AdvoCat 2009 07

Saluting you Big Cat Rescuer,

Hope you had a happy 4th.

Please forgive me if this issue of the AdvoCat seems like it is less our usual quality.  There were a number of last minute changes and, as always, just too much news to include.  A lot of great volunteers and staff should have been mentioned here for all their good work but I did not have time to fully research each article.  The reason is that we are converting from Exceed to Raiser’s Edge and tomorrow our site that sends you these letters will be going through a huge overhaul.  Not knowing how long the transition will take and if any data will be lost, I wanted to get this out to you today.  If you don’t hear from me in August, it means we lost your contact info and need you to reconnect with us to correct it.

Thanks for all you do for the cats and for helping us through this transition. 

This Ezine only goes out monthly, so if you want to stay in the Big Cat loop, follow me on Twitter where you can get updates several times a day:



  Do Your Kids Do This?

“Mom!  He’s looking at me!” If you are a parent, you have heard it over and over.  Kids will do just about anything to antagonize each other and tiger “kids” aren’t any different.  The problem is that tigers never grow up.  For years Shere Khan and China Doll the tigers lived next door to Auroara the tiger.  They had known each other since they were small and got along fine.  After Auroara died of cancer last year we decided to move Snorkle the tiger into her spacious one acre, lake front Cat-a-tat.

Tiger Bites BallShere Khan and China Doll (mostly Khan) would spend the entire day trying to annoy Snorkle.  They would bark at him, bluff at him and pull on the fence that separated them.  Since Snorkle is deaf, their threats just weren’t being acknowledged, and that must have been just infuriating.  We tried all manner of things to keep the peace but nothing was working.  Finally Snorkle was moved out.

While in exile, Barbara and some of the staff and volunteers clipped palmetto fronds around the sanctuary and wove them into the VERY LONG wall that separates the one acre tiger enclosure from the three acre tiger enclosure.  They created a wall of fronds more than six feet high on Snorkle’s side so the cats cannot see each other.  Good natured Snorkle is too old and too disinterested in being a trouble maker to pull them down.  So far…it’s working!  We are hoping that this will be a lasting truce.


  Send Out Cards & Save a Big Cat

A concept and service that is changing people’s lives.  With this incredible tool, not only can you remember people and share appreciation, you can motivate, uplift, encourage and truly make a difference. Here is the interesting thing, the more you do this, the more you realize that you, the sender of these cards, benefit the most.

You can send a printed greeting card with your message in Less than 60 Seconds.

Send Out Cards• Choose your card
• Write your message
• Click send

SendOutCards prints it, stuffs it and mails it, all for less than a greeting card at the store.  We have started using this service to connect with our donors and legislators.  If you send out greeting cards, you can save money, save time and save a cat too.  Contact our AdvoCat Kathleen Slaven to find out how:

  Fur Ball Watch Raffle


You could win a Rolex Explorer I watch in our Fur Ball raffle!  Enter for a chance to win a regal Rolex Oyster Perpetual Explorer I watch valued at $5,050.   The Explorer made an auspicious debut in 1953, after Sir Edmund Hillary’s successful ascent of Everest.  Since then, these robust Oyster Perpetual chronometers have demonstrated their dependability far and wide, defying the most extreme conditions.  Raffle tickets here:

The drawing will be the night of the Fur Ball but you don’t have to be present to win.

Check out the tasty menu that will be offered at the Fur Ball here:


  On Good Morning America

Big Cat Rescue’s Three Word Video aired June 21st on Good Morning America. GMA has been encouraging viewers to send in three words that describe their lives.  See what Big Cat Rescue submitted here:

Check out our new 2 minute Public Service Announcement for Big Cat Rescue here:

Ways to help us promote it:  Embed on your web page, share on Facebook, mark as a Favorite at YouTube.  While you are there, check out our cool new look on YouTube!

  One Wild Time on Your Summer Vacation

2009 Summer Campers Enrichment TimeSummer is here, and Big Cat Camp is in full swing. Our campers have been enjoying playing, learning, and visiting with the cats under the caring supervision of counselors Lauren Ebanks and Phyllis Middaugh. The cats have certainly been “enriched” by the campers’ presence as well. As a matter of fact making “enrichments” and observing how the cats react to their handiwork is just one of the favorite activities the kids participate in!

Our kids have commented “I don’t know if any other activities were possible, we did so many!” Parents report that “All she talked about everyday is what she learned at camp and all about the cats, etc. I can tell she really absorbed a lot of info” and “He loves this camp, the counselors, and the cats”.

With only four weeks remaining we have just a few spaces left for ages 8-11 in this summer season and a few “spots” for ages 16-18 to experience the Young Adult Expedition scheduled for July 30th through August 1rst. So if you’ve been thinking about registering or you would like more information now is the time to take the tiger by the tail and contact our Education Director, Beth Kamhi at 813-323-3265 or by email at  Watch the slide show here:

Can’t come to Big Cat Camp?  Check out some fun you can have from home!

New free online flash games:

  Legislative Updates

Year to date report here:

Results of the 5 year long Rule Changes in FL & how they effect the rest of the US:

What you can do about it:

  Tip the Big Cat Buccaneer

BucsThis Friday!

July 10, 2009 from 7pm till 11pm Buccaneer Chris Hovan will be tending bar at Michael’s 717 South, Tampa, FL and your tips will be split between Big Cat Rescue and the Children’s Cancer Center.

Print and post the flier HERE

Check out all of the upcoming events that include one to help rescued iguanas, one to help a number of animal based charities and more on our Event Page here:

  Going Ga-Ga Over Google With LocalDirective

LocalDirective is an awesome online marketing firm that helps local, regional and national companies grow their revenues through search engine advertising and optimization, social media marketing and website development/revitalization. As part of their mission, each year they donate a portion of their time to work with selected non-profits, to bring their incredible expertise in online marketing to help grow that non-profit.

In a purr-fect stroke of good fortune, Big Cat Rescue was selected for assistance this year. Even though LocalDirective’s management of our Google Adwords program has only been in place for a few months, we are already seeing the marvelous effects of their efforts to drive awareness, increase visits to our website and blog, and improve ‘conversions’ of visitors to become supporters of our grrrreeaat cause! Now, all around the United States, visitors see us in Google when they are searching to support non-profits through donations, shop through portals that support non-profits, shop at our gift shop, and even learn about animal laws and how to support humane legislation. Thanks, LocalDirective, for trumpeting the news about the largest Big Cat Rescue in the world!


  Non Profit of the Year Finalist

Big Cat Rescue was recently a finalist in the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s annual Non Profit of the Year contest.  We were judged to be in the top five animal related non profits but lost this year to the Clearwater Aquarium Museum in our category.  It was an honor to be considered among such a group of worthy charities.  Howie and I were joined at our table by donors Jill Reagan from Panther International, Mindi Lasley, Esq., Eric Husby Esq. and Big Cat Rescuers Susan Mitchell and Jessica Allen.

  Sweet 16 Kiss Sabre the Black Leopard


Saber Black LeopardBig Cat Rescue was founded sixteen years ago in 1992 and to celebrate our anniversary we are going to celebrate the sixteen species of wild cat that reside at the sanctuary.

This month you can “kiss” Sabre the Leopard.

November honored Windsong the Bobcat who started Big Cat Rescue and December’s cat – Hercules the Snow Leopard. February’s cat – Genie the Sandcat.  March’s cat – Nik the Tiger, April’s cat – Rambo the Jungle Cat, May’s cat – Aspen Echo the Cougar. Last month you could “kiss” Esmerelda the Serval.

“Kiss” Sabre the Black Leopard today or “Kiss” them all:

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