Law Enforcement

Law Enforcement

Big Cat Rescue Assists Law Enforcement


Big Cat Rescue gets no funding from the government, but often steps in to help government agencies.

When states pass laws to ban the private possession of big cats, they always include a grandfather clause that allows the people who have big cats to keep them, but doesn’t allow them to buy or breed more.  There is usually a requirement that people register their big cats with the state, when such a law is passed, so that the state knows if the person is compliant.

When people refuse to comply with new laws the state will sometimes seize the animals, if they think the public is at risk.  That often results in years of legal battles between the state and the lawbreakers who use wild animals in their money making schemes.

State law enforcement agencies are not equipped to provide years of care to animals that can cost thousands of dollars per year in food and vet care alone.


That’s when they call on Big Cat Rescue.


We will provide the best care and environment the cats have ever known, during the long court cases, and we do it for free.

Sometimes we cannot tell you the name or the horrific stories of abuse that these animals have suffered until after the last appeals court has ruled in favor of the state.

For the protection of the cats, from the criminals who would often, rather see them dead than living the good life at Big Cat Rescue, we must ask that you not take photos, videos or talk about some specific animals if your tour guide indicates that they are in the Big Cat Witness Protection Program.


What About Kenny Hetrick / Tiger Ridge Cats?


The news posted this story about the Kenny Hetrick / Tiger Ridge Cats being sent to sanctuaries pending the conclusion of the State of Ohio’s lawsuit against the owner for refusal to comply with state law.

The “cat is out of the bag” and everyone knows the three tigers and one leopard are living at Big Cat Rescue due to the court filings by the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

Our contract with law enforcement usually prohibits us from talking about the cats in specifics, or posting any photos or videos of them during the litigation.

If you want to know what kind of life the cats have while here, check out our protocols at or watch our hundreds of videos at and


What we can tell you is:

Big Cat Rescue is happy to welcome the black leopard named Shadow, and the three tigers, named Jessica, Emily and Lily to the sunshine state during the term of the court battle between the Ohio Department of Agriculture and Kenny Hetrick. All of the cats made the trip from Ohio to Florida without incident and have quickly settled into their new daily routine.

Now they walk on soft earth, roll in the grass, perch up on platforms that overlook our 18 acre lake, lounge in their spring fed pools or can lazily gaze out over their new habitats from the security of their hillside dens.

Their daily routine consists of the best carnivore diet money can buy, attentive care by expertly trained staff, playing with balls, tearing up enrichment, watching the ducks on the lake and “talking” to their new cat neighbors nearby.

This video shows you a little about the enclosures where they are kept, without including any actual photos or videos of these specific cats.


Jennifer Leon

Jennifer Leon



Jennifer LeonJennifer manages the Education and Legislation Departments, which seek to raise awareness about the plight of captive big cats through community outreach, advocacy, and research. She has two undergraduate degrees and her MPA from the University of South Florida with a focus in public policy.

Over the past decade Jennifer has volunteered for local and national animal welfare organizations including various Tampa Bay area rescue groups, the Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society International, Best Friends, and Friends of Hillsborough County Animal Services.

Jennifer has served on the board of two local non-profits and has successfully advocated for animal welfare at all levels of government.

Jennifer Leon Speaks Out for the Florida Panther


Presented Sept. 2, 2015 to the FWC in Ft. Lauderdale, FL

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

Join Protest of DEW Yankee Jungle

Join Protest of DEW Yankee Jungle

Maine residents — Join a peaceful protest

regarding DEW Haven and Yankee Jungle in South Portland on Saturday, August 29th, 2015

Hello Maine supporters of Big Cat Rescue! We are assisting local Maine big cat lovers who are organizing a protest in South Portland next Saturday, August 29th, from 11 am to 2 pm at 8 Cottage Road, South Portland, Maine 04106.

DEW Yankee JungleThese big cat advocates — lead by Kris Snyder and Karen Coker — will be demonstrating to Maine residents that animal lovers don’t want to see DEW Haven (formerly DEW Animal Kingdom) buy, sell, trade, breed and exhibit big cats and other animals.

As you may be aware, DEW Haven is featured on the program Yankee Jungle, which airs on Animal Planet. The protest will be on the sidewalk outside the office of Lone Wolf Media, producers of Yankee Jungle. Big Cat Rescue joins these animal lovers in seeking to raise awareness about the sad reality of what’s happening at DEW Haven and why the animals should not be further exploited in a television program.

Learn more and sign up to attend the peaceful protest here:

Bring your own signs or just show up. They will have extra signs for your use!

We hope you will add your voice and stand up for the cats and cubs being exploited and used as entertainment at DEW Haven. We are the only voice these animals have!

Susan-BassFeel free to email me any questions you may have. THANK YOU!

Susan Bass
Director of Public Relations
Big Cat Rescue



Big Cat Rescue’s Transport Cages and Vehicles

Custom enclosed trailer

Can haul two rolling circus wagons and other smaller cages in climate controlled space.  Equipped with generator, A/C, heat, C02 monitor, CCTV and vents.  Roll up ramp.  Inside dimensions 138 inches long, 67 inches wide and 68 inches high.

TransportWagon1 TransportWagon2 TransportWagon3 TransportWagon4

2 rolling circus wagons

Rolling circus wagon aka beast wagon

Transport wagons are 8 feet long, 4 feet wide and 65 inches tall.


The black circus wagon above, not the white transport trailer.


2011 Toyota Tundra


With A/C topper, A/C vented to back along with fans, tinted glass and locking doors on topper.

Toyota Tundra

1998 Dodge Ram

Extended van with two large cages made to fit inside.

Van Wrap

2005 Dodge Ram

Pick up truck 3/4 ton with Reese hitch


Bobcat with bucket and fork attachments


Assorted yard trucks, pallet jack, dozens of carriers, wire transports and every cat’s cage is equipped with a lock out.

See more here:



Take the Tiger Selfie Challenge!

You remember the Ice Bucket Challenge, don’t you?  It was a crazy, popular way to raise awareness about  Lou Gherig’s Disease, that started in 2014 and has already raised more than 100,000 million dollars for ALS research.  Just yesterday Boston Mayor Marty Walsh took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge—and challenged Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to do the same. A full year later this form of public activism is still grabbing headlines.

Tiger Selfie Ad PhoneWhat if the cats had such a successful campaign to raise awareness about the suffering they endure for tiger selfies, lion selfies and liger selfies?

You KNOW we could end the pay to play schemes, once and for all, if everyone knew that posing with tiger cubs was Cruel NOT Cool!

The Tiger Selfie Challenge is a lot easier than the Ice Bucket Challenge.  (Cats wouldn’t want any part of dumping ice water on anyone)  All you have to do is buy the .99 cent Tiger Selfie App, snap some selfies, pick from an array of tiger photos in the app and post it to social sites.  The image you post tells your viewers why posing with real cubs is so cruel.  You aren’t asking your friends to donate huge sums of money; just to buy the app and share their own tiger selfie images to raise awareness.

The app developer has committed to donating half of the money to tiger sanctuaries to make sure the tigers have safe places to go once the world figures out that they should never support any organization that allows cub handling.

Cecil LionThe big cats need YOUR help in promoting the Tiger Selfie Challenge.  If Cecil the Lion touched your heart, then the Tiger Selfie Challenge is something you can do, right now, to end the abuse.  LionAid reports that 99% of the lions shot as trophies in S. Africa were born in cages.  The cubs are pimped out there, just like is done at tiger breeding mills in the U.S., and then when they get too big to use for the pay to play schemes they are turned out into a fenced area to be shot by trophy hunters.

The lions, tigers and ligers that are born in the U.S. tiger mills just disappear off the radar each year.  It is suspected that they end up being killed for their skins, bones, and teeth as well, but it is a network of criminals who operate with very little over sight.

YOU can end the abuse by taking the Tiger Selfie Challenge today and sharing it with everyone you know.  People love to share photos of themselves and the tiger overlays in the app make an image that they will want to share.

Think how easy it will be to pass the Big Cats and Public Safety Act this year if everyone in Congress has heard of, and maybe even taken, the Tiger Selfie Challenge!  This is an easy and fun action that you can take, right now, to make a difference!

Buy Tiger Selfie App


Be sure to use the hashtag #TigerSelfie so we can see your power in reaching the masses with this educational app.

Sorry, this is only available on iPhone, but visit to let the developer know that you want it for Android.

Below is an example of how your tiger selfie can look.  In social streams, such as Facebook and Instagram the graphic changes from your image to the tiger cub handling message automatically, but on a web page you would have to click the play symbol.