AdvoCat News 2011 01

Happy New Year from Big Cat Rescue!

Last year was our best year ever, thanks to so many wonderful supporters like you!  We were able to accomplish so much good for the big cats here and world wide thanks to your financial support and your letters to lawmakers and decision makers.  We just couldn’t do it without you.

I am sure that this year will even exceed last year, but it has gotten off to a rocky start due to our website being down or virtually non functional for the month of January.  Our email was down as well, so if you tried to reach us and we didn’t respond, please try again.  We are switching from an old, static html site to an interactive content management system and it has been hard with tens of thousands of pages, images, videos and flash games to move.  We tried three hosts and none of them could handle the volume of visitors and the magnitude of activity, so we are on host number four and things are looking promising now.  The site is up, but many of the links are still not functional yet.  We will be working around the clock to get it all working as it should.

I cannot edit the main site at yet, so some of our stories are posted at the back up site at which will be eliminated when the .org site is stable.

Meanwhile, I wanted to give you a little update on what has been happening at the sanctuary:

Skip the Bobcat

Skip the Bobcat and Jamie Veronica

Skip the Bobcat and Jamie Veronica

I was right in the middle of sending an email to LaWanna about some promotions she was dreaming up for the site when Honey Wayton, our gift shop manager called and relayed an urgent message.

A woman had called to say they had found a bobcat alongside the highway and had it loose in their SUV and wanted to know what to do next because it was getting pretty mad.

Read this exciting and heartwarming account of how a bobcat became an inspiration for thousands of cat lovers.

Big Cat Rescue Gets Bigger

We have been trying to buy this ten acre tract since the late 1980’s because it is nestled right in the middle of our own L shaped 45 acres.  As real estate values grew we saw it go far beyond our budget in the early 2000s and even after the market tanked, we still were hundreds of thousands of dollars apart in our negotiations.  They wanted a million, then 750k, then 600k and we were maxed out in our offer of 250k. If you haven’t figured it out from the headline, or if you’d like to see photos of it check out:

New Videos of Big Cats in Action

Tigers vs Rhino

How To Flea Treat 100+ Big Cats

Lion Meat Tacos

Check out our mini clips here:

Valentine’s Day E Cards and Freebies

Choose from hundreds of big cat Valentine’s Day e-cards, Valentine’s Day games, puzzles and gifts you can download and give to your special sweetheart on the sweetest of days.

Valentine eCards

Valentine Games & Goodies

Updated Flash Games Gallery

24 sets of Make Your Own Children’s Valentine Trading Card Programs

Big Cat Rescue Awarded Most Relevant Charity in WEDU’s Be More Awards

Every year Big Cat Rescue has won the People’s Choice Award by the PBS station WEDU thanks to all of our fans in the 16 county radius voting for us.  We wanted to let someone else have a chance at that award and did not apply for it in 2010, but rather applied in the Most Relevant category and won!  Check it out here:

Three Media Blogs Recognize Big Cat Rescue As Social Media Success

Big Cat Rescue is on the front lines of using social media to change the way people think about exotic cats. In just the past month Big Cat Rescue has been lauded on three high profile blogs as a great example of a non-profit that has mastered the art of social media.  Get the scoop at:

Movie Review: The Last Lions

National Geographic Movies gave Big Cat Rescue the honor of viewing their upcoming release called The Last Lions which will debut February 18. The information that we stockpile on big cats dates back into the early 20th century and I have probably seen every second of big cat footage to ever be shown, but The Last Lions took my breath away.  Find out why:

Whole Foods Market Selects Big Cat Rescue For Donate Your Dime Program

Whole Foods Market in Tampa has selected Big Cat Rescue as the non-profit recipient of the grocer’s Donate Your Dime program beginning in January. Located in Tampa, Big Cat Rescue is the largest accredited sanctuary in the country dedicated entirely to abused and abandoned exotic cats.  Find out why:

Big Cat Wins!

The year is new and already we have seen some huge wins for big cats thanks to people like YOU!

China Jan 20, 2011:  Live animal shows and circuses are hugely popular in China, and draw around 150 million visitors a year at 700 zoos. However, thanks to people who have stood up for the animals, the Chinese government has banned animal circuses and warned its zoos they must stop abusing animals or face closure. The Ministry of Construction, who is the governmental agency overseeing the zoos, issued a declare on October 26th, 2010 to stop animal performance in all the zoos. The State Forestry Administration also banned live feeding in zoos and safari parks and is forcing zoos to stop selling animal parts in their shops.  Zoo restaurants will have to stop serving dishes made out of rare animals and zoos will no longer be able to pull the teeth of baby tigers so that tourists can hold them and pose with them for photos.

A Tucson, AZ eatery had planned lion tacos on the menu but after animal lovers voice their outrage they decided against the publicity stunt.

Lion, Tiger and Liger Cub Abuse at North Platte Mall is picketed and the media reports about why having your picture made with a cub does nothing for conservation and causes a life time of misery for the animals.

To see what issues are pending right now than need your voice, please visit

To help us keep up this work to save big cats please donate here where every dollar you donate is being matched:

Thanks!  Carole Baskin, Founder and CEO of Big Cat Rescue

AdvoCat News 2010 12

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Kwanzaa!

It may be cold where ever you are, and is even cold where we are, but thanks to wonderful animal lovers like you our hearts are ever warmed by your thoughtfulness.

We have been busily gathering pine needles for for our cats’ dens and are eagerly waiting for Christmas to pass so that we can get the truckloads of trees that are left over each year.  We cut the boughs and pile them in the dens so that the cats can nestle down in them and keep warm.

We’ve been building larger room additions for the cats, worked on modifications to the tigers’ lake fence that called for swimming in the frigid water, have been adding four feet to the tops of our open roof cages and other security measures, have remodeled the intern housing, raised barricades throughout the sanctuary up onto poles so that they are more secure and look straighter, built dozens of platform perches for the cats, repaired and revived old broken down golf carts, ran new camera lines for surveillance, improved our perimeter fencing, created and trained all of our staff and volunteers in an new intranet site and the list just goes on and on and on!

All of these great enhancements have occurred during a year when our visitor counts are higher, our donations more generous and our outreach into the community has been greater than ever before!  We just have the greatest volunteers and interns to be found and are so fortunate that they have chosen Big Cat Rescue as their way to give their lives even more meaning.  Thank you to all who donate your time, energy and money to helping us care for these magnificent cats while ending the trade.

Stalk us on or join more than 35,000 of our facebook fans.



Baby Bobcat Rescue

Recently an exotic cat breeder shipped a baby bobcat to a new owner without any regard, on the part of either of them, to comply with local laws that ban such possession.  The bobcat’s case went to court and the judge has placed the kitten in the temporary custody of a licensed rehabber who is also a veterinarian. The department of natural resources and the state attorney’s office plan to send the bobcat to Big Cat Rescue as soon as they have full legal custody, which is expected to be in January.  We will keep you posted as this drama unfolds, but this is why there needs to be a federal ban on the breeding and sale of exotic cats across state lines.  Failure to do so only makes it harder for states to enforce their own regulations and cats like this baby bobcat end up caught in the cross fire, not to mention the fact that he will be doomed to live in a cage for the rest of his life.  Our cat-a-tats are larger and nicer than just about any cage around, but they fall far short of the 5 square mile territory this little bobcat was designed to reign.


Toys for Tots and Toys for Tabbies

holiday cat cardsEach year we do a drive for Toys for Tots so that our gift shop visitors can help double the cheer by buying a gift that supports the big cats and dropping it into the collection box for the annual Toys for Tots campaign.  You can do that in our online gift shop as well and just let us know in the notes that you want us to drop it in the box for the kids.  This year we are adding a twist by including Toys for Tabbies.  If you buy a Snow Leopard Enterprises woolen or camel mouse it supports Snow Leopards in the wild and if you tell us to donate it to Toys for Tabbies we will be sure to give them out to the many domestic cat rescue groups we know who are always in need of new cat toys. (These are really tree ornaments, but cats love them)

$200,000.00 Matching Grant


There are only two weeks left to make your year end donations to charity in order to reduce your tax burden.  Given the way our government is burning through money maybe you would rather choose the recipients of your hard work rather than letting Uncle Sam choose for you.  Here you can see the effects of your generosity in the sleek coats, shiny eyes and playful antics of the big cats who are aided by people like you.  Thanks to a matching grant provided by the family of William & Lois Modglin, your donation’s impact will be doubled if you make it online at the link below, or indicate on your check that you want the grant to double your donation.


Feeding Big Cats & Domestic Cats

Ever wondered what it would be like to feed a big cat?  Big Cat Rescue is an accredited sanctuary home to 100+ lions, tigers, leopards, bobcats, servals, caracals, lynx and many other species of wild cats and wild cat hybrids. Feeding time is the best part of their day and what we feed is a critical factor in maintaining their health and keeping our vet costs low. The sanctuary started in 1992 and everything we know now about caring for big cats was learned through trial and error. Read about what the big cats eat and check out the options for the tiger (tabby) on your couch.

Some Grrrreat Videos to Share & Enjoy

See the Cutest Cat Contest

Geoffroy Cat Species Spotlight

Turkey Time!

10 year old animal AdvoCat, Breawna, visits Tony the Truck Stop tiger and tells her story here:

Vegetarian Tiger

Need a daily fix of cute new videos of big cats being charming?  Check out our new YouTube page for all the mini clips we take via iPhone during the day to post at:

If you like our videos be sure to subscribe to them on iTunes and give us a nice rating there so that others can find us too!  Carry us in your pocket on your iPhone or iPad.

Big Cat Celebrity News

Leonardo DiCaprio Protects TigersIn St. Petersburg, Russia Leonardo DiCaprio pledged $1 million to World Wildlife Fund to benefit wild tigers. DiCaprio is a member of the board of directors. His difficult trip to Russia involved a commercial jet plane that caught fire and turned back to New York, and then a smaller plane, rocked by Atlantic storms that ran out of fuel and had to land in Finland’s capital Helsinki for refueling before eventually making it to St. Petersburg.

In a one-on-one meeting with Prime Minister Putin, DiCaprio, who is half-Russian, said he first became interested in tiger conservation when tiger experts from the WWF, one of Big Cat Rescue’s partners in the International Tiger Coalition, had addressed him.

“Mr. DiCaprio has not just come to us, but simply burst through the frontline. Excuse me if you may, but in our country people usually say – that’s what we call a real man,” Putin said. “And I think that if people with such character would be responsible for defending nature or a tiger in this particular case, we’re destined for success.”

World Bank Group President Robert Zoellick, who has backed the tiger forum during the organizing period, told participants the World Bank is working with tiger range countries and nongovernmental organizations to save wild tigers. Our favorite Zoellick quote is, “We want to see poachers behind bars, not tigers.”

Game CD Gift of All Time!

Lions at Big Cat RescueLaWanna has been working with her band of big cat elves around the clock to bring you the ultimate Big Cat Game CD just in time for holiday gift giving.  This CD has sixty games and a dozen or more downloads for you to enjoy with your kids.  There are learning games, fun games, a new Child ID Safety Kit, interactive story books and more fun than will fit in this newsletter.  The Child ID Safety Kit has been adopted and distributed by political leaders, Head Start and Sheriff’s programs around the country.  It’s yours FREE when you sponsor a cat at the $25.00 Buddy level at the link below.  Just be sure to specify that you want the New 2010 Children’s Activity CD when you place your order:

More FREE Holiday Fun!

We have some great freebies for you, including our extremely popular big cat themed Christmas holiday e-Cards, screensavers, flash games, computer wallpapers, book marks, story books and purrrsonalized Christmas letter programs.  In our e-Cards section you can set up all of your holiday cards to go out at a specified date in the future.  It’s all fun and it’s all free! (This one will be up before Christmas)

Choose from more than 500 big cat e-cards including games that can be sent as free e-cards:


Hybrid for the Holidays?

Considering a hybrid cat, such as a Bengal Cat, Savannah Cat or some other wild cat/ domestic cat hybrid for Christmas?  Read this owner’s account of what that is really like first:

Last Chance to Help Tony the Truck Stop Tiger


Alex the tiger waits for Tony's arrivalThe illegal owner’s permit bestowed on Tony’s owner, Michael Sandlin, to keep, exhibit and exploit Tony at a smelly, dirty, noisy, toxic truck stop near Baton Rouge, LA EXPIRES TOMORROW…but it’s likely to be rubber-stamped for renewal for another terrible year UNLESS YOU TAKE ACTION TODAY!

The unique permit issued by Iberville Parish to Sandlin is predicated upon his allegedly legal ownership of Tony in 2006,  But Sandlin’s ownership was NOT legal: the permit was issued by a local authority AFTER wildlife ownership laws were ALREADY CHANGED Federally, and in the state of Louisiana, disallowing private ownership dangerous carnivores like Tony. So Sandlin’s claim cannot be legally supported now:

Tony’s miserable incarceration on a cold concrete slab just a hundred feet from diesel gas pumps and the deafening traffic of big rigs and tractor trailers 24/7 is a consequence of a lack of Federal and LA state ENFORCEMENT, not lack of proper legislation.

Show Louisiana that you will not tolerate their contravention of Federal law and continued incarceration of Tony when several great wildlife sanctuaries will be happy to provide him grass under his feet, a big pool where he can swim, and a quiet, happy retirement in a place far from the diesel fumes and the abusive public that taunt and throw rocks at poor old Tony who is trapped and hopeless in his concrete cage.

Please CALL or EMAIL NOW — tell the following officials DO NOT RENEW MICHAEL SANDLIN’S PERMIT to TORTURE TONY THE TIGER for another minute, let alone another year!

1. Governor Bobby Jindal  866-366-1121

2. Attorney General James D. “Buddy” Caldwell  225-326-6705

2. Louisiana Department of Fisheries & Wildlife Dept. Commissioners:

Robert Barham  LDWF Commission secretary  225-765-2623 and

Steve Oats  (337) 233-1100

Patrick Morrow  (337) 948-4483

Stephen Sagrara  (337) 893-7709

Ann L. Taylor  985-758-2795

Ronald “Ronny” Graham  318-232-7021

Michael C. Voisin  985-868-7191

Ms. Maria Davidson Large Carnivore Program Manager  Louisiana Department Wildlife and Fisheries  225-765-2623

Maria’s boss:  Fred Kimmel  225-765-2355

If you can manage, please send a copy of one of your emails to Tony’s legal reps:

Lisa Franzetta  Director of Communications  Animal Legal Defense Fund

AND FINALLY…for more info:

and to sign the petition

AdvoCat News 2010 11

AdvoCat News 2010 11

Happy Thanksgiving! I have so much to be thankful for, and YOU are right there at the top of my list!

This issue has some recent rescues who are really thankful that you have made it possible for us to go on a moment’s notice and save big cats in need.

It also has some great freebies for you, including our extremely popular big cat themed Thanksgiving and holiday e-Cards, screensavers, flash games, computer wallpapers, book marks, story books and purrrsonalized holiday letter programs.  In our e-Cards section you can set up all of your holiday cards to go out at a specified date in the future.  It’s all fun and it’s all free!

You can also beat the mobs at the malls by doing your holiday shopping from your computer or mobile device and here your purchases actually save lives.  Even the animal lover who has everything will be delighted by some of the one of a kind big cat goodies we offer.

There are lots of free things you can do to help the cats too in our voting and letter writing requests below.  Thanks again for caring about the big cats and giving them so much to be thankful for.

Stalk us on or join more than 33,000 of our facebook fans.


Owners Die & Mountain Lion Pets Need Rescue

Freddy CougarIf only they could speak to us in a language that we understand.  Then we might know the horrors they have survived and be more inclined to protect others from enduring their fate.

I’ll share with you what I do know and hope that will inspire you to help these cougars and to do all you can to end the trade in exotic cats. Find out how the owners died and what happened to their animals when no one was left to care for them.  Story & lots of photos before and after here:


Holiday Gifts for You & the Cats

For Us:  Big Cat Wishlist Items:

12 Enclosure Locks: $144

With the remodeling of some of the current enclosures and the construction of new enclosures we are in need of a dozen more locks.  These locks are keyed alike and weather resistant.  Keep the cats safe and secure with a donation towards the purchase of these locks.

New 12′ Ladder: $250

Our 12′ ladder has finally surrendered to the years of use and is no longer stable or safe to climb.  Big Cat Rescuers use this tall ladder for a number of maintenance projects around the sanctuary including; repairing enclosure roofs, trimming oak and palm trees, painting enclosures and more.  Help Big Cat Rescuers keep the enclosures in tip top shape and the grounds landscaped with a donation towards the purchase of a new ladder.

To help with these you can contribute here:

For You or to give the Cat Lover in your life: Paintings by the cats are available Onsite and Online:

Paw Paintings are unique pieces of art created by the big cats.

Non-toxic paints are added to archival quality canvas boards that
are then presented to the cats as a form of enrichment.  Big Cat
Rescue has an extensive enrichment program with a focus on
making captive life as entertaining and fulfilling as possible for the
big cats.  The cats paw at and rub on the canvases creating beautiful
works of art the funds from which go directly to their care.

The Fire Series is a combination of red, yellow, orange, brown and
black paints.  The Aqua Series is a combination of blue, teal, purple,
and black paints. Sizes available are 16″x20″ – $150, 11″x14″ – $100,
and 8″x10″ – $50. Each Paw Painting includes a 4×6 photo of the cat
creating their Paw Painting.  Every painting is unique and while the colors
are the same the pattern and texture of each Paw Painting will vary.

Polls show that the top 4 out of 5 most wanted holiday gifts are i gadgets.  Be sure to pick up your big cat covers for iPhones, iPads and more in our Zazzle store.

Holiday Grrr-eeting Cards:

Send a custom Holiday Grr-reeting to a loved one, family member or friend.

On the bottom of the glossy 8×10 photo it will read -“Happy Holidays to (Name Here) from Alex the Tiger”   20 Custom Holiday Grrr-eeting Photos are available online.

Big Cat Health Updates


Two of our elderly cats came to the end of their journey here last month.  Shasta the serval who was 18 and Bagheera the black leopard who was 21.  Even though both had lived far longer than most of their kind do, it didn’t make it any easier to say “Goodbye.”  Thanks to Big Cat Rescuer, Julie Hanan, each of our cats who have died have a web page devoted to their tributes.

Read more about Shasta the Serval

Read more about Bagheera the Black Leopard

In the health care department, it starts sounding like the sick list at church as we all age and deal with the ravages of time.

tigers swimming playing with ballSelena Bobcats’s eye is all better and she is back with the bobcat clan and doing fine.  Cody Cougar chewed a palm frond and got it stuck across the roof of his mouth, but it has been dislodged and he is doing fine.  Bobby Blue Rose Bobcat’s eyes looked weepy so she is in the Cat Hospital getting eye drops several times a day.  Kanawha Siberian Lynx (age 21) continues to have seizures when she hears the mower, so we are not mowing around her. Dances With Wolves only wants slurpy foods now, like livers and boneless chicken, but at 19 years of age she can have what she wants.  Freckles the liger is 17 and already about 10 years older than any other liger I have heard of.  She is getting fussier and fussier about her food and has a hard time getting around due to her back legs just not being as reliable as they used to be.  Her pain meds are in her food, so getting her to take the meds is a challenge when she isn’t food motivated.  A couple of miracle cats, thanks largely to keepers like Marie, are Alachua Bobcat (age 22) and Summer Bobcat (age 21.)  They had gotten skinny and threadbare as cats this age often do, but Marie must have found the Fountain of Youth because they don’t look even half their age.


Tiger Temple Abuse

Our friend, Sybelle Foxcroft reports, “In 2007, I worked within the Tiger Temple, Thailand. I became a witness to the systematic genocide of the tigers within temple by way of wildlife trade and many varying abuses.  The tigers are abused in every possible way from the collection of their own urine to be squirted in their faces, to beatings so violent, and then the ultimate abuse – sold into the wildlife trade doomed to death.

In Laos the tigers are transferred either to illegal tiger farms or killed instantly for body parts or fur. However, all tigers in these farms will eventually be murdered for money, for greed.  This is the foundation of the Tiger Temple.”

Sybelle needs 10,000 signatures before her petition will even be considered by the government.  Please add your name to saving this Temple tigers here:

Some Grrrreat Videos to Share & Enjoy

See us fighting for Tony the Truck Stop Tiger on CNN HLN Issues with Jane Velez-Mitchell:

See us on Orlando TV talking about how petting a tiger cub leads to a life of abuse:

We have gone undercover at “pay to play” exhibits to expose the cruelty that results.  You can watch our video at:

Need a daily fix of cute new videos of big cats being charming?  Check out our new YouTube page for all the mini clips we take via iPhone during the day to post at:

If you like our videos be sure to subscribe to them on iTunes and give us a nice rating there so that others can find us too!  Carry us in your pocket on your iPhone or iPad.

Big Cat Celebrity News

snow leopard CloeKate Walsh, star of Private Practice, has been tweeting about how much she loved Big Cat Rescue after her visit this morning:!/katewalsh She was in town to promote her new Boyfriend perfume and found out about Big Cat Rescue from a coffee table book that is found in most local hotels.  Being a big cat lover, she just had to check it out.  Kate was so pleased with the sanctuary that she agreed to join our Celebrity Advisory Board.

Some celebrities, like Kate Walsh, get it and others don’t.  In back to back celebrity stories the common thread was how to treat a tiger.

The “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” star wed the “I Kissed a Girl” hitmaker in India last month at an exotic resort situated close to a tiger sanctuary.  Russell Brand denied the gift of a tiger to his new bride Katy Perry to the British TV show Loose Women saying, “I’m a vegetarian, you don’t give people tigers. It’s stupid, it’s dangerous. The tiger won’t like it.”

Meanwhile, Celebrities Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green decided it would be a great photo op to play with a chained adult tiger and bottle feed a baby tiger.  There is no good place that will let you touch a tiger cub, but Karl Mitchell was the owner of this facility.  He has a notorious criminal, as well as animal abuse, record that stretches back decades to 1985. Recently featured on Animal Planet’s “Fatal Attractions,” he was seen inside his tiger cages slapping and boxing his tigers in the face.  California’s Fish and Game, after seizing animals from him in the past, have characterized him as “a dangerous person and a serious liability to any person or animal he’s involved with.”

Many years ago, Big Cat Rescue took in two of Mitchell’s abused cats.  After her rescue, Dara, the cougar, died from a fatal brain infection from the severity of Mitchell’s blows to her skull.  Shaquille, the black leopard, received beatings that crushed his eye sockets and caused permanent eye damage that he suffered from all of his life. Help us end these backyard breeders’ pay to play schemes here:

Free Holiday Day e-Cards

Your FREE eCards account you will be able to choose from thousands of cards & have the following benefits:

*Send an unlimited number of eCards

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*Your own COMPLETELY PRIVATE address book so you can send eCards faster

*Pre-make your eCards and schedule the future dates you want them to go out (up to 999 days in advance)

*Keep track of the eCards you have sent

*See when your friends pick up their eCards



Big Cat Rescue Sponsors Rep from ITC

The International Tiger Coalition (ITC) welcomes Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s convening of world leaders at the International Tiger Conservation Forum from 21-24 November in St. Petersburg. Big Cat Rescue has sponsored the attendance by tiger expert, Judy Mills. In response to this historic and unprecedented event, the ITC offers wholehearted support to tiger range states and other participants in achieving the Forum’s ultimate goal of doubling the wild tiger population by 2022.

Lion Joseph with pumpkinDespite the fact that virtually all trade in tiger parts, products, and derivatives is illegal under both national and international laws, tigers are still being killed for their body parts, while tiger parts and products continue to enter illegal markets from both wild and captive-bred sources. Therefore, the ITC is encouraged by statements made in the St. Petersburg Declaration and in the Global Tiger Recovery Programme – both of which are expected to be adopted at the Forum – aimed at combating tiger-related wildlife crime and eliminating demand for tiger parts and products.

“We endorse the stated goal of strengthening the effectiveness of existing tiger-trade bans, with an aim of eradicating all trade in all tiger parts, products and derivatives,” said ITC Moderator Judy Mills. “This is critical to the achievement of doubling tiger numbers by 2022.”

Furthermore, ITC strongly endorses recent recommendations made by the Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) and INTERPOL on tiger trade. Big Cat Rescue sponsored the booth at this event. These include greater use of intelligence-led law enforcement, increased cooperation among law-enforcement authorities, demand-reduction campaigns aimed at consumers, and prevention of illegal trade in tiger parts and derivatives from captive-bred sources. Big Cat Rescue has urged the US Fish & Wildlife Service to show their support in ending the trade in tigers by rescinding the “generic” tiger loophole that allows backyard breeders to breed and discard tigers with virtually no oversight.

2 Ways to Vote Fur Us


WEDU Be More Contest

Vote for our video in WEDU’s Be More Relevant cat-gory on this link.  You will need to click the radio button next to our Big Cat Rescue video and then scroll to the bottom of the page to click VOTE.  A vote a day by you and your friends will hopefully mean a big win for the cats!

Animal Rescue Site Contest for $10,000

Vote for us at and we could win $10,000 to help big cats in need.  The grand prize is a $10,000 grant, and they will be awarding many other grants to rescue groups with the most votes.

Think how many big cats we could help for $10,000!

Help us win! All you have to do is fill in the Shelter name as Big Cat Rescue, select FL, and then vote. You can vote once a day, every day, from September 20th through December 19th, 2010. Every time you vote, or tell a friend to vote, you are making a huge difference for us.  We are in 4th place in FL, but need to go to #1 nationwide.  Vote today!

Visit: Type in Big Cat Rescue and Tampa to find us.

AdvoCat News 2010 10

It is just a “zoo” around here in the months leading up to the Fur Ball, but with that behind us we are taking deep sighs of relief and luxuriating in all the good things we have going on at Big Cat Rescue thanks to supporters like you!

Every year we say to ourselves that it is going to be the last Fur Ball because of all of the time and energy that goes into throwing a party of this magnitude, but after it is over, and everyone is still raving for months about how much fun they had, we give in and do it again.

There has to be an easier way to raise the money and awareness necessary to keep our cats in catnip and “cat chow” so in the months ahead we will be trying a few new things to see if we can count on your help in ways that enable us to focus on the most important work of ending the trade.

Stay tuned as we mastermind with the best in the business to do our job better than ever before!  If you have some great tips and tricks; let us know.

A good way to do that is to stalk us on or join more than 26,000 of our facebook fans.


Fur Ball Better Than Ever

In just about every way we can think of the Fur Ball was better than ever before.  650 attendees raved about it being the most fun they have had at a fundraiser.  The food was superb, the decor was dramatic, the music was rockin’, the drum circle was packed, the silent auction had people hovering over most items for the final bid, the live auction trips were so popular than most of the trips sold two and three times, the booze was free and flowing all night, the wishlist items were sponsored, the video was a tear jerker, the costumes were outrageous and the mechanics of the night were smooth and seamless. Thanks to all our sponsors and supporters this event netted about $80k for the cats.  To see what you missed, or to see photos and videos from the Fur Ball keep checking back at

Big Cat Bargains left over from the Fur Ball are now available online!  When items don’t sell at the Fur Ball we mark them down; way, way down because we can’t store them until next year.  Here is your chance for some great deals: There are a dozen great new offerings here now and 50 more will be added over the next few days.


PetSmart Takes a Stand Against Abuse

Diamond at Dade City Wild Things Abused for ProfitDade City’s Wild Things acquired a white tiger cub from G.W. Exotics, a notorious Oklahoma breeder, that they are marketing to the hilt in order to make money off her as quickly as possible.  To accomplish that they dragged her into PetSmart to drum up some business.

Almost 900 advocates responded to our alert and wrote to PetSmart demanding an end to displays of exotics like this, knowing the bad message it sends.  We’re very pleased to share that PetSmart listened and  immediately responded positively.

According to corporate spokesperson Margie Wojciechowski  at the Phoenix, AZ headquarters, she confirmed she had just come from a meeting and the company has “reinforced with our managers that no exotic pets are allowed on store premises.  There will be no live display of exotic animals for events.”

Get the rest of the story here:

Help end the trade in tigers here:

Big Cat Health Updates


Usually the score is Bobcats 1 : Snakes 0 but last week when a black racer dared take a short cut through the bobcats’ cage he ended up in a fight to the death with Selena the bobcat.  That seems to be the forensic evidence anyway;  dead snake and small scratches across the lens of Selena’s left eye.

The three tiny scratches across her eye weren’t even visible until Dr. Wynn stained the eye and took a look with a fluorescent light.  Just to be sure, she did blood work, a fecal exam, dental x-rays and an sonogram of the area behind her eye to see if there were a mass that was causing her eye to protrude.  As of today she is back with her bobcat clan.

Two Toes the bobcat had a heart attack and died very suddenly.  Heroic efforts were exerted to revive her but she was on her way to where ever good bobcats go and after seeing the light, she wasn’t coming back.  Her after death exam showed her to be suffering from heart failure and even if she had made it in to Dr. Wynn’s clinic for diagnostics, the only option would have been euthanasia.

She was “only” 15 but that is the equivalent of being a 90 year old person.  Despite being so old, she was glossy coated, shiny eyed and never backed down from being independent and defiant; the things I love most about bobcats.  We are accustomed to our cats living far beyond the norm because of the excellent care you make possible for them, and we will miss her greatly, but she is finally free.

Takoma the bobcat, who was rescued in the same group of Fur Farm cats as Two Toes and Selena, is still battling liver disease.  His condition continues to worsen, but for now he is letting us give him subQ fluids several times a week and that seems to keep him going.  I’ve never seen a cat hop right into the squeeze cage to have a needle poked into them for fluids, but so far Takoma does.  We will give him every opportunity for an extended life, as long as he is finding joy in it.  When the time comes that he makes it clear he is ready to go, then we will honor his final request.

Missouri the cougar was taken in yesterday for a urinary tract infection so she will be on antibiotics and in the onsite West-Boensch Cat Hospital for a few days.  (Writing that was a whole lot easier than actually catching a cougar and taking her to the vet.)


Halloween Games, Goodies, and Freebies

Here are some of our big cat Halloween Games, Goodies and Freebies for your family to enjoy.

Your can get free Halloween crafts for the crafting members of your family.

Download free Halloween desktop wallpapers, free Halloween screensavers, free Halloween games to play online and offline.

There are even free Halloween party games and party packs for you to download and print. It is our hope that you will enjoy this free Halloween stuff and pass the link to Big Cat Rescue’s main web site on to your friends.

Get all the freebies here:

Some Grrrreat Videos to Share & Enjoy

Associated Press asked if we had any video of Bella the tiger painting the piece of art that was being auctioned on eBay. The reporter said they have major clients in India who are just captivated by her work and AP ran an international story about Bella’s artistic talents.  It created a media frenzy!

They included “Courtesy of” on the story. Here is the video called Tigers Love to Paint:

Tony the Truck Stop Tiger video

Sign his petition here:

How big cats recycle

See the tigers of Big Cat Rescue promote the Year of the Tiger

If you like our videos be sure to subscribe to them on iTunes and give us a nice rating there so that others can find us too!  Carry us in your pocket on your iPhone or iPad.

CBS Interviews Carole Baskin

Josh Knauer of CBS Radio interviews Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue in September of 2010.  This is a 30 minute interview about the plight that faces captive big cats and how the legal trade in exotics provides a cover for illegal activities.  The interview aired on 9 stations in October 2010.

In the interview Carole Baskin demonstrates how little oversight there is by governmental agencies by stating that even though she houses more than 100 big cats the state of FL had not done a full inspection since 2004.  Two days later the FWC inspected but found the facility to be in tip top shape and no citations issued.  This comes right after another excellent USDA inspection on Sept. 29, 2010.

Big Cat Credit Cards Just in Time for Holiday Shopping

You can give more without spending more by turning your everyday spending into meaningful donations with a customized Big Cat Rescue Capital One credit card.  Share your passion and donate to Big Cat Rescue with your everyday purchases. We’ve partnered with Capital One® Card Lab Connect to bring you our newest fundraising program, which helps us earn money doing what you do every day! Just carry one of our custom credit cards (it comes with a competitive rate and no annual fee), and 1% of purchases made with the card will be donated to Big Cat Rescue.

Not only will you be donating to the cats with each purchase you make, you’ll be helping to spread the word when people see your wildly unique card, designed specifically for Big Cat Rescue.  Three custom cards are currently available featuring Cameron the lion, Cheetaro the leopard, and Shere Khan & China Doll the tigers!  What a great way to share the cats’ stories every time you pull out your credit card.  Tell others too by downloading Credit Card Flyer

Sharing your passion and your support is easy and automatic. Apply today! Cat Rescue

Leopard in Le Louvre Museum

le louvre leopardFrederique Lavergne is a French painter whose artistic focus revolves around that of animals and nature. Her artistic creations are currently being displayed at art galleries in the USA, UK, Ireland and France.

Frederique was born into a world inhabited by horses and sketches of fashion. Before learning to speak, she learned to draw and the picture became her language. Frederique always begins a painting with the eyes, as she believes they are the most beautiful expression of a deep connection and an opportunity for humans to learn a lot about themselves.

It began to disturb Frederique in realizing that by selling her big cat portrait’s she was indirectly “profiting” at the expense of animals that were being bred for the fur industry as well as others that might soon become extinct in the wild.

Frederique reached out in support the sanctuary’s efforts with a desire to contribute to an organization whose mission is focused on the welfare of animals and the preservation of their native habitat. She chose Sabre, one of the sanctuary’s Black Leopard’s as a model for a magnificent painting that will be displayed as part of an upcoming exhibition at the Le Louvre in Paris, France called “Art Shopping”.

This exhibition is being held on October 23rd – 24th at the Carrousel du Louvre, a historic portion of one of the world’s greatest museums. Frederique is kindly donating a portion of the proceeds of the sale of this masterpiece in support of the magnificent animals that call Big Cat Rescue home.

To learn more about Frederique and view a sampling of her artistic work, please visit:


Get the Jump on Holiday Giving

Take advantage of Big Cat Luxe Gifts holiday promotion to benefit Big Cat Rescue.

10% off all items from now until Dec 24th, 2010 – use as often as you like.

Go to and enter code # BCLG10 at checkout.

Thank you for supporting Big Cat Rescue with gifts for friends and family!

Vote Fur Us to Win $10,000


Vote for us at and we could win $10,000 to help big cats in need.  The grand prize is a $10,000 grant, and they will be awarding many other grants to rescue groups with the most votes.

Think how many big cats we could help for $10,000!

Help us win! All you have to do is click to help rescued animals, and then vote in The Animal Rescue Site $100,000 Shelter+ Challenge. Both of these actions are absolutely free! You can vote once a day, every day, from September 20th through December 19th, 2010. Every time you vote, or tell a friend to vote, you are making a huge difference for us.  Vote today!

Visit: Type in Big Cat Rescue and Tampa to find us.

AdvoCat News 2010 09

International Tiger Day is Sunday, Sept. 26.  How will you be celebrating tigers on that day?

I just got off the phone with another T.V. Producer who wants to do a series on the subject of dangerous wild animals being kept in basements and back yards and what happens to them when they outgrow their usefulness as money making props that are used for photo opportunities in malls, fairs and roadside zoos.  I have been getting at least one such call a month since late last year and while I can’t reveal who the producers are, I can say that a number of them have been very impressive people who have a lot of experience under their belts.

With this many producers looking into the industry that uses baby lions and tigers for pay to play schemes, and all of the assets they bring to expose the problem, including privately owned and outfitted planes for transporting big cats, helicopters and mini choppers for reconnaissance and the big names of celebrities who are participating as both hosts and sponsors, I believe we may see Hollywood turn the situation upside down.

The television industry has been fraught with abuse in its desire to appeal to a nature starved public with shows like Flipper, Daktari, Second Hand Lions and such.  Now those same resources are gathering to expose the people who produce cubs for use in these kinds of shows and for even less noble purposes.

Big Cat Rescue is providing statistics and background on the abusers to all of these producers and hopefully one or all of them will come out with some great shows that educate the public about how their actions can cause abuse or can end it.  In this issue of the AdvoCat we make it easy for you to help end the abuse in several cases.

Stalk us on or join more than 25,000 of our facebook fans.


Fur Ball Ticket Sales Ahead of Last Year

Positively Tampa BayIf you were thinking you’d wait to buy your Fur Ball tickets, you could be too late.  We have already sold more tickets this year, 17 days out from Fur Ball, than we did by the end of the evening last year.  ABC is one of our major media sponsors and this photo is from one of the segments they did to promote the Fur Ball. (airs today 9/21 12:45 noon) Other major media sponsors are Cox Radio including six of their local stations, Accent on Tampabay, Tampabay Business Journal and Tampabay Magazine.  They are joined by American Momentum, Heart Construction & Jaguar of Tampa, our King of Beast sponsors.

Can’t come to the ball? You can still bid on this painting done by Bella the Tiger here:

The Bucs are Winning!  You can Win Luxurious Club Seats!

The Bucs are on a roll, winning their first two games.  Thanks to a generous donor we have two tickets for luxurious Club Seats for each of the next three home games, Sept 26, Oct 17, Oct 24.   If you purchase raffle tickets, your tickets stay in the drawing for each game.  These padded seats with access to the Club Lounge were originally $590 per pair.  To purchase tickets


Update on Sick Cats

Storm the bobcat attacks lifeTakoma‘s blood work continues to look worse and worse, despite the fact that he looks great and acts like he feels pretty good.  He has moved back outside and has completed his series of fluids therapy, but is still on meds and still wobbly.  He enjoys his caretakers’ attentions and being next to his old crew, so he is as happy as can be expected for now.

Andi bobcat and her sister got into a fuss and Andi spent time recovering from some bite wounds in the West-Boensche Cat Hospital.  She had to wear an E Collar so that she didn’t chew out the drain that was installed to help her heal, and she really hated it, but now it’s off.  Since she has always had lion and tiger neighbors, we moved her out into the old jaguar cage in tiger row.  There are empty cages on either side of her so she has quite a bit of distance between her and the old tigers who live out there.  This will give her time to settle in and she is healing well.

At only 6 months old and quite unexpectedly, Storm the baby rehab bobcat has passed away.  His necropsy report indicates that his cause of death was congenital heart trouble (a birth defect.) He never had a sick day in his short life and died in his sleep.  Though he was so young, his loss is still extremely hard for us.  As Jamie Veronica, President of Big Cat Rescue recounts about his passing, “An image of him as a baby flashed through my mind, a memory so clear…  You can read more about him and see tributes to him here: and here:

Big Cat Victories


Fox Penning Outlawed in FL. Thanks to all of your letters and everyone who showed up in person, the practice of turning packs of dogs loose to kill bobcats, foxes and coyotes in fenced areas has been outlawed in Florida.  At the September 1, 2010 animal lovers outnumbered animal abusers 6 to 1.

Germany June 17, 2010: The zoo director and three of the staff at the Magdeburg Zoo were convicted of cruelty to animals for killing three tiger cubs who were the result of cross breeding tigers at the zoo.  The zoo had bred a Siberian tiger to a Sumatran tiger.  All of the tigers in the U.S. that are referred to as Bengal tigers are actually hybrids of Bengal and Siberian tigers as the result of the white tiger craze when Bengal tigers were inbred to the point of non existence in America.  A fine of 8,000 euros was suspended upon the condition that the zoo not kill cubs as the result of their own improper breeding plans.  The Magdeburg zoo case drew attention to the common practice of zoos breeding and killing animals to keep youngsters on exhibit.


This AdvoCat Really Gets the Big Picture

Hindy Pearson has been working in the animal welfare field for 11 years. She owned a pet sitting business and advised prospective pet owners on the best animals to suit their lifestyles. She spent three years in England and had the opportunity to work as a campaigns officer for a farm animal welfare organization that campaigned for the humane treatment of animals raised for food. She currently volunteers at a shelter where she walks the senior dogs.

After a tour of Big Cat Rescue with Jeff Kremer, Hindy wrote an excellent article about how education and legislation are the way to save animals. Read it here.

Some Grrrreat Videos to Share & Enjoy

Bobcat Kittens in the Outside World:

Servie the Serval is rescued:

Tigers love to paint:

Snow Leopard stalks the camera mini movie:

See Cloe’s lithotripsy procedure here: It is the world’s first such procedure on a snow leopard.

If you like our videos be sure to subscribe to them on iTunes and give us a nice rating there so that others can find us too!  Carry us in your pocket on your iPhone or iPad.

Fundraiser Anyone Can Do

Big Cat Rescue’s Online Fundraising Campaign has just kicked off and your participation is the key to our success!

You can help by inviting your friends and family to shop at our online magazine store. They can choose from over 650 magazine subscriptions at up to 85% savings, and Big Cat Rescue will get up to 40% of each purchase amount!

Magazines are a great gift idea!

And you can get great prizes too! When you invite 12 people and sell one magazine subscription, you get a FREE movie ticket redeemable online!
And for a limited time, there are monthly $200 cash prizes to be given away to top sellers!

Click here to start now:

Compassion in Fashion Week

Julianne Moore lion cub abuseWith the arrival of Fashion Week in New York came the publishing of an ad that was shocking because of a famous celebrity’s nudity, as well as the props she used.  Bulgari’s latest marketing campaign features actress Julianne Moore lying naked showcasing their handbags.  But, in case that wasn’t eye-catching enough, they threw in 2 baby lions to grab the consumer’s attention.  We immediately sent out a plea to our supporters to write and educate Bulgari about the sad reality of what is in store for these cubs when their short shelf life as a photo prop expires.  Bulgari responded to everyone with the same automated response:

“The cubs in the ad campaign came from trustworthy sources – natural animal parks based in the USA and managed by nature lovers. They were treated with the utmost attention on the set, beyond the mere respect of the law, and under the supervision of the local authorities in charge of the control of exotic animals.”

Bulgari doesn’t seem to understand the big picture.  Their use of these cubs for one day will result in a lifetime of misery, or even death, for them – and many more yet to be born.  Is a designer handbag worth that price?  Please go to the petition site we’ve set up at: to add your name to the list of those who are against breeding baby exotic animals for profit.

If you haven’t written your legislators yet about this issue, you can also do that easily with pre-written letters at:

Churches Breaking Wild Animal Laws

It is all over YouTube and Facebook so you may have heard about it by now.  There are a series of Sunday sermons, called “Wild,” by Pastor Troy Gramling at Flamingo Road Church in Cooper City, Florida.  The first such event took place this past Sunday, September 12th, 2010.  In it there was a chained, five hundred pound lion on stage, pacing around his tiny cage. Pastor Gramling was quoting scripture, comparing the lion to Satan.

We have identified the source of the lion and other imprisoned animals to be used in this series, as Predators Unlimited, in Homestead, Florida.  The owner’s name is Jeremy Possman.

See the video and what you can do to end this kind of abuse here:


Stop Tiger Cub Pimps

We were disappointed to see Petsmart, a corporation that doesn’t support puppy/kitten mills, fall for a publicity stunt to promote pay to play encounters with a white tiger cub this week in Wesley Chapel, FL.

If Petsmart is unaware of the truth behind this form of animal abuse, then you might know people who are being misled too.  See why this cub is dying to be held and what you can do about it.

Read what two visitors to Dade City Wild Things had to say about the conditions there.

Pardon Our Cyber Dust


In late July we launched our new, interactive website at but there were some glitches in the way the pages were interlinked, so we took it down and have put our old site back up, with a few cosmetic changes.  We are still working to get the new site published, but ask that you bear with us during the transition.  When it goes live it could be down for a couple of days altogether, but we are still busy saving lives.

In fact, here is a two year recap on some of the work we have done outside of Florida that saves big cats worldwide:

See our Interns in Action on Facebook HERE or all photos here:

AdvoCat News 2010 08

Is it hot every where?  Wow!  I like it hot, but this year it has really been extraordinarily hot.  Maybe that is why our website has been in a state of melt down since July…

Actually, we are revamping the site and bringing so many new interactive fun things into the mix that it is taking a lot longer than we thought to work out all of the bugs.  I had put off writing the next newsletter until it was up and running, but just can’t put it off any longer.  There is just too much going on.

So, please be patient with us while we try to get that back on track.  Meanwhile there is a backup site posted at where you can find all of our old website pages until the new one is ready. or join more than 23,000 of our facebook fans.



Help Takoma Bobcat Battle Liver Disease

Bobcat Takoma in HospitalTakoma the bobcat was rescued from a fur farm in 1995. Escaping with only the fur on his back, he went on to become the bobcat leader for the other 21 bobcats who were rescued that day. Being the alpha cat in a tribe that large is a demanding job. It isn’t just about being the first one to check out every meal’s rations, and to be the first one to greet Volunteers and Guests, to insure your crew’s safety, but it is also about keeping the peace with all of the others in your pride. As the purr-sonalities grew, so did the conflicts and cats had to get their own cages, but four of them have stayed together all these years. Takoma, Apache (his one-lunged sidekick,) Divinity and Selena. This past week Takoma was lethargic to the point of pure exhaustion. When Big Cat Rescuers came in to net him for diagnostics, they didn’t even need a net. His “sister”, our Pres., Jamie Veronica, was able to just pick him up and put him in the carrier.

Dr. Liz Wynn DVM did x-rays, blood tests, a biopsy of his liver and a sonogram. We feared cancer as the sonogram showed the liver to be in very bad shape, but chronic inflammatory liver disease was the diagnosis and it is manageable via medications and intensive care. Some researchers have noted that chronic inflammatory disease in the liver can cause changes in the brain which lead to fatigue and personality changes. These diseases can also interfere with the function of various organs, and in many cases, the inflammation can spread across the body. Takoma is 15 years old, which is old for a bobcat, but some of our bobcats have lived into their twenties, so we hope to give him a few more years of good health.

That’s where YOU come in. We rely on your donations to provide top notch medical care to our cats and we are always grateful to our donors for anything they can do to help. You can make a donation in our secure online store here: or you can buy raffle tickets below in the amount you would like to donate and maybe be a lucky winner.


Raffle to Win Bucs Club Seats!

The raffle ticket is for Tampabay Bucs club seats that were originally $590 per pair and includes:

Cougar cubsExclusive separate entrance – Padded seats

Access to Club Lounge! Note: Winner agrees not to resell.


Your raffle tickets remain in drawing for

2 tickets to each of the following home games:

Jaguars Saturday August 28 at 7:30 pm

Browns Sunday September 12 at 1:00 pm

Steelers Sunday September 26 at 1:00 pm

Saints Sunday October 17 at 1:00 pm

Rams Sunday October 24 at 1:00 pm

Raffle tickets 1 for $5, best deal 10 for $20 (only $2 each!)

Drawing at Big Cat Rescue Trading Post three days before each game at 4:30 pm.

Do not need to be present to win. We will write your name and phone number on your tickets.

Official Raffle Rules and Disclosures: Big Cat Rescue Corp. is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization located at 12802 Easy Street, Tampa, FL 33625. Tickets are available to the general public subject to the terms and conditions set forth herein. Multiple entries permitted, maximum 100 tickets per person. Need not be present to win. Winners will be contacted at the telephone number and/or address provided on the ticket stub. Illegible tickets are the responsibility of the participant. Big Cat Rescue will make reasonable efforts to contact the winner based on the information provided, but failure to receive notice because the ticket stub is not clearly legible is the responsibility of the participant. Prize must be claimed within 2 days of the attempt to notify the winner or is forfeited. Name of winner may be obtained by calling 813-920-4130. Must be 18 years of age or older to participate. Winner is responsible for any state, local and/or Federal taxes. Drawing to be held at approximately 4:30 PM three days before each game by random chance by hand from a container. No purchase or contribution necessary. To request a ticket without donation mail a self addressed stamped envelope to Big Cat Rescue. Limit one request per outer envelope mailed separately per person. Requests must be received by 9/20/10. All federal, state, and local laws and regulations apply. Void where prohibited by law.

“It is the most fun event I attend all year!”


“It is the most fun event I attend all year!” is a quote we hear over and over from those who have attended the Fur Ball.  And it all starts now!  You can wear whatever you want to the Fur Ball, but our theme has always been Safari Costume Formal which means anything from dressing up as a cat in full body paint to formal wear and everything in between. The fun starts now as you start putting together your ulitmate Fur Ball attire so that you will be ready to share in the fun and prizes.

The Fur Ball is made possible by our King of Beast Sponsors: American Momentum, Jaguar of Tampa and Construction With Heart and Major Media Sponsors:  ABC Action News, Accent Magazine, Cox Radio, Tampa Bay Business Journal and Tampa Bay Magazine


AdvoCats Can Really Make a Difference

LaWanna Mitchell just reported that the ecard system she built for us sent out 40,000 cards in the last 3 days. LaWanna is the creator of our Big Cat Fun site and of the Child Safety ID Kit. Says Debra Williams, the Special Project Analyst of District Two, Dept. of Transportation, “We would like to share Big Cat Rescue’s Child Identification Safety Kit with employees in a safety meeting. It is just about time for children to return to school and we would like our families to be prepared.” LaWanna is raising awareness for the plight of the big cats while protecting children. She is now on staff, but spent years helping us as an AdvoCat first.

Thanks to the positive response of our supporters, visitors, volunteers, and distant AdvoCats, we have had over 50,000 messages and letters sent to legislators and media outlets concerning big cat issues so far this year. We are so appreciative of the time and effort this takes since this is such a critical part of the work we do toward ending the trade and abusive conditions of captivity for big cats worldwide.

We have made it even easier by adding a “TAKE ACTION!” button on our Facebook page that will quickly connect readers to important alerts that we need their help with. Be sure you visit Big Cat Rescue’s Facebook page and check it out.

Our advocacy reaches and teaches so many, making such a difference! Recently, Newsweek featured an article about breeding for profit that quoted our President, Jamie Veronica as she detailed the conditions of white tiger breeding at Savage Kingdom where we rescued TJ, Bella, Modnic, and Trucha. You can read the full article at

Join as an AdvoCat here:

Some Grrrreat Videos to Share & Enjoy

Circus Life…Captive” Entertainment

Did you know that the USDA only requires that a cage for a wild animal be large enough that the animal be able to stand and turn around in the cage?

They allow even smaller enclosures for the purpose of travel….

Big Cats can be confined to cages that are too small to even stand up and turn around in for up to 60 days. If the cat is let out into the ring to perform, or into an exercise yard, then the 60 days starts over.

Please watch our latest video and share with friends:

Thanks to Jeff for his help in making this video and to Shiloh for supplying us with the images and footage 🙂

Cougar Species Spotlight

Check out what the young adult camp was up to this year in our latest Species Spotlight:

Do big cats like catnip?

We always get this question from our youtube viewers, so here’s the answer….

Watch the video:

Magnificent Thomas Big Cat Rescue Enrichment Fund

What would the Big Cat Rescue cats do with 938 pounds of catnip, or say 7500 sardini-martinis?  Thanks to Magnificent Thomas the little cat, the big cats will get to find out!   Magnificent Thomas’ companion, “R” as she prefers to be known, has recently donated $15,000 in honor of Magnificent Thomas to provide catnip and other enrichment treats for the magnificent animals that call Big Cat Rescue home.

This isn’t the first time the sanctuary’s cats have benefited from this Advocat’s generosity.  “R” has donated in the past to remember a feline friend, as well as express appreciation for the wonderful “Do Big Cats Like Catnip” video. She’s now making sure that the big cats stay happy and content, as well as the visitors who come to share the Big Cat Rescue Sanctuary experience.

St Francis Cat Behavior Seminar

With 19,000 animals euthanized last year in Hillsborough County alone, mainly due to behavioral issues, helping people understand how to modify undesirable cat behaviors is essential to lowering these sad numbers.  On August 21, St. Francis Society presented a 3 hour seminar at Big Cat Rescue that many rescuers, and others interested in this topic, attended.  Besides providing a venue for speakers, including a veterinarian, an SPCA cat behavior expert, and a nutrition specialist, Big Cat Rescue donated a raffle basket that helped raise funds for the little ones.  Over 75 attendees enjoyed a wonderful lunch and took home bags filled with goodies for pets, along with a lot of valuable information about what makes their cats behave the way they do.  The hope is that, by understanding and being able to modify undesirable behaviors, cats can remain with their owners and surrender rates and euthanasia rates will drop.

There were some adorable kittens there for adoption….very hard to resist.  This is just one more way Big Cat Rescue is helping little cats – as well as big cats.  Thank you to Big Cat Rescuer Jessica Allen for coordinating and helping host this event.

Catera Bobcat and Sophia Cougar Have Died

Bobcat Catera“You don’t have to worry about me anymore…now I’ll be looking out for you,” Catera purred softly. I sighed deeply, comforted by his words and yet slightly amused by his promise. His rumbling purr gave way to the sound of rain outside as I awakened more fully.

Yes, he was right; I wouldn’t awake to the sound of a rain storm and wonder if he was safe and dry. No longer would I fret about him if I had to leave town for more than a day or two. My daily rounds at the sanctuary would no longer carry that heavy sense of dread as I approached his cage; wondering if he would have relapsed back again into some dreadful state of discomfort with processing his food. His life had been so hard from the very day he was born and yet he had such a zest for life and such a happy disposition that every time I thought I just couldn’t stand to see him struggle through another setback, he would bounce back and take life by the horns again…

We had to say good bye to Sophia the cougar.  Her quality of life had suffered greatly due to her advancing arthritis and kidney failure.  She was 18 years old.  Thank you to all the supporters and volunteers who made it possible to rescue her from a wretched situation and gave her a place to live out her final years.

Rescuer Julie Hanan keeps up a memorial site for all of the cats who have passed. Read tributes to Catera here:

Read tributes to Sophia here:


Bobcats and Blue Martini’s Oh My!

Whether you wanted to brave Tampa’s first annual Bobcat Run, a 5k adventure race or wine, dine and mingle with friends at the Blue Martini at International Plaza, August was filled with exciting ways to support the magnificent animals that call Big Cat Rescue home.

On Saturday, August 14th, Greg Safko and his crew conducted the first annual Bobcat Run at Lake Park in Lutz. Over 300 runners made the first annual Bobcat Run an overwhelming success and have led to rumors that Greg is already making plans for a “Cougar Run”!

The Blue Martini at International Plaza was the place to be on Saturday, August 21st. John Kantor and Josephine Pulido Schaaf, founders of “Buy the Book for Charity Inc.” treated 200+ guests to an evening filled with great food, drinks, silent auctions and more!

John and Josephine recently formed a nonprofit organization that helps other charities such as Big Cat Rescue raise funds.

Big Cat Rescue would like to thank Greg, John and Josephine as well as everyone who helped to make these exciting events a ROARING success for the cats!

Inside Big Cat Rescue


Honoring Bill Lewis from our Friends at the VA

BCR volunteers and the cats give back to our community in so many ways. We take great pleasure in helping injured or disabled service men and women in our ongoing relationship with the James A. Haley VA Medical Center. According to the staff of the VA Recreational Therapy group the free tours we offer are an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors to learn about our beautiful cats and “make it possible for our newly injured veterans to practice their wheelchair skills within a non-hospital environment while adjusting to disability.”

This relationship is yet another contribution from our long time dedicated volunteer and military veteran, Bill Lewis who passed away this winter. We were truly moved when the staff of the VA recently came by to deliver this plaque in memory of Bill as a thank you and remembrance.

Scout Events ’10-’11 at Big Cat Rescue!

For the new school year we are rolling out special scouting events for fun and learning. Scout events are open to all girl and boy scouts and are pre-registered directly through BCR’s education department. This year in addition to the popular Scout Family Tours, and private group tours we’ll offer two hands on workshops to include “Big Cat Toys” and a brand new topic on anatomy called “What Cat Is That?” For more information or to register contact the Education Director at or 813-323-3265.


New for 2010-2011 BCR has two school buses ready to transport your class or group for an exceptional educational experience! Now the “best field trip ever” is easy to plan with our economical transportation rates and easy availability. Email or call us for scheduling and information at or 813-323-3265.

Summer Camp Wrap Up 2010

Another summer season has come and gone as we wrapped up camps for ages 8-15, and the Young Adult Expedition for students 16-18. Big Cat Thanks to our teachers Lauren Ebanks, and Phyllis Middaugh, and to all the Interns and Volunteers who make this exceptional behind the scenes experience a reality for our campers. Camp sold out completely this year and we look forward to next summer for returning and new visitors to be with us and the cats again. Keep an eye out for registration which generally opens late April or early March. A great time was had by all! We’ll see you next summer!

Big Cat Rescue’s Code of Honor

1.   I will focus on what works best to achieve our mission of caring for cats & ending the trade.

2.   I will speak my truth to the best of my ability & listen attentively as others speak theirs, with an end goal of finding solutions that work for all.

3.   I will support my fellow Rescuers early, often & unconditionally.

4.   I will be truthful & responsible for my actions, accepting my role with grace and performing to the best of my ability.

5.   I will deal with complete transparency & proactively work to resolve any conflicts directly with those involved. I will be sensitive to their feelings & in no way belittle or challenge them in front of others.  If no resolution is achieved I will ask that all involved parties meet together with the person(s) who can settle the matter.

6.   If it’s not my story, I won’t tell it.

7.   I will celebrate the good my fellow Rescuers do & show respect by saying please, thank you and job well done.

8.   It is my responsibility to uphold the code & address breaches of the code with my fellow Rescuers directly, privately & respectfully.

9.   I will be mindful of my tone, body language & the fact that we are all on the same path, albeit at different stages, so I will be open & gentle when asked for clarification.

10.I will trust that my fellow Rescuers share my same good intentions and will give the benefit of the doubt or seek their input in a kind and courteous way.

To see how Big Cat Rescue stays on the leading edge of animal care and volunteer training check out our playlist of 4 videos here: