AdvoCat 2015 08

AdvoCat 2015 08

AdvoCat 2015 08

Cecil the Lion

Cecil the lion has touched the lives of everyone who cares about big cats.  Here are three articles that detail some of his impact on the rest of the world:

If you are looking for a way to help protect big cats like Cecil, please take the Tiger Selfie Challenge below.  While Cecil was not a cub that was used for pay to play and then turned out into a canned hunt, most of his kind do start out that way.


Take the Tiger Selfie Challenge!

Tiger Selfie Ad Phone

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.

What 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!  Find out how here:

New Big Cat Videos


Never miss a video starring your big cat friends!  Subscribe to both channels:

Main channel:

Daily Big Cat channel:


Free Lion Screen Savers and Wallpapers


In honor of Cecil the lion we have created free screen savers and wallpapers for Macs and PCs at our newly launched site!  LaWanna and Ysabel have been working for months to convert our old site to a kid safe, mobile responsive, interactive site where you can play games, puzzles and find all kinds of fun things to do.  This site is still in Beta, so some links may be broken, but this link will take you to an area that is ready, where you can download the screen savers and wallpapers.


Your voice is saving big cats!


Last month we asked you to speak out against the cruel use of cubs, in a pay to play Swim-With-Tigers scheme at Dade City Wild Things and USDA has finally sued them for severe violations of the Animal Welfare Act saying, “The gravity of the violations alleged in this complaint is great, involving multiple failures to handle animals carefully and to provide access for inspection.”  Find out more at

Because you take action, whenever we point out big cat abuse, the USDA has also sued Doug Terranova who runs a circus and shows up at fairs with Joe Schreibvogel and his pay to play cubs, and Gregg & Karen Woody who also drag cubs out to parking lots and fairs.  We can end the abuse of lions, tigers, ligers and other wild animal cubs if we all speak out together.  Thank you for taking action on our alerts, and please be sure to do so on the following:


Top Shocking Incidents

of Big Cat Exploitation – August 2015


We hope by sharing a new list with you each month that you will join us in speaking out for the big cats and cubs that are exploited across this country every day. We encourage you to take one small action today and contact one or more of the offenders below to politely express your concern. Together we can be the voice for the voiceless…together we can make a difference. If you learn of exotic cats or cubs being exploited in your area, please contact Susan Bass at

Walk On The Wild SideNo. 1      The Benton County Fair in Oregon recently hosted A Walk on the Wild Side’s exotic animal exhibit. An article in the local Corvallis Gazette-Times quoted one fairgoer saying the cages were small and the animals were pacing and showed signs of stress. A Walk on the Wild Side, also located in Oregon, has been closed to the public since March 2015 due to code violations but still subjects exotic cats to fairs and shows.

Benton County Fair Manager Lonny Wunder said he receives two or three complaints a year about the wild animal exhibit, but he will reconsider having them back if he receives more than that. SO we are asking you to please urge Wunder to do the humane thing and not allow exotic animals to be displayed at the fair next year.

Read the Corvallis Gazette-Times article here:

Contact Fair Manager Lonny Wunder at 541-766-6090 and email him at this link
No. 2      The Midland County Fair in Michigan just hosted a circus act called Wambold’s Amazing Animals. The act featured several tigers and even included a liger – the result of the unnatural mating of a tiger and a lion. Local paper Midland Daily News covered the tiger show in at least two articles but never mentioned the true issues involved with big cats in traveling acts in their reporting. Fair manager Trish Steele is quoted gushing over the circus act, “They provide a lot of educational information to people who are in the free entertainment area. It’s not just a show.” Hmmm.

The owner of the tiger is also quoted in the article saying white tigers are “very, very rare in the wild because they have no camouflage.” It’s true they don’t have camouflage, but white tigers are not found in the wild because they are not a species!

There is nothing educational about seeing majestic big cats forced to perform in front of crowds and travel in small transport wagons. Please help us educate Steele and the Midland Daily News that exotic cats and other animals at fairs and in circus acts should be a thing of the past. Urge the fair to NOT have the cats back next year.

Read an article here:

Email the Midland Count Fair at
Email Midland Daily News reporter John Kennett at and reporter Kelly Dame at
Tiger Encounter


No. 3      The Kutztown Fair in Pennsylvania recently hosted a circus act with tigers called Tiger Encounter, run by the notorious Frisco circus family.

We’re told children were allowed to feed the cats with a long stick. That sends the wrong message that big cats are ours to use how we want. Please kindly let the Kutztown Fair that animal lovers do not want to see big cats used as entertainment.

Email the fair at


No.4      The West End Fair in Pennsylvania is going on right now until August 29. The fair features Bruno Blaszak’s Royal Bengal Tiger circus show. However, there is no such thing as a “royal” Bengal tiger. The fair’s website says Bruno is “devoted to preserving these magnificent tigers for many generations to come.”

Breeding them to live lives of misery in circus acts and traveling the country in tiny transport cages? That is no life at all for big cats.

Politely email the fair at

Comment on the fair’s Facebook page:
Vincenta White Tiger Circus


No. 5      The Showhegen State Fair in Maine recently included the Vicenta White Tigers circus act. In a local newspaper article, owner Vicenta Pages actually told a reporter – presumably with a straight face – that “there are no longer any white Bengal tigers left in the wild of their homeland in India, having been hunted and poached to extinction.” HUH?

White tigers do not exist in the wild and could not survive even if they did because they would not be able to sneak up on prey or hide from predators. Big Cat Rescue believes it is tragic that fair managers and even journalists fall for these lies over and over again. Would you speak out for these tigers?

Learn more about white tigers here:

Contact the Showhegen Fair at

You can also help us to politely educate the reporter at who wrote an article glamorizing the white tigers at the fair, seemingly without researching or reporting the facts about white tigers. Read the article here:

Email reporter Doug Harlow at

Want to Help Big Cats in a More Purr-sonal Way?


Join our intern program here:


Why is the FWC Giving Up on the Florida Panther?



You may recall that in June Big Cat Rescue joined various national conservation groups in speaking out against the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission’s [FWC] policy proposal for the Florida panther. You may read our response to the FWC’s proposal at

Mountain Lion Cub Stolen From The WildMany of you responded to our action alert, contacting the FWC and asking them to not give up on the FL panther. Big Cat Rescue attended the meeting in Sarasota to speak up for panthers (and bears). We also participated in a news conference with the Sierra Club, The Conservancy of Southwest Florida, and the Humane Society of the United States. Our combined actions resulted in the FWC taking note of the public’s comments and sending the proposal back to their staff for

Earlier this month (August 2015) the FWC posted their revised​ policy proposal. As the Tampa Bay Times put it in their editorial on August 17th, the revised proposal is a “win for open government over secrecy” but the policy still has “some weasel language” and that overall, this is a reminder of the “need for public oversight of this critical agency.”

Big Cat Rescue opposes the revised policy proposal Although we were pleased to read that the overall tone of the proposal had softened with the removal of some of the most contentious terms and language, Big Cat Rescue found the “weasel language” to be far more extensive and subtle than the TBT let on.

First, the good.

The revision includes welcomed recommendations to restore panther habitat in the Everglades, coordinate with the Florida Department of Transportation on the installation wildlife crossings, and support for strategic conservation easements. But much like the FWC’s response to request for more habitat be protected for wildlife – the FWC has little to no say in these matters. These recommendations are just that, recommendations.

Second, the bad.

The original proposal repeated brash assertions that the FWC would no longer support panther recovery outside of southwest Florida and insisted that one population of an estimated 100 to 180 panthers in southwest Florida after 34 years “should be ample scientific evidence to warrant reconsideration of the status of panthers under the Endangered Species Act.”

The federal government has maintained that for panthers to be taken off of the endangered species list their needs to be three separate populations, each with 240 panthers. Conservation groups, wildlife organizations, and a wide array of Floridians were quick to call out what was an attempt to force the federal government to reconsider the criteria for taking panthers off the endangered species list. (Big Cat Rescue believes that lowering the panther’s federal protective status, and ultimately delisting the big cat from the Endangered Species Act, are steps towards allowing a panther hunt.)

This revision, in addition to the softer tone and recommendations, includes language stating that the FWC does not intend to change the panther’s protected status. But the core statements brashly asserted in the original proposal are still there – polished and smoothed over, but none the wiser.

Third, the ugly.

The FWC is still abandoning their obligation to federal recovery efforts outside of the small population of 100 to 180 panthers in southwest Florida. The policy proposal still calls for federal officials to lessen their criteria for taking panthers off the endangered species list. It also leaves the door wide open for the FWC to take lethal action against panthers.

Be a voice for the Florida panther!

Three Mountain Lion CubsTell the FWC Commissioners to oppose the policy proposal. Attend the upcoming FWC meeting in Ft. Lauderdale on September 2nd​, 2015 at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina. The FWC will be voting on the revised policy proposal as well as finalizing​​ rules for the impending bear hunt.

More information about the meeting including the address, ​start time, agenda, and a ​link to ​the revised draft FL panther position proposal​​ may be found online at


Take Action Here!





AdvoCat 2015 07

AdvoCat 2015 07

We usually try to give you some fun stuff before asking you to take action, but cubs, kittens and cats just can’t wait!


Top Shocking Incidents

of Big Cat Exploitation – July 2015


We hope by sharing a new list with you each month that you will join us in speaking out for the big cats and cubs that are exploited across this country every day. We encourage you to take one small action today and contact one or more of the offenders below to politely express your concern. Together we can be the voice for the voiceless…together we can make a difference. If you learn of exotic cats or cubs being exploited in your area, please contact Susan Bass at

DCWT tiger cub swim with cubs

No. 1 WFLA News Channel 8, the NBC affiliate in Tampa, Florida, is ONCE AGAIN promoting the exploitation of tiger cubs at a nearby roadside zoo called Dade City’s Wild Things. The television station’s Facebook post (pictured here) and the piece that aired repeatedly on their news programs are basically advertisements for this deplorable backyard zoo with numerous violations of the Animal Welfare Act going back years! How in the world can this station consider this “news?”

Please politely reach out to WFLA’s management and ask them to STOP promoting and encouraging tiger and lion cub exploitation at Dade City’s Wild Things. Email management and the news desk here:

General Manager Andy Alford

Vice President of News William Berra

Digital Content Manager Jason Clough

News Desk

Call the station at (813) 221-5788


cheetah in church

No. 2 The United Methodist Church in Sanger, California recently brought in an adult cheetah to “entertain” the children attending their vacation bible school. According to a newspaper article in the Sanger Herald, “the theme of the church’s summer program was “Circus of Faith.” I swear we didn’t make that up. The article also claims the cheetah “was a little stressed” being in a church surrounded by over 100 people. Big Cat Rescue believes both the newspaper reporter and the church would benefit from becoming educated about big cats and learning that they should NOT be used and exploited for entertainment. Would you please politely reach out to the church and also the Sanger Herald?

Read the article in the Sanger Herald:

Email the church at

Post a comment on the church’s Facebook page:

Email the Sanger Herald at


lions at Alabama U

No. 3 The University of North Alabama has two adult lions living on campus. The school has kept lions for over 40 years! The current “mascot” lions have lived at the college since 2002. It’s time that the school – which has just hired Dr. Ken Kitts as its new president — becomes more forward thinking and commits to ending this ridiculous “tradition” when these two lions pass. A recent local newspaper article claims the lions “inspire school spirit.” We believe the lions inspire impressionable college students to incorrectly believe big cats can be used for entertainment, exploited by humans and make good pets. Please politely contact the school and let President Kitts know animal lovers would like to see this tradition end. Ask him to not acquire new lions once the current 13-year-old pair pass on.

Contact UNA President Dr. Ken Kitts via email at or via Twitter at @ken_kitts


Anasazi the bobcat at Big Cat Rescue

No.4 Wild bobcats in California need your help! Most people don’t realize it is still legal in California to hunt bobcats. The California Fish & Game Commission will be voting on August 5 on a bill that would BAN bobcat trapping state-wide. Right now, trappers set up their traps on private property and stalk the Internet for people posting where bobcats were seen in California. Trappers get $600-$1000 for bobcat pelts.

California bobcats, once trapped, are shot in the head and skinned for their fur, which is then sold and sent to China, Russia and Europe, where demand has sadly increased. Please help bobcats by contacting the Fish & Game Commission. Say you Support Option #2 – a “Complete Ban” on bobcat trapping!!


Twitter: @CaliforniaDFW @JerryBrownGov


No. 5 Domestic cats and kittens need your help! USDA is currently accepting comments regarding a petition asking USDA to require laboratories that experiment and conduct “research” on cats and other animals to provide specific information about how they are using the animals. Big Cat Rescue believes if more people become aware of the horrific abuse and torture cats are enduring, the public will no longer support such labs.


The deadline to submit a comment is Aug. 24, 2015.

No. 6  Cecil the lion was allegedly lured out of the refuge where he had been a celebrity, of sorts, with tourist to be shot with a bow and arrow and then killed after languishing for 40 hours.  You can read more about this tragedy here:

But What Can YOU Do About It?

You can ask the USFWS to list the lion as endangered.  They have been disregarding our proposal from 2011 for 4 years now and it cost Cecil his life.

Happy International Tiger Day


Feel free to use our banners on your Facebook page to show your love of tigers on their special day.

TigerDay_FBCoverPhoto3 TigerDay_FBCoverPhoto2 TigerDay_FBCoverPhoto


Big Cat Videos Since Last Month


Four Bobcat Kittens at Big Cat Rescue

Have you “met” Phoenix, Captiva, Rain and Dancer the tiny bobcat kittens yet?  The cuteness factor is almost too much to bear.  Their stories started off sad, but they are well on their way to living free, the way bobcats are meant to live.  Check in on their progress here…


Saving Jaguars in Belize

Two wild jaguars, named Lady Hill and Mistletoe, were deemed nuisance cats because they came into very close proximity to where people reside.  In order to spare their lives they were trapped and taken to the Belize Zoo which is a sanctuary for native wildlife that can not be released back into the wild. This zoo does not buy, breed or sell their cats.  Had these two jaguars not been removed, they would have been terminated by the government.  Find out more at SAVEJAGS


Small Cat Fun Area Starts to Take Shape

We now have the bottom row of wire up on the East and most of the North sides of the cage, but there will be two more rows of wire atop this one, as this is only 5 feet high. It is the basis of setting the shape of the cage to be sure we have enough curves to keep it strong in a hurricane. It rains every day, but we do strive to make progress on the Small Cat Fun cage every day. Most of the work up until now has been the sort of thing that hasn’t been very interesting, for the purpose of follow up stories, but now you can actually see the progress.  See how it is coming along…


Our work is hard, but helping us do it shouldn’t be

GoodWorld is the first donation solution to work seamlessly on Facebook.  It also works on Twitter.

Big Cat Rescue signed up with GoodWorld so that when we need the help of our social supporters we can just ask them to go to the comments section, in Facebook and write #donate and the dollar amount they want to give.  See how easy it is here…


NEW BOOK – The Dunking


The DunkingMany of you still mention to events of the day that Shere Khan dunked China Doll and she punished him by not letting him get out of the lake. You have
asked us to make it into a book and FINALLY it is done.

The book has the full story illustrated by 140 color photos of that funny afternoon.

Book Description: Two tigers, plus two big red balls, plus a lake equals one tiger dunking another, getting in trouble and being banished from land. Will the tiger friends make-up?

Beautifully illustrated with over 140 color photographs of two tigers named China Doll and Shere Khan.

Book Links:
1)n iBook on iTunes:

2) Kindle Book on Amazon: Coming soon

3) PDF If you prefer to view the storybook as a PDF email for the download link.

Media 2013

Big Cat Rescue has been covered favorably in the media more than 1000 times! Below are the news stories from 2013. To see earlier years go to Media.

12/30/13 – The Daily Reville includes Big Cat Rescue in the ten things to do in Tampa other than the football game.

12/30/13 Controversial crossbreeding to produce ligers is discussed.†

12/27/13 Making your house a donation drop-off point and regularly honoring shelter volunteers are just a couple of ways your family can help.

12/26/13 New Year’s Resolutions You and Your Kids Can Make to Help Cats

12/24/13 Because every story deserves a happily-ever-after Big Cat Rescue kitties know how to enjoy the holidays

12/23/13 ∑ Klaudia Kaczmarek of Body Shop Lip Balm, explains why she loves Big Cat Rescue and wants to support them.

12/21/13 ∑ Christmas is no holiday for circus animals. Revelations about behind the scenes practices of the circus raises serious questions.

12/18/13 VIDEO of rescued big cat enjoying their Vacation Rotation.

12/17/13 Tampaís Big Cat Rescue celebrates holidays with Christmas trees and wrapped gifts.

12/16/13 Deformities of white tigers (I could not get web site to load)

12/12/13 Attacks, deaths rampant at sanctuaries. Keeper killed at Cat Haven.

12/12/13 3 ways to save big cats and one involves lip gloss.

12/11/13 Article by Howard Baskin on why petting cubs leads to abuse.

12/11/13 How Big Cat Rescue decides if they can release an animal back into the wild.

12/11/13 The Body Shop is using beauty for the power of good with their donations.

12/11/13 Body Shop drawing attention to keeping felines happy.

12/11/13 VIDEO of amazing rescue of a bobcat named Fencer.

12/3/13 Kat Lewis gives a quick list of some local Tampa Bay nonprofits, organizations that are participating in Giving Thursday which includes Big Cat Rescue.

11/29/13 Big Cats get Thanksgiving turkeys.
11/23/13 ∑ Valis Vicenty talks about bullying and social media against tormenting animals.

11/23/13 ∑ Body Shop will be donating money from the sales proceeds of its super-yummy Dragon Fruit Lip Butter to three nonprofits.

11/19/13∑ International Science Times ∑ The lion who bit a lioness to death at the Dallas Zoo last Sunday may have done so in response to the stress of captivity. …

11/16/13∑ Since 1990 more than 20 people have been killed by captive big cats.

11/16/13 óAs an exotic pet trade boomed and Americans bought cute tiger cubs and baby sanctuaries have sprung up and more people hurt or killed….

11/14/13∑ An officer guards the gate near at the entrance of Cat Haven exotic animal park in central California where a 26-year-old female volunteer intern was killed …

11/14/13 An officer guards the gate near at the entrance of Cat Haven where volunteer was killed.

11/8/13∑ Annalisa Palmer Comments Wild animals are often seen in a dangerous light, but they have souls too, many of which are in need of saving.

11/5/13 ∑ Actor Quinton Aaron known for his lead role in the movie The Blind Side understands animals being rejected and then finding home in loving sanctuary.

11/5/13∑ Video of one Way To Burn Off Candy Calories by swimming and playing with pumpkins.

11/5/13∑ Exotic hybrids are a fad but people do not realize the high maintenance of these small but still wild cats.

11/3/13∑ Opening of Vacation Rotation to allow big cats to see the open sky.

11/1/13 Video for Halloween of Big Cat Rescue in Tampa Florida cats enjoying their pumpkins and thinking of Tony and hoping he too will soon experience enrichment and a…

11/1/13 Halloween video from Big Cat Rescue in Tampa Florida of the cats enjoying their pumpkins and always thinking of Tony and hoping he too will soon experience a good life.

10/31/13 Video of Big Cats destroying pumpkins at Big Cat Rescue.

10/31/13 Halloween Becomes ‘Growloween’ at The Big Cat Rescue

10/31/13 Page not found but it was video of lion intimidated crocodile.
10/31/13 Video of the animals of The Big Cat Rescue have a smashing good time with pumpkins, spiders, ghosts and bats!

10/26/13!t1IiJby Miss Cellania Halloween at Big Cat Rescue in Florida means giving pumpkins and other gourds to the cats to play with.
10/24/13 Video of the Lion, Cameron that shares space with a White Tiger, Zabu.

10/22/13 Female lion dies in big cat fight at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

10/18/13 TJ the Tiger gets a vacation.

10/18/13 Big Cat Rescue offers a little holiday-themed enrichment to their charges of pumpkins and piÒatas.

10/18/13 Tigers and leopards received pumpkins filled with chicken and a paper mache ghost in a tree.

10/13/13 Tony the Tiger paces in his case.

10/13/13 Truck stop owner fights to keep tiger.

10/12/13 Torties leave as tigers growl on TV.

10/10/13 Tiger attack latest problem for GW Interactive Zoo.

10/10/13 Truck Stop is no place for Tony and Tiger.

10/9/13 Truck Stop tiger story updated.

10/9/13 Big cat owners frustrated with new law prohibiting interaction.

10/9/13 Correction to story about Louisiana truck stop tiger.

10/9/13 Correction to Tony Tiger story with the state Department of Wildlife and Fisheries saying Big Cat Rescue asked about taking the tiger if the owner did not meet permit†requirements.

10/9/13 Correction to Tony Tiger story saying Department of Wildlife and Fisheries have not been fighting owner for years.

10/8/13 Truck stop owner vows to keep Tony the Tiger.

10/5/13 Discovery launches digital network AnimalList.

10/3/13 Big Cat raised awareness of cub petting abuse.

10/3/13 Five questions with Jamie Veronica, President of Big Cat Rescue.

10/2/13 Big Cat golf tournament events.

10/2/13 Video of how to improve your catís quality of life.

9/30/13 Bovard graduated from Indiana University and founded Single Vision, Inc. Baskin believes a ban on the breeding and public exposure of big cats would eventually eliminate the trade and need for sanctuaries.

9/25/13 Hybrid cats are controversial.

9/24/13 Descendants of lions, tigers and cheetahs, this new breed of house cat can still be wild.

9/24/13 A bill is now being debated in Congress that would make it illegal and outlaw the ownership of big cats by private owners.

9/23/13 Reise the cougar came to Big Cat Rescue all the way from Homestead!

9/23/13 Volunteers rescued Reise from the South Florida Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.

9/23/13 Reise the cougar came to Big Cat Rescue all the way from Homestead!

9/23/13 Reise the cougar came to Big Cat Rescue all the way from Homestead!

9/23/13; Reise the cougar came to Big Cat Rescue all the way from Homestead!

9/23/13 Reise the cougar came to Big Cat Rescue all the way from Homestead!

9/23/13 Reise the cougar came to Big Cat Rescue all the way from Homestead!

9/23/13 Reise, an 18-year-old cougar, had likely never placed her paws on soil before tentatively entering her new home Sunday night at Big Cat Rescue.

9/23/13 Reiseís story, an 18 year old Texan cougar who was†confiscated in New York from a drug dealer.

9/23/13 Reise is latest addition to Big Cat Rescue.

9/22/13, My Big Cat Rescue Summer Camp experience.

9/22/13 Petition to ban big cat private owners.

9/18/13 Picture takes by Nicole Schoen at Big Cat Rescue.

9/16/13 One stop source of the issues facing big cat ownership.

8/23/13 Circuses entertain audiences, but they bring no joy to performing animals.
8/23/13 Big cats cool off in water fountain.

8/22/13 Video on three steps to preventing petting cub abuse.

8/21/13 ConstantRambler takes tour at Big Cat Rescue.

8/19/13 Worldís oldes tiger, Flavio, playing in the fountain.

8/16/13 had article that is no longer displayed about the big cat playing in fountain and with boxes.

8/16/13 Video of Flavio playing in fountain and with other toys.

8/9/13 31 photos of cats at Big Cat Rescue.

8/9/13 USF Marketing students help Big Cat Rescue.

8/2/13 Revision3 ink deal with

7/31/13 Video of Big Cat Rescue unveiling ëvacation spotí for lions and tigers.

7/31/13 Vacation area for Big Cat Rescue unveiled.

7/31/13 Video of Big Cat Rescue opening new space for exotic animals to vacation.

7/30/13 Big Cat Rescue opens new enclosure.

7/30/13 Big Cat Rescues opens ìvacation rotationî.

7/17/13 Tigers painting pictures at Big Cat Rescue and White Serval nose surgery.

7/10/13 Paw paintings from Shere Khan and China Doll.

7/6/13 Paw paintings by Shere Khan and China Doll.

7/4/13 Two tigers paint red, white and blue art with tails and paws.

7/3/13 Tigers painting to be auctioned off to raise money.

7/3/13 Tampa tigers paint patriotic motives.

7/2/13 MSN News had article on Tampa tigers painting patriotic motives but no longer available.

6/29/13 Joseph, the lion, eating ìBloodicleî ice cream.

6/29/13 White Serval nose surgery and lion eating ice cream.

6/20/13 Video of lion eating ice cream.

6/19/13 Lion eating ice cream.

6/18/13 Stop the trade; care for the cats.

6/18/13 Big Cat Rescue, a non profit educational sanctuary, is devoted to rescuing and providing a permanent home for exotic cats who have been abused, abandoned, bred to be pets, retired from performing acts, or saved from being slaughtered for fur coats, and to educating the public

6/17/13–211870061.html Lions love ice cream.

6/16/13 Lion loves ice cream.

6/16/13 Lion gets ice cream treat.

6/15/13 Zabu loves her boomer ball.

6/15/13 Joseph eating ice cream.

6/13/13 Gilligan, Canadian Lynx, voices opinion of construction noise.

6/12/13 Wild animals do not make suitable pets and animal agencies are there to assist when owners give up the animals.

6/10/13 Moses, the bobcat likes to chase laser pointers.

6/8/13 The Dalton Agency recently presented Big Cat Rescue with a $1,000 donation as part of its annual charitable campaign Dalton Cares.

6/7/13 Head to Big Cat Rescue in Tampa for a closeup of lions and tigers.

6/7/13 Tampaís top tours ñ Big Cat Rescue.

6/3/13 Guilty plea in Atchinson exotic animal case.

5/29/13 Big Cat Rescue is sanctuary located in Tampa, FL, showing cats playing in boxes.

5/24/13 We fell in love with Big Cat Rescue.

5/17/13 A safe haven for big cats in Tampa spreads awareness of different breeds of cats.

5/15/13 Lynx abandoned in Atchison, Kansas to live at Big Cat Rescue.

5/15/13 What happens when lions and tigers need to protect their trademark – they call Johnson, Pope et al.

5/14/13 Video Carole Baskin speaking at National Tigers for Tigers Coalition Conference.

5/13/13 Want a lion burger or a lion taco? Tampa locals not pleased that they are on the menu.

5/13/13 Giving back to the community at Big Cat Rescue.

5/13/13 Lion tacos outrages some to the point of bomb threats.

5/12/13 Why Tampa is Awesome: Big Cat Rescue.

5/12/13 Taco Fusionís lion tacos create controversy.

5/11 House cats bred with wild animals sell for $35,000.

5/10/13 Nine exotic cats rescued in Atchison, Kansas.

5/10/13 Lion taco stirs controversy.

5/9/13 Exotic cats rescues in Kansas to live at Big Cat Rescue.

5/9/13 Tampa restaurant draws fire for serving lion tacos.

5/9/13 Restaurant offering lion tacos.

5/9/13 No longer viewable – was about restaurant serving lion tacos.

5/9/13 Florida restaurant offering lion tacos.

5/9/13 Florida restaurant (once again) sells lion meat tacos.

5/8/13 Neglected big cats headed for Texas sanctuaries and Big Cat Rescue in Tampa.

5/8/13 Big cats rescued from private property in Kansas.

5/8/13 Article and photos of exotic animals seized in Kansas.

5/8/13,1302808/ article and video showing big cats celebrating Cinco de Mayo with piÒata snacks.

5/8/13 Article no longer available on site about exotic animals receiving care from rescue in Atchison County.

5/8/13 Big Cat Rescue Summer Camp welcomes Tampa Bay kids.

5/8/13 Abandoned animals find new home at Tampaís Big Cat Rescue.

5/8/13 Big cats in cages: Wild animals rescued in Atchison, Kansas.

5/8/13 Abandoned exotic cats seized and sent to Big Cat Rescue in Tampa.

5/8/13 Abandoned animals find new home at Tampaís Big Cat Rescue.

5/8/13 Big Cats seized in Kansas now live in Floridaís Big Cat Rescue.

5/8/13 Exotic cats rescued in Kansas to live at Big Cat Rescue.

5/8/13 Video: Exotic animals seized from Atchison County.

5/8/13 Tiger, mountain lions seized from Kansas property.

5/8/13 lion meat tacos with a side of controversy.

5/8/13 Tiger, mountain lions seized from Kansas property.

5/7/13 msnbc had article about Big Cat Rescue summer camp welcoming kids but is no longer available.

5/7/13 Exotic cats seized in Kansas arrive in Tampa.

5/7/13 Yahoo had article about tiger and mountin lion seized from Kansas property arriving in Tampa but it is no longer available.

5/5/13 Great organizations across Tampa Bay that do fantastic things to help make the community better like Big Cat Rescue.

5/5/13 Find out how to help your community by checking out Big Cat Rescue.

5/5/13 Find out how to help your community by checking out Big Cat Rescue.

5/5/13 LiveLeak had article about the beautiful creatures at Big Cat Rescue but it is no longer available.

5/5/13 Video of big cats playing with boxes.

5/3/13 Video of leopard ripping apart meat-filled piÒata at Big Cat Rescue.

5/3/13 Video of leopard ripping apart meat-filled piÒata at Big Cat Rescue.

5/3/13 Video of leopard ripping apart meat-filled piÒata at Big Cat Rescue.

5/3/13 Video of leopard ripping apart meat-filled piÒata at Big Cat Rescue.

5/3/13 Video of leopard versus piÒata.

5/1/13 Video of leopard versus piÒata for early Cinco De Mayo.

5/1/13 Reno the leopard tearing piÒata to shreds.

5/1/13 Video of leopard launching vicious attack against defenseless piÒata

5/1/13 had video of leopard tearing piÒata to shreds but is no longer available.

5/1/13 Big cats play like little ones with their cardboard boxes.

5/1/13 Festive leopard fighting with piÒata.

5/1/13 Festive leopard fights with piÒata

4/30/13 Charles Rutenberg Realty sponsoring Casino Night to benefit big cats.

4/29/13 Big Cat Rescue offering big summer camp fun.

4/29/13 Leopard going to town on a piÒata.

4/29/13 Leopard attacks a pinata.

4/29/13 Big cats like boxes too.

4/25/13 Lion cage where intern died at Central California Wild worked perfectly.

4/25/13 Find out how to make a difference as a volunteer for a nonprofit.

4/25/13 What are ìblack panthersî people see around the world.

4/25/13 Article not found but was about Central California Wild workerís death.

4/21/13 Tag Archives had an article but it is no longer available on big cats playing with boxes

4/21/13 had article on cats playing in boxes.

4/17/13 Big cats playing in boxes.

4/16/13 Paw painting by Reno.

4/13/13 White tiger trying to paint but has no talent.

4/13/13 Cool Cat Summer Camp advertised.

4/12/13 Article tells about places to visit in Tampa and talks about the less known, but a pearl to be savored, is Tampaís Big Cat Rescue, a place where big cats can find a sanctuary to live out their days.

4/12/13 Talk about that Paw-casso! Talented tigers show off their painting skills at Tampa, Florida

4/11/13 Argentinaís Lujan Zoo lets visitors pet tigers, feed bears and ride lions.

4/8/13 Cool Cat Summer Camp

4/8/13 Banjo video at Big Cat Rescue

4/7/13 Girl pleads for people to help the cats at Big Cat Rescue.

4/7/13 Video showing around Big Cat Rescue.

3/28/13 Five things to do in Florida. The cats at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa will get an early Easter treat on

3/28/13 The cats at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa will get an early Easter treat on Big cats get big treats at Easter.

3/26/13 Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado is a treat for animals and humans.

3/21/13 Big Cat Rescue is one of nine non-profits competing for the Dalton Cares Campaign.

3/21/13 Story not found of two bobcats going from the wild and then back to the wild ñ happy ending.

3/20/13 Marshall Student Center Ballroom has ìThink outside the cageî

3/19/13 Big Cat Rescue wins $953,000 judgment against traveling exhibitor.

3/15/13 Big Cat Rescue says the global treaty charged with ensuring wildlife is not commercially exploited to extinction[1] fell short of putting the brakes on poaching of elephants, tigers, and rhinos at its biannual meeting that closes today in Bangkok.

3/14/13 What happens to tiger cubs once they are too big to pet?

3/13/13 Juliet Simms opens her closet to benefit Big Cat Rescue.

3/12/13 Page canít be displayed but it was about a lion the killed an intern at the California Cat Haven.

3/12/13 Social media spotlights spreads awareness of strong community dedicated to serving.

3/8/13 Beware of big cats even when caged such as the white tiger that attacked Roy Horn during a Las Vegas performance.

3/7/13 Lion is shot after killing an inter at Cat Sanctuary in California.

3/7/13 Lion shot after killing handler in California.

3/7/13 Big Cat Rescue strives to provided the most comfortable situation for abandoned big cats.

3/7/13 Father says intern killed at Cat Sanctuary in California was living her dream.

3/7/13 Big cat experts says internís death at Cat Sanctuary in California was avoidable.

3/7/13 Coroner says killing of intern in California happened after big cat escaped its cage.

3/7/13 Article on the killing of the California intern is not available.

3/7/13 A lion mauled to death a 24-year-old intern just a few weeks on the job Wednesday at an exotic animal park in the Sierra Nevada foothills of remote Central California.

3/7/13 Intern mauled to death in California Cat Sanctuary by her favorite lion.

3/2/13 ìJoe Exoticî ordered to pay Big Cat Rescue one million dollars.

3/1/13 Mason Dixon photo show

2/25/13 Article is not displayed but visitor said she liked them all.

2/10/13 Tigers and lions and meat bouquets.

2/3/13 Duncan Strauss interviews Carole Baskin of Big Cat Rescue.

2/2/13 Page cannot be displayed but it was interview with Jennifer Ruszczyk who is a volunteer at Big Cat Rescue.

2/2/13 Page cannot be displayed but it was interview with Jennifer Ruszczyk who was with Lowry Park before coming to Big Cat Rescue.

1/30/13 White lion and white tiger cubs born in Germanyís SerenegtiiPark Zoo.

1/29/13 Susan Crow visits Big Cat Rescue.

1/19/13 Deleted scene of Big Cat Rescue rescuing tigers from Savage Kingdom.

1/17/13 — Gerrard Larriett Aromatherapy Pet Care recently announced a partnership with Charles the Monarch in order to raise funds for Big Cat Rescue. Gerrard Larriett is the maker of a line of aromatherapy pet products

1/12/13 Watch Jumanji the black leopard “sawing!” Leopards have a distinctive call that sounds like a wood plank being cut with a saw

1/11/13 Jumani the black leopard ìsawingî

1/10/13 Commissioner Ken Hagan wants to seize profits from animal cruelty

1/10/13 White serval does head shake after receiving enrichment.

1/9/13 Pictures of big cats

1/9/13 Updates from Monica Spires, intern at Big Cat Rescue.

1/9/13 Annual Christmas tree event for the big cats.

1/9/13 Pure Motivation will head to Tampa this month to volunteer with Big Cat Rescue, a sanctuary dedicated to rehabilitating injured and abandoned lions, tigers, bobcats, and other large cat species.

1/9/13 Big cats in slow motion to see how graceful they are.

1/7/13 Big cats in slow motion.

1/7/13 Lady petting a liger

1/7/13 Big cats with their Christmas presents.

1/7/13 Big cats in slow motion

1/7/13 Spoof by staff at Big Cat Rescue of the Gangham Style

1/5/13 Fundraiser to help Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, Florida.

1/5/13–p1c&feature=youtube_gdata_player 2012 inventory at Big Cat Rescue Trading Post

1/5/13 Jamie fixes stuff

1/4/13 Volunteers tossing Christmas trees

1/3/13 Big cats in slow motion

1/2/13 Kelsey singing a video with scenes from Big Cat Rescue.


Big Cat Rescue

Big Cat Rescue is the world's largest accredited sanctuary that is devoted entirely to exotic cats. More than 100 wild cats of 14 species call this 55 acre, Tampa, FL sanctuary home.

big cat rescue, "Big cat rescue"

View “Big Cat Rescue” on Spundge 

To see previous year’s news stories about Big Cat Rescue go to Media.

To see just the high profile media coverage go to


2013 Annual Report

2013 Annual Report

Big Cat Rescue Volunteers

Big Cat Rescue Volunteers

A Video Report of 2013 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 “only” 37 big cats who came to our attention as being abandoned. We were able to take in 9 wildcats plus 2 rehab bobcats. We offered to take 10 of the cats who were leopard size or smaller 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 and alter discard it.   We did not have enough Senior Keeper staff to take on more lions or tigers than the ones we have.


Animal Care





Rescued 9 exotic cats, including Nala the Serval, Skipper & Gilligan the Canada Lynx, Ginger the Serval, Mary Ann, Thurston & Lovey the Bobcats, JoJo the Caracal Serval hybrid and Reise the Cougar.

Rehabbed and released 4 native bobcat kittens;  Gator, Copter, Khaleesi and Fencer.

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 70 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:  and see cute cats meeting the vet here:

Bought 9 more acres for quarantine and native wildlife rehab.

Installed a new solar system

By the end of this year, 92 of our 111 exotic animals are over the age of 12; 76 of those are over the age of 15; and 19 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.

2013 was a big year for expanding our big cat enclosures.  We built our largest ever enclosure and dubbed it the Vacation Rotation Enclosure.  This 2.5 acre cat-a-tat includes a pond, fountain, trees, forts and three safety areas for storms.  We had to construct a number of above ground tunnels to move cats to and from nearby enclosures so they could “rotate” through the new enclosure, and we had to make significant improvements to those nearby cages. Two of them being were torn down and rebuilt from scratch so that all of our tigers, no matter how frisky, could be cycled through the Vacation Rotation area safely.

Sadly we had to say “goodbye” to these great cats:  Willow the Siberian Lynx who was 18, Ty the Serval who was 20, SARMOTI the Tiger who was 20, Rose the Caracal who was 16, Shaniqua the Jungle Cat who was 19 and Bella the Tiger who was 17.

We never gave up on Precious the Bobcat after her stroke


Award Winning Sanctuary


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.

Dalton Agency Contest

We won a cash prize and pro bono professional video in this national online voting contest thanks to our dedicated supporters who voted daily.

WEDU Nonprofit of the Year awards

We are a finalist in the Best Use of Video category for this annual contest held by our PBS Station thanks again to our passionate supporters voting online.  The winner will be announced in late February.




Added audio story telling to the bio of every cat at the sanctuary and created a free virtual tour app in both iTunes and the Google Play Store.  This app is being integrated into our guided tours to insure that every tour is accurate and relevant.

Also new this year was the use of the Vox tour system, where guests can listen via a headset to the guide or recorded tour.  The benefit to the guest is that everyone can hear and can adjust their own volume.  The benefit to the cats is that when using the recorded tour the guests move silently through the sanctuary.

We were presenters at the Big Cat Workshop hosted by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries and the International Fund for Animal Welfare where more than 20 big cat sanctuaries converged for a weekend of learning, networking and sharing.

We were presenters at Animal Grant Makers in Austin, TX in November on the topic of sanctuaries that fail, and how not to. gets about 1.5 million unique visitors per year with 1,498,422 in 2013. Our website is primarily an educational tool and according to Alexa we are ranked 224,835 worldwide and 66,562 most visited website in the U.S. in 2013 which was a doubling of our site’s popularity over 2012. We have 866 other sites linking to us.

Some of the pages that were the most popular each showed increases of 1,500% – 3,500% and these were:

#4 Why it’s wrong to buy big cats had 119,418 visitors

#7 Why it’s wrong to breed white tigers had 97,833 visitors

#8 Why it’s wrong to breed ligers had 81,303 visitors

#11 Why it’s wrong to breed domestic cat hybrids had 57,164 visitors

#12 Why it’s wrong to breed Savannah Cat hybrids had 56,346 visitors (which should probably be combined with #11)


Our web site addresses local and global concerns about environment and has over 9,400 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 195 field trip tours to the sanctuary and outreach visits this year.   We gave 8 free tours and 12 discounted school field trip tours this year to groups for whom the modest price of the visit was not manageable. Even when we offer the tours for free, many schools cannot come because they cannot afford the $200.00 fee for their buses, so we maintain a fund where contributors can support big cat education by donating the bus fee.





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, El Salvador, Slovenia, Paraguay, Ecuador, Peru, Sweden, Austria, Costa Rica, India, Finland, Bolivia, Greece, China, the UK and Singapore have all banned or restricted the utilization of big cats in circuses.  It is time for the U.S. & South Africa to do the same!

Orchestrated our first Fly In to DC for 17 AdvoCats to talk to nearly 20 Legislators about supporting the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act HR1998/S1381:  images here:  International Fund for Animal Welfare revealed that 75 percent of polled voters across the country support the bill’s passage.


The Library of Congress offers this guide to global laws regarding the private possession of exotic cats.

Late in the year after the bills were introduced we resumed inviting our on site guests to call their Senators and Representatives asking them to support the Big Cats and Public Safety Act this year.

Through our site, powered by Voter Voice, 8,324 of our 88,877 supporters sent 143,918 messages to 1071 recipients.  While we wish that more than 10% 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 a football player posting that he owned a tiger.

Some of the wins from these campaigns were:

1.  86 Senators and Representatives joined the 3 bill sponsors by co sponsoring the Big Cats and Public Safety Act (HR1998 & S1381)

2.  Darnell Dockett turns out to not actually possess a tiger despite his claim that he was going to bring it to practice.

3.  Hillsborough County, FL enacted an ordinance that allows them to seize assets in animal abuse cases and enacted another ordinance to protect feral cats and their caregivers.

Imagine what we could have accomplished if just 20% 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 2014 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.



Wins for the Big Cats in 2013


Ft. Wayne, IN:  Bears, wolves, lions, tigers, alligators, and venomous snakes are prohibited within the city limits of Ft. Wayne, Indiana.

Unfortunately 2013 was noted by a Wall Street Journal poll to be the worst congress ever for a number of reasons, but most noticeably for animal lovers not one animal protection bill made it through the process.

This article published in the Vegan Health and Fitness magazine gives some great examples of how parents can guide their children to treat animals by avoiding “traditional” animal attractions that we’ve come to learn are usually abusive, such as circuses and zoos.


Fundraising and Marketing


Big Cat Rescue was reported favorably in the news 225 times in 2013.   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 Revision 3 were the big news this year.  Revision 3, which is owned by Discovery, contacted us and asked us to be their first animal themed channel in 2012.  Thanks to this partnership and cross promotions with Animal Planet, we are experiencing more than 1.5 million views of our YouTube videos per MONTH!  By 2013 year end we had 405 videos with 130,011 subscribers and 71,633,898 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 4,574 subscribers and 748,688 views.

Facebook:  We surpassed 109,444 fans on Face Book

Google +:  This is a new social site for us in 2013 and we have already reached 30,000 fans on this new venue.


Final financial numbers will not be available until after our annual audit in the spring, but estimates will be posted here  after we reconcile the credit card statements.

Big 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 signed up to be the top level Diamond Sponsor for the Taking Action for Animals Conference in Washington, DC in June, 2014 where more than 1,000 animal activists converge to learn more about legislation to protect animals.

Selected by Body Shop for their Dragon Fruit Lip Butter campaign which resulted in representatives from popular beauty magazines visiting the sanctuary and writing about our work to stop big cat abuse.

Started the Cat Chat Show, a weekly podcast where we interview cat experts from around the world about all kinds of cats, from Tabbies to Tigers.

The Halloween “Haunted Trail” event was a lot of fun and a financial success!  See some of it here:


Saving Wild Places for Wild Cats


In 2013 Big Cat Rescue donated $3,883.91 towards four conservation programs in the FL and in other countries on behalf of our volunteers.

snow leopard half face

$1533.91 to Panthera to save corridors for wild cats to travel safely

$1000.00 to the Florida Panther Refuge to help protect the Florida Panther.

$850.00 to the Snow Leopard Trust to cover the cost of camera traps and snow leopard monitoring.

$500.00 to the Tiger Trust to protect tigers in India by providing better legal assistance and training for game wardens.



Helping Others


1.  Big Cat Rescue was recruited to offer our expertise and guidance in the development of a rescue center in Spain that will be broadening their focus from primates to now include big cats.  AAP Primadomus is located on more than 400 acres in Villena and currently houses a variety of primates that have been rescued from private ownership, circuses, and laboratories. They are now expanding their focus to also rescue countless lions and tigers that are in need across their country.

In an effort to prepare for this project nearly a dozen experts were invited to a symposium that focused on sharing information regarding the proper care of big cats in captivity, emergency protocol development, and enclosure design. Big Cat Rescue President Jamie Veronica and volunteer veterinarian Justin Boorstein travelled to Spain and joined experts from Italy, South Africa, France, Austria, the Netherlands and all across the United Kingdom.

Over the course of three days the team worked tirelessly to provide as much information as possible to the members of not only AAP Primadomus, but its origin center Stitching AAP. Stitching AAP is a rescue center for apes, monkeys and small exotic animals in the Netherlands that was founded more than 35 years ago.

The symposium was a huge success. Big Cat Rescue will continue to work with AAP remotely throughout the development process. We are so pleased to provide assistance to organizations that are saving big cats across the globe!

See a digital rendition they did from the plans submitted:



2.  Created 8 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.

3.  Loaned one of our Green Level Keepers (Kathryn Quaas) to Wildcat Sanctuary for 5 weeks of brutal winter weather to help while they were hiring & training new staff.

4.  Big Cat Rescue provided our service to Animal Coalition of Tampa in their efforts to send a powerful message to the Hillsborough County Commissioners on the subject of TNR.  Trap, Neuter and Return.  We similarly supported Be The Way Home effort in Hillsborough County that protects feral cats from being rounded up and killed.  The Board of County Commissioners responded with ordinances to protect feral cats and their caregivers.

5.  Presented at Tigers 4 Tigers which is a coalition of all colleges that have tiger mascots who are working to save the tiger.  It was also the last place for the good friend and world famous and much beloved tiger expert Ron Tilson to make a presentation before his untimely death this year.

6.  Hosted 2nd annual SkipAHolics reunion tour to thank the many people who help us keep an eye on our cats via the webcams.

7.  We were a sponsor for Animal Coalition of Tampa’s Stride for Strays, as we are every year.



Then and Now


Below are the audited financial statements of Revenue and Expense for the past five years. 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.




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


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)

VP Director Lisa Shaw (not compensated by BCR)

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)

These members met for quarterly board meetings at the sanctuary.  The board met 4 times in 2013.


Paid Staff and Contractors:

CEO and Staff Manager:  Carole Baskin

President, Editor & Creative Director: Jamie Veronica

Operations Manager & Volunteer Coordinator: Gale Ingham

Videographer and Social Networking: Chris Poole

Director of Donor Appreciation:  Jeff Kremer

Gift Shop Manager:  Honey Wayton

Project Manager: Chelsea Feeny

Education Director:  Willow Hecht

Cage Builder and Maintenance:  Vernon Stairs

Cage Building Apprentice and Maintenance:  Scott Haller

Grounds Keeper, part time: Jarred Smalley

Bookkeeper:  Barbara Stairs

Assistant Bookkeeper:  Katie Nikic

Guest Services, part time:  Valerie Stockton

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.




Big Cat Rescue had 89 volunteers at the end of 2013 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, 2011 and September 10, 2013 Big Cat Rescue had 99 interns from 10 countries and 21 states.


Staff and Volunteer Training

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

Began 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


See the last 10 years in annual reports:

AdvoCat 2013 11

AdvoCat 2013 11

Will Amanda Have More to be Thankful For?


We are so close to funding Amanda the tiger’s ability to run with her brothers in the new 2.5 ac Vacation Rotation enclosure.  Can you make this her best Thanksgiving Day ever by giving $2.00, or whatever you can afford, to make her dream come true?


Fully Funded on Nov 19, 2013!  Thank you!


Thank you for including these wonderful cats in your Thanksgiving and Holiday giving.  We hope that your holidays are filled with joy!



GROWLOWEEN! Lions Tigers & Bats!




Do You Love Big Cat Rescue?


Video votingIf so, we could really use your help! Please VOTE for Big Cat Rescue ONCE EVERY DAY UNTIL DEC. 6 in the video category of WEDU television’s non-profit awards. If we win, WEDU will play our video during the awards ceremony – where hundreds of people will learn about the plight of big cats in captivity thanks to you! We know we often ask you to vote for us in a variety of contests and we SO appreciate your support.

This contest is really easy – you don’t need to register or give any personal information. All you need to do is VOTE EACH DAY for our video “10 Reasons Why Big Cats Make Bad Pets.” You may want to set a daily reminder to VOTE! Thank you!!! Vote at:

Just click the radio button at the top left of our video and scroll to the bottom and hit the VOTE button.


Cougar Soccer!



Sanctuaries Working Together


Rescued LionIn October 2013 the International Fund for Animal Welfare and the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries held a Workshop for big cat sanctuaries in Raleigh, NC.  It included a field trip to Carolina Tiger Rescue.  More about the event here:  2013 Sanctuary Workshop

Some of the immediate results from the workshop including sharing resources and building relationships to help save more animals.  This lion was one of four big cats who were unwanted by their owner in MO, but through the combined efforts of several sanctuaries and entities, both lions and both tigers have safe, new, forever homes.  A big shout out to Safe Haven Rescue Zoo, Cedarhill, Turpentine Creek, Tigers in America and Loving Friends Transport, among others who helped facilitate this rescue.  The tigers went to Safe Haven Zoo and the Lions went to Cedarhill.


Tour Price Increase Dec 1, 2013


Certain ongoing costs of caring for the cats inevitably increase over time.  In addition, we want to continue replacing the older cages with the much more expensive new larger open top cages like the ones we have built for Nikita, Bengali and the Vacation Rotation Enclosure.  As we speak the poles are being set to replace the older cage that Joseph and Sasha occupied.

In addition to your generous donations, the tour fees provide a significant portion of the support for the cats.  We keep the fees the same for a number of years rather than change them annually.  The last adjustment was almost three years ago, so it is that time again.

The price for children on the kid’s tour will remain $19.  But our other prices will change as follows onDecember 1:

Adult Tour $36

Feeding Tour $65

Night Tour $65

Keeper Tour $125

Private tour 1st person $125, each additional $65

Reservations and gift certificates purchased at the current prices will of course be honored.  We will not be publicly urging people to purchase reservations before the change, but wanted to let our Advocat subscribers know in advance.

We are consistently told by visitors and by reviews online that our unique educational guided tours are a great value.  We particularly appreciate the way current supporters help by urging others to visit and learn about the plight of these magnificent animals and help support them through the tour fees and donations.  Thanks very much for spreading the word!!  Howard Baskin, CFO Big Cat Rescue


Thanking YOU with a Coupon


Get 15% off entire order in online gift shop between 11/14/13 and 11/19/13  Coupon Code:  EARLYCAT13

coupon code for big cat



Lion Tiger “Backyard Blitz”




Feed a Big Cat the beastly appetite of our big cats by donating to have a whole turkey, chicken, or hen purchased and given to a lucky feline at Big Cat Rescue.

Sorry, you may not choose who receives the poultry prize, but rest assured, staff will select a very deserving big cat to dine on your delicious donation.

Choose a:

Turkey for a lion or tiger

Chicken for a leopard or cougar

Hen for a lynx, bobcat, serval, ocelot, caracal, leopard cat, Geoffroy cat or jungle cat


Top Shocking Incidents of Big Cat Exploitation 


We hope by sharing a new list with you each month that you will join us in speaking out for the big cats and cubs that are exploited across this country every day. We encourage you to take one small action today and reach out via phone or email to contact one or more of the offenders listed below and politely express your concern. Together we can be the voice for the voiceless…together we can make a difference. Please join us in our mission of Caring for Cats & Ending the Trade. If you learn of exotic cats or cubs being exploited in your area, please contact Susan Bass at


No. 1 The National Zoo in Washington, D.C. recently conducted what they called a “swim test” for their two 3-month-old Sumatran tiger cubs. In the photo below, you can see that the cub is clearly terrified after the handler threw him into the water. Craig Saffoe, the Curator of Great Cats at the zoo, said “Tigers are one of the few species of cats that enjoy taking a dip in water.” Does this cub look like he is enjoying the water? The National Zoo should be ashamed of their inhumane treatment of these cubs. Please let the National Zoo know you believe it is cruel and abusive to throw cubs into the water; there are other more humane ways to ensure the cubs can swim. Contact the zoo’s Communications Dept .and request they forward your concerns to Dennis Kelly, Executive Director of the Zoo. Call 202-633-3055 or email at


No. 2 Fast-food chain Subway has a new commercial featuring a white tiger. A YouTube post claims the tiger was rented from a Los Angeles facility. Please let Subway know that exploiting big cats to add “shock value” to their advertisements is not going to win them customers; in fact, many people will no longer want to patronize Subway. Contact the members of Subway’s Public Relations Department here:

Cindy Carrasquilla at and 203-877-4281 x 1594.

Les Winograd at and 203-877-4281 x 1683.

Kevin Kane at and 203-877-4281 x 1329.

Allison Goldberg at and 203-877-4281 x 1630.


No. 3 Nationally-syndicated television program Live with Kelly and Michael recently had a 5-month-old African Serval and a 6-month-old Siberian Lynx from the San Diego Zoo on the program. Please contact the show and politely let them know that you do not want to see wild cats used to boost television ratings and that zoos should not take their cats on the road to be exploited as entertainment. Contact the show at You can also post a message on their Facebook page at


No. 4. Well-known singer Rihanna posed with a lion cub and a cheetah last month while in South Africa. She posted the photos on Instagram and media across the globe covered the story. Please comment on Rihanna’s Facebook page to let her know true sanctuaries do not allow direct contact with big cats and cubs.



ONLY $29,000 LEFT TO GET $100,000 MATCH!


We only need $29,539 more in donations to our Endowment Fund to obtain the $100,000 in matching funds from the Community Foudation. As year end approaches and you consider how to have most impact with your donations, please consider directing your donation to the endowment fund where we receive an additional $33 from them for every $100 you contribute.

You can donate online at or send a check made out to Big Cat Rescue with a note or separate email indicating you would like the donation directed to the Big Cat Rescue Endowment Fund at the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay. Thanks for helping insure the long term care of the cats!


Drag Queen Bingo Nov 25 at Hamburger Mary’s


Big Cat Rescue raised $2,336 in 2 hours at Hamburger Mary’s Drag Queen Bingo on July 1, 2013 and $2,157.00 in two hours a couple weeks later. We completely sold out and they had to turn people away because the place was packed with Big Cat Rescue lovers. Our next event there will be Nov 25, 2013 so be sure to make reservations so that you don’t miss out on all the fun! RSVP to 813 241-MARY