opposition because they take on bullies who keep animals caged in concrete so I'm not surprised by criticism. But like most charities, research is key and this group stands up to scrutiny.

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

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..

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