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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 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: 70+ big cats

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

Community Stories

336 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

13

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.

Diana18

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a loyal supporter of Big Cat Rescue for many years and dreamed of the day I could go visit the siteh. I finally had the opportunity last week and it was amazing. The concern that all of the staff and volunteers have for these magnificent creatures is amazing. I am proud to be affiliated, if only in a small way, with such a wonderful group. And I have learned a great deal over the years about helping protect the big cats.

Previous Stories
4

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a supporter and fan of Big Cat Rescue for over 5 years and the more I learn about them, the more respect I have for the work they do. I have learned a great deal from the group about properly caring for rescued big cats and about how to prevent the abuse that so many big cats suffer at the hands of inconsiderate, irresponsible, uncaring or downright cruel humans. If I lived closer, I would be proud to be a hands-on volunteer. Carole Baskin and all of the staff and volunteers do an amazing job. One of my favorites, out of all the wonderful things that they do, is the domestic cat rescue assistance program - so that the volunteers can cuddle with cats. Watching the videos of the rescues of abused big cats shows how much they truly care for these majestic animals and how hard they work to give those cats a safe, healthy, and peaceful life.

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1 Brandon Coleman

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

The Bad Guys? Everyone that speaks out to Stop BCR is not an exotic animal owner. I find the following website very informative and factual. http://causes.worldpeacemeet.com/stoplivefeeds/shame-of-bcr/

Comments ( 1 )

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BigCatRescue 07/25/2012

It is a testament to our success in ending the abuse and trade in big cats that our opponents use these forums to post lies about us. Come visit to see for yourself, or read the reviews from people who oppose using big cats as pets, props and for their parts and you will see why we hold the highest credentials of any animal sanctuary.

3 Lisa110

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

The original post is NOT a lie, Carole Lewis Baskin did indeed purchase most of the animals at that facility, to the tune of yes over $90K. Carole Lewis Baskin cannot hide the paper trail, the truth is there in black & white, and alot of info is available on the net, for those who have concerns enough to do their own research, and not believe the lies, upon lies, upon lies that Big Cat Rescue perpetuates in order to deceive & defraud the public.

Comments ( 1 )

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BigCatRescue 07/21/2012

Big Cat Rescue has always been open and honest about our humble beginnings and it is posted on our website here: http://bigcatrescue.org/about/our-evolution, on a huge sign in our tour waiting area and is shared on our guided tours. Comments like this one are a great illustration of how successful Big Cat Rescue has been in ending the breeding, trade and exploitation of big cats. The bad guys hate us and post their lies on our review sites because that is the only way they can get any attention. Their abuse of wild cats does not resonate with the public so the only recourse they have are hateful and untrue posts such as this one and the one she obviously posted before.

1 Susan109

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Incredibly grateful to have an organization like this helping otherwise helpless animals. Please visit, donate or, at minimum, sign petitions supporting state-level laws to ban ownership of wildlife. The cats you see here have all got sad tales of being abandoned and deserve to have as good a quality life as Big Cats Rescue can provide. They are compassionate in caring for the animals and in educating us on why Big Cats SHOULD NOT be pets.

Review from CharityNavigator

Albert D.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 3

Well I am currently writing a paper on 501(c)3 organizations/charities for one of my government classes and for this paper "Big Cat Rescue" is one of the two charitable organizations I am writing about on how legit the organizations are as well as finding where donations go and the truth/lies about the organizations to find out whether it would be a good organization to donate money to or to support but I have found both good and bad about "Big Cat Rescue" but after much research I do have one question which is....Why is "Big Cat Rescue" refusing to be evaluated by the BBB standard for charity accountability? This is makes it hard for me to believe all the good things about the organization if there is nothing to hide then why not allow it? If I can get a response it would be greatly appreciated. if references are wanted I can give them.

Comments ( 1 )

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BigCatRescue 04/21/2012

We did meet all 20 requirements for the BBB Wise Giving Seal for a few years, 2005 to 2008. That was before our application finally made its way through the process to be rated by Charity Navigator, the most commonly referred to source for charity information. In 2008 BBB Wise Giving advised us that they felt we met 19 but not all 20 requirements to display the seal. Of the more than one million nonprofit organizations in the nation, only 328 meet all 20 requirements to qualify for the seal. It is a great credential. We were proud to display the seal when we qualified. The BBB had dinged us for exposing 3 false complaints, made by aliases of our competitors. There was nothing in their guidelines preventing this, so the BBB tried to pigeon hole their objection to us doing that by saying we didn't meet one of their standards any more. It wasn't fair and they charge 1,000 per year for the seal which we just don't need. Meantime, in that same year Charity Navigator, which had a long backlog of nonprofits waiting to be evaluated, finally rated Big Cat Rescue. Since we were not going to qualify for the BBB seal and we were at that point being rated by Charity Navigator, I chose not to apply to BBB going forward. Our IRS 990’s and Audited Financial Statements appear on Charity Navigator, Guidestar, and on our own website.

3 Melvin A.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Big cats deserve respect and admiration. I commend what the bigcat rescue team are doing to help protect and preserve these magnificient creatures. Give what you can.

Review from CharityNavigator

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I think the Big Cat Rescue is a GREAT sanctuary for big cats....

1 macyjacobnathan

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Big Cat Rescue continues to exceed in every way. Their sanctuary rates as one of the top in the country because each and every staff member/volunteer is dedicated to the cats. Walking thru the sanctuary one gets a feeling of contented, well cared for cats. They aren't in cages, but instead large enclosures which are done as closely to their natural habitats as possible. Various enrichment "toys" are included daily to keep the animals occupied and help them exercise as well. My only regret or "complaint" is that we don't live close enough for both my husband and I to volunteer!!

Previous Stories
3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Big Cat Rescue is a fabulous sanctuary for exotic big (and little) wild cats that have either been abused, abandoned or are retired from a circus. They have saved hundreds of these cats who enjoy their years at a sanctuary that not only gives excellent care, but lots of love personally to each animal. A high light of our visits to the west coast of Florida is always a stop to tour BCR. I always walk away in awe over how clean the facility is, how wonderful all the animals look and what an excellent staff, both paid and volunteer they have. They also do their best to rehab the bobcats that they rescue - often who have been hit by cars.

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2 AnimalLover

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

A wonderful sanctuary that provides excellent care to their cats, who is also helping to stop the continual breeding of wild cats by non-accredited facilities.

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Went on tour in January 2012. FUN! Amazing to see these big cats up close! Tourguide was very knowledgable and all the volunteers were very friendly. Cute giftshop allowed you to purchase shirts, sweatshirts, etc, and all proceeds go towards taking care of the cats. All the cats are rescued - no breeding program. Encourages public to enjoy the cats in their natural habitat and not to adopt and try to raise these beautiful animals as pets! Guide tells stories about each cat seen. Will go again and would recommend this to anyone that is in the Tampa area! Family friendly and if can walk in pebble/rock paths, should be easy walk for older people as well.

Review from CharityNavigator

2 Merrie L.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Big Cat Rescue is a highly trained, highly professional group of devoted employees and volunteers who are responsible for the care and health of over 100 rescued cats of all types. They provide these animals with the best environment in which to live out the remainder of their lives. When possible rescued animals are returned to their natural habitat.

Previous Stories
3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Big Cat Rescue is a volunteer non profit whose primary goals are the care and comfort of rescue big cats and prevention and elimination of exploitation and breeding for profit of cats that belong in the wild. There is no breeding of animals on their site. They offer sanctuary to unwanted large cats and education for the public.

Review from CharityNavigator

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I care about cats (of all kinds) more than anything else in the world, and everything I know about Big Cat Rescue pleases me. I've visited their facility in person and was impressed with how happy the cats appeared and how knowledgeable their volunteers are. There are those who wish to discredit this fine facility due to the light they have been shining on the dark side of the exotic animal trade, but the cats themselves don't lie. BCR are the good guys.

Previous Stories
1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I visited Big Cat Rescue in the summer of 2008 after reading about them online. I love cats of all kinds and wanted to see if the sanctuary was really as good for these beautiful endangered animals as it appeared on their website. I was very pleased with what I saw and heard there. I could tell the cats were happy and well cared for, and the tour was quite educational. Big Cat Rescue provides two vital services by caring for individuals of a variety of endangered species and by educating the public about the many issues affecting their chances of survival.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Don't believe the slander! I have visited BCR many times over the years and my organization (tamparollerderby.com) has had one fundraiser for BCR and hopes to have more. I have done my due diligence and research, and can confidently say that BCR is a good organization that does good work. Having taken many tours, I can clearly see that the animals are very well taken care of, that the staff care very much about them, and that overall it is run very well and efficiently. They make it QUITE clear that the animals' welfare come first in everything. Both my dentist and my cat's vet have worked with BCR. These professionals wouldn't associate with an org unless they believed in its mission. Being vocal critics of the abuses that big cats suffer at the hands of others, they have been the unfortunate victims of some disgruntled owners. Don't believe it. Go and see for yourself. Big Cat Rescue is a treasure in Tampa Bay!

Review from Guidestar

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

How is that this place is not held accountable for their actions!
Over a dozens cats have died this year alone because of the care or lack of, that they recieve there.
BCR is still accepting donations on 3 baby bobcats that THEY killed, due to their ineptness in animal husbandry.
BCR just killed another bobcat under anesthesia this week!
Their financial records are often falsified, along with everything else they are putting out to the public.
This place is a SCAMTUARY!!!

Comments ( 1 )

profile

BigCatRescue 11/03/2011

As you can see, "miss lovelace" was an account set up for the sole purpose of trying to bring down our overall ratings with a one star report. Most of these aliases end up being traced back to Joe Exotic Schreibvogel who hides behind a number of aliases that are listed at TigerCubAbuse.com This is part of an ongoing slander campaign by people who want to selfishly own exotic cats as pets and/or use them to make money. They have no arguments that resonate with the public to defend their selfishness and greed, so their only defense is to attack us with absolute nonsense and annoy our supporters and waste our time. The good news is that they would not be doing this if it were not for the fact that our efforts to change the laws and educate the public were working. 8 more states have implemented bans on private ownership in the last few years and the trend is clearly in our favor. There is no ongoing investigation of BCR by USDA or FWC or any other agency to our knowledge. Recently one of these animal abusers, Joe "Exotic" Schreibvogel, under his name and his many aliases found at TigerCubAbuse.com filed a litany of ridiculous complaints to USDA, Florida Wildlife Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency, the State of Florida, the Sheriff's department and several others. All of them were found to be without merit, with one exception being that the USDA had us raise one barrier wall a few inches which we did within 24 hours. We were in the process of fixing it before the inspector even arrived. All of our subsequent inspections have been perfect. We haven't issued press releases regarding the ridiculous allegations made by Joe and crew because they can make stuff up faster than we could possibly respond. That is part of their strategy in that the more time of ours they waste on this sort of thing, the less time we have to spend on changing the laws so that dangerous animals don't end up in the hands of people like them. You might find the BBC's article last week about Louis Theroux's show Misfits to be a humorous, if not so sad for the animals. He observed just how crazy Joe "Exotic" and his ilk are saying, "In a helpful contribution to the show’s pre-publicity, an Ohio zookeeper lately let his menagerie loose before killing himself. For once the ostensible subjects of Theroux's researches could not answer his keynote question – how does it feel to be banged up? It was left to their jailers to do the talking. As usual Louis was unable to persuade them to see reason. One zookeeper was bringing up a bear and tiger together, as if trying to rewrite The Jungle Book. Another owned 156 tigers. Various of them are breeding with lions to spawn a new super-race of feline labradoodle. The zookeeper playing God was called Joe Exotic. Possibly not a family name." You can also see that we have had more than 700 favorable stories in the press here: http://bigcatrescue.org/about/media/ And you can check out our credentials here: http://bigcatrescue.org/about/credentials/ And our celebrity endorsements here: http://bigcatrescue.org/2011/celebrities/

3 Valerie S.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am a fan of BCR from afar, I have only seen pictures and videos of the cats residing there. I have been a student of feline behavior and body language for a long time. One thing is certain, cats don't lie! The wild cat residents at BCR display behavior that clearly denotes a sense of comfort and contentment, that is something no human can fake. If a big cat is unhappy, they demonstrate with restlessness and signs of depression. BCR's cats are happy and stimulated. So, while accusations of lies continue, one only need look at the cats themselves, they speak the truth. Facilities such as BCR are important, when a wild animal is surrendered by an unwise owner, they literally have no place to go. Domestic pets have a chance if given to a shelter, but there is no adoption process for the wild. They cannot be released back into their natural habitats, they would have to have been born there and taught how to live in the wild by a wild mother, wildlife rescue sanctuaries are the only option. BCR provides a rich environment for these animals, an extremely necessary service.

Review from CharityNavigator

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

BCR is rescueing animals, in the interest of the animal, not to make profit.

Review from CharityNavigator

3 Kathye M.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Big Cat Rescue provides medical rehabilitation for wild big cats that have been hit by cars or surrendered by people who mistakenly believed that a wild cat could ever be an appropriate house pet. If the animal can be rehabilitated, it is released back to the wild. If it is impossible to release the cats are given permanent haven in the Tampa facility or another rescue site that is able to provide an appropriate home.

Review from CharityNavigator

3 Debra G.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Big Cat Rescue is an extraordinary haven to abused, abandoned, neglected big cats. BCR is always rescuing and caring for big cats in need. There is no where that compares.

Review from CharityNavigator

1 Robin23

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have visted BCR on several occasions and have always had a wonderful experience. The cats are well taken care of they have large habitats which enable them to roam freely instead of pacing back and forth in a concrete cage, they are given enrichment treats on a regular basis. It's a shame that any wild animal has to be confined, if it is a necessity then BCR is one of the best places for them to be.

Review from CharityNavigator

4 Colleen T.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I find the Big Cat Rescue's philosophy quite intriguing and their approach of respecting wild life and neglected cats has pioneered the way of the welfare of the animals should be taken care of. I find that they use holistic approach and seems to be working the best for the cats they care for. Even though most of their cats are 'rescues' but they are not ideal family pets. They are trying to advocate for better wildlife and domestic laws and seemed to be getting the message across, not only through the general public but getting the support from various groups and organizations that do support animals's welfare.

Review from CharityNavigator