Big Cat Rescue’s Animal Acquisition Policy
Our board asks the following list of questions when considering a rescue situation:
• Is it a cat?
• Has this cat been with us before?
• Are we financially able and staff stable enough to take on this commitment?
• Will the owner surrender the permits and sign a contract not to own or use another exotic cat?
• Is this acquisition a governmental seizure?
• What are the legal ramifications?
• Is ownership un-contested?
• Is transport possible? (we can only receive a cat in the state from a licensed person who owns it and there are state laws that apply to cross country transport)
• Is it a dire situation?
• Is the cat in danger of euthanasia?
• Is the cat starving?
• Is the cat being neglected?
• Is the cat’s health in danger?
• Would this cat be breeding if we don’t take it?
• Is the current situation unsafe?
• Are there no other good options for the cat?
• Would this acquisition negatively affect our current population?
• Do we have quarantine space?
• Does it cause our existing cats to not have sufficient green level keepers? (300 manpower hours per cat according to 2006 stats)
• How would this acquisiton financially impact the care of existing population? ($10,000.00 annually per cat according to 2011 stats)
• Does this cat further our mission sufficiently to offset the use of hours and dollars in solving the problem once and for all?
• Are there extenuating circumstances?
• Could the former owner be a potential source of trouble for our staff?
• Is the final vote, after all of the considerations are heard, unanimous? (This one is non negotiable)
The AZA Acquisition Policy will serve as the default policy for any issues not covered above in Big Cat Rescue’s Acquisition Policy. Any change in policy must incorporate and not conflict with the AZA acquisition and disposition standards.
A. To acquire an animal, the following criteria must be met:
• The animal must be an exotic cat.
• Acquisitions must meet the requirements of all applicable local, state, federal and international regulations and laws.
• The Director or Chief Executive Officer of Big Cat Rescue is charged with the final authority and responsibility for the monitoring and implementation of all acquisitions.
• Acquisitions must be consistent with the mission of Big Cat Rescue by addressing its exhibition/education, conservation, and/or scientific goals.
• Animals acquired for the collection, permanently or temporarily, should be listed on institutional records.
• Animals may be acquired temporarily for reasons such as, holding for governmental agencies, rescue and/or rehabilitation, or special exhibits.
• Animals should only be accepted if they will not jeopardize the health, care or maintenance of the animals in the permanent collection or the animal being acquired.
• Animals acquired by birth should be listed on Big Cat Rescue’s records. Some known species to have a relatively high neonatal mortality rate, the recording of birth may occur after the animal reaches 30 days of age.
• Big Cat Rescue must have the necessary resources to support and provide for the professional care and management of a species, so that the physical and social needs of both specimen and species are met.
• Whenever an animal is acquired from the pet trade every precaution shall be taken to ensure that the surrendering owner does not continue to buy and use animals, including the surrender of their permits to own wild animals and a contract and agreement not to attempt to make a pet of any exotic cat.
B. Acquisitions from the Wild
Any capture of free-ranging animals should be done in accordance with all local, state, federal, and international wildlife laws and regulations and not be detrimental to the long-term viability of a population or species. In crisis situations, when the survival of a population is at risk, rescue decisions are to be made on a case-by-case basis.