Who is Big Cat Rescue?
Big Cat Rescue is the largest accredited sanctuary in the world dedicated entirely to abused and abandoned big cats. We are home to over 100 lions, tigers, bobcats, cougars and other species most of whom have been abandoned, abused, orphaned, saved from being turned into fur coats, or retired from performing acts.
Big Cat Rescue is the largest accredited sanctuary in the world dedicated entirely to abused and abandoned big cats.
The sanctuary began rescuing exotic cats in Nov. 4, 1992.
The non profit 501c3 sanctuary is home to more than 100 exotic big cats
- The cats at Big Cat Rescue are here for a variety of reasons, including:
- Big Cat Rescue has 14 species of cats, many of whom are threatened, endangered or extinct now in the wild, including:
- The non-profit organization is:
- What is Big Cat Rescue?
- Top Rated Non Profit at Great Non Profits
- Most Relevant Charity
- Top Day Trip for Families
- PC Magazine Names Big Cat Rescue in Top 12 Favorite Charities 2011
- Finalist for Non Profit of the Year
- Big Cat Rescue PSA
- We are proud members of:
- Even More Reasons to Support Big Cat Rescue
The cats at Big Cat Rescue are here for a variety of reasons, including:
Abandoned by owners who wrongly thought they would make good pets
Abused by owners in order to force them to perform
Retired from performing acts
Saved from being slaughtered to make fur coats
Rescued as babies after hunters killed their mothers
Big Cat Rescue has 14 species of cats, many of whom are threatened, endangered or extinct now in the wild, including:
Tigers, Lions, Leopards, Cougars
Bobcats, Lynx, Servals, Ocelots, Caracals, Jungle Cats, Leopard Cats and a Geoffroy Cat
Big Cat Rescue’s dual mission is to provide the best home we can for the cats in our care and educate the public about the plight of these majestic animals, both in captivity and in the wild, and how you can help end abuse and prevent extinction.
The non-profit organization is:
Accredited by the Global Federation of Sanctuaries
Certified by Independent Charities of America as a “Best in America Charity”
Member of the World Society for Protection of Animals
Rated 4 Stars by Charity Navigator (their highest rating) and has one of the highest scores of any animal based charity
The sanctuary is situated on 55 acres in the Citrus Park area of north Tampa.
Florida law requires that all charities soliciting donations disclose their registration number and the percentage of your donation that goes to the cause and the amount that goes to the solicitor. Our registration number is CH-11409 and non-program expenses are funded from tour income, so 100% of your donations go directly to save the cats. We are a 501 c 3 charity as determined by the IRS Federal ID#59-3330495. Our 990s are available online at GuideStar.org with a complete breakdown of how your donations are spent.
What is Big Cat Rescue?
Big Cat Rescue, a non profit educational sanctuary, is devoted to rescuing and providing a permanent home for exotic (i.e. wild, not domestic) cats who have been abused, abandoned, bred to be pets, retired from performing acts, or saved from being slaughtered for fur coats, and to educating the public about these animals and the issues facing them in captivity and in the wild. The sanctuary is home to the most diverse population of exotic cats in the world, with more than a dozen of the 35 species of wild cat represented among more than 100 residents. These include tigers, lions, leopards, cougars, bobcats, lynx, ocelots, servals, caracals and others, many of whom are threatened, endangered, or now extinct in the wild.
The sanctuary began in 1992 when the Founder, Carole Baskin, and her then husband Don, mistakenly believing that bobcats made good pets, went looking to buy some kittens. They inadvertently ended up at a “fur farm” and bought all 56 kittens to keep them from being turned into fur coats. See How We Started.
In the early years, influenced by breeders and pet owners, they believed that the cats made suitable pets and that breeding and placing the cats in homes was a way to “preserve the species.” Gradually they saw increasing evidence that not only was this not the case, but that it was leading to a consistent pattern of suffering and abuse. See History and Evolution.
Today the sanctuary is devoted to its Vision of a world where animals are treated with respect, and its Mission of providing the best possible home for the animals in our care and trying to stop the flow of animals needing sanctuary by educating the public about the plight of the animals and supporting stronger laws to protect them.
The sanctuary is a 501(c)(3) not profit charity. It receives no government support and relies on its educational activities, such as tours of the facility, and the generosity of donors for support of the cats. Donations are tax deductible. Because non program expenses (i.e. administration and fundraising) are funded from tour income, 100% of donations go directly to support the cats. We hope you enjoy your visit to our web site. We believe it is the most complete resource for information on big cats in the world.
Award Winning Sanctuary
Top Rated Non Profit at Great Non Profits
We have received this award every year since they started awarding it in 2010 due to the many great reviews we get from visitors and donors each year.
Most Relevant Charity
Big Cat Rescue won the 2012 Be More Relevant Award at the WEDU Be More Awards held Feb 21, 2013. This was a category that judged the best use of video in charity missions and we won with our video called Big Cat Mirrors.
Top Day Trip for Families
2012 CBS Tampa ranks BCR as one of the top “Day Trips for Families” http://tampa.cbslocal.com/top-
PC Magazine Names Big Cat Rescue in Top 12 Favorite Charities 2011
Big Cat Rescue, which takes in retired circus lions and tigers, also rescues other big cats from people who tried to keep them as pets, and otherwise offers sanctuary to large cats that are not eligible for release into the wild. It’s focused on educating people about the unsuitability of the animals as pets, working toward passing laws against roadside zoos, and shutting down breeding programs like the exotic pet trade. They also take in injured wild cats and rehabilitate them for release. The group has a video cam set up in the sanctuary, and they regularly post videos of the big cats. The cats eat a massive amount every day, naturally, so Big Cat Rescue relies on donations and paid tour groups to support them.—Arielle Rochette PC Magazine
Finalist for Non Profit of the Year
The Tampabay Business Journal selected Big Cat Rescue as a finalist for Non Profit of the Year for 2011. Thanks to all of you who voted for Big Cat Rescue, we won the People’s Choice Award at the WEDU Be More Awards every year that we participated! Big Cat Rescue won against 90 contenders for the People’s Choice Award. WEDU has a viewing audience that includes 16 central Florida counties. In 2010 we won the WEDU Be More Relevant Award for one of our videos. In 201 we won the same award again. 2011 Winner in Toyota’s 100 Cars for Good Big Cat Rescue was given a beautiful Toyota Tundra for being the top voted charity during their competition week. 9/2/2011 The Tampa Bay Business Journal awarded Big Cat Rescue in 3 categories: Best Black Tie Event Favorite Retreat and Team Building Venue and Second Best Fundraiser
Big Cat Rescue PSA
|CFC # 10766|
Other Credentials and Affiliations
Meet the celebrities who love Big Cat Rescue: http://bigcatrescue.org/celebrities/
We are proud members of:
Best in America Charities certified by the Independent Charities of America
Combined Federal Campaign #10766
Westshore Alliance World Society for the Protection of Animals
Even More Reasons to Support Big Cat Rescue
Good sanctuaries do not breed, buy or sell their animals and they do not allow contact between potentially dangerous animals and the public. Big Cat Rescue meets or exceeds the Sanctuary Standards detailed at SanctuaryStandards.com
We are founding members of No More Homeless Pets of Hillsborough County, a coalition of animal rescue groups committed to ending euthanasia of healthy cats and dogs as a means to dispose of unwanted pets. Our founder was the former Chairperson of the Hillsborough County Animal Advisory Committee by appointment of the Board of County Commissioners.
She is a past President of The Association of Sanctuaries and served on the board for HumaneUSA, the largest animal related Political Action Committee that gives approximately $250,000.00 a year to the promotion of better laws to protect the animals.
Our founder, advisory chair, staff and our veterinarians are past members of the American Zoological Association (AZA). Our vet is also members of the American Association of Zoo Vets (AAZV). Several of our keepers are members of the American Association of Zoo Keepers (AAZK.)
We are supporters of the Humane Society of the United States.
We hold permits issued by U.S.D.A #58-C-0814 , Florida Fish and Game permit #ESB 70 , State Wildlife rehab permits # SC01A-2079 and U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Federal rehab permits, State Charitable Solicitation permit #CH-11409 and Hillsborough County occupational license.