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.
I have volunteered, visited and supported this true sanctuary for over ten years. A crew of dedicated and carefully trained volunteers and staff make a wonderful life for rescued wild cats. A TEN STAR EXPERIENCE for all!
I am both a volunteer at and a donor to BCR. It's a wonderful organization focused on the rescue and care of abandoned, abused and/or retired performing wild cats. No breeding is done and every animal has lifetime care in spacious natural habitats, never concrete cages. BCR's bigger mission is to end the private ownership ans abuse of wild animals and the preservation of natural habitats and species in them. The founders take no salaries, expenses are bare bonres and focus on the proper care and feeding of our residents.
Review from Guidestar
Big cat rescue and all the volunteers that take care of these animals are tremendous. They go above and beyond to help these animals.I highly recommend everyone to visit. Its truly remarkable everything thats done for each and every animal the BCR takes care of.
Thanks to them, cats are being saved, they live a good life and well taken care of. Everyone does a great job, keeps things running smoothly. Lots of cats are mistreated and left to die, they are given asecond chance and a much happier life.
I can't say enough good things about Big Cat Rescue! I went on one tour , then another, then another, and then signed up as a volunteer. When you take a tour, you see magnificent animals and learn the horrible stories of why they are there. My eyes have been opened, and I feel guilty for things I did in the past, like having my picture taken with a baby lion cub (now I know that they're taken from their mothers at the age of 8 weeks, and hauled from one place to another caged in a trailer. After 4 weeks of this, they can no longer be exhibited to the public in this setting.....what happens to them then? I have learned about canned hunts and it makes me sick. And as beautiful as white tigers are, they are inbred to get the white color, and most have birth defects as a result. What happens to those that are not perfect? It's disgraceful. Bobcats being raised & killed for a strip of belly fur to make coats makes me shudder. And people who think exotic cats would make a good pet.....I'm not going there. I am so proud to have become associated with Big Cat Rescue and their efforts to change laws and stop animals from being abused & neglected. I currently spend 4-6 hours a week there as a volunteer & "Advocat" and hope to become more involved in the near future. It feels so good to be able to see that my work means something. And I really like what they say their goal is: To educate people so that sanctuaries like BCR aren't needed, and they can go out of business. I am in awe of what they have accomplished.
I heard about Big Cat Rescue back when it was Wildlife on Easy Street, but never visited. I wish I had! What they do for these animals is wonderful. I went with friends last month, and we are excited about going again this weekend. We enjoy being so close to these majestic animals, and knowing that our visitation fee helps BCR care for them.
I volunteered there for a summer and was amazed at the dedication and professionalism of those I worked with. The love was strong enough that they let the cats be wild, not rescued pets. There's no place like it, and Ew people as dedicated, I imagine, as those you find there.
Thanks and I hope you return as a volunteer soon!
With some many exotic cats in private homes and collections or the people who use cubs to make money and profit some animals are disposed of, dropped of in locations or left alone with no care, attention or even food. It's the in thing now, own or be around exotics. But the animals are no longer needed or the owner can't provide the proper environment, care and food, Big Cat Rescue is there, from transport, the animal hospital for care and check ups to an enclosure that they would be safe in and then the volunteers to help with daily care. Wow, but they also educate the public, really and they are the first and foremost defender and protector of this exotics and they bring people like me into the program to help and spread the word. We need Big Cat Rescue until there is no longer a cat in need.
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.
I have been volunteering at Big Cat Rescue for almost 3 years now. I enjoy seeing the cats in their spacious enclosures with trees and grass, (instead of hard, cold cement, like some other places do) and dens they can go in when they want to, (rather than when someone is making them, like some other places do). I enjoy being up close and personal with the cats, while being safely on the outside of their enclosures! The cats do get to know the volunteers, and some of the tigers chuff to me, and one of the cougars meows or purrs as I come by! Once I was painting a leopard enclosure next to a lion's enclosure, and he roared and I could feel the vibrations in my chest, it was awesome! Some of the cats were rescued from fur farms, some are retired from circuses or from breeders that were shut down, and some believe it or not were people's pets! Volunteers really do make a difference at BCR, as it is run alsomost exclusively by volunteers! You can volunteer as a Partner, and give educational tours and help in the gift shop, or a Keeper, and feed and clean up after the cats and help build and maintain enclosures, or an Advocat, and help advocate for better laws and regulations to make conditions better for wild cat species in the US and worldwide. They also support the Snow Leopard Trust, a wonderful organization that is helping to save Snow Leopards in the wild!
I've been around Big Cat Rescue for some time now and have seen them grow and learn from everything they do. They always strive to make the facility safer, convenient and more hospitable to the residents. The education they provide visitors and amazing views of relaxed well cared for cats is beyond those I've ever seen. The life enrichment, toys, seasonal specialty treats, privacy and adoring staff make this a haven for so many of these animals that have had a rough journey in arriving here. Big Cat Rescues demand to have written proof that previous owners will not take another as a pet, fur farm animal or sideshow stealer, shows their commitment to the cause of keeping these animals in their natural habitat. I feel privileged to be able to help with these visionaries that help everyone understand that these animals are every bit as deserving as we are.
As a former volunteer I would like to tell everyone to PLEASE do your research before you visit BCR. It is sad to say that I found out the "script" I was given to do tours is lie after lie. After many people told me I was lying I did my own research and found out I was infact lying to all of the tours. When brought to the attention of Carole Baskin (Lewis at the time) she shrugged it off, had more lies to tell. Over 94,000 of her own money went into buying these animals. They were NOT rescued, they were bought at PETS! Now she wants everyone to feed her PETS, claiming they were abused to get your hard earned money. Sad, because there are true rescues who do rescue and rehomes that could use the money, however Carole is workng hard to get them all closed down.
This post is a lie. I just don't know if it was really posted by Sherry Cox DeWald of Tampa, Fl who lists among her facebook friends Michael Sandlin the owner of Tony the tiger who he has kept in the middle of a 24 hour truck stop as a business gimmick for more than a decade, Felicia Frisco, a circus performer who promotes keeping tigers as pets, Sue Pearce who may hold the record for the highest number of repeat violations cited by USDA at a whopping 12 counts in June of 2011 and Barbara Hoffman who had all of her big cats confiscated due to the horrific conditions in which she kept them for her circus act. I say that I am not sure Sherry DeWald posted this because Joe Schriebvogel has been known to use more than a dozen aliases in order to slander Big Cat Rescue and may have used part of her email address above as a user name for this account. More about Joe and G W Exotics at TigerCubAbuse.com
i have seen many types of big cats and all i want is for them to survive and live their life to the fullest thank you ...
For a few years I had traveled this country visiting various animal facilities. In 2004 I stumbled across BCR on the web. I was invited for a visit. After that visit, I was truly in love with the facility, the people, the cats, their mission and their dedication to both captive and wild big cats as well as their dedication to educating people on the need to stop these big cats from ending up in backyards and roadside 'wannabezoos' and other places that use, abuse and discard these great animals. I continued to visit other facilities for a couple more years but always always I found myself coming back to BCR as no other facility captured my heart as did BCR. In my eyes, no other facility adhered to the extreme standards that BCR does in ALL areas. For the past 4+ years I have completely devoted myself to BCR and their educational mission. BCR is not only the cleanest most well run facility I have been involved with but is also the facility that has the highest standards across the board of any facility I have ever came across. BCR has the highest standards in health care, emotional well being of the cats, cleanliness, dedication to education, food quality, food storage and prep, animal habitats, money management & responsible use of funds and the list goes on and on. They are leaders in the field in all aspects. Their long ago history of being a breeder, buyer, seller is so long ago it is ancient history. Carole is extremely open about where they came from. What all this says to me is they have more of an understanding of what the real problems are regarding exotic animals held by private owners. They saw there was a problem with exotics as pets, saw how big and wide the problem was, realized they were part of the problem and LEARNED and CHANGED and became part of the solution to ending those problems! BCR’s past as a breeder, buyer, and seller is ancient history! They have since then been a powerful leader for putting an end to breeding, buying and selling for a very very very long time for far longer than they were part of the problem. Since then they have evolved from being part of the problem so long ago they have become a powerhouse and respected leader in ending the problems, educating the public and encouraging change exposing truths about exotic pet ownership and so on. Others, who do not want exotic pet ownership ended, those who profit from buying, selling & breeding these great animals for the exotic pet trade hate BCR because what BCR strives for is an end to exotics as pets which will end the non-stop stream of abandoned, abused, neglected and exploited big cats that end up needing rescued. People who make a living off big cats hate BCR because BCR is making a difference with their widespread educational efforts. Those BCR haters have nothing to use but BCR's so long ago past and anything false they can come up with or any false twists they can put on things. You will notice those who bad-mouth BCR throw up that ancient history repeatedly because they have nothing current to smear BCR with because for years and years BCR has not been breeders, buyers or sellers. Instead BCR learned and evolved into being part of the solution instead of remaining as part of the problem where those bad-mouthers did not evolve and choose to remain part of the problem. BCR became part of the solution those bad-mouthers did not. Those bad-mouthers hate what BCR stands for therefore will say or do anything in an attempt to stop BCR’s educational efforts because as more states ban big cats as backyard pets the fewer customers those bad-mouthers will have. Ultimately, that means fewer big cats living in backyards and basements. GO BCR!!! BCR is all above board, adheres to the highest standards, educates the public about the terrible outcomes for the animals in private hands and encourages people to not support facilities who are part of the problem instead of part of the solution. BCR believes sanctuaries should become accredited, which is an easy inexpensive process that can help increase public donations to those facilities. However, facilities that are not willing to do what is right for the animals choose not to become accredited because they do not want to adhere to proper standards of care or because they prefer to breed buy and sell. BCR is outspoken on exposing the difference between real and phony sanctuaries. Many private owners who buy, sell and breed also beg donations from the public by calling themselves a sanctuary, when in fact they are part of the source of putting big cats in backyards of private owners that will later need rescuing. Big Cat Rescue is outspoken on explaining that real sanctuaries do not buy, sell or breed. Real sanctuaries are part of the solution not part of the problem. Again, I have visited, worked with, participated in, done projects for, done photography for, etc MANY animal facilities across this country, those accredited, non-accredited, and even AZA facilities and in my opinion BCR sets the and adheres to the highest standards in all categories of any!!
My husband and I have worked as volunteers every Friday for the past three years @ Big Cat Rescue. Being able to observe all of the magnificent cats play, interact with their environments, sleep and, yes, sometimes even dream has been an amazing honor. Big Cat tries to provide their cats the very best in nutrition, veterniary care, stimulation/ enrichment and security. Big Cat also educates the public about maintaining natural habitats for each cat species and advocates laws to help protect these species from legaized sport hunting, and pet/ fur trading. It is a great privilege to be one of the caregivers of such an amazing organization.
Big Cat Rescue is not only the best exotic cat sanctuary in the world, working to educate the public and stop the trade and private ownership of exotic animals, but they also work everyday to make the sanctuary and community green. They have a public recycling program, are working to install solar energy and are constantly looking for way to increase energy efficiency and reduce waste at the sanctuary.
THIS IS MY MOST FAVORITE PLACE TO BE. YOU CAN TELL THAT EVERYONE WHO HELPS HERE TRULY HAS THE CATS BEST INTEREST IN THIER HEARTS. I HAVE BEEN TO THREE OTHER BIG CAT SANCTUARYS AND THIS IS STILL FIRST CHOICE TO VISIT.I SPONSOR AT LEAST TWO CATS A YEAR AND HAVE MET EACH ONE. YOU CAN BET THAT I WILL BE BACK! IDELL MILLER