Don’t They Miss Being Petted?

Don’t They Miss Being Petted?

I hear that almost every time I explain that we are a NO CONTACT facility.

Wild animals shouldn’t be kept as pets.  Most of the cats at Big Cat Rescue were once kept as pets who are usually discarded once they become adults and begin to spray and bite.  We do not allow contact between staff or volunteers or the public with the cats; even the small ones.  There are a lot of reasons:

Bobcat Little Feather

Bobcat Little Feather

1.  The cats are solitary by nature and do not seek our affection.

2.  It is dangerous to have any part of your body on the same side of the fence as the cat.

3.  It gives the false impression to those who see the photos or videos to think these cats might make good pets.

For many years we did not allow any kind of contact but as our population of cats has aged they are less able to groom themselves.  80% of our cats are over the age of 15 which is already several years older than these cats live in the wild or in most other facilities.  Some of our cats cannot groom off the winter coats in areas around their backs and necks so we are trying something new with a specially made back scratcher, available at Bed Bath & Beyond.

It looks like a car’s radio antennae and is extendable to keep the Senior Keeper’s hands out of striking distance.  It has a little hand of rounded fingers to scratch loose the mats.  As you can see the cat really likes getting rid of the loose fur.

Why do other places pet big cats?

There is only one reason that people post pictures of themselves touching big cats.  It is to show off.

They make all kinds of excuses for their egotistic behavior and say stupid things like:

  1.  The cats get depressed if we don’t pet them.
  2. It helps them deal with captivity.
  3. It makes people understand that they should be protected.
  4. It fosters a desire to protect them in the wild.
  5. They have to encourage cub petting to raise the money to feed the adult cats.

Let’s expose these lies for what they are.

The cats get depressed if we don’t pet them.

Big Cat Rescue doesn’t allow petting and our cats live longer, happier, healthier lives than any where else on the planet.

No scientist has ever concluded such a ridiculous finding after doing any sort of real study.

If the cage is so small and barren that this is the case, then what the owner needs to do is give them more space, more places to enjoy, more enrichment and things the cat actually does want.

It helps them deal with captivity.

Why is it that the very people making such claims are the ones breeding or buying more cats for life in cages?

Nothing will make captivity an acceptable alternative for living free; least of all putting the person and the cat in danger.  Yes, the cat is in danger, because if the person gets bitten the authorities can insist that the head be cut off and tested for rabies, even if the person who was bitten doesn’t want them to and even if the cat is up to date on their rabies shots.

It makes people understand that they should be protected.

This is probably the most common lie.  The backyard breeders and exotic pet owners heard it from the zoos who have been using this lame excuse for their very existence.

In fact, studies have shown that when people are seen in close proximity to endangered species the reaction by the public is that they must not be endangered, or that wouldn’t be allowed.

The underlying message is that these animals can be tamed and treated like pets, so people buy them and pay to touch them and further the abuse, rather than treating them with respect.

It fosters a desire to protect them in the wild.

Wrong!  Seeing people petting big cats makes people want to pay to pet big cats or to own them.  THAT is what the people who are promoting the petting are trying to foster; not real conservation.

They have to encourage cub petting to raise the money to feed the adult cats.

It’s hard to believe that anyone falls for this excuse because it is just so lacking in common sense.  How crazy is it to keep breeding more big mouths to feed if you can’t feed the big mouths you already bred and exploited?  That is a situation that is doomed to end in disaster and anyone who participates in it, is equally responsible for the misery and suffering that will surely ensue.

 

Document Retention

Document Retention

DOCUMENT RETENTION AND DESTRUCTION POLICY

 

In accordance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which makes it a crime to alter, cover up, falsify, or destroy any document with the intent of impeding or obstructing any official proceeding, this policy provides for the systematic review, retention and destruction of documents received or created by Big Cat Rescue in connection with the transaction of organization business. This policy covers all records and documents, regardless of physical form, contains guidelines for how long certain documents should be kept and how records should be destroyed. The policy is designed to ensure compliance with federal and state laws and regulations, to eliminate accidental or innocent destruction of records and to facilitate the sanctuary’s operations by promoting efficiency and freeing up valuable storage space.

Documents shall be retained in accordance with the attached schedule. Documents that are not listed, but are substantially similar to those listed in the schedule will be retained for the appropriate length of time.

Electronic documents will be retained as if they were paper documents. Therefore, any electronic files, including records of donations made online, that fall into one of the document types on the above schedule will be maintained for the appropriate amount of time. If a user has sufficient reason to keep an email message, the message should be printed in hard copy and kept in the appropriate file or moved to an “archive” computer file folder. Backup and recovery methods will be tested on a regular basis.

Destruction of financial and personnel-related documents will be accomplished by shredding.  Document destruction will be suspended immediately, upon any indication of an official investigation or when a lawsuit is filed or appears imminent. Destruction will be reinstated upon conclusion of the investigation.

SCHEDULE OF RETENTION PERIODS 

Type of Document Minimum Requirement
Accounts payable ledgers and schedules 7 years
Animal records Permanently
Audit reports Permanently
Bank Reconciliations 2 years
Bank statements 3 years
Copies of checks (for important payments and purchases) Permanently
Contracts, mortgages, notes and leases (expired) 7 years
Contracts (still in effect) Permanently
Correspondence (general) 2 years
Correspondence (legal and important matters) Permanently
Correspondence (with customers and vendors) 2 years
Deeds, mortgages, and bills of sale of property owned Permanently
Deeds, mortgages, and bills of sale of property disposed of 7 years
Depreciation Schedules Permanently
Duplicate deposit slips 2 years
Employment applications and records of current employees Permanently
Employment applications and records of former employees 7 years
Employment applications of applicants not hired 3 years
Expense Analyses/expense distribution schedules 7 years
Year End Financial Statements Permanently
Insurance Policies (expired) 3 years
Insurance records, current accident reports, claims, policies, etc. Permanently
Intern and Volunteer records Permanently
Internal audit reports 3 years
Inventories of products, materials, and supplies 7 years
Invoices (to customers, from vendors) 7 years
Minute books, bylaws and charter Permanently
Patents and related papers Permanently
Payroll records and summaries 7 years
Personnel files (terminated employees) 7 years
Retirement and pension records Permanently
Tax returns and worksheets Permanently
Timesheets 7 years
Trademark registrations and copyrights Permanently
Withholding tax statements 7 years

 

 

 

Cat Care

Cat Care

Big Cat Care

 

Big Cat Care Book CoverBig Cat Rescue has evolved since its inception in 1992. By 1997 we had seen enough of the abuse and abandonment caused by the pet trade that we had previously engaged in to know that there was no reason to breed exotic animals for lives in cages. As a result we increased our efforts through spaying, neutering and cage building to ensure that we would no longer be a part of the problem. As we have continued to learn about the causes of so much suffering we have become active in stopping the exotic pet trade through education and legislation. More HERE.

 

The following is provided for those running a sanctuary who want to learn from our experience, or for those who have already made the mistake of supporting the pet trade so that the animal in your care does not suffer even more after being ripped from his mother. With more than 30 years experience, with every sort of exotic cat, I can assure you that there is nothing you can do to raise up an exotic cat to be a house pet.  It just isn’t possible.  No matter how young you neuter or spay the cats, both male and female, ALWAYS spray when they become adults.  The suggestions below are for those who are starting sanctuaries so that you don’t become another one of the 98% who kill their exotic animals in the first two years due to a lack of knowledge.

Buy the book, Big Cat Care – How to Start a Sanctuary by Carole Baskin in iTunes and on Amazon

 

How to Rescue a Big Cat

Bathing

Bobcat BabyCaging

Claws

Emergency

Burns

CPR

Dehydration

Frostbite

Heatstroke

Poisons

Plants

Snakes

Restraining and Restraint Part 2

Shock

Wounds

Kittens and Cubs

Bobcat KittenBacteria

Feeding Cubs

Formulas

Tube Feeding

Housing

Manners

Litterbox

Parasites and Fleas

Pills

Rehabilitating

Vaccinations

 

Standard Operating Procedures

 

Acquisitions

Dispositions

Collection

Hazard Communication Program

Master Plan

MSDS

Sanctuary Standards

Exotic Cat Standards

 

Keeper Training

 

Accidents

Animal Contact

Animal Health

Basic Husbandry

Cat-A-Tats or Big Cat Cages

Conservation

Emergencies

Enrichment

Escapes

Feed Cats

Hurricane Preparedness

Hygiene and Pests

Siberian Lynx HowlsJob Requirements

Quarantine

Records

Restraint

Rules & Safety

Toxins

Volunteer Management

 

Governance Policies

 

Anti Harassment

Board Governance

Bylaws and Articles

CEO Performance

Lion RoaringCEO Reports to Board

Code of Honor

Conflict of Interest

Disaster Plan

Document Retention & Destruction

IRS Determination Letter

Master Plan

Non Discrimination

Principles_Reference

Whistleblower Protection

 

Carole Baskin

Carole Baskin

Carole Baskin Founder of Big Cat Rescue

CEO AND BOARD OF DIRECTORS

 

Carole Baskin is the founder and CEO of Big Cat Rescue. She runs a real estate business and manages 100+ volunteers and interns from around the world and 20 staff and contractors. She has run this Tampa based non profit since 1992 and has garnered international attention to the plight of captive big cats on CNN, Animal Planet, Discovery, U.S. News & World Report, People Magazine, The Today Show, Sports Illustrated, all of the local media outlets and many more national and international programs. She is the host of the Cat Chat Show, a weekly, live interview with cat experts from around the world. 

She has lectured in Costa Rica, Panama and many cities across the U.S. on legislative affairs, and sanctuary standards in Universities, Law Colleges, and in numerous animal association conferences. Her efforts, combined with many others of like mind, have resulted in the 2003 passage of the Captive Wild Animal Safety Act which made it illegal to sell a big cat across state lines as a pet, the 2009 requirement that those in Florida who possess Class I animals must post a $10,000 bond and the reclassification of a cougar to Class I, making it illegal to own as a pet in FL. 

Carole Baskin

As part of the Big Cat Coalition she has worked with The International Fund for Animal Welfare, the Humane Society of the United States, Born Free, the World Wildlife Fund, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, the Wild Cat Conservation Legal Aid Society, World Council for Animal Rights, the Dean of the Massachusetts School of Law, Ian Somerhalder Foundation, and the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries. Together they represent more than 18 million supporters. 

The coalition formed in 2011 and decided on a three prong approach to ending the abuse of tigers including; Closing the generic tiger loophole at the USFWS, Asking USDA to close the 4 week window of cub petting and a federal bill that ends the breeding and trade in big cats outside of AZA zoos. By 2013 the USFWS and the USDA had put the group’s suggestions on the Federal Register for public comment and had received nearly 30,000 comments in support. The Big Cat Public Safety Act, a federal bill to stop public handling of big cats and their cubs and ending the private possession of big cats is gaining momentum and is poised for passage. 

Carole Baskin’s mission is to end the trade in exotic cats and thus put herself out of business.

A typical week in Carole’s life usually includes a bobcat call:  http://bigcatrescue.org/bobcat-rescue-sparta-georgia/

Chuck is Carole’s only brother, she is the daughter of Vernon and Barbara, and is Jamie’s mother.  She is married to Howard.

Meet the Big Cat Rescue Team. See a typical day at the sanctuary.

Carole Baskin Speaks Out for the Florida Panther

 

 

 

September 2, 2015 address to the FWC in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

Some Articles About Carole Baskin

 

2015  From Exotic Pet Breeder to Big Cat Rescuer: My Journey Towards Understanding One Green Planet

2015  Big Cat Rescue: remembering every large & exotic cat  Animals 24/7

2007 She’s a Tiger  Tampabay CEO Magazine

2006 My Wife is Not a Don’t Glamour Magazine

 

Some High Profile Article’s Quoting Carole Baskin

 

Mario Tabraue expose by Mother Jones

Nat Geo Wild Asks, “Are Sanctuaries Good for Wild Animals?”

National Geographic article on exotic animals as pets called Wild Obsession

 

 

Television Appearances by Carole Baskin

 

Animal Planet’s Fatal Attraction 3 episodes involving tigers from 2011

CNN with Jane Velez Mitchell 2011

Jack Hanna Show 1998

Dateline 1997

More news appearances, videos, articles and quotes here:  http://bigcatrescue.org/media/

 

Books

 

Books written by Carole Baskin or written by others and featuring Carole Baskin and Big Cat Rescue

 

Carole Baskin’s History

Carole Baskin is the founder and CEO of Big Cat Rescue, the world’s largest accredited rescue facility for exotic cats. She and her family volunteer for Big Cat Rescue as unpaid staff and have 100+ volunteers and a dozen interns from around the world. She has run this Tampa based non profit since 1992 and you may have seen Big Cat Rescue on CNN, Animal Planet, Discovery, People Magazine, The Today Show, Sports Illustrated, all of the local media outlets and many more national and international programs. She has been asked to provide lectures in Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, Brazil, and Australia, as well as countless cities across the U.S. She has lectured on cage construction, legislative affairs, and sanctuary standards in Universities, Law Colleges, and in numerous animal association conferences.

She has successfully rehabbed and released a number of bobcats and other native animals. Big Cat Rescue is accredited by The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, and Carole Baskin served as a past President of, The Association of Sanctuaries (a national accrediting body that later folded into GFAS and is to sanctuaries what the American Zoological Association is to zoos.

She previously served on the board of the Humane USA PAC and had been the legislative liaison to the Captive Wild Animal Protection Coalition, and was responsible for representing The Association of Sanctuaries at their meetings. She supplies CWAPC with all of the current data on exotic cat issues, including the numbers being displaced, the maulings, escapes and killings of both the public and the cats involved. She scans the media daily for news regarding exotic cats and reports to some 300 people of three different groups with the daily headlines.

In 2005 she was appointed by Hillsborough County Commissioner Brian Blair as a member of the Animal Advisory Committee to assist Animal Services in their service to the Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners and was unanimously elected as Chairperson the following year. Big Cat Rescue is a member of the International Tiger Coalition, Florida Association of the Restoration of Ethics, a member of the Tampa Chamber of Commerce, the Upper Tampa Bay Chamber of Commerce, The Tampabay Visitors and Convention Bureau, and many other animal welfare groups.

Big Cat Rescue assists other accredited sanctuaries by helping them build cages, train their volunteers and they lend their people and resources to help them recover from natural and man made disasters. Big Cat Rescue is licensed by and in good standing with FWC, USFWS, USDA and is registered with the state of Florida as a charity.

Big Cat Rescue’s founder, Carole Baskin, with members of the  Humane USA’s staff and board of directors.

Transparency Notification:

In their role as a current board member this person is not independent and is a voting member in 2016.

The CEO’s pay is determined based upon others in the industry and her performance, which is reviewed by the board annually.

Saving Fishing Cats in the Wild

Saving Fishing Cats in the Wild

Fishing Cat Summary

The Fishing Cat Working Group (FCWG) was founded in spring 2011 with the aim of compiling and disseminating information about the Fishing Cat (Prionailurus viverrinus), one of four small cat species considered endangered by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, and encouraging conservation action for the species. Of the FCWG conservationists, some are involved in surveying ecology and status of the Fishing Cat in several range countries, while others have compiled available information on the historical distribution of the Fishing Cat. In November 2015 these conservationists were able to meet for the very first time at a 5 day international Symposium in Nepal to push global fishing cat conservation forward, each conservationist presented their efforts and shared their experiences. The symposium brought together participants from Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Sri Lanka and Nepal. Below are examples of the current conservation projects aiding in the protection of the Fishing Cat.

fishingcatlauachareaIndia: Since 2011 Tiasa Adhya has been documenting and mapping fishing cats outside protected areas in West Bengal. Her project was one of the first attempts to research how Fishing Cat persists in a human- dominated landscape. The study looked at threats to the fishing cat including habitat loss and poaching. Tiasa was instrumental in forming Fishing Cat Protection Committees and works with local communities to initiate a community-owned Fishing Cat conservation area. Big Cat Rescue assisted in funding for this in situ project.

Sri Lanka: Since 2014, Ashan Thudugala has been monitoring potential threats to Fishing Cat in the country. He initiated a research and conservation project in the hilly region and organises awareness programmes for school children and students.In Sri Lanka’s hill country, many forest patches are covered or crossed by roads, or have been deforested in recent years to allow for expansion of urban areas. The Fishing Cat population is presumably severely affected by this habitat loss and fragmentation with feeding grounds for Fishing Cat diminishing. In addition road kills are increasing so Ashan also started setting up road signs at spots along highways where Fishing Cats have been killed. Big Cat Rescue assisted in funding for this in situ project.

Bangladesh: Hasan Rahman, Jennifer McCarthy and Kyle McCarthy used a presence-only computer model to predict the distribution of Fishing Cat as more is currently known about dead Fishing Cats in the country than about live ones. Between January 2010 and March 2013, national newspapers reported 82 incidents involving Fishing Cats that were captured by local people; 14 individuals were rescued and released without being monitored; 30 individuals were fatally injured, and the fate of 38 Fishing Cats remained unknown. They called for urgent measures to protect the species.

Dr Jim Sanderson of the FCWG commented: “Fishing Cats are specialists and no larger, generalist species can act as umbrellas to protect their limited and often threatened habitats. Much of Southeast Asia had already been lost. The Javan Fishing Cat subspecies has likely followed the Javan Tiger into extinction. Fishing Cats in Vietnam have no laws protecting them and any that remain might be a lost cause. The existence of Cambodia’s last Fishing Cats depends on bold conservation actions. Despite these setbacks, Fishing Cat conservationists will never give up”

You can read more about work done by the Fishing Cat working group here: http://www.fishing-cat. wild-cat.org

Information obtained from: http://www.wildcat.org/ viverrinus/infos/FCWG2016_ 1stInt_FishingCat_ Conservation_Symposium_ proceedings.pdf

Cameron

Cameron

hear big catsCameron the Lion

DOB 10/1/00

Rescued 5/3/04

 

lion Cameron

Cameron the lion and Zabu the white tiger are Big Cat Rescue’s odd couple. They were both born at a run down roadside zoo in 2000 and were rescued in 2004.

At the New Hampshire zoo, Cameron had been raised with Zabu, the white tigress, with the hopes of cross breeding them and selling the resulting liger cubs.

People often hybridize lions and tigers because they are either trying to create a novelty that people will pay to come see or trying to avoid the law. Until recently, some state’s laws did not recognize a 500-pound cross between a lion and tiger to be either. Therefore, people would buy them and claim that laws against owning a lion or tiger did not apply to them. We were told that prior to Cameron’s rescue he had lost over 200 lbs. It was up to us to help turn his life around.

Since Cameron and Zabu were true companions, we had to do whatever we could to make a long life together possible for them. The first step was to build a very large enclosure fit for the two energetic big cats.

Next we spayed Zabu so they would not breed and produce any more cats for life in cages.

Over the years Cameron became more and more possessive of Zabu and would not allow keepers near the enclosure to clean or feed. Because Cameron’s behaviors were testosterone driven we had only two choices; separate him from Zabu forever or neuter him. The decision was easy, Cameron was neutered.

Several months later he lost his mane as a result. It does not seem to bother him though. Cameron’s mood has mellowed dramatically and he seems much more comfortable in the hot Florida summers without the extra 15 pounds of fur around his neck. He has even become much more playful since he no longer worries about everything that is going on around his enclosure. His favorite toy is a big yellow ring which he bats and pushes around his enclosure in the early morning and late afternoon. While it was sad to see Cameron lose his mane, it was completely worth it so that he could continue to live with his best friend Zabu.

 

Cameron Lion Mane   

While Cameron tries to sleep most of the day away (as lions do in the wild), Zabu is extremely energetic and is always pestering him to play. She’ll often give up on him and just run and jump and play with her big red Planet Ball. Of course, that’s after she’s tired of playfully stalking her keepers or trying to spray the groups of visitors that stop by everyday.

 

 

Here are some more pages you can find information, photos, videos, and stories about Cameron:

 

Spring 2014: “What’s Up With Cameron’s Mane?” Why is Cameron losing his gorgeous mane? http://bigcatrescue.org/advocat-2014-04/

See Chris & Gale setting up Piñatas for Cameron and Nikita the lions and Zabu the white tiger in this Wildcat Walkabout Video on April 25, 2014 – http://bigcatrescue.org/now-big-cat-rescue-april-25-2014/

See photos of Cameron and Zabu heading to their cool den on a hot day, kissing behind their big red ball, and playing with toys by their pond.   http://bigcatrescue.org/today-at-big-cat-rescue-may-31/

See the video: Lion + White Tiger = Cameron and Zabu! http://bigcatrescue.org/lion-white-tiger-cameron-zabu/

The rest of the world has “Brangelina” Big Cat Rescue has “CAMBU” !! Cameron the male African Lion and Zabu the female white tiger love each other very much and love “playtime” where they can be very goofy big cats! http://bigcatrescue.org/lion-and-tiger-playtime-at-big-cat-rescue/

Read about working with big cats. http://bigcatrescue.org/work-with-big-cats/

Enrichment is a very important part of the cats’ day.  See Cameron and Zabu attacking a giraffe for Enrichment. http://bigcatrescue.org/lion-tiger-vs-giraffe/

Here are more Enrichment videos.  We would like to invite you to share these videos with your friends and family. http://bigcatrescue.org/tag/enrichment/page/7/

Hearing a lion’s call is one of the most powerful sounds of nature; “Cameron” belts one out in this short clip. http://bigcatrescue.org/roar-a-roar-from-bcrs-male-lion-is-a-powerful-sound/

See a video entitled “If A Lion and Tiger Got Into a Fight, Who Would Win?” http://bigcatrescue.org/if-a-lion-and-tiger-got-into-a-fight-who-would-win/

On this link you will find a video of some of the cats. You will also see volunteers hauling dirt and Cameron and Zabu enjoying their vacation at Big Cat Rescue. http://bigcatrescue.org/now-big-cat-rescue-jan-30-2014/

Zabu the white tiger takes Cameron’s pumpkin and puts in the water. http://bigcatrescue.org/today-at-big-cat-rescue-oct-17/

See the video, “Lion and Tiger, Backyard Blitz”. http://bigcatrescue.org/today-big-cat-rescue-nov-8-2013/

After being separated for quarantine and ‘getting fixed’ Cameron and Zabu are reunited. http://bigcatrescue.org/white-tiger-and-lion-november-4-2004-update-2/ and http://bigcatrescue.org/white-tiger-and-lion/

Join is on Facebook to see new photos of the cats every day. http://www.facebook.com/bigcatrescue

Sponsor Cameron http://big-cat-rescue.myshopify.com/collections/sponsor-a-cat