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Credentials

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 about 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.

The sanctuary began rescuing exotic cats in Nov. 4, 1992.

 

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 many 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 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 67 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.

 

 

SUMMARY OF BIG CAT RESCUE AWARDS,

ONLINE VOTING CONTEST VICTORIES

AND APPEARANCES IN CABLE TV SEGMENTS

 

AWARDS & ONLINE VOTING CONTESTS


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.

2006 WEDU Be More Awards finalist for both the Be More Informed Award for marketing and Nonprofit of the Year

2007 WEDU Be More Humble online voting contest winner

2008 WEDU Be More Humble online voting contest winner

2008 Tampa Bay Business Journal name CFO Howard Baskin finalist for “CFO of the Year Award”

2009 WEDU Be More Humble online voting contest winner (stopped competing after that to give others a chance to win)

2009 Razoo.com online voting contest winner – prize $10,000

2009 Chase Bank “Chase Community Giving” online voting contest winner – prize $25,000

2009 Animal Planet names Operations Manager Scott Lope Animal Planet’s “Hero of the Year”

2009 Upper Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce names Advisory Board Chairman Howard Baskin “Citizen of the Year”

2011 PC Magazine Names Big Cat Rescue in Top 12 Favorite Charities

2011 Tampa Bay Business Journal finalist for Non Profit of the Year

2011 The Tampa Bay Business Journal awarded Big Cat Rescue in 3 categories:

Best Black Tie Event

Favorite Retreat and Team Building Venue

Second Best Fundraiser

2011 WEDU Be More Relevant Award winner for best nonprofit video

2011 Toyota 100 Cars for Good online voting contest winner – prize $33,000 Toyota Tundra

2012 CBS Tampa ranks BCR as one of the top “Day Trips for Families”

2013 WEDU Be More Relevant Award winner for best nonprofit video

2013 Dalton Agency “Dalton Cares” online voting contest winner – prize $1000 cash and $4000 in kind services

2013 Suncoast Federal Credit Union online voting contest winner – prize $1000

2014 WEDU Be More Relevant Award winner for best nonprofit video

2014 Viator Top Rated Partner Award for consistently rating four stars or higher

2014 Origin Magazine listed Big Cat Rescue in their Top 25 Animal Non Profits

2014 Give Day Tampa Bay winner of $22,500 in prize money and winner of the most donors on that day.

2014 Recognized at Charity Navigator’s top rated charity of any kind for Tampabay area and #5 in animal charities in the nation.

2014 Named a Catster Hero

 


NONPROFIT RATINGS

Best in America Seal

 

Charity Navigator has rated Big Cat Rescue 4 Stars (their highest rating) and Big Cat Rescue has one of the highest scores of any animal based charity every year since its first rating in 2008.

The Independent Charities of America has certified Big Cat Rescue as one of the Best in America Charities every year since 2008.

GreatNonprofits, the leading provider of user reviews for nonprofit organizations, has named Big Cat Rescue has named Big Cat Rescue as one of its “Top-Rated Charities” every year since the beginning of its ratings in 2010.

 

NONPROFIT AND ANIMAL RELATED AFFILIATIONS

 

Big Cat Rescue is accredited by the Global Federation of Animal SanctuariesCaptive Wild Animal Protection Coalition 2009 Taskforce

Combined Federal Campaign #10766 – since 2008

Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries – accredited

International Tiger Coalition

Species Survival Network

World Society for the Protection of Animals

No More Homeless Pets of Hillsborough County (founding member)

Big Cat Coalition since July 2011 (other members incl: IFAW, HSUS, WWF, Born Free, ALDF, ISF & GFAS)

 

AREA BUSINESS AFFILIATIONS

 

Brandon Chamber of Commerce

Florida Association for the Restoration of Ethics

Greater Clearwater Chamber of Commerce

Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce

Hillsborough Convention and Visitors Association

Oldsmar/Upper Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce

St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce

Westshore Alliance

 

CABLE TELEVISION SEGMENTS IN WHICH BIG CAT RESCUE

APPEARS – MOST RUN REPEATEDLY FOR MANY YEARS

 

History Channel – Monster Quest: Tigers in the Suburbs

History Channel – Monster Quest: Killer Chimps

History Channel – Monster Quest: The Black Beast Of Exmoor

Animal Planet – Most Extreme: Killer Cats

Animal Planet – Ms. Adventure Show: Communication

Animal Planet – Fatal Attractions: Tigers Unleashed 2013

Animal Planet – Fatal Attractions: Tiger Terror 2/22/13

Animal Planet – Untamed and Uncut

Discovery Channel – Lion Feeding Frenzy

OTF Amsterdam – Magnificent Obsessions

PBS – Inside Nature’s Giants Big Cats 2/7/12

Hallmark Channel – Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures 1999

Hope for Wildlife 2014

 

 

Big Cat Rescue Beginnings

 

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 about 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.

White Tiger with Lion

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.

World Society for Protection of Animals

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.

 

Big Cat Rescue PSA

 

 

 

Celebrity Supporters of Big Cat Rescue

 

Meet the celebrities who love Big Cat Rescue: http://bigcatrescue.org/celebrities/

 

Even More Reasons to Support Big Cat Rescue

 

Sanctuary StandardsGood 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 partners with VoterVoice.net for better laws and FLA USA.

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.

Other Information About Us

 

Great Non Profit Award Badge 2012How We Started

 

History and Evolution

 

Our Beliefs

 

Finances

 

Training Manuals Protocols

 

8 Comments

  1. You need to review some of the comments being posted under "reviews" on your facebook page. These people are trolls of the breeders and are saying a lot of slanderous things such as BCR buying animals, breeding animals, this is your personal zoo, the animals are in bad shape, etc. I know what their game is but BCR might be able to go after them for liable.

  2. This place is a blessing for these cats. They would not have survived if not for the peoples donations. Please help. I did..

  3. Hi,
    Do you offer a free paper catalog?

    Please let me know.

    Thank you. Have an awesome day!

    Sunny

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