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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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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 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

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.
November 24, 2013

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November 24, 2013

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.

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?

2013

October 4, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

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October 4, 2013
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!

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?

2013

July 30, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

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July 30, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

Very informative and interesting tour with beautiful big cats!

More feedback...

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

June 25, 2013

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June 25, 2013

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.

Ways to make it better...

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

Bring back the weekend cabin experiences with Big Cats as hosts.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Likely

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

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

1997

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