AdvoCat 2005 07
We hope you enjoyed your 4th of July celebration. We celebrate each day that we can provide for the rescue and well-being of the 142 exotic cats that call Big Cat Rescue home. It’s a daunting task, but we want to thank you for all you do to keep our gates open and our cats’ needs met. This month’s AdvoCat reports to you on our mission statement, our summer campers, incredible acts of service, the Fur Ball and more. Enjoy reading it and don’t let summer go by without coming out to see us for a tour!
Carole Baskin, Founder
Big Cats at Albertson’s
No, not on aisle nine exactly. They wouldn’t look right next to the salad dressing. However, Big Cat Rescue has been accepted into the Albertsons “Community Partners” program. This allows supporters to generate donations to Big Cat Rescue at no cost, just by shopping at Albertsons. From then on, for every purchase you make, Albertsons will donate 1-4% of your purchase to Big Cat Rescue. How does it work? The first step is to sign up for an Albertson’s Preferred Savings Card if you do not have one. There is no cost, and it saves you money on purchases. Then, look in the store or ask for the Community Partners form pictured with this story. Just fill in your name and Preferred Card number, then Big Cat Rescue Corp. as the organization and our ID# 49001007768. You can also go on-line to do this. Our sincere thanks to Patricia Webber of California for suggesting we apply for this program, and to Albertsons for selecting us as one of their partnering charities.
For full details, read on.
See the Rabbit
Ever heard of going down a rabbit trail? A dog saw a rabbit run by and took off chasing him; barking wildly in his enthusiasm. Other dogs heard all the excitement and joined in the chase. As the pack raced through town barking their enthusiasm, other dogs joined in the pursuit. The last dogs to join the chase were the first to drop out, then the second group gave up. Finally, the only dog left chasing the rabbit was the first dog.. because he was the only one who had actually seen the rabbit.
The moral of the story here is that if you expect people to stay in the program, you have to “show them the rabbit”. Like most people, our own staff and volunteers immediately associate more money with the ability to rescue more cats, and that is true, but not in the sense that many people seem think.
We reminded everyone of our mission statement and have posted it in the Check Point and on the web site so that everyone knows the ultimate goal of Big Cat Rescue. We want you to “show you the rabbit” too. Our two main goals are:
Care of our cats. The narrow mission of Big Cat Rescue is to provide the best permanent home we can for the abused, abandoned and retired cats in our care.
Education. The broader mission of the sanctuary is to reduce the number of cats that suffer the fate of abandonment and/or abuse and to encourage preservation of habitat and wildlife.
See The Rabbit
No sad letters from camp here. If anything, our campers are chomping at the bit to come back each day. Big Cat Rescue’s Conservation Camp Summer Camp is 3 weeks this year and we have been overflowing with campers. This year we were booked as early as May 15th , all 3 sessions are full. Campers are learning why these animals don’t make good pets and about the conservation of wildlife. They are learning what they can do now to make a difference.
They get to visit the Lions, Tigers and Bearcats of Big Cat Rescues 40 acre facility. Campers spend 4 days Monday through Thursday 8am to 1 pm. The Campers will learn how we take care of our cats. What is takes to clean, feed, enrich, and build habitats for 150 cats. In the time that they are here, they will get to treasure hunt in some empty enclosures, hand out enrichment (treats), and have a scavenger hunt based on their big cat facts. We are also adding a segment on tracking. Identifying animal tracks and figuring out what type of animal made that track.
To read more about camp and on how our camp director enhanced her tracking skills, read on.
Girl Scout and Cats Unite to Serve the Community!
We were approached about participating in a public service announcement to be filmed at our sanctuary involving youth community service. This shoot involves a girl scout from the Sun Coast Chapter of the Girl Scouts. We continue to be interested in the youth in our community and connecting them with a love for the mission of Big Cat Rescue and achieving their goals, so this was welcomed opportunity. We thank all involved.
Read on to see what the p.s.a. said and be sure to look for it on t.v.
Kelly Murphy learned from Megan, her older sister, that big cats are not kitties.
She learned a lot of other stuff too. She learned that for each trained circus animal, there are 30 discarded for non-performance. Megan taught her that 98% of all exotic animals taken home for house pets die within the first year, and that many of these animals have been abused or abandoned.
To earn her Girl Scout Gold Award, Kelly wanted to do something to help the big cats. She and her friend, Amber, decided to develop educational materials about the 35 endangered species, and distribute them to schools. To get started, she worked on a fundraising project with Big Cat Rescue and raised $5,000.
Kelly learned a lot from her big sister, and is now a big sister herself. She is teaching others about the importance of creating laws that restrict pet ownership of big cats.
Kelly is changing the world. She is 15.
Generous Donation Gets Big Cats On-line Faster!
We like to bring you occasional stories of “the power of one”. Meaning, one of our supporters and/or volunteers doing something great to help the cats. This time, we can call it “the power of two”. This is because one of our computer savvy volunteers, Tony Camp, was talking with Dustin Jurman, the President of DSL provider Rapid Systems Corporation, about Big Cat Rescue. Dustin, as it turned out, had previously visited the sanctuary and indicated an interested in helping. We had no idea at the time how much of an understatement this was!
Over the past few months, Rapidsys has donated thousands of dollars of labor to bring our previously primitive computer and Internet capabilities into the 21 st century. First, they completely networked our gift shop and offices.
And as for their DSL Internet service? It is incredible. It has been far more reliable than our previous service, and has built into it technology that prevents and removes hackers, virus’s, Trojans and worms so we do not have to manage that ourselves. And the customer service has been superb (how often do you hear someone say that?) We are very thankful to Tony Camp for this connection and to Rapid Systems, who have both contributed greatly towards the efficiencies of our sanctuary which gives us more time to focus on the cats.
No, these aren’t a new kind of exotic cat that has invaded the sanctuary. We’re referring to you cool jazz cats, the costumed flapper ladies and the zoot-suited gangster-dressed gentlemen at this year’s Fur Ball. You will get to partake in some spirited casino fun with the various machines provided by DanMar Productions at CasinoNight.biz. They have generously donated a Casino Night of 3 Roulette Tables, 3 Blackjack tables and 2 slot machines. In essence, everyone who comes gets points to “gamble” with. Come back in time with us to the vibrant era of the Great Gatsby with your pin-striped and sequined costumes on and enjoy a fine plated meal, jazz music, these games, a silent auction and more. All to benefit the cats.
Extreme Makeover for Caracals
You’ve heard of Jack and Jill connecting kids’ bathrooms? Well, this is the ultimate in shared functional quarters. Cachinga and Cachanga are Caracals that were brought in from a miserable little zoo in Africa in 1995. They have a wonderful bond and like to live together. The problem is that Cachanga loves Cachinga too much and grooms her bald, so they often have to be separated periodically so that Cachinga does not get sores from the over-grooming. The large cage we keep them in together is not designed so that it can be split in two sections, and even if it were, the two sections would be too small.
The solution is to take two cages that are each large enough for one cat and are next to each other and join them with a cage tunnel. This would enable us to easily separate and reunite them by opening and closing a door, but give each of them plenty of room when they are separated. With this structure in place we could separate them before the grooming has too much effect, let Cashinga’s fur grow back, then reunite them for periods of time. This project had been on the wish list for some time but funds were not available. Recently when supporter Patricia Webber took pity on Cachinga and has generously donated $1500 for the project, which will start in a few weeks Thanks very much Patricia! Your donation will have a very immediate effect on the quality of life for these two cats.
Read the entire story…