|The AdvoCat Newsletter|
Hello ghouls, goblins and Fur Ball Gala-goers. Welcome to October. We have wonderful news of another successful and memorable Fur Ball Gala thanks to you, but also information over life and death matters with several rescues about which we need your concern. We also have celebratory news of a happy wedding and very compassionate fundraisers to share.
Thank you for your continued support. It encourages us immensely.
Our annual gala, the Fur Ball, was a smashing success! It was absolutely indulgent in its entertainment, dining, dancing, cake contests and drumming, not to mention the buzz caused by the celebrity participation of Bo Derek, Fox 13's Cynthia Smoot and other famous movers and shakers. We only have preliminary numbers, but it is safe to say that the Fur Ball netted over $100,000.00 for the cats! That is up $40,000.00 from last year and we had a rip roaring good time doing it. Be sure to take note of our generous sponsors and donors who helped make this possible and reward them with your business.
Last month, we reported to you that we rescued 3 bobcats within a 3 week period. Well now we are four for four!
Chance had his hernia repaired and his missing eye sewed shut to prevent infection. He has been relocated to the new Rehab cage the interns built with help from some of our top donors. He had increased his weight from 7 lbs to 8.5 lbs. Once we see his hunting skills are back on track, he will be ready to release.
Ace, who was found emaciated in a busy industrial park, has since been fattened up but still has some physical evaluations and hunting assessments to pass before we can consider release.
Will is still being awkward Will and that doesn’t bode well for release. He is the happiest cat since Catera, but that won’t catch his dinner. Recently, on a windy day, he showed just how much he just loves the sound of movement. He was in absolute bliss as he raced around the cage, up and down the walls, up and down the trees and, sadly, into the walls and into the trees and into…you get the picture.
The most recent rescue is a baby bobcat named Kennedy. His story will touch your heart because he is an inspiration like the great man he was named after.
"We didn't want a big, fancy or traditional wedding ceremony but we did want it to be memorable for ourselves, our family and our friends. I had read in the monthly newsletter that Big Cat Rescue was available for such events and I wrote a letter of inquiry about eight months prior to get more details. I was really surprised when they emailed me rather quickly with details, inviting us over to visit," says the happy couple.
Bobby and Susi subsequently got married August 29th at Big Cat Rescue. They tell us, "We both enjoyed every second of it and the assistance that we got along the way from the volunteers and staff of BigCat ensured that 'our' day was truly special."
We were honored to host their special day. Read all the memorable details below...
You may have already received this alert in your inbox last week so forgive us if we are repeating but time is of the essence in this case. It's life or death over this group of big cats who are awaiting their verdict. It took the combined efforts of USDA, undercover agents and concerned citizens seven years to shut down this tiger petting zoo in OH.
We have space for the lions, but that would mean breaking up two lions and two tigers who have lived together for 13 years. These cats were declawed and defanged to be used as props and have lost so much already, we hate to see them lose their only friends.
To rescue the two lions and two tigers will cost us $34,000.00 Thanks to 209 of our supporters, $19,753.00 has been raised to save the lions and the two tigers who live with them. The International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and the Animal Sanctuary of the United States agreed to help rescue the last two cats and IFAW will pay to transport all six cats to their final destinations, in a specially outfitted, climate controlled van. That saved us $4,000.00! We are now only $10,300.00 short of our initial goal. Help us reach it now. Thank you everyone who has helped so far!
We've believed all along that we are giving families the most unique educational day trip destination in the area, but it was you who proved the point most clearly. We won the Tampa Bay Parenting award. We're proud to be among the categories that won "Best of Tampa Bay" by Tampa Bay Parenting Magazine’s Reader’s Poll. We won in the Best Family Outing category. Thank you for coming out to support, learn about and enjoy Big Cat Rescue!
Some of you may not have visited our Memorial Page yet. This is a special page where we celebrate the lives of the cats we've loved who have died. We'll never be able to express the ways in which they touch our lives and what they taught us. However, these tributes help in our healing and in spurring us on to doing more and better for those still with us. You can hear some beautiful music and read some wonderful memories of many with whom we've been fortunate to spend our time.
Kids 4 Kats celebrates two special groups this month. We are the lucky beneficiary of the Lowry Elementary School’s new Paws for Peace Club. The group was formed to learn how to foster peace and service to the community. The children chose Big Cat Rescue as their first project. Our own Cheetaro became their mascot, and was “adopted” by the group as they raised money to sponsor him. The kids organized a “Caring Can Collection”, a Rummage and Bake sale, and a birthday “Giving” party where Cole and Logan Layman invited their friends to their birthday tour at Big Cat Rescue in lieu of receiving gifts. The Paws for Peace Club earned and donated a total of $1,310.00 for the cats! Wow! We celebrate this grand first effort. Paws for Peace is certainly off to an impressive start. We wish you great success in all of your future projects, and thank you sincerely for helping the cats.
On Saturday, September 22nd Big Cat Rescue enjoyed a great group of visitors, as our education department hosted a workshop and tour for the Tampa Lighthouse for the Blind. Twenty five teens and teachers from the Lighthouse enjoyed sound recordings of happy or angry bobcats, cougars, lions and tigers; hands on examination of some of our teaching artifacts including pelts, skulls, and tiger toys; and then joined us for a modified tour of the sanctuary and a demonstration of tigers showing off their operant conditioning skills. Yes, those tigers are BIG! A unique learning experience and a fun time were enjoyed by all. Thank you to the volunteers and interns who helped us provide this special event.
The cat's basic need for mental stimulation often goes unrecognized. Interesting games and companionship are vital to kitty's well-being. Be creative and offer your kitty a wadded up piece of paper, a clean rolly top to your hair product, a shoe string, a feather, your bookmark tassel etc. A personal chat and touching is a good way to keep your cat alert as well.
For the first time in years the USDA is updating its Animal Care Policy Manual and they want your suggestions. It is an antiquated document and your suggestions could help end the suffering of many animals who have virtually no protection under the law. To see our suggestions and make your own comments click HERE.