AdvoCat 2009 11

Happy Thanksgiving Friend of Big Cat Rescue,

There is so much to be thankful for and having you as one of our supporters is right there at the top of the list.  If your name is wrong above, I am really, really sorry.  I want to get this right.  We have had a lot of complaints that names are not syncing up with the email addresses we have on file after we made the switch from one data base manager to another.  If your name is not the one associated with this email address please let us know at

Other things that fill my heart with gratitude are our wonderful volunteers and you will get to know more about some of them in this issue.  Their work is changing attitudes toward exotic cats in that people are seeing them as individuals with their own needs and desires and not just as designer pets and ego props.  I am thrilled to announce that we had nearly 600 people turn out for the 10th annual Fur Ball and their generosity in these tough times was just remarkable!  Thank YOU for your part in this mission.  It takes all of us doing all we can and I am honored to call you my ally.

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





  Serval Rescue

Serval with no name yetAn African Serval was limping along in the Arizona desert until she collapsed alongside a road.  She had almost completely given up the will to live. She was probably a pet or perhaps used in the hybrid breeding scheme that has become all the rage where Servals are bred to domestic house cats to produce Savannah Cat hybrids. The domestic cats are often killed in the process. The kittens sell for thousands of dollars, but when they mature they typically spray and bite and make awful pets. The hybrids are usually discarded by the time they are two or three years old.

This Serval was obviously abandoned and was placed by authorities at the Tucson Wildlife Center, a non-profit sanctuary dedicated to native wildlife. Lisa Bates-Lininger the founding president of the Tucson Wildlife Center said, “She was dehydrated and tired and just ready to give up. She may have died last night, but luckily we got her in. We got her emergency treatment, fluids for shock, and she’s also missing a rear leg.”

Despite 18 media posts including TV news in Tucson and a post on Craig’s list looking for the owner no one admits to having abandoned this Serval to die in the desert.  Thanks to some very generous supporters the serval was flown to her new permanent home at Big Cat Rescue where she is recovering well.  Servals can live into their late teens and proper care is thousands of dollars each year. Her new 1,200 square foot Cat-a-tat had to be specially modified to accommodate her three legged hopping. It seems that she only recently lost her leg as she has a very difficult time keeping her balance.  We are writing vets in the Tucson area to find out if any of them know what tragedy caused her to lose a limb and to see if there is any way to prosecute those who exposed her to such danger.

See a video of her here:  Help support her by paying $1.00 per entry to give her a new name:


  Death of a Sultan, Lola and an Age of Aquarius

Sultan the OcelotWe lost some very dear friends in the past month;  Sultan the Ocelot Lola the Leopard and Aquarius the Fishing Cat. Sultan was a long time survivor of Toxoplasmosis and his necropsy showed that he had hardening of the arteries and a problem with his intestines.  His death was sudden and unexpected as he had not shown any signs of illness.  Lola the leopard had been bravely battling cancer but when she quit eating on her own, she was euthanized at the age of 17. Aquarius was dealing with all of the decline expected in the latter years of an old cat’s life and was euthanized when her renal failure reached the point that she no longer wanted to eat or enjoy her daily activities.  She was the last of the Fishing Cats at Big Cat Rescue and her passing signifies the passing of an era for captive cats as well.

The Felid Taxon Advisory Group (Felid TAG) recently publicized their criticism of the practice of keeping exotic cats as pets.  They also commented that Fishing Cats are rarely found in zoos.  None of the Fishing Cats in private collections can be traced back to the wild, so there is no reason for anyone in the private sector to be breeding these cats as they could never contribute to conservation.  There is no reason for zoos to continue to try and breed their limited and inbred populations either as there has never been a successful release of captive bred exotic cats back to the wild.  The age of keeping Fishing Cats in cages has finally neared an end.

There is much debate about when the Age of Aquarius begins, but most believe that it coincides with the time we live in now.  Aquarius traditionally “rules” computers, freedom, idealists and rebellion. Other ideas believed associated with Aquarius are no nconformity, philanthropy, veracity, and perseverance. It is because we live in an age where the truth about exotic cats, and the plight they face in captivity, can be shared with the entire world that we are seeing changes in attitudes.  We will miss our dear friends Sultan and Aquarius and all of the others who have passed on, but we are consoled by the fact that their stories have been the catalyst for emergence into a kinder and more humane world where are wild cats will live free.

  2009 Fur Ball a Roaring Success!


There were nearly 600 supporters at the 10th annual Fur Ball and they all came out in big ways to show their love of the big cats.  The live auction was our most successful ever, netting $50,000.00.  The silent auction room was almost completely emptied by high bidders.  There was no cat left behind in the Sponsor a Cat room so every one of the the wild cats at Big Cat Rescue had a sponsor by the end of the night.  There was almost never an empty chair at the drumming circle and the band had to tell all of the partiers to “go home” at midnight as the dance floor was still hopping! Overall the Fur Ball netted about $90,000.  See the fun photos of the night at Big Cat Rescue FlickR

NEW!  Post your own Fur Ball comments here:


 Bobcat Hit By THREE Cars Lives to Tell the Tale

Dante the rehab bobcatDr. Deborah L. Sullivan of the Suncoast Veterinary Care Center called Big Cat Rescue reporting that a good Samaritan had retrieved a bobcat who had been hit on SR 54 and tied the cat in the back of his truck and drove him to the first Veterinary Clinic he saw. Upon arrival the bobcat leaped from the truck but was stunned enough from the impact that Dr. Sullivan and Dr. Shreeve were able to hand inject him with a sedative as he was conscious enough to strike out.

He had been hit by a car, which stunned him to the point that he was just sitting in the middle of the road shaking his head.  Gathering all of the strength and will at his command he tried to weave off the pavement when he was struck by a second car that flipped him into the path of a third oncoming vehicle, according to eye witness reports.

Get the rest of the story and see photos of Dante the recovering bobcat here:

Please help us continue to provide for bobcats like Dante by donating today. We make it easy here:

  Scouts Schedule for 2009 and 2010

Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts often say that Big Cat Rescue was their favorite field trip of the year.  Check out all of the new kinds of tours that Scouts and their families can enjoy in the upcoming season.  There are special times and rates for Family Tours, Big Cat Training Tours, Making and Giving Out Treat Tours and Special Group Tours.

  Volunteer “Spot” Lights Married Volunteers

Volunteer- to do charitable or helpful work without receiving pay for it.  This is the definition of volunteer. What the definition does not include is passion, commitment, loyalty and an absolute love for what you do. This is the definition of a Big Cat Rescue Volunteer.

We have over 100 people who volunteer in different capacities. They clean enclosures, rake, landscape, paint, give tours, help in our gift shop, write letters to help change laws, educate the public about animals in the wild and in captivity, – all this, while keeping our guests comfortable and happy. I would like you to meet some of our volunteers who commit their time and energy to Big Cat Rescue. How many married couples do you know, who share the same passion and volunteer together? Meet ours:

  Volunteer Vacations & Liger Tooth Intern

Big Cat Rescue was included in the book called VOLUNTEER VACATIONS ACROSS AMERICA by Sheryl Kayne.  The book received national attention when it was reviewed in Womans Day and the New York Daily News.  It was featured as one of Amazon’s Best New Travel Books and seen in USA Today and heard on Peter Greenberg’s Worldwide Radio show. Find out more about Sheryl Kayne at and get your copy of the book here and Big Cat Rescue will earn a portion of the sale:

When Interns come for three month shifts at Big Cat Rescue, no one could mistake it for a vacation, but it is the experience of a life time.  Just ask Andrew, who is doing his second 3 month internship.  He is considering a career in veterinary medicine and got to help our vet, Dr. Liz Wynn and Dr. Michael Peak, a big cat dental expert, as they removed one rotten canine tooth and repaired three other canine teeth on Freckles the Liger last month.  See the video about this exciting day here:

  Gifts That Keep Giving All Year ‘Round

I think I am probably like most other people in that I don’t want people to buy things for me.  If I really need or want something, I will get it myself.  If you want to express your love for me, you know that my passion is in saving big cats.  Doing something to end the trade in exotic cats is going to warm my heart more than anything else you could do.  If you are reading this, then you probably share a similar mission in life.

This gift giving season, you can let others know that the best gift you could get would be for them to write a letter at  If your loved ones don’t want to get involved personally then they can help you in your quest to care for the 100+ big cats at Big Cat Rescue by making a donation at a Fundraising page that you set up at Razoo.  It is easy for your family and friends and you don’t have to exchange the gift later.

Creating a Fundraiser takes only 5 minutes. To get started, set up a free Razoo account and Create a Fundraiser. Customizing your Fundraiser page is simple: you can include a personal story about why you love Big Cat Rescue as well as a photograph or a YouTube video related to Big Cat Rescue.

Once your Fundraiser page is complete, use the “ShareThis” button at the bottom of the screen to send friends and family a link to your fundraiser through email, Facebook, Twitter, and any other social media tools you use. Razoo is powered by Network for Good and the best part is that they do all of the donation processesing for free so that 100% of the donations go to Big Cat Rescue.  Get started with Razoo now!

A free way to help Big Cat Rescue win $10,000 is to vote for us in America’s Favorite Animal Shelter contest, sponsored by Care2 and  It is a chance for animal lovers everywhere to raise awareness of the need to adopt shelter and rescue animals while helping Big Cat Rescue win a much-needed donation.


 Big Cat Luxe Gifts

Big Cat Luxe Gifts

  Sweet 16 Kiss Dances with Wolves the Lynx


Canada Lynx Dances with WolvesBig Cat Rescue was founded seventeen 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” Dances with Wolves the Canada Lynx.

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. June’s cat – Esmerelda the Serval, July’s cat – Sabre the Leopard, September’s cat – Cameron the Lion and October’s cat – Zza the Ocelot.  Last month you could “kiss” Zabu the White Tiger.

“Kiss” Dances with Wolves today or “Kiss” them all:

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