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BigCatMeredith

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Big Cat Rescue, Corp.
January 29, 2012

As a volunteer at Big Cat Rescue, not only do we provide excellent care for the cats (by cleaning their enclosures every day, feeding them the best food money can buy, providing them with multiple types of enrichment, and operant conditioning, etc), but a major part of our mission is also to "end the trade in exotic cats". As a tour guide, we educate the public every day on the dangers of wild cats being owned by private hands, as well as describe the conditions that many of our cats were rescued from. Big Cat Rescue is not a zoo; we do not tell you just about the species and facts. Many of our cats came from shut-down facilities, relinquished from owners who could not care for them anymore or simply did not want them anymore, or those who aged-out of circuses and could not perform anymore. Part of our mission is to discuss this with our tour guests, and encourage them to become "advocats" (to contact their legislators, and follow campaigns such as ending private breeding of tigers, and banning traveling circuses with animals). The welfare of the cats at Big Cat Rescue is WHY we all volunteer or work for BCR. Not only do we have a huge desire to make the lives of the cats in our care the best they can be, but we also strive to make the lives of other cats we may never know the best they can be as well. All of the volunteers and staff at BCR have pure hearts of gold.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing legislation change due to the majority requesting that which would benefit animals! Also, seeing cats who came from unfortunate circumstances enjoy their relaxing new homes!

Ways to make it better...

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

Recruit more advocats through education. We have touched so many through our tours, who simply did not realize consequences of things such as: One day those tigers who perform for you at the circus will become too arthritic to perform but have many years of life left, and those baby tiger cubs you posed with for a photograph at a mall or fair will become a huge adult and potentially be sold into private hands to a roadside zoo or backyard (or potentially, be killed and sold for their parts).

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?

2012

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

If we had more volunteers, I think we could reach more people. Currently we have enough amazing, dedicated volunteers to efficiently perform keeper duties, and partner/advocat duties, however if we had more to do more outreach events and recruit more advocats, I think that would be awesome!

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

I have made so many friends through Big Cat. Some of my favorite people, the most amazing friends I could ever imagine, are volunteers at Big Cat. I have always been an animal lover but since I've been volunteering at BCR, I have also become much more involved with animal activism.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Totally super amazing!

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & Keeper (Feeder, Cleaner, provides Enrichment), Tour Guide, Advocat,.