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've been volunteering with the Big Cats for years, and couldn't imagine not being a part of BCR!
Everyone from the staff to interns and volunteers care deeply for the animals are are incredibly dedicated to the cause.
Big Cat Rescue is an AMAZING place.
Not only does BCR provide excellent care to the cats, BCR's staff, volunteers, and supporters have been making great strides in changing legislation regarding exotic/wild animal ownership in the private sector.
This invokes criticism and downright attacks from private owners and breeders because the end of animal exploitation/ownership affects their livelihood.
The attacks come from those who have never been to Big Cat Rescue, and have never experienced the cats in their large, clean enclosures. The cats at BCR are happy and healthy.
The health of the cats of BCR is no secret. Any time a cat is having a procedure or is in the cat hospital, updates are posted on the public Facebook page for all to see.
Within the past few weeks, BCR said goodbye to two cats, a 15 year old bobcat with severe kidney disease, and a 19 year old serval who had lived 16 of those years at BCR. Both were put to sleep aka euthanized, due to advanced disease and decreased quality of life.
It was the most humane option, and BCR ALWAYS has the cats' best interest in mind.
I have never seen such a dedicated charity. Their goals are clear and concise, and when they say they will do something, they do it right. I love how much they share what goes in inside the compound. Videos, photos, even a virtual tour! I live in Canada but have been itching to visit Florida to see this great park and all the work they do. I love being able to watch the cats they save on videos, and can donate from anywhere to help them out. They are transparent, honest and they save big cats! Who could ask for more? The cats are in safe and in proper enclosures and they keep them entertained but retain the wildness of the cats. These aren't pets! I'd have to say my favourite is the video of when they gave the big cats catnip. This charity gets my vote, and I'll be visiting them as soon as I can!
I visited Big Cat Rescue in the fall of 2011. I was enormously impressed by how well they take care of the cats. They clearly care about the best interests of the animals & allowing them to live the most natural and healthy lives that they can. Big Cat Rescue covers all their administration costs by the tours they give of their facility. This is very important to me, as it tells me that my monthly donation to them goes ENTIRELY to the care of the cats; it doesn't go into marketing, or some ridiculously high CEO paycheck. The people at Big Cat Rescue clearly care deeply for their cats, and do everything they can to show that they are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of these animals.
I have been an avid fan of Big Cat Rescue for quite a few years. I read about the work they did and gave them money. I have since bought items for presents and continued to support the cats in any way I can. They do such a wonderful job for advocacy for the cats, law changes and just helping those wonderful animals that we all should be helping.
Big Cat Rescue is an accredited sanctuary for big cats such as lions and tigers in Florida. Not only do they have a team of staff and volunteers who provide stellar care for big cats that have come from horrendous situations of abuse, but they also work tirelessly for better laws about big cats. Big Cat Rescue was instrumental in passing legislation prohibiting interstate transfer of big cats. They also work with states to pass laws regulating ownership of dangerous exotic animals such as big cats. Big Cat Rescue has seen first hand the cruel situations that these cats are kept in, such as being kept for life in transport crates, crammed into basements with no access to sunlight, having their teeth and claws pulled, etc. Big Cat Rescue has done more to raise awareness of the plight of big cats than any other organization in the country. When I donate to Big Cat Rescue, I am providing direct help not just to the cats at the sanctuary, but to all big cats in captivity across the country.
I have continuously been blown away by the great work and effort these folks put into the rescue, care and rehab of these big cats!
Thank you Kathleen!
I used to live in and work in Costa Rica rehabilitating and releasing cats and other endangered species back into the wild when possible. If not we took care if them and educated people about them. When I returned to the States I researched centers here who try to help to save and educate people about them. Big Cat Rescue is the one I chose to and will continue to support.
Thank you Kelly. Back in the 90s we tried to start a rescue center in Costa Rica, but the travel back and forth was just too much, so we never got it built. It is a beautiful place though.
Stepping into Big Cat Rescue in Tampa Florida, I was overcome with a feeling of peacefulness, health, respect and ... something most pervasive ... Love! These animals had been mistreated at the hands of the worst that humanity has to offer, and now thanks to Big Cat Rescue, they are nursed back to health, given the best possible living conditions, and encouraged to behave as the wild animals which Nature had intended. As I walked through the sanctuary, I cried seeing the suffering these animals have endured through no fault of their own, and then I laughed with pure joy to see and feel their relief in knowing they will be safe and cared for throughout the rest of their lives. Big Cat Rescue is a true blessing to the animals!
Thanks Judy Lee. That's kind of how our days go too. Lots of crying and laughing, but it is all worth while thanks to people like you who do so much to help us end the trade in big cats.
I stumbled onto BCR's website years ago while looking up something else. I have been a supporter ever since. I had my eyes open to the magnitude of the problems regarding exotic pet ownership, and while BCR cares for wild cats, they advocate for all exotics to keep them in the wild where they belong. I have researched this charity to the fair-the-well, and can find nothing to object to. In fact, I applaude their ongoing effort to the cause, to make sure that exotic cats are never again used for man's selfish entertainment. This is the ONLY charity I have ever been involved with who's main goal is to someday shut down, because they are no longer needed. I believe so strongly in this sanctuary, that I spend a great deal of time talking about it to others in my community, and making them know where they currently are not.
Review from CharityNavigator
I am so impressed with the exceptional care BIG CAT Rescue provides the cats they take in from irresponsible owners and animal abusers who flaunt these majestic animals to line their own pockets. I have been so touched by some of the amazing rescues and the success stories with rehab and release connected with this organization. I can't wait to retire so I can volunteer with this wonderful group. It's comforting to know they are willing to take such great care of the discarded animals when some grow tired of them or the cats no longer make money for them.
After visiting BCR I have made it a goal to regularly donate (which I have been doing) and requesting others also to donate to this wonderful organization.... My tour included a knowledgeable guide who advised us on each of the cats, their conditions before coming to BCR, and how they are doing now. We were shown the minimum size of a cage mandated by law for a big cat and believe me when I say that living in something so tiny is horrifying to contemplate! The guides educate you on legislation that is in process to ban the sale and ownership of privately owned exotics. I learned so much during my visit, and I am learning much more as I go along. Please visit and support BCR and the legislation to ban sale and ownership of exotic animals!
The big cats need you, they are tortured and hurt. But if people like Big Cat Rescue help, we can make a difference. Big Cat Rescue is humane and caring. They try to release the big cats back into the wild as soon as they can. The cats habitats are big and natural. So if you have some money to help the big cats, please do so and feed a cat today!!! ~Sophia 12years old
Big Cat Rescue providesa humane, nurturing home for many species of big cats. Additionally, they serves as national leader in the struggle to (1) educate the public about these magnificent animals and the steps necessary to protect them, (2) recruit and inform individuals to advocate for these animals, and (3) provide guidance to the staff of smaller sanctuaries who may lack the experience, expertise, or resources to handle a particular problem.
I really appreciate the work that BCR does for neglected, abandoned and injured big cats, as well as the advocacy they do to educate the public about the abuses of these wonderful animals. These cats are fortunate to have such dedicated employees and volunteers. The sanctuary is a wonderful place to visit. I enjoy their Facebook page, as well.
Why do I donate to this organisation and not to any other?
They do not breed to raise money, they do not abuse puppies in Malls to raise money, they work with volonteers mostly, they have only tours with a guide - so no-one can harm or disturb any of their inhabitants.
I could go on like that for hours.
They are simply the best I ever heard of!
Review from CharityNavigator
This place is A TRUE sanctuary. There is no breeding allowed. The tours are guided so the animals are not harrassed & the public is kept safe. Since first learning of them many years ago I have visited quite a few times. I also let as many people as possible know about their great work. They are really focused on making changes to laws & informing the public of the horrible plights of animals kept as pets & performers. Big Cat Rescue is the last chance place for many big cats. Unfortunately they cannot take every one & turn away hundreds of animals a year because they do not have the room for them. Why is it that hundreds of big cats NEED a place every year? Because the should NOT be kept as pets or for photo shoots. The cats at BCR have nice large enclosures. They have ground & plants & trees. They have dens & the tigers have pools. One set of tigers even has access to a lake. If they can't be free then at least they have peace & safety here. Hopefully their stories(as told by the tourguides & available to read online) will change you. If you have a chance to visit-please do so. It will forever chance your thought process about big/wild cats in general. Be a voice for the cats. Donate if you can. They have a great website & free screensaver downloads. Alot of good educational things for adults & kids. They ARE making a difference in the lives of these cats & the future laws concerning animals.
I have been visiting and donating to Big Cat rescue for over 10 years. This is a wonderful and beautiful sactuary. They really try to educate the public during their tours. Another nice thing ia their enclosures are kept as natural as possible...letting the natural grasses & trees there so the cats can have something other than a concrete cage like the zoos have. Wonderful, caring and hardworking organization. visit next time you are in the Tampa area. You will not be disappointed.
I had been following (and donating) to BCR for many years before I actually got to go. When I finally did get to go it was everything I had hoped for and more. I actually got emotional when I saw Cameron & Zabu! LOVE Big Cat Rescue!!!
Big Cat Rescue is a wonderful organization! I went there in 2009 while visiting Orlando. It was worth the trip from Central Florida. The cats are well-taken care of and the volunteers show their enthusiasm for the cats. I loved taking the tour of the facilities and seeing the big cats. They are so beautiful! Anyone who wishes has the opportunity to sponsor one of the cats, so you can see the good Big Cat Rescue does first-hand.
Review from CharityNavigator