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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animals, Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Education, Protection of Endangered Species, Wildlife Sanctuaries

Mission: 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.

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

Target demographics: cats

Direct beneficiaries per year: 100+ big cats

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

Community Stories

324 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

12

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

1 Donna140

Volunteer

Rating: 5

TOP NOTCH! Animals are well cared for PEOPLECARE

Previous Stories
1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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 !

Read more

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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

1 John S.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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!

1 Aundrea M.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

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.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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.

Gretchyn M.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Big cat does wonderful things for mistreated or neglected animals that others would have forgotten or cast aside. Every experience I have had with them has been wonderful, they are truly amazing people.

2 Jennifer Baca Z.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

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. 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 only wish I was closer to them to visit more often or maybe one day be lucky enough to volunteer. Thank you for all your dedication and hard work!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Very informative and interesting tour with beautiful big cats!

Barbara121

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My visit to BCR was some years ago when it was called Big Cats on Easy Street. We were able to rent a room on the property, kinda like a storage shed conversion with full bathroom. I understand these are no longer available, but we had a once in a lifetime experience staying the entire weekend, with two lynx attached as our hosts. It was awesome to be allowed to actually pet big cats, my best experiences were with Little Feather, a bobcat and the caracals and lynx, caracals being the most friendly. We explored the sanctuary at will and the entire experience will always be dear to my heart. I would highly recommend visiting BCR to anyone, but especially anyone who loves felines.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My girlfriends and I were in Tampa in March 2013 and had an opportunity to visit the Big Cat Rescue. What an experience! It far exceeded my expectations! I not only saw these beautiful creatures up close, but I also learned their history. Some of these stories broke my heart, but it brought home the importance of this organization and their desire to bring awareness of not keeping these awesome creatures as "pets". The heart of this organization for these animals is not only a loving one, but it is one full of wisdom. This organization has evolved to not only be a home for those who have been abused or need a home, but if it is possible, to release them back into the wild. The education I received from my visit was immeasurable. I may have arrived as a visitor of Big Cat Rescue, but I left as an active participant of the program. If I lived in the area, I would volunteer (if they would have me), but since I live on the other side of the US, I participate by donating.