Wish List

Wish List

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Big Cats Wish List

Sign into Amazon Smile, pick Big Cat Rescue and then check out our Amazon Wish List

Look around your house and garage.  You may have something you don’t want that could help us greatly.  Your donations are tax deductible and greatly appreciated.

Silent Auction items suitable for resale (animal themed preferred)  Here is your chance to find a good use for that gift you got and didn’t want or the auction item you bought to support a good cause, but really didn’t want.  Or donate your services if you are a vet, a dentist, a mechanic, etc.  It is great exposure for your business and can really help the cats on our biggest night of the year at the annual Fur Ball.

 

Things You May Have & Don’t Need

 

Chocolate Fountains for our parties, preferably commercial grade 44 inch tall.

Pet carriers (medium and large).

Large, strong nets.

Unused 1 cc and 3cc syringes with 18-22 Ga. needles for shots.

Gas masks for anesthesia, small to REALLY large.  (Not the military type for combat)

Lawn Tools of all kinds, especially shovels, rakes, limb loppers, weed eaters.

Garden hoses, sprayers and nozzles. Hoses need to be: New, Heavy Duty, Anti-Kink, Garden Hose in 25 ft length only. These
are available at Home Depot.

Storage containers of all sizes.

Cat books for our gift shop and educational center.

Copy paper, office supplies.

Plants, flower and grass seeds. Plants, shrubs, trees… Please check the toxic list first if you are donating plants.

New AA batteries or rechargeable with charger for radio contact.

Small T.V.s, Radios, animal videos or DVDs for intern housing.

 

You can ship any of the above to Big Cat Rescue at 12802 Easy Street  Tampa, FL.  33625 along with an invoice estimating the value and we will mail a Donation Receipt back to you.  Thank you for helping the Big Cats at Big Cat Rescue!

 

Want to really make a wish come true?  These are some of our more expensive needs.  Help us with funding these projects and get special naming rights and other recognition for your generosity.

 

Things You Can Buy For the Cats

 

Shade trees for the cats and for the paying guests $180.00

wish listIf you have ever been to Big Cat Rescue you know how wonderful it is to take a walk through our woods and meet all of the lucky cats who have been rescued and now live there in the shady peacefulness.  You have probably also just about dropped from heat stroke out by the lions.  As we have expanded we have had to build in areas that have no trees.  While we have installed pools, misters and artificial shade, it just isn’t the same as what mother nature provides.  Big trees are expensive and we need lots of them.  The bigger the tree, the more shade that it will provide right away, but these require equipment that we don’t have and don’t have the expertise to rent.

 

Take the volunteers to lunch $150.00

Big Cat Rescue relies on more than 100 dedicated volunteers who provide 13 Full Time people in manpower hours.  They work in the heat, the bugs, the rain and the cold to take care of more than 150 big cats and they do it all for free.  Once a month we host a volunteer meeting to make sure everyone knows all the latest news and so that the volunteers can take their training classes.  Feeding all of them costs about $150.00 per month.  If you would be willing to sponsor a month, you can pick the month and you will be acknowledged for your compassion at the meeting.

 

The Casper Project $200.00

wish listCasper was a much loved Cougar resident of Big Cat Rescue who was taken from us suddenly by a lightning bolt. As a tribute to this great cat we refer to certain kinds of projects as “Casper Projects”. These projects typically involve work done directly on or in the enclosures to improve the lives of the cats. Sometimes they involve improvements that give the cats more opportunities to have fun and/or be more active. These include things like swinging platforms, tunnels, ramps or extra branches to climb. Other times the project may involve improvements to dens or the cage structure that give the cat more room, more comfort, or facilitate introducing cats we think may enjoy living together. Each project is different depending upon the needs of the cats. If you indicate that your donation is for a Casper Project, we will let you know the project that your donation helped fund.

 

Kill the Fleas for a Quarter (1/4 of the year that is) $450.00

Flea prevention is costing us a fortune this year.  The Revolution they need costs about $7000.00 per quarter.  Truly Nolan sprays between the cages each quarter for $450.00.  You can help us keep the cats free of these dangerous and itchy pests by donating to the Flea Treatment Program.

 

Camera Traps (often called Game cameras) $570.00

Help us track exotic cats in the wild so that we can assist in protecting much needed habitat for them.  The best cameras are digital ones because the native people we have trained often do not have access to mail to send us film, but often can get to an Internet Cafe and send the images digitally.  Sponsor one of these and we will copy you with the photos we get for a year.

 

Surveillance Equipment $4,500.00

As Big Cat Rescue is becoming more successful at ending the trafficking is exotic cats we are increasingly being threatened by people who breed, sell and buy exotic animals and their parts.  Even some places that call themselves sanctuaries are doing all they can to stop us because if we end the abusive practices that cause so many of these great cats to suffer abandonment, then they won’t have any cats to rescue and people will stop donating to them.  The vast majority of people who call themselves sanctuaries are just people who want to stay home and be paid to play with the animals they like to be around.

To safeguard our cats from being released, poisoned or harmed and to protect our staff, volunteers and interns who live at the sanctuary to provide constant care, we need surveillance caners that can monitor our grounds.  A four camera system that can tape constantly for four days in a loop which can be monitored by both on site and off site staff only costs about $4,500.00 installed.  We need a number of these systems and your help with this project will help us sleep better at night, while we are making sure the cats do.

 

Golf Cart $4500.00

We use electric golf carts for hauling the transport wagon across property, carrying food and medicines out to the cats, delivering toys and enrichment, hauling foster kittens from Intern housing to the Kitten Cabana for play time, crating cats to the on site hospital, and moving our people around a 67 ac campus in a quick, quiet and efficient way.  We ALWAYS need another golf cart.

 

Be The Bearer of Big Cat News $64,000.00

With more than 60,000 subscribers to The Big Cat Times you can be the one to reach all of these animal lovers and show them just how committed your company is to the protection of some of the world’s most charismatic creatures.  The Big Cat Times is printed and mailed quarterly.  Your sponsorship of this on an annual basis would be $64,000.00 or $16,000.00 for the quarter and includes a full page color ad, subject to approval.

 

7000 foot perimeter wall estimated total cost $800,000.00

We have a wall around our property that currently is deteriorating in some places, is not high enough in others and for 5000 feet it is chain link, which means that as the area becomes more densely populated our cats are in increasing danger from poachers and vandals.  Help us keep the cats safe from the “animals” who will be moving in next to them by helping us with this project.  You can sponsor 1 foot of the 8 foot concrete wall we need for 80.00 by donating and telling us it is for the CatterWall. If you are in the wall construction or wall repairing business we could use your help.

 

Services Needed

 

Big Cat Rescue needs publicity.  Being a non profit 501 c 3 charity means that many forms of advertising will air ads for us at no charge because in some cases they are required to by the FCC and in others they just want to demonstrate community service.  If you are a member of the media you can help us by having our public service announcements made.

Big Cat Rescue needs tractor mowing and bobcat services.  Mowing 70 acres takes up a lot of volunteer time and requires us to keep a lot of old tractors working when they should have been retired 20 years ago.  Once a month would help us out tremendously.

Expert computer animation person to create computer generated cats for online advertising and television.

Data entry volunteer to build a data base of potential supporters.  This person must be one of our trusted Volunteers or AdvoCats.

Someone to promote our ink recycling program to businesses, schools and individuals.

Big Cat Times newsletter distribution routes.  Do you have a high traffic location that would be suitable for carrying the Big Cat Times, or do you know a vet, pet store, veterinary college or other animal related storefront who would like to do so?  Contact us so that we can keep you stocked.

 

Inventors Needed

 

There are several things that I wish were available, but either are not, or are just ridiculously expensive.

Tiger proof pools. Everyone loves our pools and asks where they can get them. Ours are handmade of concrete and recirculate from our 18 acre self contained man made lake because tigers pee and defacate in the water. The typical pool used elsewhere is a horse trough made of steel, but they are virtually impossible to keep clean unless they are connected, like ours, to a flowing water system.

Tiger proof water bowls. If you have watched our Podcasts you can see that replacing the water bowls (galvanized buckets) is an ongoing problem. Ours are mounted in such a way to keep the cats from peeing in them, and to keep them from being able to run off with them, but they mangle them constantly. A drip system is just too scary because older cats drink a lot and if the system were to fail, you might not know until it was too late.

Tiger transports. We use the ancient style circus wagons to move tigers around, but you can’t get that into a van and you can’t get it into the x ray room of most vet’s offices. Tigers weight 300-700 lbs. and are 12 times stronger than a man, pound for pound. If you think taking your cat to the vet is a hassle, you have no idea…

Tiger toys. The only product on the market that the big cats cannot tear up, ingest and die from is called a Boomer Ball (planet) and costs 125.00 for the ball and that much again for shipping. It is about 3 feet in diameter and weighs 90 lbs. It has a 4′ side wall. Nothing else is safe for them, but this thing is really too big to just bat around. It was made for elephants.

Portable medical device. The perfect devise would:

be stainless steel

bars spaces so that paws can’t reach out

removable bars to accommodate different needs

collapsible wall to squeeze cat to one side for meds, shots, etc. (locks in place, quick release)

on big rugged tires for rolling in the mud

have a guillotine door on each end

fold down doors on each side

a tongue for towing with a tractor

hand grips that would be safe from the tiger reaching out to the person pushing

floor made to fit a scale with slide in gap at the bottom of one side of the cage

floor grate so that the urine could fall through if cat had to spend a couple days recovering in the transport

pins to lock all doors into varying stages of being open

would fit in a regular van

pop up arm to hold IV bag

double locking features in case van were in a wreck that the cage wouldn’t collapse

made to easily connect to another one of the same so the cat can be shifted back and forth to clean the cage

removable side panels that could be used to cover the cage so that the cat feels safe, but can still get air flow (they eat sheets)

affordable so that inadequate measures are not the norm

E-collar. The biggest problem with any surgery for a big cat is that they rip their stitches out. There is no E-collar on the market capable of keeping them from doing that. It would almost have to be some kind of a body brace where they are strapped in, from head to toe. Often we have to keep cats in small areas under constant watch, when the cat would be happier and heal faster back out in their yards, but we have to keep them from chewing at the injured site.

None of the bittering agents has any affect on them.

Tiger dens and tiger platforms. Exotic cats, bobcats up to tigers, chew incessantly. You can’t use pressure treated woods because the chemicals can kill them and out doors, untreated woods don’t last. Our dens and platforms are hand made in concrete, but people ask all the time where they can buy them. Some sort of a durable building block that could be interlocked into such structures would be desirable.

Cold Weather Solutions. We don’t have these issues, but many places that house big cats have the issue of water bowls freezing over and the need for heated dens. Doing that in a way that isn’t extremely dangerous to the cat isn’t available yet. They can and will rip right through anything that is pliable enough to be used. They spray everything and their urine eats right through metal. If the heating element isn’t easily visible on a daily basis to the keepers, it can be a tragedy waiting to happen.

Safe contraception. The drugs on the market that are currently used by zoos cause cancer. Many of the cubs born each year are said to be unexpected, unplanned, etc. due to contraception failure or because facilities are over crowded and use no contraception. We spay and neuter our cats, but it is expensive and permanent. Those in the business of having big cats in cages don’t want to lose their ability to breed them and those who are in the rescue business often do not have the funds, facilities or knowledgeable vets to spay and neuter. There is no reason to breed big cats for lives of confinement and anything that can be done to end this cycle of abuse in other facilities would be very helpful.

Anesthesia Masks. We modify a plastic milk jug to fit over the nose and mouth of tigers while they are sedated, but it would really be nice to have something that was actually made to fit big cat noses.

 

To help with any of these issues please contact:

Big Cat Rescue 12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625

813 920-4130 or Info@bigcatrescue.org

Thank You!

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Let our tigers thank you!

 

 

See the good that YOU have done here:

 

 

 

 

Credit Card

Credit Card

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Big Cat Rescue Credit Card

 

Big Cat Rescue Credit CardThe new Big Cat Rescue Visa® Platinum Credit Card is here! This card, provided through Beneficial State Bank, offers competitive rates and reward points that can be used for travel and merchandise. Also, a percentage of every purchase you make with the card is donated back to Big Cat Rescue to support the cats. This adds up and is a GRRRREAT way to support the cats at no cost to you. For details and to download a one page application please visit www.BigCatRescue.org/card

2014 Annual Report

2014 Annual Report

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2014 Annual Report

This is a playlist of our most recent videos and an easy way to see what we have been doing at Big Cat Rescue.

With your help we are winning in the battle for compassion! Up until 2003 the number of requests for rescues we had to turn down due to lack of space or funds had roughly doubled each year, to 312 that year. We feared it would double again to over 500 in 2004. Instead, it has steadily declined since then thanks to the passage of a federal bill and several state bills that restrict the ownership of exotic cats. This year there were 62 big cats who came to our attention as being abandoned. We were able to take in  7 wildcats plus 2 rehab bobcats. We offered to take 16 of the cats if their owners would contract to never own another exotic cat.  The cats we did not take were those whose owners refused.

There is no point to our taking in cats just so an owner can go buy another cute cub to use and discard.

 

Animal Care

AbandonedCats2014

 

 

Rescues

Rescued 9 exotic cats, including Kimba, Zeus, Keisha & Kali the tigers, Mickey the cougar, Sheena the serval, and Ariel the bobcat.  We rescued Ivan the native bobcat, who had lost both front legs in an illegal trap, but he was too badly injured to survive.  We also rescued Cypress the bobcat but she too was too badly crushed from her tangle with a car to survive.

Newborn kittens who are brought to Animal Control are routinely killed because with their immature immune systems they do not survive in the shelter environment.  So we began a foster kitten program with our interns as the fosters.  We have saved more than 170 kittens from being killed.  We raise them until they are 2 pounds and healthy, then bring them to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay to be fixed and adopted out.  See some very cute kitten video here: http://youtu.be/4yMMudueBow  and see cute cats meeting the vet here:  http://youtu.be/lfXyynkYmfc.

 

By the end of this year,  we have 97 exotic cats and 83 of them are over the age of 12; 74 of those are over the age of 15; and 32 of those are over the age of 20. This is well beyond how long they are designed to live in the wild and much older than most zoo cats. This is a testament to the excellent animal care we provide, but we are dealing with many more age related illnesses and are losing more of our big cat friends every year.

Sadly we had to say “goodbye” to these great friends:

Flavio Tiger 25, Sasha Lion 20, Precious Bobcat 21, Banjo Bearcat 23, Cleo Serval 17, Nyla Leopard 19, Mr E Leopard Cat 14, China Doll Tiger 19, Amazing Grace Ocelot 22, Kimba Tiger 20, Thing Bearcat 14, TrickE Leopard Cat 13, Shere Khan Tiger 19, Cody Cougar 18, Rambo Jungle Cat 15 and Canyon Sandcat 14.

We never gave up on Little Feather the Bobcat after her stroke:  http://bigcatrescue.org/little-feather/

 

Windsong Memorial Hospital

Thanks to the generous donation of an X-ray machine, followed by many donors chipping in to fund a proper building for it, the Windsong Memorial Hospital broke ground in 2014 and should be ready for its first big patient by the mid January 2015.

 

Award Winning Sanctuary

 

2014GreatNonProfitAward

Top Rated Non Profit at Great Non Profits

We have received this award every year since they started awarding it in 2010 due to the many great reviews we get from visitors and donors each year.

Charity Navigator

We again received Charity Navigator’s highest four star rating.

2014 WEDU Be More Relevant Award winner for best nonprofit video

2014 Viator Top Rated Partner Award for consistently rating four stars or higher

2014 Origin Magazine listed Big Cat Rescue in their Top 25 Animal Non Profits

2014 Give Day Tampa Bay winner of $22,500 in prize money and winner of the most donors on that day.

2014 Recognized at Charity Navigator’s top rated charity of any kind for Tampabay area and #5 in animal charities in the nation.

2014 Named a Catster Hero

 

 

Education

 

Our Education Director announced that she would be going to Peru to help ADI with the circus issue there, so we hired a new Education Director, Jennifer Leon, and will be focusing more on educating adults who can take action to save big cats before it is too late.

BigCatRescue.org gets about 2.6 million unique visitors per year with 2,653,703 in 2014. Our website is primarily an educational tool and according to Alexa we are ranked 152,097 worldwide and 36,741 most visited website in the U.S. in 2014 which was a doubling of our site’s popularity over 2013. We have 877 other sites linking to us.

Some of the pages that were the most popular were:

#2 Why it’s wrong to buy big cats had 386,628 visitors

#4 Why it’s wrong to breed Savannah Cat hybrids had183,095 visitors

#5 Why it’s wrong to breed white tigers had 169,104 visitors

#8 Why it’s wrong to breed ligers had 130,927 visitors

 

Our web site addresses local and global concerns about environment and has over 10,069 pages of information, movie clips, sounds, safe interactive online games with a conservation theme and photos. In any given week the visitors will be from more than 200 countries outside of the U.S.

The information provided has helped wildlife rehabilitators identify animals and obtain proper care instruction and helped officials in smuggling cases to identify rare species of exotic cats being illegally traded.  Those are just a few of the ways that we know the site has had an impact this year.

We gave 180 outreach and field trip tours this year.

 

Legislation/Education

 

The steady increase in legislation banning private ownership represents recognition by our society that private ownership leads to widespread abuse.  Social values evolve.  It took decades to ban slavery in England and for women to win the right to vote in America.  Those ideas started out as “radical” and were held by a small minority.  Gradually more and more people understood and agreed until they became a part of our value system that we take for granted today.

The same trend is happening with private ownership of exotics.  Gradually more and more people are realizing that this simply leads to widespread abuse of these animals.  The best evidence of this is the accelerating trend in state laws.   Just since 2005 nine more states have passed some level of ban.  Internationally 40 countries have banned or restricted the utilization of big cats in circuses.  It is time for the U.S. & South Africa to do the same!

We invited our on site guests to call their Senators and Representatives asking them to support the Big Cats and Public Safety Act this year.

2014campaigns

Through our CatLaws.com site, powered by Voter Voice, 10,940 of our 77,077 supporters sent 69,615 messages to 886 recipients.  While we wish that more than 14% of animal lovers on our mailing list would take the time to speak up for the animals, the ones who did were awesome.  The 3 most popular letters sent were these:

1.  Letters in favor of the Big Cats and Public Safety Act, which would ban the private possession of big cats and ban cub handling.

2.  Letters opposing the exhibition of exotic cats and their cubs at fairs.

3.  Letters opposing the use of tiger cubs as swimming and pay to play props.

Some of the wins from these campaigns were:

1.  123 Senators and Representatives joined the 3 bill sponsors by co sponsoring the Big Cats and Public Safety Act (HR1998 & S1381)

2.  New York banned photos with big cats and their cubs.

Imagine what we could have accomplished if just 25% of our mailing list were to take action for the animals?  This is an easy, no cost way for us to have a huge impact collectively.  If you have not yet been active in taking action when we send alerts asking you to email a legislator, regulator or venue hosting an abusive animal exhibit, please make 2015 the year you join in.   You CAN make a difference – the many supporters who do send these emails have proven it!

The most vivid example is our having gotten owners of over 200 malls to agree not to allow cub petting exhibits, saving all those cubs from a miserable life on the road and being sleep deprived as they are handled or restrained for photo opportunities hour after hour.   You can make ending big cat abuse part of the legacy of your life with just a few emails each year.

Big Cat iBooks and eBooks

 

Big Cat Care Book CoverLaWanna Mitchell is an amazing woman.  She started out as a volunteer and became a remote contractor for us years ago.  She lives in Missouri, out in the country with her horses, and I get emails from her telling me that she just spent the last two hours, up on a step ladder with a blow dryer trying to melt the ice off her antenna because she doesn’t want to lose another day of working online.  On those days when she is just completely snowed in, she just can’t stop working and has taught herself how to build books in iBooks for iTunes and for Amazon.

She has a number of books published there now, including titles such as China Doll Loves Pumpkins, The Elusive Sand Cat, Meet JoJo, The Black Footed Cat, Shaquille’s Shattered Dreams, What Do You See?, The Tigrina or Oncila, and the first of a two part series called Big Cat Care – How to Start a Sanctuary.

This book is 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.

Look for all of the titles above as More by Big Cat Rescue when you check out, Big Cat Care – How to Start a Sanctuary by me, Carole Baskin, in iTunes

 

Wins for the Big Cats in 2014

 

New York Assembly bans public contact with big cats AND their cubs.  “The purpose of this bill is to protect animal caretakers, those interacting with wild animals, bystanders, and the animals themselves by preventing direct contact between wild animals and members of the public,” the legislation reads. What is even more encouraging to animal lovers is the justification for the law:

“In New York and throughout the United States, several roadside zoo exhibitors and traveling menageries allow members of the public to hold, take photos with, and otherwise interact with wild animals in roadside zoos, fairgrounds, malls and other public areas. This activity severely harms the welfare of the animals, endangers the public, and is a heavy burden on law enforcement.

VolunteerTigerHands600This activity also requires an ongoing supply of young animals. Infant animals are prematurely separated from their mothers to be groomed for human handling, often die due to constant handling and travel, and are even subjected to abusive training and painful declawing or deranging procedures in a futile attempt to make them safe for public contact once they mature. After the animals grow too big for handling, they are held on leashes with no protective barriers. Often they are dumped and sent to substandard facilities.

There is no safe or humane result when direct contact with wild animals is allowed. Other states, including Kansas; Mississippi, and Arizona, have strengthened existing laws to address public contact
issues.”

NJ: Stafford Township is making it pretty clear it doesn’t want to deal with another “Rocky the Bobcat” situation in the future.  The township council adopted an ordinance that would ban new exotic animals within the boundaries of the municipality. Residents who can prove they already owned exotics before the effective date of the ordinance are grandfathered.

Mexico bans wild animals in performing acts.

Citi joined Porsche and PetsMart in the growing list of influential corporations that have banned the use of wild animals at their events and in their advertising.  Big Cat Rescue had contacted these organization and explained to them why it is so bad to use big cats cubs for photos and ego props and they took immediate action after hearing from our supporters.

WVA:  Gov. Tomblin has signed a bill into law to prohibit the private possession of dangerous wild animals. Introduced by Del. Randy Swartzmiller (D-1), HB 4393 passed the House by a vote of 72 to 23, and the Senate by a 22 to 11 vote.  There remain only five states with little to no restrictions on the private possession of dangerous wild animals—Alabama, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina and Wisconsin.

CA:  Los Angeles bans bullhooks, which may only apply to elephants, but the circus can’t make elephants perform without the threat of injury, so hopefully this means that the circus won’t be coming to LA any more with their abusive lion and tiger acts either.

UK:  Announced its soon-to-be official ban on ALL wild animals in circuses, joining other European nations like Austria, Greece, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. The ban is intended to be fully instituted starting in December 2015.  Prior to the all-country ban announcement, over 200 UK local authorities had placed bans on animal circuses with over two-thirds banning all performing animals, according to Animal Defenders International.  An official date for the legislation still needs to be passed but the government is confident that it will. When it does, anyone who breaks the law after December 2015 will receive a heavy $8,000 fine, according to the BBC.

No Animals Harmed in Noah

Darren Aronofsky says no live animals were used and that he opted to use all computer-generated imagery to create the animals on Noah’s Ark, instead of using captive exotics.

Tiger Exploiter Denied Permit

In our August 2013 Advocat e-newsletter, we asked you to let government officials in Ventura County, California know they should not approve a permit request by tiger merchant Irena Hauser, who owns 5 white tigers, to house them in a residential area of Malibu. Hauser exploits the tigers in the movie industry and transports them for filming purposes. In 2014 the Ventura County Planning Commissioners rejected Hauser’s request for a permit.

 

Fundraising and Marketing

 

We continue to be very happy with Zerve as our ticket retailer.  In 2013 they sold 12,752 tickets that netted the sanctuary $435,323.00.  In 2014 Zerve sold 18,553 tickets that netted the sanctuary $712,093.00.  The increase was due to selling more of the higher priced tours, ticket price increases and Zerve reducing their fees.

Big Cat Rescue was reported favorably in the news 257 times in 2014.   Some of our national press has included shows on  CNN,  MSNBC, National Geographic, Animal Planet, Discovery and the History Channel in addition to such publications as USA Today, National Geographic and the New York Post and major media coverage in several other countries as well.  Big Cat Rescue has been in the press in 42+ states including AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, GA, FL, HI, IA, ID, IO, IN, IL, KY, LA, MA, MI, MN, MO, MS, MT, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NV, NY, NC, OH, OK, PA, SC, SD, TN, VA, VT, WA, WI & WV and dozens of programs of national or international coverage or in countries other than the U.S.

 

YouTube and Discovery’s Revision 3 continue to send us a lot of traffic.  Thanks to this partnership and cross promotions with Animal Planet, we are experiencing more than 1.6 million views of our YouTube videos per MONTH!  By 2014 year end we had 499 videos with 189,285 subscribers and 92,730,916 views.

YouTube Mini Clip Site:  DailyBigCat was launched Nov. 20, 2010 to provide a channel for the mini clips we upload directly from our iPhones.  By year end this site had 520 videos, 7,707 subscribers and 1,319,063 views.

Facebook:  We surpassed 899,704 fans on Face Book

Google +:  This is a new social site for us in 2013 and we have already reached 282,286 fans on this new venue.

 

A huge shout out to everyone who has donated items from our Amazon wishlist and who has chosen Big Cat Rescue as their charity of choice in  https://smile.amazon.com/

Got Roku?  If you do, then you have more than 600 episodes of Big Cat TV waiting for you for FREE in the Channel Store! Series include our best videos from each year going back to 2007. Big Cat Vets, Cat Chat Show, and Big Cat Rescuers, our weekly big cat reality show.

Final financial numbers are at this link.

TAFA_2014_DCMetroBig Cat Rescue has an Endowment Fund to provide a secure future for the cats. The Fund resides at the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay.  Periodically the Community Foundation offers a matching program where the nonprofit sets a fundraising goal and when 75% of the goal is reached, the Community Foundation provides the remaining 25%, which effectively is a 33% match of the funds provided by donors.  We set our most ambitious goal ever, $400,000, which is the maximum allowed.  We had three years to reach the $300,000 that represents our 75% target, but thanks to our generous donors reached the goal in 9 months and received the $100,000 grant from the Community Foundation in 2013.

We continued to build our affinity credit card program with Capitol One under which you can choose one of our beautiful cats for your credit card image and 1% of all of your purchases is donated to Big Cat Rescue at no cost to you.

To build awareness of our federal bill we were the top level Diamond Sponsor for the Taking Action for Animals Conference in Washington, DC in June, 2014 where more than 2,000 animal activists converged to learn more about legislation to protect animals.

 

Saving Wild Places for Wild Cats

 

In 2014 Big Cat Rescue donated $15,000.00 to conservation programs.

 

$900 to Walk for Lions in Kenya (from our March for Lions event)

$7,000 to Campaign Against Canned Hunting in S. Africa (from our March for Lions event)

$1,000 to Build a Boma via Nat Geo initiative in S. Africa (from our March for Lions event)

$1,100 to Animal Defenders International

$5,000 Small Wild Cat Conservation Foundation

 

 

 

Helping Other Animal Groups

 

March For Lions Tee Shirt

1.  Saving Lions.  March 15th’s March for Lions may have just seemed like one heck of a party, but thanks to everyone who came and fundraised for the event, we were able to net $10,000 and we wanted to spend it on ways to help lions outside our gates.   The movers and shakers behind the Global March for Lions were Chris and Bev Mercer of CannedLion.org.  Any time we need the truth on what is happening in Africa regarding lions, we always turn to Chris and Bev.  They have been the leading force against lion hunting and pay to play schemes that pimp out lion cubs, only to sell them into canned hunts as easy targets.  They would never ask for help, but this event made it possible for us to contribute $7,000. to their continued efforts to ban lion hunting.  Chris said this is the equivalent of a small fortune in his world and that he will put it to good use in protecting lions.

2.  We were impressed with Nat Geo’s Cause an Uproar campaign and donated $1,000. to their BuildABoma.org project.  This will build two bomas to help protect lions from being killed for harming livestock.

3.  We have long been impressed by Animal Defenders International because they are a small organization that has been winning huge victories for animals.  What really brought them up on our radar was the amazing work they have done in the past few years to ban circus acts that use wild animals in 40 + countries.  If you saw Blackfish and thought, “big cats need a movie like that,” then you have to see Lion Ark.  We saw it and were so enamored that we sent $1,100. to help with their efforts to free all big cats from circuses.

4.  Before the March for Lions even began we sent the early money we raised, in the amount of $900. to Walking for Lions to be a major sponsor for the cycling event from Kenya to Botswana to raise awareness of the plight of lions.  So, thanks to your generosity we are raising awareness, supporting boots on the ground, giving locals a way to live with lions, rescuing lions from circuses and letting everyone know that when you pay to play with a cub, the cub is always the one who pays with his loss of life and liberty.

5.  Big Cat Rescue was recruited to offer our expertise, guidance and funding in the expansion of facilities to house jaguars who are rescued from being killed and sent to the Belize Zoo.  The zoo does not breed their cats, but cannot release the jaguars either because there are too many in the area and they get in trouble with people.

6.  Created 22 Intranet sites, which are sort of a sanctuary-in-a-box site, for other sanctuaries to use.  These came complete with every training video, training manual, chart and idea that we use to run Big Cat Rescue.  We do this for free for sanctuaries that do not breed, buy, sell, trade nor allow contact w/ wild animals.

7.  We were a sponsor for Animal Coalition of Tampa’s Stride for Strays, as we are every year and donated countless tickets to other animal rescue groups to use in their fundraisers.

We are so pleased to provide assistance to organizations that are saving big cats (and little cats) across the globe!

 

Then and Now

 

Below are the 2013 audited financial statements of Revenue and Expense for the past five years.  Visit http://bigcatrescue.org/about/finances/ to get copies of our 990’s and Audited Statements.  We pride ourselves in keeping our fundraising and administrative total expenses below 20%. Because our tour revenue exceeds our fundraising and administrative costs, 100% of donations go to Program Expense.

2010-2014 financials

 

The majority of the increase in Program Expense in 2012-2013 was the cost of lawsuits we filed in furtherance of our mission against what we believe to be one of the most notorious exploiters of tiger cubs.  We won a million dollar judgment against this breeder/exhbitor for violations of our copyright and trademark in 2013.  He filed bankruptcy personally and on behalf of his zoo.   However, by consent agreement his personal debt to us is not to be dismissed in bankruptcy, and the zoo bankruptcy has been dismissed.  So currently we are working through the process of seeking to recover our judgment against whatever assets we can.  Without the generous support of our donors we could not have sustained this successful effort. Thank you!

 


IRS 501 c 3 Determination letter

 

Who We Are

Carole Baskin
Carole
 
Baskin
Board of Directors
Howard Baskin Board
Howard
 
Baskin
Board of Directors
Jamie Veronica Boorstein
Jamie
 
Boorstein
Board of Directors
Mary Lou Geis
Mary Lou
 
Geis
Board of Directors
Darren Kipnis
Darren
 
Kipnis
Board of Directors
Keith Lawless
Keith
 
Lawless
Board of Directors
Kim Mahoney
Kim
 
Mahoney
Board of Directors
Vince Pavese
Vince
 
Pavese
Board of Directors
Pamela Rodriguez
Pamela
 
Rodriguez
Board of Directors
David Ganje
David
 
Ganje, Esquire
Advisory Board

Officers and Members of the Board of Directors in 2013 and meetings (2/23, 7/9, 9/24 & 12/17):

 

CEO and Founder  Carole Baskin (not compensated by BCR for her role as Director)

President and Chairman of the Board Jamie Veronica (not compensated by BCR for her role as a Director)

Secretary & Treasurer Howard Baskin (not compensated by BCR for his role as a Director)

Director Mary Lou Geis (not compensated by BCR)

Pamela Rodriguez (not compensated by BCR)

Darren Kipnis (not compensated by BCR)

Keith Lawless (not compensated by BCR)

Kim Mahoney (not compensated by BCR)

Vince Pavese (not compensated by BCR)

These members met for regular board meetings at the sanctuary.  The board met 4 times in 2014.

 

Paid Staff and Contractors:

Carole-Baskin
Carole
 
Baskin
Founder & CEO
Howard Baskin
Howard
 
Baskin
Chief Financial Officer
Susan-Bass
Susan
 
Bass
Public Relations
Jamie Veronica Boorstein
Jamie
 
Boorstein
President
Lauren Buckingham
Lauren Buckingham
 
Research Director
Ysabel Cruz
Ysabel
 
Cruz
Web Services
ChelseaFeenyKittenIcon
Chelsea
 
Feeny
Project Manager
Scott-Haller
Scott
 
Haller
Construction
Karma Hurworth
Karma
 
Hurworth
Assistant Manager
Gale Ingham Operations Manager
Gale
 
Ingham
Operations Manager
Jennifer Leon
Jennifer
 
Leon
Director of Outreach
LaWanna Mitchell
LaWanna
 
Mitchell
Social Maven
Katie Nikic
Katie
 
Nikic
Data Diva
Mary Barbara Jean Stairs
Barbara
 
Stairs
Records Manager
Chuck Stairs
Chuck
 
Stairs
Cat-a-Tat Builder
Vernon Stairs
Vernon
 
Stairs
Master Cage Builder
Kathryn Quaas
Kathryn
 
Stapleton
Donor Appreciation
Josh-Stott-icon
Josh
 
Stott
Grounds Keeper
Afton Tasler
Afton
 
Tasler
Media Producer
Honey Wayton
Honey
 
Wayton
Store Manager

CEO and Staff Manager:  Carole Baskin

President, Editor & Creative Director: Jamie Veronica

Operations Manager & Volunteer Coordinator: Gale Ingham

Videographer and Social Networking: Afton Tasler

Director of Donor Appreciation:  Jeff Kremer

Gift Shop Manager:  Honey Wayton

Project Manager: Chelsea Feeny

Education Director:  Jennifer Leon

Cage Builder and Maintenance:  Vernon Stairs

Cage Building Apprentice and Maintenance:  Scott Haller

Cage Building Apprentice and Maintenance Part Time:  Chuck Stairs

Grounds Keeper, part time: Jarred Smalley

Bookkeeper:  Barbara Stairs

Assistant Bookkeeper:  Katie Nikic

CFO:  Howard Baskin

Public Relations:  Susan Bass

Web and Social Media: LaWanna Mitchell

 

All of our animal care is done by volunteers or by staff who also volunteer time before & after work.

 

Volunteers:

 

Big Cat Rescue had 89 volunteers at the end of 2014 who clocked in 40,547 man-power hours, in addition to 54 interns who clocked 32,400 man-power hours, plus 4,793 Volunteer Committee member hours. In total this amounted to 77,740 man-power hours provided roughly the equivalent workforce of 37 more full time staff.  Between paid staff, part time staff, contractors and volunteers we averaged the equivalent of 52 full time staff.

Interesting breakdown of volunteers: We have 89 volunteers; 69 women and 20 men. The youngest 18 years old, the oldest 76 years old.

Between January 1, 2012 and September 1, 2014 Big Cat Rescue provided $428,774. in scholarships to provide housing, transportation, utilities, food, training and entertainment to 102 interns arriving in Tampa, FL from 12 countries and 23 states.  We added six more acres to the sanctuary by buying property on the south side for more intern housing.  This brought our staff and intern housing units to 8 and we bought a new, 7 bedroom home, bringing that total number to nine.  One of these units cannot be used yet, due to a life estate by the seller.

 

Staff and Volunteer Training

Several of our staff attended the Safe Capture Course, as we do any time they are in Florida.

Continued turning our volunteer training classes into video classes.

 

Get our Financial Reports:  See our IRS 990 and audited financial statement for Big Cat Rescue at http://bigcatrescue.org/finances/

 

See the last 10 years in annual reports:

 

http://bigcatrescue.org/2013-annual-report/

http://bigcatrescue.org/2012-annual-report/

http://bigcatrescue.org/2011-annual-report/

http://bigcatrescue.org/2010-annual-report/

http://bigcatrescue.org/2009-annual-report/

http://bigcatrescue.org/2008-annual-report/

http://bigcatrescue.org/2007-annual-report/

http://bigcatrescue.org/2006-annual-report/

http://bigcatrescue.org/2005-annual-report/

http://bigcatrescue.org/2004-annual-report/

http://bigcatrescue.org/2003-annual-report/

Kids Tour

Kids Tour

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tickets

You must buy tickets in advance by clicking the ticket. Get your tickets through Zerve Online or Call Toll free 1-888-316-5875 or 212-209-3370 (int’l callers)

Enjoy the Kids Tour at Big Cat Rescue!

If you want to bring children under the age of ten, this is the only tour available for your family. This is a complete guided tour where children of all ages and their parents can get up-close and learn about exotic cats and other animals.

  • Tours for kids under 10 are on Saturdays and Sundays ONLY.  Click ticket for times.
  • Geared toward children under 10 years old.
  • Privately guided small tour groups of 20 or less.

Tour is one hour long & children are expected to behave because this is a working sanctuary and the animals come first. Children must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian and must behave respectfully toward the animals and others in the group. This is not a zoo where children will be allowed to scream and run wild, but a sanctuary where the animal’s needs always come first.

You are welcome to take photos and video on the tour,but leave the tripods at home, or schedule a photo tour. We ask everyone on the tour to stay together, no smoking, no cell phones and respect the tour guides warnings so that you have the best possible experience.

Paths are frequently muddy so closed toed, old, comfortable shoes are recommended. You may bring your own cold drinks or buy ours but either way, be prepared for the heat.

“It’s one thing to go to Busch Gardens, it’s another to stand three feet from a tiger!” says one Kids Tour participant. Come with the whole family and visitBig Cat Rescue today to see your favorite felines in action! 

Kids love Big Cat Rescue

For info on school and civic group field trips and out- reach presentations see our Field Trip and Outreach page.

Watch a typical Kid’s Tour by Jeff Kremer

 

 

For Tickets and Tour Times:

get info & book at zerve

FAQ

[toc]

Check out Visit the Cats to find out more about all of the exciting ways that you can have fun and help save the wild cats! We offer Feeding ToursNight Tours and Keeper Tours.

 

How do I get to Big Cat Rescue?

How to get to Big Cat Rescue

 

Do I have to purchase tickets in advance?

Yes. To maximize your chances of getting the day that you prefer, please book well in advance! Tickets can be purchased online or over the phone with a Visa, Mastercard, or American Express.

Is there an age limit?

Children of all ages are welcome to attend. Ticket prices vary based on age.  Check with Zerve.

Do you have strollers?

We do not provide strollers and our paths are earthen, so they can be very difficult to push unless they are made for rough terrain.

Can I bring food or toys for the cats?

No, our diet is specific to their needs and we do not allow foods to be given to the cats that have not been approved by our vet and maintained under the most stringent quality controls. We do not give our cats toys that could cause harm if ingested so we do not permit toys from outside our own preselected vendors.

Can I take pictures during my tour?

YES! You are welcome to take photos and / or videos during your tour.

Do I have to stay with the group, or can I wander?

The only way to see the cats is on a guided tour, so you will not be able to wander away from the group.

Are there restrooms?

Yes, but we strongly suggest that you go before you get here because we have limited facilities and are on septic systems which cannot handle a lot of volume if there has been recent rain. There is a McDonald’s right at the corner of Easy Street.

What if it rains?

The DayTour will still go out in a light rain as long as there is no lightning. If it is thundering or pouring rain, we may try to wait it out, or will offer a refund, or rescheduling.

Can I bring my pet?

No.

Is there a charge for parking?

Parking is always free and there is plenty of it except for our busiest times in Nov, Dec and March. During these busy times it is tight, but we will help you park at no additional fee.

Are you ADA compliant?

If you are unable to walk for two hours, we have golf carts available for $10 extra, per person riding. Our paths are dirt, so wheel chairs are hard to push, but scooters do well. There are no seats along the tour paths.

Do you offer gift certificates?

Yes! Gift certificates are available and they make perfect gifts for holidays, birthdays or any other occasion! To purchase a gift certificate please click on the “Gift Certificates: Purchase” link in the yellow box on this page: Day Tours

Do you offer private tours?

Yes! Please see the list of all activities to get more information about our Private Tours.

Refund/Rescheduling Policy

Non-refundable, can be rescheduled with 24 hours notice.

Once purchased, tickets cannot be refunded. You may reschedule your tickets (subject to availability) only if you do so at least 24 hours in advance.

Weather Policy

Activity may be cancelled due to severe weather.

The activity usually runs in light rain and other moderate weather conditions, but the seller may cancel the activity up to an hour before the start time in the event of severe or unsafe weather conditions. If the seller cancels the event, ticket-holders will be allowed to reschedule tickets (subject to availability) or receive credit for a future event.

Other Policies

There is no smoking allowed at Big Cat Rescue.

We do not allow smoking at Big Cat Rescue, except in the parking lot.

If you have been on a Kids Tour, please tell others about your experience below:

 

 

 

Feeding Tour

Feeding Tour

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tickets

Get your tickets through Zerve Online by clicking the ticket or call toll free 1-888-316-5875 or 212-209-3370 (int’l callers)

A bone-crunching wild time you will never forget! Join the cats for dinner at Big Cat Rescue. 

The 1 hour Feeding Tour is a short tour that focuses only on the cats on a designated feeding route. It is followed by a short and informal chat session with one of our big cat keepers

Watch big cat keepers feed tigers, leopards, cougars and more while observing from just a few feet away. As you walk around the sanctuary with our feeders your guide will tell you about the cats on the feeding route, their diets, and how they hunt in the wild.

The Feeding Tour includes:

  • Watching the wild cats being fed and learning about their diets.
  • The diet you will see fed consists of chunks of beef, chicken and a ground diet.

Each Feeding Tour is unique and different, so you never know fully what to expect, besides a roaring good time!

This tour is a great follow up to a regular Day Tour. On the Day Tour you will see a greater selection of cats representing all of the species residing at the sanctuary.

Check the Zerve calendar for the days and times. Space for this program is extremely limited, so advanced booking is required. Participants in the Feeding Tour must be 10 years of age or older.

 

For Tickets and Tour Times:

 

get info & book at zerve

 

FAQ

[toc]

Check out Visit the Cats to find out more about all of the exciting ways that you can have fun and help save the wild cats! We offer Day ToursNight Tours and Keeper Tours.

 

How do

I get to Big Cat Rescue?

How to get to Big Cat Rescue

 

Do I have to purchase tickets in advance?

Advance purchase is required and tours do sell out quickly. To maximize your chances of getting the day that you prefer, please book well in advance! Tickets can be purchased online or over the phone with a Visa, Mastercard, or American Express.

Is there an age limit?

Children under 10 years old are not permitted due to the dangerous nature of this tour. Kids 10 years of age or older are welcome to attend. All attendees must purchase a full-price ticket.

Can I bring food or toys for the cats?

No, our diet is specific to their needs and we do not allow foods to be given to the cats that have not been approved by our vet and maintained under the most stringent quality controls. We do not give our cats toys that could cause harm if ingested so we do not permit toys from outside our own preselected vendors.

Can I take pictures during my tour?

YES! You are welcome to take photos and / or videos during your tour.

Do I have to stay with the group, or can I wander?

The only way to see the cats is on a guided tour, so you will not be able to wander away from the group.

Are there restrooms?

Yes, but we strongly suggest that you go before you get here because we have limited facilities and are on septic systems which cannot handle a lot of volume if there has been recent rain. There is a McDonald’s right at the corner of Easy Street.

Tiger eating a bone at Big Cat Rescue

What if it rains?

The DayTour will still go out in a light rain as long as there is no lightning. If it is thundering or pouring rain, we may try to wait it out, or will offer a refund, or rescheduling.

Can I bring my pet?

No.

Is there a charge for parking?

Parking is always free and there is plenty of it except for our busiest times in Nov, Dec and March. During these busy times it is tight, but we will help you park at no additional fee.

Are you ADA compliant?

If you are unable to walk for two hours, we have golf carts available for $10 extra, per person riding. Our paths are dirt, so wheel chairs are hard to push, but scooters do well. There are no seats along the tour paths.

Do you offer gift certificates?

Yes! Gift certificates are available and they make perfect gifts for holidays, birthdays or any other occasion! To purchase a gift certificate please click on the “Gift Certificates: Purchase” link in the yellow box on this page: Gift Certificates for Feeding Tours

Do you offer private tours?

Yes! Please see the list of all activities to get more information about our Private Tours.  Check out Visit the Cats to find out more about all of the exciting ways that you can have fun and help save the wild cats! We offer Feeding ToursNight Tours and Keeper Tours.

Refund/Rescheduling Policy

Non-refundable, can be rescheduled with 24 hours notice.

Once purchased, tickets cannot be refunded. You may reschedule your tickets (subject to availability) only if you do so at least 24 hours in advance.

Weather Policy

Activity may be cancelled due to severe weather.

The activity usually runs in light rain and other moderate weather conditions, but the seller may cancel the activity up to an hour before the start time in the event of severe or unsafe weather conditions. If the seller cancels the event, ticket-holders will be allowed to reschedule tickets (subject to availability) or receive credit for a future event.

Other Policies

There is no smoking allowed at Big Cat Rescue.

We do not allow smoking at Big Cat Rescue, except in the parking lot.

If you have been on a Feeding Tour, please tell others about your experience below: