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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

119 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.

2 LuckyCatLady

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories
4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

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2 Allison

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Big Cat Rescue is by far the best organization I have ever volunteered for or visited. Not only do they provide top notch care for all of their cats, they do tremendous work to end the trade and exploitation of big cats. Educating the public about the plight of exotic cats is critical in ending the abuse and BCR makes change happen. It's so rewarding to aid such a wonderful organization where every day they are making strides toward their mission statement.

Previous Stories
1

Donor

Rating: 5

The cats calling Big Cat Rescue home are truly lucky. Most of the cats come from situations of abuse and neglect and finally get a new beginning at BCR. Not only do they provide excellent care for the cats, but they educate the public in order to end the trade and exploitation. If you haven't visited, add BCR to your "must see" list.

1 Dena C

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories
3

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

amyk1980

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

1 Kathleen26

Donor

Rating: 5

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!

Comments ( 1 )

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BigCatRescue 10/17/2012

Thank you Kathleen!

1 Kelly53

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

Comments ( 1 )

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BigCatRescue 10/17/2012

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.

1 Judy Lee T.

Donor

Rating: 5

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!

Comments ( 1 )

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BigCatRescue 10/17/2012

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.

3 Joan15

Donor

Rating: 5

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

2 Ruth C.

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

2 katzen

Donor

Rating: 5

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!

3

Donor

Rating: 5

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

5

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

3

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

2 Beate G.

Donor

Rating: 5

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

1

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

Previous Stories
1

Donor

Rating: 5

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.

Beth C.

Donor

Rating: 5

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!!!

Donor

Rating: 5

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

Anne R.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been so impressed with the great work this organization does. The cats have been so horribly abused and they give them a good home.

Starla T.

Donor

Rating: 5

Big Cat Rescue {BCR} is this country’s largest accredited sanctuary for abused and abandoned big cats. They strive to provide the best ‘forever home’ for these cats through their dedication to, their love for, & respect of these magnificent cats. With a broader mission, to not only educate the public about wild & captive cats, but to advocate for the abused cats. As a quarterly donor to support accomplishment of their efforts, I can attest to their unique ways of relating to their donors from not only a corporate level…but a ‘personal’ one. They involve their supporters in innovative ways, such as providing streaming webcams of injured wild cats they’ve rescued, or abused & neglected cats they’ve accepted from ‘cat owners’. One example of how BCR celebrates their donors is through the creation of personalized ceramic cat tiles placed throughout the sanctuary to honor major or continuing contributors. The donation receipts provided by the sanctuary are not mere form letters, but personalized emails and appreciation cards. I donate quarterly to national & global animal charities, such as World Wildlife Fund, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Defender of Wildlife, Humane Society of the US, etc. None of these well known, five star charities take such effort to express appreciation to their donors. BCR is large enough to make a genuine difference in the world of abused & abandoned big cats, yet be mindful that much of their success is because of their donors. I so believe and support the efforts of BCR, that in addition to three other animal charities, I’ve named them to receive a percentage bequest of my estate. Big Cat Rescue's dedication to the cats and their appreciation of their donors…..unequalled.

Kitty D.

Donor

Rating: 5

Big Cat Rescue is the best place on earth for big cats that have been exploited or kept as pets by foolish people that think they have the right to try to own them. They are also are always on top of any government bills that effect BIG cats. The work tirelessly to do all they can to keep these wonderful animals safe and protected so that hopefully we will have them for many years to come. I have been there several times and all I can say is that every time I leave I can't wait to return. The cats there are happy and living the best lives they can. I support Big Cat Rescue because I can see every day through email, website & in person just how wonderful they are.