AdvoCat News 2010 11

AdvoCat News 2010 11

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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:

AdvoCat News 2010 07

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Hope you had a Happy 4th of July!

This AdvoCat looks pretty long because I have tried to include the entire story on this page, rather than linking out to other pages.  Our website is going through a major overhaul and should launch next week.  During the transition we are trying to make as few additions to the old site as possible.  The new site is going to load faster and have a lot more interactivity.  You should be able to see the new site at late next week.

The summer is usually our slow time but this year there have been so many big projects and improvements going on that we just can’t include them all in a monthly report.  We are so fortunate to have you helping us care for the cats and helping us end the trade.

This Ezine only goes out monthly, so you can “stalk” us on Twitter where you can get updates several times a day: or join more than 20,400 of our facebook fans.



New Tour Times

Our dual mission is to care for our cats and end the trade.  Both of our goals are accomplished, in part, by the guided tours of our sanctuary.  These provide the income necessary for us to feed the cats and give us the opportunity to inform the public about the plight of the cats in the wild and in captivity and, most importantly, in what they can do to help end the suffering, abandonment and abuse.  We strive to find a balance between being a peaceful sanctuary and an education center.  Since 1995 we have offered appx. 20 tours per week but were closed on Sundays which is when most people are off from work and could visit.

As of July 1, 2010 our new schedule provides for 15 tours per week, but now there are 3 more of our more profitable tours (Feeding and Keeper Tours) which generate more income for the cats from fewer visitors and we are offering both Adult and Kids (under 10) tours on Saturdays and Sundays. We are closed on Thursdays to the public.

We believe this new schedule will give us more time during the week to get our maintenance and cat care projects done and will give us the ability to reach more people and raise more money with fewer intrusions into the cats’ lives. Being open on Sundays will enable more people to volunteer and that will allow us to better cover tours, outreach events and all of the daily cat care.  Check out our new tour times here:


Snorkle the Tiger Dies  1989-2010

Snorkle the tiger in the lake.  Photo by Julie HananAs a cub, Snorkel spent his early years forced to pose as a prop with people for their photos. Then he ended up caged for years at a family owned circus.  Luckily, he found a true safe haven at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, FL in 2005. Watch as he finally enjoys a taste of the wild and, for the first time in his life, was able to run…still much less than he truly deserves.

Help WWF, The International Tiger Coalition and Big Cat Rescue tighten regulations to protect captive tigers in the U.S and prevent the increased demand for tiger products that put wild populations at risk.

Sign WWF’s petition to Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack asking them to use their authority to close existing loopholes in the permitting and monitoring of captive tigers in the U.S. so that backyard breeders cannot continue to breed, use and discard cats like Snorkle.


See his tribute video here:

Post a tribute here:

Join Us at Taking Action for Animals


Is Taking Action for Animals the right conference for you?

Here are a few reasons we think it might be:

1. Undeniable energy of a collective good — you are not alone.

2. Professional conference promoting mainstream solutions.

3. Magnificent downtown DC location.

4. Help us push for legislative reforms during Lobby Day.

5. Take-away tools for real action.

6. Empowering youth with the new Student Summit.

7. Largest conference of its kind.

8. See Hal Sparks perform and hear from great speakers.

9. Recharge your advocacy battery.

10. Past attendees are raving:

“I have been to a lot of conferences related to animal welfare and this was the best conference I have ever attended. It was first class from start to finish and an absolute blast to attend. The energy could have propelled the Hyatt to the moon.” – Karen Benzel

Big Cat Rescuers go every year and we will be there again this year.  Join us!


Paintings by Big Cats at the Fur Ball

Alex the Tiger LOVES to PaintThe Fur Ball (Oct. 8, 2010) is always an exciting night of safari costume formal attire, great food, music, fun trips and superb art but this year the featured artists are the cats of Big Cat Rescue.  See them working on some of the beautiful paintings that will be auctioned that night at the YouTube link.  Our Senior Volunteer, Barbara Frank is converting their art into jewelry that features the cat on one side of the pendant and a miniature of their art on the other side.

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

Alex the tiger had a blast while creating this beautiful rendition of Smashing Pumpkins.  (Non toxic children’s paints were used)

These treasures will be in short supply so be sure to get your tickets to the Fur Ball now:


Cats Painting:

PurrFection Ocelot Ear Surgery

When PurrFection the Ocelot developed a hemotoma on her ear she needed emergency surgery to alleviate the swelling.  It’s been raining for days on end and we didn’t want her to suffer so Big Cat Rescuers braved the weather to get her the vet care she needed.  When you operate a sanctuary for big cats it is a non stop commitment.  That means feeding, cleaning, enriching and providing top notch vet care no matter how miserable the weather.  Watch this video of the day in the life of Big Cat Rescuers.

eBay Give at Checkout for Big Cat Rescue

eBay is featuring Big Cat Rescue in the rotation in Give at Checkout during the eBay Giving Works Spotlight on Helping Animals. From July 26th to August 1st, Big Cat Rescue will be included as a featured nonprofit in eBay checkout, where buyers will be able to donate $1 (or more) when they make a purchase on eBay with PayPal.”

If you add us as a favorite nonprofit from your About My Nonprofit page, you can remembr to include Big Cat Rescue every time you check out!

eBay has chosen Big Cat Rescue for this promotion because of the large number of direct seller and community seller listings benefiting our organization. (Thanks everyone!)  You can help by selling your stuff on eBay and naming Big Cat Rescue as a partial beneficiary, or by buying from our supporters on eBay who have already done so, or just by choosing us at check out time between July 26 and August 1, 2010 when you buy anything on eBay.

Equipment Needed & Provided

Dr. Megan Meyers and Jamie Veronica with Freckles the LigerFreckles the Liger is having trouble walking, but at 435 lbs we can’t take her to a regular vet clinic for X-rays.  Just getting her into a transport, loading her into a truck or trailer and getting her in to a horse clinic is a huge undertaking since the only carrier we have that is big enough for her is a circus wagon.  We need specialty transports, on wheels, that will fit through the doors of most buildings.  We can build these with access to the right materials.

What would really help out is to have our own portable, digital X-ray machine.  ($125,000.) That way cats like Freckles never have to leave the safety and security of their Cat-a-Tat and we can find out what is going on with them under the skin. Your Donations Help!

Thanks to the generosity of Dr. Megan Meyers, DVM of the Odessa Equine Clinic we were able, through the use of her equipment and expertise to get X-rays of Freckles back legs and spine.  She came on a moment’s notice to bring her portable devices and braved an awful rain storm to do it.  Watch for the upcoming video and more on the story!

Liger Freckles being examined by Dr. Liz Wynn and Dr. Megan MeyersMeanwhile, preparing for lifesaving veterinary care for Chloe the Snow Leopard, Dr. Liz Wynn, our veterinarian was trying to revive some ancient equipment she would need for this and other procedures.  Our obsolete WelchAllyn® examination equipment needed parts, so we set out on a search. After internet searches and shopping turned up few options, an email to WelchAllyn® corporate headquarters went out asking their advice on getting parts to repair these items. It is not an uncommon experience for an email to a big company to just get lost in cyberspace, right? Not this time!

A couple of weeks later a response came from Dorothy Rizzo, Senior Account Rep for Specialty Markets offering to help.  Model numbers were few and far between on the equipment, so Ms. Rizzo requested pictures to help identify what we had, so we took those and sent them along. The reply came quickly and said “thank you this should help – please be patient as I won’t be able to look at all of this until next week sometime, but will get to it and see what we can come up with for you!  Stay tuned!”

Imagine our surprise two weeks later when we got a very nice package in the mail from WelchAllyn® Veterinary division. Instead of parts to revive our obsolete exam tools they sent us over $2,000 worth of brand new equipment. Enclosed was a kind letter signed by Ms. Rizzo, “Hopefully these items will assist you and your team with the rescue and rehabilitation of animals. Congratulations to you, your staff, and volunteers of the organization for the work that you all do!

“It is a wonderful thing to experience the gift of inspiration to keep doing the work of Big Cat Rescue, along with material items or technical assistance. Sometimes kindness arrives in the most unexpected ways. Our heartfelt thanks are extended to Ms. Rizzo for going “above and beyond” in her customer service, and to WelchAllyn® for donating valuable and needed care for the cats.

Kids 4 Cats

Lee Academy KidsLee Academy

Youth is no obstacle to making a difference. For instance our student supporters from Lee Academy for Gifted Education learned a lot of math, business, and social skills while helping the big cats in a big way.

This group of fourth grade students, under the guidance of teacher Jeff Floyd, ran a year-long fundraiser and decided on Big Cat Rescue as the beneficiary of their efforts. At the beginning of the project Mr. Floyd wrote us to ask; “This year my 4th grade math class, who I brought out to Big Cat Rescue a few years ago, is starting a school store. The store is mainly going to be supplies; pencils, paper, erasers, etc… But we have decided as a group that at the end of the school year to donate the remaining proceeds to your organization to help out the cats. Is there a certain process I need to take in order to do this?”

We started right off with Nikita, the Lioness sponsored by the group as their official mascot at the beginning of the project.  Mr. Floyd came by for brochures and educational materials about Big Cat Rescue which the students distributed to customers at the school “store” so patrons would know how the proceeds would be used. As the school year was winding down, on May 26th, 31 enthusiastic students and teachers visited the sanctuary. The eleven kids at the heart of the project were among them along with their teacher, Mr. Floyd.  After a wonderful educational tour where the cats got to meet their benefactors, the students presented BCR with a very impressive $500 donation! That’s a lot of pencils and paper these students transformed into the cost of feeding a tiger for five weeks!

This donation helps us directly in “caring for cats”, and the awareness our young supporters gain and share about wildlife issues makes all the difference in “ending the trade”.  Thank You to all of our supporters at Lee Academy for Gifted Education.


Protect Bobcats, Foxes, Coyotes, & Maybe Even Your Pet

At the June 2010 Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWCC) meeting, the commissioners unanimously decided to “do the right thing” and institute a complete ban on “penning of wildlife.” Thanks to your help and support – no longer will packs of dogs relentlessly chase bobcats, fox and coyotes in pens. No longer will they have the opportunity to, day after day, hour after hour, run down terrified bobcats, fox and coyotes in fenced enclosures and often rip them to shreds.

But, we still need your help.  The details of the language used to prevent these atrocities is very important so that the bad guys can’t exploit loop holes.  Find out how your letter can help here:

Big Wins Thanks to YOUR Letters


I know you are asked to sign a lot of letters, but it is only in doing so that the animals are getting the protection they need.  Here are a few of the wins that YOU made happen in 2010 if you sent one of the 21,592 letters from our site.

Rehab BobcatFL June 23, 2010: Thanks to thousands of letters from Big Cat AdvoCats, the Florida Wildlife Commission agreed to change the wording of their Nuisance Wildlife rules so that bobcats who are trapped as nuisance wildlife may not be killed, but rather must be released.  While our 2,000+ letters asked that bobcats be removed from the list of nuisance wildlife, we are still thankful that the FWC has decided to at least spare the life of bobcats who are trapped this way.  We will continue to educate the FWC and the public as to why bobcats are so necessary to our ecosystem so that they may soon be removed from the list of animals that may be trapped.

FL June 23, 2010:  Animal AdvoCats vs Animal Terrorists. The FWC agreed to ban the practice of “fox penning” which was a blood sport in 16 locations in FL where foxes, coyotes and bobcats would be trapped or purchased from trappers to be turned loose in fenced areas for the purpose of training hunting dogs.  Packs of dogs would be turned loose in the pens and scored on how persistent they were in chasing the wildlife.  The FWC had rules that required hiding places for the wildlife, but investigators found that the operators would often block the access to the safety areas so that the foxes, coyotes and bobcats could be cornered and ripped apart by the dogs for the amusement and betting opportunities of the dog owners.  For the first time in the history of the FWC meetings that we have attended since 1993, there were more animal advocates than animal terrorists in the room to testify.  52 concerned citizens spoke up in favor of a ban while only 20 animal abusers / hunters spoke up in favor of continuing the blood sport as part of their “cultural heritage and God given right.”  As more of these egregious practices are exposed, we expect the number of main stream Americans who show up and speak up to increase.

FL June 3, 2010: Thanks to thousands of letters from Big Cat AdvoCats, the legislature amended Florida Statutes 379.374 Bond required, amount. (2) No person, party, firm, association, or corporation shall possess or exhibit to the public either with or without charge or admission fee, any Class I wildlife, as defined in s. 379.303 and commission rule, without having first guaranteed financial responsibility, in the sum of $10,000, for any liability which may be incurred in the possession or exhibition to the public of Class I wildlife. The commission shall adopt, by rule, the methods of payment that satisfy the financial responsibility, which may include cash, the establishment of a trust fund, an irrevocable letter of credit, casualty insurance, a corporate guarantee, or any combination thereof, in the sum of $10,000 which shall be posted with the commission. In lieu of the $10,000 financial responsibility guarantee required in this subsection, the person, party, firm, association, or corporation has the option to maintain comprehensive general liability insurance, with minimum limits of $2 million per occurrence and $2 million annual aggregate, as shall protect the person, party, firm, association, or corporation from claims for damage for personal injury, including accidental death, as well as claims for property damage which may arise. Proof of such insurance shall be submitted to the commission.  Effective July 1, 2010.  In 2009, there were 111 Class I possessors in FL who managed to escape the bond requirement because they claimed they were not “exhibitors.”  This new language was necessary to close the loophole in the 2007 law so that all “possessors” of Class I animals must post this minimal bond.

OH July 1, 2010: After animal advocates gathered 1000’s of signatures for a proposed ballot initiative to put an end to animal abuse in Ohio, a deal was struck between The Humane Society of the United States, Ohio agriculture leaders and Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland that will lead to major animal welfare improvements in Ohio on a raft of issues protecting exotic, domestic and farmed animals. The agreement includes recommendations from all of the parties for the Ohio Livestock Care Standards Care Board, the Legislature, and the Governor to ban the acquisition of dangerous exotic animals as pets, such as primates, bears, lions, tigers, large constricting and venomous snakes, crocodiles and alligators. Ohio is now on track to go from having some of the weakest animal welfare laws in the nation to being a state with much stronger protection for animals, thanks to the signature gathering efforts of advocates through the country.

AdvoCat News 2010 06

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It is with a heavy heart that I let you know that Windsong, the bobcat who started Big Cat Rescue and is lovingly regarded as our “Founder,” has died.  If not for her, Big Cat Rescue would never have existed.

Windsong was in the final stages of renal failure by June. She had been diagnosed last December and treated for her advance arthritis, and given fluids, but the treatment only bought her another six months.  Now she was beginning to waste away, feeling too nauseous to eat regularly and was beginning to get mouth ulcers that come along with advanced renal failure.  I could delay making this awful choice, pump her full of fluids and painkillers again and hope for a few more months, but that would only delay the inevitable.  Windsong is 18 and there was no way to turn back the clock and time’s ravages on her little body.  She was already asleep while we were doing the blood work, so I asked Dr. Wynn to end her life before she had to suffer even one more day of feeling awful.  It was very peaceful as her spirit left her frail little “cat suit.”

I have never cried so much and wondered out loud to Jamie as to why?

Find out why here:

Post your tribute, and read others if you are a Volunteer or AdvoCat here: and more than anything, please continue the work she started by being a voice for these animals.  There are lots of ways below that you can honor her memory by being a freedom fighter.



Angelica Bobcat Rescued from Foreclosure

Angelica Bobcat at Big Cat RescueA woman in Hudson, FL has had a bobcat as a pet for the past 14 years and now is in foreclosure and cannot take Angelica, a female bobcat, with her when the bank repossesses her home. She broke down crying at the thought of losing her long time pet, but said if she knew then, what she knows now about exotic cats, she would never have gotten her.

She willingly signed a contract with Big Cat Rescue agreeing that she will never own another big cat. She had actually visited the sanctuary 10 years ago and said that when she ran out of options for keeping her pet with her she knew that Angelica would have the good life here and never have to worry about eviction.

Angelica, who had been living in a chain link cage with a concrete floor, enthusiastically explored every inch of her new spacious and natural Cat-a-tat. She strolled around stretching her legs and occasionally stopped, dropped, and rolled in the newly discovered substrate. She really likes leaves!


Servie Serval Rescued from 2 Room Apt

“That was terrifying! I am dripping sweat!” were Jamie’s first words when she called to let me know that she and the new serval were on their way home to Big Cat Rescue.

Thanks to many of you who responded to the alert we sent out last month, we were able to rescue this serval when her owner had been Baker acted and later died.  The serval (who neighbors had reported was a ion) had been left behind in a cramped, 2 room apartment and Big Cat Rescue had been called in to remove her.  Easier said than done.

Big Cat Rescue’s President relayed the terrors of being trapped in a hall with a VERY MAD, very large serval.  Stand Up For Animals is Animal Control in Marathon, FL and they had taken a very large dog kennel in for Servie the Serval to get used to.  The plan was to feed her in the carrier, and shut the door…  She wasn’t having any part of that plan.

Instead she hunkered down in the bedroom and challenged anyone to come near her.  There were just too many places in the bedroom to avoid being netted, so Jamie opted to usher her into the hall after blocking the exit with the big carrier and all of the pillows in the house.  Easy enough, right?

Servie Serval at Big Cat RescueJust quietly crowd her into the waiting darkness and luxury of the softly bedded carrier…no dice.  Instead Servie became a 40 lb pin ball of teeth and claws bouncing off the walls, ceiling and Jamie with such speed that your head would have to spin like Linda Blair’s in the Exorcist just to keep track of her.  Finally she dove into the carrier and Jamie used her boot to shut the door.  Good thing too, as paws and claws snatched wildly at the shoe.  Those skinny little Serval legs fit through the tiniest holes!  It’s hard to understand why people think they can make pets out of cats like Servals and Savannahs.

Once Servie saw the huge Cat-a-tat, complete with den, bushes, trees, grass, birds and exciting neighbors you could just tell she was a little sheepish about putting up such a fuss.  This was paradise by comparison!  Read more about her at the link and be on the look out for the upcoming video of her rescue.

Music Video and TV Show for Big Cat Rescue


Singer, songwriter and inspirational speaker; Terez created an moving theme song and, with Chris Poole’s help, a music video for Big Cat Rescue.  In Terez’ own words, “It is my hope that those who view this video get even a small taste of the power and majesty of these animals, feel the magic of Big Cat Rescue and are moved to take action to be part of the solution for big cats.  Let this song and BCR’s feline ambassadors serve as a reminder”…just like them I see – we’re all beautiful, wild and free…” ”

See the video here and order the CD to help support the big cats.

Want to see Big Cat Rescue get its OWN show? Your vote could make that happen on the Oprah Winfrey Network.  See our video about what the show would include and vote for us here:


Fur Ball Trips

Thanks to American Momentum, Jaguar of Tampa & Malcolm Out Loud, our King of Beasts Fur Ball Sponsors, we have a fantastic line up of fun and excitement for you at the Oct. 8th Fur Ball.  In our live auction you will be able to bid on such exotic vacations as Bora Bora, or your own Out of Africa experience, or Sailing and Sun in breath taking Mallorca, and even the magical Isle of Capri.  Got a Need for Speed?  Then you will want to win a stay in Monte Carlo that includes tickets to the 2011 Grand Prix and the opportunity to meet the drivers.

See photos and full descriptions of these trips and the night’s activities here:

Congresswoman Castor Fights Animal Abuse

We are thrilled to report that Congresswoman Kathy Castor, Representative for District 11 where Big Cat Rescue is located, on May 13th became a Co-sponsor of this important bill. The bill closes a loophole that has (a) prevented consumers who do not want to buy real fur from knowing if they are doing so and (b) has allowed Chinese producers to send to the United States garments containing domestic dog fur from animals who are killed in gruesome ways, including being skinned alive.

Current laws require that garments containing fur be labeled with the species used and other information. They also forbid the import or sale of domestic dog and cat fur products. However, the current labeling law allows the Federal Trade Commission to set a dollar amount below which no label on the garment is required. For many years the limit was $20. In 1998 it was raised to $150. Many garments – such as jackets, parkas, sweaters, vests, and accessories – are trimmed with fur and fall below this threshold.

Congresswoman Kathy Castor at Big Cat RescueA series of recent investigations by The Humane Society of the United States revealed that dozens of designers and retailers were selling some fur-trimmed jackets described as “faux,” “raccoon,” “coyote,” or not labeled at all, which turned out to be raccoon dog (a type of dog common in China), domestic dog, or wolf. For example, of 38 jackets subjected to mass spectrometry tests, every single garment was either unlabeled, contained a label that misidentified the animal, or was falsely advertised – some as “faux.”

The Fur Labeling Act, if enacted, will close this loophole by requiring all fur to be labeled. Many retailers and designers, who today cannot tell if the materials they are using are real fur, have come out in support of this bill. Pictured here at the sanctuary with family and friends, Representative Castor has visited the cats repeatedly over the years and has shown great compassion for animals. Co-sponsoring this bill is a wonderful example of that compassion in action!

Often we ask you to email a legislator asking them to support a bill. It is even more important to thank them when they do. Please help us show Congresswoman Castor that people who love animals appreciate her support by sending a short email thanking her for co-sponsoring H.R. 2480 to Thank you!

For more information on what you can do to protect the big cats and other animals visit:

Send a FREE Video E-Card for Father’s Day

LaWanna has been busy creating hundreds of new ecards, games and puzzles on our Big Cat Fun site. Now you can send Video E-Cards for FREE and choose from some great Big Cat videos.  See and send the most popular Father’s Day video ecard here:

Creature Quotes

Visit and download chapters 14 & 16 to see some of Big Cat Rescue’s stars included in this thought provoking ensemble of quotes like this one:

“Considering that slavery had been globally accepted for millennia, it is encouraging that people were able to make such a major shift in the their moral view, especially when a cause like abolition conflicted with strong economic interest. We can still learn for history the invaluable lesson that an enormously powerful and profitable evil can be overcome.”

(“Free at Last” The New York Times, August 26, 2001)

David Brion Davis, Ph.D. (1927-)

American emeritus professor of history

Pulitzer Prize for Non-Fiction Literature 1967

Snow Leopard Cloe Undergoes Lithotripsy

Cloe the snow leopard was diagnosed with a kidney infection and kidney stones in her left kidney about six weeks ago. She has been on antibiotics and our vet and Big Cat Rescuer Dr. Wynn decided the best option to help save her kidney function was to consider lithotripsy. Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) is a procedure used to shatter simple stones in the kidney or upper urinary tract. Ultrasonic waves are passed through the body until they strike the dense stones. Pulses of sonic waves pulverize the stones, which are then more easily passed through the ureter and out of the body in the urine.

Snow Leopard Cloe at Big Cat RescueCloe was sedated by Liz Wynn, DVM and Ashley Joyce, Surgery Vet Nurse of Ehrlich Animal Hospital on Saturday March 15th for the procedure. A team of veterinary interventional radiologists; Allyson Berent, DVM, Dipl., ACVIM, Chick Weisse, VMD., Dipl., ACVS., and Haven Bade, LVT. from the Animal Medical Center in NYC, and Demetrius Bagley MD of the Thomas Jefferson University in PA volunteered their time and flew in to perform a procedure that would allow for the pulverized stone material to pass more easily from her kidney to her bladder by placing a stent (tube) in her ureter.

The lithotripsy machine, operated by John Follman, BMO. of Bay Area Partners, Ltd., gave Cloe’s kidney 2500 shock waves! The equipment for this ground breaking procedure was donated by Margie Irvin CEO of the Bay Area Renal Stone Center. Cloe’s progress will be checked with x-rays in a few months. A very special thanks to all the people who came together to make this happen!


Protect Bobcats, Foxes, Coyotes, & Maybe Even Your Pet

Windsong Bobcat asks you to helpWe need a large number of animal advocates to attend the Commission Hearing to ask for a ban on Fox and Coyote Penning.

At this meeting, Commissioners will decide whether to regulate or prohibit fox and coyote penning-a cruel activity in which trapped foxes and coyotes are released inside fenced enclosures to be chased by packs of dogs, who often kill or maim the captive animals.

People who participate in fox and coyote penning have attended past meetings in large numbers, which makes it appear that more people support this activity than the few who actually do.

We need animal advocates to attend this meeting and testify–however briefly–in support of a complete, immediate ban on this inhumane practice, and show the state wildlife agency that the vast majority of Floridians strongly oppose such animal baiting inside fenced enclosures.


1) Call the Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) at 850-488-4676 and e-mail: and ask for an end cruel fox and coyote pens.

2) Attend the June 23 FWC meeting starting at approximately 9:30-10:00 a.m. in Lake Mary at the Lake Mary Orlando Marriot 1501 International Parkway, Lake Mary, FL 32746 and respectfully ask Commissioners to prohibit this practice immediately.

3) Write a letter to the editor of your local paper calling for state
policy makers to ban this egregious, inhumane activity.

4) Urge others to write letters to the editor and take action as well.

Additional information and talking points can be found below and you can RSVP as well:

Mosquitoes & Management


Mosquitoes: We asked Jim at Bug Smashers to find us the world’s leading authority on eradicating mosquitoes and he did. We can get them under control, but it is going to be expensive and a hassle. It will run $2625.00 to start and $250.-$1000. per month annually April thru Sept. depending on how much rain. They will be setting out 200 briquettes (1 ever 200 square feet) in the swampy areas. They will spray our Northern and Western perimeters each month which is $250.00 and will fog the problem areas after any rain event that drops more than 1 inch of rain. That is where the expense and hassle comes in. That costs $400.00 for two foggings, 7 days apart and we have to turn the water bowls upside down during the fogging. The fog is otherwise deemed safe for pet cats and expected to be safe for ours. This will not eliminate the mosquitoes entirely, as that is impossible given the fact that we are bordered by swamps and have low lying, shaded areas on site, but it is the best that anyone can do, and we are already seeing our cats and our keepers getting much relief from the initial efforts.

Management: Sometimes volunteers help us with the cats. Other times, however, they help us with each other. Doug Van Dyke, president of Leadership Simplified, volunteers to help selected members of management through one on one executive coaching and participation in a group called Leadership Perspectives. As we improve as managers and work more skillfully with each other, we enhance our ability to care for the cats and educate the world about their plight in the most effective and efficient manner.

Thanks to everyone who helps us help the cats!