Big Cat Rescue, Corp.

Rating: 4.73 stars   346 reviews

Issues: Animals, Children & Youth, Education

Location: 12802 Easy Street Tampa FL 33625 USA

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.
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 59-3330495
813-920-4130
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Community Reviews

Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

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!!!

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Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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

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

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Rating: 5 stars  

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

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Rating: 5 stars  

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 !

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1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

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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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

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!

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.

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

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Rating: 1 stars  

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.

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.

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

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Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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Rating: 5 stars  

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.

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?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people 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. 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!

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?

2013

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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

Very informative and interesting tour with beautiful big cats!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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