This AdvoCat is just busting at the seams with good news. As I look back over 2007 I am so fortunate to live in paradise and have the support of so many good hearted people. Every day my inbox is flooded with sad reports of sanctuaries imploding, of water shortages in GA and flooding in WA that put even more pressure on those housing captive cats. I read about lions chasing cars in OH, of a keeper being mauled in CA, a tiger being shot to death after escaping from a back yard cage, and wonder how we can put an end to all of the insanity before even one more life is lost. Just when it seems like there is SO much to do and so little time to do it, I am reminded through your kind words and generosity that there are thousands of us working together. As I look back over the wins the big cats have had this year, I see the light at the end of the tunnel… and it is in YOUR hand.
Thank you from the depths of my heart and the hearts of all of us, two footed and four footed alike at Big Cat Rescue!
Carole Baskin, Founder
Tight Race for WEDU Contest – Please Vote!
WEDU reports that it is a tight race to win the People’s Choice Award by getting the most votes. This year it works like American Idol where you can vote as many times as you like. That means a few people can make a HUGE difference! Ways people are helping is voting while they are on a long phone call or in the evening when they are watching TV, and by passing this on to friends. Winning this award generates massive publicity that helps build awareness of the plight of the cats. Please vote as often as you can and pass this link on to anyone you think might like to help. To vote repeatedly, you must close the You Voted box that pops up before voting again. You may find it faster to use ALT-F4 to close the box so you can leave your cursor on the Vote button. Friday, Dec. 15th is the last day you can vote. Thanks for your help in winning this for the cats!!
Updates on Recent Big Cat Rescues
Thanks to our generous supporters Big Cat Rescue was able to save more exotic cats this year than we have been able to rescue annually in the past ten years! Four tigers left to die at a closed white tiger breeding farm, two lions and two tigers who had been declawed and defanged by their former owner in her illegal tiger training scheme, four native bobcats who were orphaned, injured and dying were given a second chance and a Savannah cat hybrid that was abandoned were the “lucky” ones who are now recovering at the sanctuary.
The four tigers rescued from the white tiger breeding farm are doing great. The following link is to their rescue: http://bigcatrescue.org/video/00146.htm
And their updates after surgery: http://bigcatrescue.org/video/00158.htm
The video link below gives you an update on the lions and tigers from Ohio that have been come to be known as Joseph’s Pride: http://bigcatrescue.org/video/00160.htm
The famous author, Caleb Carr has offered to match donations, up to $5,000.00 if you make your donation to Joseph’s Pride by the end of this month. You can do that here at our secure online form: https://ssl.capwiz.com/bigcatrescue/fundraising/?alertid=10318886&type=FR
Lions in the Suburbs
Attacks by mountain lions make headlines across the U.S. But some people say they are seeing something else…large black cats. From Texas to Minnesota to West Virginia, MonsterQuest will follow the eyewitness accounts and physical evidence of these demon cats. Pictures and law enforcement encounters prove a big black cat is out there but what is it? While they resemble a mountain lion, there is no such thing as a black mountain lion. Bones from a carcass, eyewitnesses claim was a huge black cat, will be put to the DNA test… and the Big Cat Rescuers test, as the History Channel interviews Big Cat Rescuers about the sightings.
Rolex Raffle for Valentine’s Day
Raffle tickets are $20 each, or the best value is 7 for $100. The drawing will be held at 5:00 PM February 8, 2008, just in time for Valentine’s Day, at the gift shop. Winner will be notified by telephone.
Tickets are available at our gift shop, by calling the gift shop at 813-920-4130, online at the link below, or at the beautiful AvantGold showroom at 10330 N. Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa. Must be 18 years or older. If you purchase tickets online or by phone, we will fill out your ticket for you and mail you the stub and photocopy of your ticket.
This is a great way to support the cats and maybe end up with a fabulous watch! Our hearty thanks to AvantGold for their wonderful generosity. Please consider thanking them with your patronage.
See photos of the watch and buy raffle tickets online.
Wins Worth Celebrating
Thanks to those of you who have taken a moment to send our quick and easy letters to your lawmakers, we have had so many great things happen for the cats! The President just signed a bill to reauthorize the 1994 Conservation Acts to protect Elephants, Rhinos and Tigers.
Florida signed into law a requirement that anyone exhibiting big cats must post a $10,000. bond. The Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission announced that they will be reviewing their antiquated laws and hope to have much stronger measures in place by mid 2008 to protect the animals and FL’s citizens.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife banned the private possession of big cats in what may have been the first such case of an agency acting BEFORE being forced to do so by the legislature. Washington state just passed the most comprehensive ban on the private trade in big cats and eliminated all of the usual loopholes that exotic pet owners usually fight to keep.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service responded to thousands of letters from you and again, in a landmark decision, chose to write the final rules to prohibit the trade and transport of big cats across state lines as pets, without waiting for Congress to force their hands. The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species banned the trade in bobcat fur as a look-alike species and every participating country in CITES joined in demanding that China refrain from farming tigers.
This newsletter isn’t long enough to hold all of the good news, but you can get more about circuses that were banned, canned hunts and Internet hunts that were outlawed and more at: http://bigcatrescue.org/lawsbigcatbans.htm
Rehab Rescue Updates
The rehab bobcats are kept away from people for the most part so that if and when they can be set free they will not seek out humans, so it is much harder to bring you video and photos of them, but through surveillance cameras we are getting some good footage and hope to bring it to you soon. Meanwhile, they are all improving. Ace has fattened up, Chance has had surgery to close up the hole in his abdomen and his missing eye, Will is becoming more handsome every day, if not any brighter, and Kennedy has had the most remarkable improvements.
The very day that we decided there was no hope for Kennedy was the day that his life began to change. His brain damage from being hit by a car caused him to walk in tight circles incessantly. If he was awake, he was circling. The only respite for him was to wrap him tightly in a blanket and hold him still. His non stop walking, even on the soft blanketed floor of the cat hospital, had caused his feet to bleed. Nothing that should have worked to calm him had any effect. He had to be force fed and seemed to have no connection to the world around him; just circling, circling, circling… When his footpads began to give way to raw tissue we decided that euthanasia was the only option.
And then he stopped. He began to sit still. Eventually through much creativity of his caregivers, he began to eat on his own. When he circled, he did so in much broader circles and even changed direction. Now he has tripled in weight and is living with Will. He still has some issues, as does Will, but we are thrilled to report that both are doing much better.
If you are new to Big Cat Rescue you can find out more about these cats, see their pictures and watch their videos and check for updates online at: http://bigcatrescue.org/rehabbobcats2007.htm
This video details the rescue of Ace the bobcat: http://bigcatrescue.org/video/00148.htm
Holiday Bookmarks & Crafts
Visit the Christmas pages for big cat crafts to decorate the tree, gifts to make and give and programs to create purr-sonalized letters to Santa. Check out all the new games and crafts that our AdvoCat, LaWanna, has made for you. Her Santa letter CD has sold for as much as $150.00 on eBay, but she has created them for Big Cat Rescue to provide to our supporters for FREE.
You can send an eCard, download screensavers and wallpapers, play dozens of online games and download many of them onto CDs that you can then purr-sonalize and give as last minute gifts.
2008 Calendars, Kid’s Games and Gag Gifts
A Year in Cats is the title of a 16 month calendar inspired by the remarkable cats that live at the Big Cat Rescue Sanctuary. 16 cats – 16 artists – 16 months with every page bringing you a whole new experience in this tribute to the featured felines of Big Cat Rescue. There is a style and artistic medium for every taste and yet the common theme is big cats and saving them with your purchase. Call to order as they are sold out on eBay. 813.920.4130
Games like Cat-opoly and gag gifts like our Crazy Cat Lady Action Figure, complete with plastic cats are just a few ways you can take care of your holiday shopping while taking care of 147 big cats. Find them in our eBay store at http://www.bigcatrescue.biz
Kitty Quipper Retires
This issue is dedicated to Christy Anderson, our long time volunteer who has been largely responsible for bringing you the AdvoCat each month. With a new baby, a new home based family business and her other myriad of social and family responsibilities Christy felt that she was just spread too thin to continue her offsite work as the editor of this E-zine. The Kitty Quips were her brain child and both she and they will be missed, but the AdvoCat will continue to keep you informed each month. We have a much larger volunteer base now, than many years ago when Christy first took on this mammoth challenge. We thank her for making this newsletter what it is today and will continue to grow and improve.