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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

343 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.

Kelly228

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I took my 18-year-old niece on the feeding tour and the sanctuary tour. We had an incredible visit and learned so much. What a great organization! Very impressive and very caring staff. Thank you for all you do!

Wendy162

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What an amazing non-profit. The work and education being done is so well done. I went on my first tour of their non-contact facility and was amazed by the care that these beautiful animals were getting. From their enrichment program and vacation areas for the cats to the great medical care.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Very educational, not a zoo, main focus is on the cats and not the care takers, as it should be. Well worth another visit.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am so thrilled these cats have a safe place to live out their life. It is obvious the cats welfare is the Rescue's main goal along with safety to the public. The cats are well cared for and seem to have the best life they can in captivity. Everyone should make a trip to visit these beautiful animals.

Janet146

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Loved the tour. This place is like a 5-star cat resort really. I was so nice to see these cats living the good life. Wish they all could have it so good! For us it was worth the 2 hr drive there.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

A great feel-good place for my daughter's 12 year-old birthday.
Thanks for taking such good care of those deserving and honorable animals.
The volunteers at the walkabout were ALL friendly and helpful.
They even provided COLD water for us in many locations thoughout the park.
We will be back.

Raven4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Fantastic experience. Friendly and very educated staff. The cats appear non stressed and well cared for. Some are real hams and come out to see the tour groups as you start approaching.. I will be returning and will continue to donate...

1 Catherine88

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My friend and I did the Keeper tour and it was worth every penny!
They let you take your time taking pictures, tell you the story of where each cat came from, they educate you on each animal and how we can help stop people from being able to have these wild animals as pets. They are not only saving lives, they are educating and helping to pass legislation. There volunteers are dedicated and humble individuals and you could tell the tour guide lives breathes and sleeps advocacy and conservation. A life changing experience, wish more places where run like this!

Mary441

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

To re-train an animal for wild release, it may be necessary to use live prey. In domestic cats, the mother teaches kittens to hunt for mice by first bringing back dead mice so they learn what to hunt for. She then brings back stunned live mice and demonstrates how to kill. Instinct alone will not produce a good mouser. However, if there is no intention to ever release these wild cats back into s natural environment, I agree live prey are not necessary. Let's admit it, cats can be lazy they are quite happy with killed butchered meat. Yummy for cats. Cats are obligate carnivores and do require meat in their daily diet, trying to force these wild cats into total vegetarians would be cruel. But the prey animals must be treated humanely also.

1 Pit L.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Probably the best rescue for lions, tigers, and other big cats in North America. A huge percentage of donations go directly to improve the facility, feed the animals, and provide all the health care and enrichment they do. Great place to donate

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Big Cat Sanctuary feeds live prey (domestic rabbits) to their cats therefore I cannot support them as this is cruel and unethical. It's absolutely inhumane to throw a live prey animal into a cage with a huge predator like this.

First of all the cats claw them, bite on them before they even die, it's a slow torture process and then are ripped to shreds.
How can anyone be okay with this kind of horrific cruelty?

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

After visiting, I was greatly disturbed to hear of the "live feeding"...using living rabbits to try to train bobcats for re-entry into the wild. It seems unethical to me to torture and kill one animal (rabbits) , trying to save another one. Especially since experts disagree that this approach even works! I think the effort to rehab cats is noble...but this barbaric practice destroys their credibility. Many experts feel the instinct to hunt is innate and there is no need to torture rabbits, and that "retraining" is not really possible or necessary. Very disappointed.

4 Linda401

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

The practice of feeding live domestic animals to carnivores is cruel, inhumane and lacks any scientific base and has no education value.

Despite thousands of animal advocates calling for an end to the brutal practices at Big Cat Rescue (a purported Sanctuary) they continue to practice this unethical protocol while displaying it widely over the internet in videos without guilt or feeling.
https://www.causes.com/actions/1673922-ask-fwcc-to-stop-condoning-the-live-feeding-domestic-rabbits-to-animals-in-wildlife-rehab

Real Sanctuaries & Ethical Rehabs do not value one animal’s life over another.
They do not disrespect the Rehab Code of Honor - "Do No Harm".

Real Sanctuaries do not practice outdated barbaric protocols such as unnecessarily LIVE FEEDING tame helpless domestic rabbits (that have no relation to a wild rabbit) to rehab Bobcats
because there are viable ethical alternatives. BCR also promotes the torture and killing of Live domestic rats & turkeys.
http://causes.worldpeacemeet.com/stoplivefeeds/letters-experts/

Real Sanctuaries do not pretend a need of teaching hunting instincts to wild animals that are
born with hard wired killing instincts that carries within itself, generation after generation. Just like a domestic cat that wreaks havoc on wildlife.

Real Sanctuaries do not feed wild predators tame animals that are not their natural food source in the wild because this practice is detrimental to the cat as far as survival, as the cats
won't find tame sitting targets (disease free) waiting to be eating in the woods.

And, they Most Certainly do not support the cruelty of breeding domestic rabbits that live in squalor while kept their entire short lives in small cages with wire floors for the purpose of taking their lives to unnecessarily feed them to Big Cats as TREATS while putting the heartless act on public display.

A true Animal Sanctuary is a place of refuge where abused, injured, abandoned or captive wild animals may live in peace and dignity for the remainder of their lives.

Please support Ethical facilities that don't torture and kill our pet rabbits or any other living being.

For The Rabbits,
Linda Sue


http://causes.worldpeacemeet.com/stoplivefeeds/the-shame-big-cat-rescue- tampa/

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Have visited Big Car Rescue a couple of times and enjoyed every moment. The cats are happy, well taken care of and adored by their keepers. Sad that they have to spend the rest of their lives in enclosures but at least they have a safe and happy home now. The enclosures are huge, with lots of foliage and they even have a vacation rotation enclosure that is even bigger, with lots of room to roam, play and explore! I would recommend this place to anyone who loves animals, especially cats!

3 Terry23

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The work that is done by Big Cat Rescue is amazing. I have personally been there several times and I can tell you that the cats have huge catatats in which to roam about with trees and dens. They even have a vacation rotation now where the big cats take turns being "on vacation" where they can look up and see the sky. There are factions who would try to discredit Big Cat Rescue, but all you have to do is check them out for yourself to find the truth. I highly recommend them and will continue to support them and visit.

Previous Stories
5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have visited BCR and found it to be a wonderful place. They have done a magnificent job with the cats they have rescued. They do not breed cats as some do for show and/or profit. Those people are the reason BCR exists. The cats are well taken care of and have a beautiful interactive environment. I support them in their efforts and look forward to visiting again.

Review from CharityNavigator

8

General Member of the Public

Rating: 1

Was very saddened to see the living conditions for the cats that live there. Wish they would put donations into animal care, not lobbying to remove cats from other facilities. Went to visit after several of my favorite animal parks were complained about on line and seeing Big Cat Rescue asking supporters to join in bashing those facilities on line. I expected Big Cat Rescue animals to be living i giant open cages and not the small enclosures they exist in. Also do not like that they take former pets that are not big enough to kill people and stop all human contact. I think its a cruel practice.

Comments ( 1 )

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BigCatRescue 09/29/2015

Clearly this is not a real visitor, but rather someone who hates us for our efforts to end the trade in big cats as pets, props and for their parts. They frequently make up aliases to try and look like a "Member of the Public" but they aren't fooling anyone. "Judge me by the enemies I have made." - Franklin D. Roosevelt

6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Visiting Big Cat Rescue was the highlight of my recent vacation! The guided tour was very informative and interesting. It is so inspiring to see the wonderful work they do firsthand. And the cats themselves were a delight to see!

6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I started following this charity when I lived in PA in 2005, and the guy who lived about a mile from me kept a cougar in a 12' x 12' cage. Their advocacy to protect big cats motivated me to write to my elected officials with the hope that they would intervene by passing laws to prevent this type of animal abuse, and I continue to write to my lawmakers and sign petitions to help big cats today.

I was so excited when I moved to Tampa in 2013 and could visit BCR in person! The tour was super educational; I learned so much about the different types of big cats they had, and that the majority of them came to BCR from abusive and inhumane situations. They are doing amazing work by educating the public about roadside zoos and the dangers of exposing an unknowing public to wild animals.

They also provide rehabilitation for injured, local big cats, like the Florida Bobcat and Florida Panther and release them back into the wild when they're healthy again. Additionally, I learned that the volunteers who intern there act as surrogate moms for little cats with help from the local animal shelter in an effort to rehome the kittens once they are weaned and age-appropriate for adoption.

Will visit again this year when the weather gets cooler!

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We were introduced by a relative that had a friend that was impressed. We were too. These beautiful cats are not only now safe and cared for... They are respected. They have the next best thing now, to the life they should have had. We would go back.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My husband, sister and I visited Big Cat Rescue in November 2014. The tour was extremely well thought out and organized. I have difficulty walking, and we arranged for a golf cart to make sure I would be able to see everything. Loved our visit ... plan to come again when we visit Florida again.