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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

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

120 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.

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.

Heather W.

Donor

Rating: 5

I am form Canada so I haven't had a chance to visit this beautiful home for big cats in need. I love what they do! I love the home they provide for them.
I am a fan of Big Cat Resuce on Facebook so I follow all of their updates & love seeing all the pictures they upload.
Most importantly they education of big cats to the public!

Donor

Rating: 5

Big Cat Rescue has been doing such great advocacy work and deeds to society by raising awareness of the issues they help resolve every day. They provide anyone access to tons of real-life stories about 'big cats' and show the day-to-day activities and serious work it takes to maintain a non-profit group as successful as theirs. Never in my life have I felt so strongly about a particular group as I do theirs. I particularly enjoy their 'Youtube' videos and stories depicting different activities and 'struggles' to rescue when and where they can.

I am currently studying to become a veterinarian and had it not been for the inspiring stories and videos and documentaries coming from BCR, I don't think I'd ever have come to that vital decision in my own life.

I commend Big Cat Rescue for all their effort, blood, sweat, tears, and time, on creating, holding, and continuing such a grassroots organization for this long and doing it SO well.

Donor

Rating: 5

Big Cat Rescue of Tampa is the most wonderful place in the world!!! They have served numerous animals over the years. Truly a must see when in th area

Denise B.

Donor

Rating: 5

This non profit is NOT an attraction like a zoo. They are open for the public to come and learn about what really happens to wild animals that are used as exhibits and as pets. They are a TRUE SANCTUARY. They do not breed and DO NOT BUY animals. They are contacted many times every year about taking "pets" that have outgrown their cuteness. They have taken all of the Ringling Circus tigers and they will live out their lives in peace. Ringling pays for their upkeep. The cages are set in as natural a setting as possible. Trees & grasses are there so they can climb & stalk. Their mission is to educate the public abou the horrors of zoos, roadside attractions, the wild pet trade, and breeding of wild cats. Do you know that white tigers aren't rare? They are a birth defect caused by inbreeding? Look at their website www.bigcatrescue.org , go visit, make a donation if you can. They are awesome. And don't listen to tigerlover's "review." you can tell by the way he/she talks that they would contribute to those roadside zoos. They want an ATTRACTION not the real story. This is real. They don't hide things & tell the truth. I've visited for 15 years. They've only gotten better in regards to education and will go to Washington to stand up for animal rights. They run solely on donations & it's not cheap to feed those animals let alone upkeep cages, get vet service, etc. Go visit & treat yourself to seeing some beautiful cats, but also be prepared to shed a few tears as you hear the stories of how the animals were abused or neglected.

8

Donor

Rating: 5

As volunteer for Lions, Tigers and Bears in Alpine, California, I did office work, telephone calls, wrote letters, made flyers, recruited volunteers for maintenance especially to build fences and cages, recruited volunteers for all jobs and donated to various projects. I did many various things for Lions, Tigers and Bears.

7

Donor

Rating: 5

On a vacation trip to Tampa last April, my daughter insisted that we use our last day visiting Big Cat Rescue. Her teenage daughter was less than thrilled (the beach!) and I was interested, although I had never heard of anything like it. What an experience!! While immensely interesting and informative, the best part was the absolute respect given these beautiful animals. I was very deeply moved by the attitude of the staff and volunteers and I totally changed my views on animal exhibitions and acts. I only wish we lived closer so we could volunteer there.

11

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been to Big Cat Rescue on the Day Tour five different times. The staff is very knowledgeable about the cats, their behavior, and what they need but the staff also balances that very well with the way they deal with the public. Questions are taken very seriously and are answered as honestly as possible. Visitors are given generous advice on their comfort and safety during the visit and are closely watched and escorted. For those visitors who cannot stand or walk for very long, the staff drives them around the tour on the cart. Everyone puts the cats and their welfare first and that really shows. They all work so hard to educate the public about how they got the cats in the first place and to try to stop the animal trade. Even the wild birds and other animals that come to the sanctuary are welcomed and treated with love and respect. I have been on at least two tours that where if a cat was anxious or nervous, it was lovingly spoken to and then given its space to hide, even though many guests wanted to linger. This sanctuary truly goes all the way to care for these cats and give them the healthiest and safest lives possible.

6

Donor

Rating: 5

Several years ago, my partner and I planned a visit to Tampa. After doing a lot of research on places to visit in the area, I learned about Big Cat Rescue. After digging a little further and investigating them, I found Big Cat Rescue to be a reputable non-profit that wanted to help the cats (I have been contributing since). We planned a visit to Big Cat Rescue and were looking forward to the trip. Unfortunately our trip was cancelled due to weather. Recently I had the pleasure of visiting the sanctuary and it was the highlight of the trip. I found this organization deeply committed to the welfare of the animals and treating all the animals with diginty and respect. When I returned home, I shared the pictures with everyone and educated several on Big Cat Rescue. I would recommend families visit Big Cat Rescue. This isn't a petting zoo or a picutre with cub in your lap place - this is truly educational sanctuary. Uur future generations can learn what beautiful animals big cats are and that they should remain in the wild.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful non-profit! They not only rescue abused, neglected, or abandoned big cats, but they also help to educate the public in an effort to put an end to the exotic animal trade and fur trade that put these poor creatures in these situations to begin with. They have numerous campaigns to help educate the public and get laws passed to bring an end to the abomination of fur farms, exotic

10

Donor

Rating: 5

No personal experience but know that if I needed their help with a wild cat in my area I could count on them.

11

Donor

Rating: 5

This is a fabulous organization that is truly devoted to its mission: conserving big cats in the wild and eliminating their trade in captivity. I was a long time (20+ years) resident of Tampa and know first hand the reputation of this organization in the community: clean as a whistle! I do not know what organization these detracters are a part of - but they clearly have an underlying agenda that is not pro animals. I hope that visistors to this sight learn from those that have actually had experience with Big Cat Rescue and peg the negative comments for what they really are - uneducated, biased propaganda. Save the cats!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Even though I do not live in Tampa, I have had the opportunity to visit Big Cat Rescue twice now and have loved every minute of the tours! The staff and volunteers are incredibly knowledgeable and helpful. In addition, I have been a long time online follower and donor. One of the most amazing facts about Big Cat Rescue is how effectively they use the money received. The CEO/founder Carole, VP Cathleen, and Treasurer Harold collect NO COMPENSATION from BCR! (check page 7 the Form 990 for details) In addition, a vast amount of the work done at the sanctuary is done by (unpaid) volunteers. Thus, any money collected is able to go directly to helping the cats under their care and helping educate people about the plight of other "big cats". Please consider joining me in supporting this worthy organization!

14

Donor

Rating: 5

Big Cat Rescue does it all. They care for the cats, educate the public & work to end the exotic pet & fur trades. A donation is well-spent here!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I have donated to this rescue for years and I find it insulting what reviews I have read.Shame on the people who are bad mouthing this rescue. There is nothing fake about this rescue and the animals do come from bad conditions.I will keep donating in the future because I know its not a sham and the staff there are wonderful loving people. I live in Indiana and have visit there a couple time and plan on visiting again. Maybe you should check out some of these people posting these negitive views. Its a load of lies their saying about this rescue! God Bless Big Cat Rescue and the caring and loving work they do for theses beautiful animals