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Big Cat Rescue, Corp.

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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 67 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 https://bigcatrescue.org/2016-annual-report/

Target demographics: cats of all stripes

Direct beneficiaries per year: 60+ big cats

Geographic areas served: Planet Earth

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

Community Stories

566 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

14

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.

Michelle Mosher R.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What a great spot to view Big Cats! We took our 14 year old for her birthday this past weekend and did the Daytime Tour.

It was a great opportunity to learn more about the rescues at Big Cat and the stories behind each of the cats we saw. We learned the process to become a volunteer and got to see cougars, leopard, tigers, lions, bobcats, cervals and more. It was incredible.

Walking tour was about 1.5 hours and informative both from the guides and the recorded stories given via audio-boxes for the tour. The gift shop was great and reasonably priced. We'll be back!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our guide was so informative and funny! He was able to help me and my son understand better how similar human and cat behaviors are! He clearly communicates as an expert on the subject with a great deal of enthusiasm and compassion. We had a great time and loved being in such close proximity to the cats. My son was seriously wow'd and said more than once that he is "so going to brag about this!" He even got excited at the prospect of being an intern when he's in college - AND he wants to donate his allowance to the cause!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

One can get really close to the cats but still feel safe. The animals are well-treated and cared for considering it's life in captivity.

It's a terrific learning experience for adults as well as children. The tour guides are great. Very friendly and knowledgeable of the cats and respectful too.

I only wish they had installed a nice tearoom or snack shop to relax in after the tour is over.

Donor

Rating: 5

Our first visit to BCR was in 2014 and there has been no turning back!!! I wasn't sure what to expect going in, but my life had changed forever when I came out. I don't want anyone to think this was an in your face, hard sell, guilt trip experience. Nothing could be farther from the truth. We learned some of the cats stories and about pay to play industry, the lives circus cats live, canned hunts, breeding farms and sale of body parts. It's not graffic, but eye opening. BCR tends to take the older cats or cats with medical needs, because of their on-site hospital and superb vet care. These cats have never had any control of their lives, but they run on cat time now. Unless, three is an emergency! They are fed restaurant quality meets everyday, along with a vetanary ground meat with supplements. Their cat-a-tats are designed for their comfort. Trees and platforms to climb on, dens and natural fauna and grasses to hide in. Shady spots and sunny areas to nap in. Toys and enrichments to play with and places to swim for those that do. We have done four other tours and we just attended the Wildcat Walkabout and had a Private Tour. It is wonderful to walk through the home that BCR has made for the cats. I love looking into their eyes and seeing them bright and interested. Some were in such bad shape, physically and emotionally when they came. Now their coats are shiny and they look so healthy. I truly believe they know that they are safe and loved. It is up to the cats whether to interact with the quest. Some are really shy and others love company. Andy tiger loves to show off for guest. Mon. he was in and out of the lake and attacking his red ball. He came over to chuff, moo and other tiger chatting sounds. It was nearly impossible to walk away from him. Seeing them playing warms your heart. The tours help to pay for the cats food and all of the animal care is done by a team of amazing volunteers. BCR fosters kittens for the Tampa Bay Humane Society and helps with spay and neuter of feral cats. They have a very successful Bobcat Rehab and Release Program and participate in many conversation programs. BCR is putting forth a bill that would stop the private owenership and breeding of big cats. This bill could make the need for sanctuaries obsolete. Read the BigCatAct Public Safety Act HR1818 and see if you might want to Make the Call of the Wild!!!

Sandi W.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We just did the annual Wildcat Walkabout. What an awesome experience! We were able to walk the tour path at our own pace. It seemed crowded before the tour started, but once people started on the trail, it spread out and we were able to see the big cats up pretty close. The caretakers had provided the cats along the tour path with enrichment items, so most of them were out where you could see them playing with pumpkins and enjoying their special popsicles. I will definitely sign up for this next year!

Donor

Rating: 5

Big Cat Rescue is a great organization that takes all injured or confiscated cats for release or forever home. Without our support, these beautiful creatures would be euthanized, a great loss for nature and mankind.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My visit to the BIG CAT RESCUE Wildcat Walkabout was phenomenal!!! Not only is the staff warm and friendly, but they go out of their way to make you feel like you are part of their very awesome world of the big cats that we all love so much!!!! My support of this sanctuary is so near and dear to my heart, and I am so glad I found them a year ago.....the work they do goes above anything I have ever seen as far as the love, care and attention they give to these animals that were rescued from horrendous conditions. Thank you BCR for all you do, we love and appreciate you!!!!

Patricia O.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Two of us toured the Cat Rescue last week. We had Victoria as our tour guide. The place was incredible. Victoria was extremely knowledge. I love that the animals are free to come out or not. The animal homes are large and have various plants, rocks and structures. We were impressed that the facility had vacation areas set up (very large areas; i.e.2 acres) that allowed large animals such as tigers to be able to go to that area several times a year to play and have fun. At the end of the tour, Victoria explained that they needed help getting a federal law passed. This new law would stop the small cramp cage used by some organization's today. Please see the Cat Rescue web site to help get this important law passed.

Donor

Rating: 5

I made my second visit to Big Cat Rescue over the last weekend (10/26-10/28) and went on the Night Tour, Keeper Tour and Feeding Tour. All three tours were fantastic as were the tour leaders (Rich, Maureen and Desmond, respectively). Can't say enough about this sanctuary. Their love and care for the cats is so apparent. Once again (as with my January visit), we saw the cats only if they wanted to be seen. They were not "made" to be out for viewing. It was strictly up to them. Their enclosures are huge. The grounds of the sanctuary are beautiful. I was lucky to see a lot of the beautiful cats. I highly recommend a visit to Big Cat Rescue. You won't be disappointed.

Previous Stories

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love Big Cat Rescue. Found them via Explore.org and their 24/7 cams and became so interested in the sanctuary and their cause. Took a short vacation down to the area and went on the Day Tour two days in a row. The tours were great, the volunteers who led the tours were great and the facility is beautiful, peaceful and very well run. I can't wait to go back again.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful rescue facility. The big Cats are well cared for and the keepers and volunteers love their charges. I am so happy we found this place. Definitely a very good charity to give to.

Nicole Caffero G.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thank you to the incredible volunteers who give their time, energy and love to the beautiful big and little cats! We attended the feeding tour last Friday and it was clear that Desmond, volunteer and our tour guide, respected and cared for each of the cats. He was so knowledgeable about the cats and knew the quirks and story of each of them! While it is not the wild, Big Cat Rescue is the closest these babies will get to it! The enclosures are very large and support a natural way of living for the cats. One of the perks of the rescue is that the cats have a chance at living the longest and healthiest life possible because they receive routine medical care such as deworming, flea medication, and life saving surgeries such as teeth extractions, and mass removals, etc. They also have a cute little gift shop where you can buy gifts for all your loved ones and continue to support the rescue. My only regret is that I didn’t make it to more than one tour during my trip to St. Pete. I highly recommend scheduling a tour or two or three if you live in or willl be visiting the Tampa area!

Katie Allen R.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Incredible experience during our tour Saturday. Steve was a great tour guide; we learned so much from him. The grounds and catitats were so clean and well kept. This is an amazing sanctuary for these beautiful cats, and there is clearly a lot of love that goes into its operation. Thank you, Big Cat Rescue, for being an advocate and sanctuary for these lovely creatures!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

HELLO EVERYONE, MY NAME IS GAIL AND I WENT TO THE BIG CAT RESCUE ON FRIDAY. IT WAS VERY INTERESTING AND AMAZING TO SEE HOW THESE CATS ARE CARED FOR. ALL OF THEIR NEEDS ARE MET. THEY CAME IN BAD SHAPE, BUT YOU WOULD NEVER KNOW IT BY THE WAY THEY LOOK NOW. IT WAS A FANTASTIC DAY TO MEET THESE CATS.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Great people doing great things for some BIG Cats who deserve some kindness.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I went to BCR for my first time yesterday and absolutely loved it!! My sister & I did the day tour at 10am and we got to see some of our favorite cats! Our tour guide was awesome & answered all of the questions that we had! I also made the call of the wild today!! We will definitely be going back again within the next few months!!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

We took our sons and grandchildren to the Big Cat Rescue. Took the Feeding tour & The Keepers Tour. We love the animals and the staff was so knowledgeable and friendly. It was such a great day. The animals are so lucky to end up at this rescue center. They receive lots of love and care by all. Keep up the great work.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been wanting to go to Big Cat Rescue for over 15 years. My visit was so great and educational! Our guide was very knowledgeable and we learned so much about each cat, their personal story; along with everything the Rescue is doing to provide for them and to change existing laws regarding owning these majestic creatures.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I can’t say enough about our experience at the Big Cat Sanctuary. My boyfriend suggested we finally visit after years of talking about it, and it without a doubt worth the wait. We did both the Feeding Tour and the Keeper Tour.
The Feeding Tour was a small group—just us two and one other person! Our guide was friendly and knowledgeable about all the cats and answered every question we had. It was awesome to hear about the cats’ diets and how each animal is looked after to its own individual needs. We got to see the lynx, bobcats, servals, leopards, and two of the tigers eat. We were able to stop and look at some of the other cats as well along the way.—including the foster kittens!
The Keeper Tour was beyond my wildest expectations. Keeper Des and Keeper Jen were wonderful. We were able to create enrichment toys for the cats—some of whom were interested and some of whom were not. It was nice to see the keepers let the cats be themselves and didn’t force the cats to engage with anything they didn’t want to. They did give the cats meat treats along the way to bring them around closer for us to see and photograph as we heard their stories. We were able to see a lot more of the cats on this tour and spend more time with each one. At the beginning, Des even told us if there was a particular animal we wanted to see, he would do his best to make it happen. It was obvious that all of the keepers love what they do, and the love the cats. I enjoyed hearing the anecdotes that each worker had about particular cats. Just like people, big cats have their own personalities!
I also have to say a huge thank you to Keeper Honey. Little did I know, my boyfriend had planned to propose at the end of the Keeper Tour! My now fiancé (!!!) was able to propose with Seth tiger’s help thanks to her. She even made a wonderful sign for the occasion. We are both so grateful for all of the Big Cat Rescue staff for everything they did to make a special day even more special for both of us—but we are especially and forever thankful for Keeper Honey, Des, and Jen for helping make everything happen. We couldn’t have asked for a better day at BCR!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Great loving place for this animals and excellent volunteers for guidance.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Seeing Big cat rescue was a dream come true, these cats are so well cared for and obviously loved. Every bit of money earned goes directly back to the cats and their care with things like enrichment, medical care, enclosure up keep and feeding them. This sanctuary is a true sanctuary and properly accredited and boy are they dedicated to these beautiful animals - big and small. I had the joy of being lead by Barb on a private tour and a general tour and she was fantastic and so knowledgeable - she took me to all the cats i wanted to see and told me about them in great detail - Barb was truly lovely to meet and I hope to see her again. As you walk around you can see the volunteers working diligently. Depending on what day and time you go you will see different cats so I would recommend booking multiple tours. I was able to see everyone I asked to but unable to see Hoover and TJ and Zeus as it was a very hot day and the cats needed their tiem away from the sun. Please don't be disappointed if you don't see your favorite cat! If anything that is a reason to keep coming back and to get acquainted with them. FYI private tour means you get to see what cats you specifically ask for and spend as much time with them as you like - I chose to spend most my time with Sabre the sweet black leopard.