Hello. It’s back-to-school time for the students, but in many ways also time for a new outlook for all of us. We have a chance to consider how we will arrange our own schedules and what we support with any precious free time. We’d like to thank you for figuring Big Cat Rescue into your time, plans, and creative fundraising. This month we are proud to feature ordinary people who are doing extraordinary things for the sanctuary with just a little bit of their time. We hope you find it as inspiring as we do. We also hope you’ll take note of some necessary legislation in memory of a teen’s life. Thank you!
Carole Baskin, Founder
We have a problem. A good problem. This article is not nearly large enough to contain the number of volunteers who have recently stepped up to take a burden off of our staff in countless ways. We are tremendously grateful to them and want to note each one of them, even if only briefly. We will mention them below and the link to the responsibility that they have taken on.
Merrill Kramer took over the $2,000 a month, profit-making recycled ink bag project at bigcatrescue.org/ink.htm
Patricia Massard took over the maintenance our Big Cat Rescue Yahoo list and our informative blogs at bigcatrescue.org/blog
Barbara Frank has taken over on-site weddings at bigcatrescue.org/weddings
Brian Czarnik has taken over the podcasts and will be helping Jamie with all of our video production at bigcatrescue.org/podcast
Christy Anderson is serving as co-publisher of this e-mail newsletter, the AdvoCat bigcatrescue.org/advocats.htm
Julie Hanan has coordinated with friend Diana Rao for more effective newspaper distribution of the Big Cat Times bigcatrescue.org/cat_tales.htm
We are thankful to each one above who is helping bybreaking down the immense responsibilities of running the sanctuary, into more bite-sized pieces. There are many more people we’d love to acknowledge, and we will continue to feature in coming months.
This time of year (Fur Ball Time) is when people from all over the country pitch in and help by donating gift baskets, art, services and gift certificates to benefit the cats. Keep checking the Fur Ball page to see what great contributions have been made and to get your tickets. Tune in next month to see what fabulous raffle item will be available to you, even if you can’t come to the best party of the year! More details…
Tragedy into Triumph
Tragedy could be turned into triumph, but much of the outcome rests in your hands. One year ago this month, 17-year-old Haley Hilderbrand went to a USDA licensed “sanctuary” to have her senior picture taken with with a Siberian tiger. Tragically, the captive wild cat attacked and killed Haley.
If passed by the US House of Representatives, “Haley’s Act” (HR 5909) will prohibit direct contact between the public and large exotic cats. One result will be that people will no longer be able to have their picture taken with a baby tiger or lion at a flea market or fair. Cats will no longer be bred to be photographers’ props and discarded when they aren’t useful any more for that purpose. And cats will no longer be killed for injuring a person in such an unnatural situation.
Kansas has passed legislation, championed by Haley’s parents, which will prevent such a tragedy from ever occurring again in that state. We need your help in urging the House of Representatives to show the same wisdom at the national level.
Free Child Safety ID Kit
The Big Cat Rescue website is thousands of pages of information, photos and games that your child can experience in total safety. We provide hundreds of games, puzzles, interactive pages and images that are safe for your kids to play and safe for you to download. We want your child to have a safe place to play online. Also, we have now provided this Child’s Identification Kit, with the help of La Wanna Jones (who created all the great games and puzzles for us) to help keep your child safe at home. It includes such items as fingerprinting info, body markings id chart, local authority contacts,how to engage the Amber alert, and more info critical to know ahead of time in case of an emergency.
Get the Free Kit HERE
Kids 4 Cats
Julie Jenkins and her husband, Dan, have 2 sons, Max and Sam, who they have raised to be extremely philanthropic from an early age.
From the time they were little, they have sent out birthday party
invitations to all their classmates that include an appeal for donations and support for an organization of their choice in lieu of gifts. They don’t feel the children need all those gifts, but prefer that they learn to give instead. So far, this parenting theory hasn’t backfired. The boys still look forward to their birthday every year and they excitedly look into causes that they want to support. Last year was big brother Sam’s birthday. He chose to support the Red Cross Hurricane Katrina victims with the $400 in birthday donations he received.
This year, Max turned 8 and he sent out his invitations along with a blurb about Big Cat Rescue that he pulled from our website. He was happy to be able to hand deliver $350 in donations to us. He was extra excited to get to spend an hour and a half with his family touring the sanctuary and meeting all the cats up close and personal. You can tell by the giant smile on his face what a great time he had and how it’s a day he’ll always remember. Julie, his mom, mentioned a cute comment that Max mentioned to his brother. He said how neat it was that his brother Sam “covered” people and Max “covered” animals (in donations), kind of like they were covering all the bases. We sure feel covered, and are big fans of both boys, and thank Max especially for his heart-felt giving!
Membership Opens Doors
Membership has its privileges, as they say, and this membership opens new doors to us. We were just welcomed as members of WSPA the World Society for the Protection of Animals.
Thirty-five animal welfare organizations have joined forces with the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) bolstering its global Member Society network. WSPA now has 692 affiliated organizations in 142 countries and there are only 50 US members and most are Humane Societies. The WSPA is the world’s largest federation of humane societies and animal protection organizations. Through direct field work, campaigning, legislative work, education and training programs, WSPA strives to create a world where animal welfare matters and animal cruelty ends We are proud to be inducted into this membership.
We were required to submit grueling stacks of paperwork in order to qualify, but in the end, we were accepted. We’re very proud to report this good news to you and will keep you updated.
Read more about WSPA…
August is the best time to get your dog spayed or neutered! That’s because the ACT Spay Neuter Clinic in Tampa is offering a discount on their ALREADY reduced cost spaying and neutering. Any dog that comes in for spay/neuter service during the month of August will receive a $10 discount. The new cost will range from $65 to $85. Dogs from any county are welcome!
The Animal Coalition of Tampa (ACT) is a non-profit organization. Their primary focus is high volume spay/neuter programs to reduce the number of companion animals entering local shelters each year. ACT celebrated their 1,000th spay/neuter surgery in June 2006, merely 3 months after opening the doors to the clinic. The clinic has prevented upwards of 25,000 offspring in the first year alone!
*For low income Hillsborough County residents who qualify at any time of the year, the cost for spay/neuter is merely $10 through the county’s voucher program.*certain restrictions apply
A.C.T. just held a contest for a spokesdog for the spay/neuter message. Turbo was the winner of that contest. He is a 9 month old English Bulldog with lots of spunk. He’s helping spread the word and will be making his way around the Tampa Bay area to help other pets in our community. Big Cat Rescue is proud to have donated an Expedition for Two to ACT’s winner of the contest, Turbo’s parents Pam and Patrick.
ALSO THIS SUMMER
The Humane Society of Tampa Bay is now open Sundays for the Dog Days of Summer and offering low cost spaying and neutering for dogs. For appointment please call 870-3304.
Feline Fun Fact
A “tail up” approach by a cat is a congenial gesture when made by a domestic cat. Only wildcats that live in a group exhibit this welcoming behavior. This category includes only lions and domestic cats. It’s like a high five among teammates and thought to be a friendly gesture. Consider yourself spoken to warmly when done by your cat, and if by a lion in the wild, thank them but “high-tail” it yourself to safety.