AdvoCat 2009 12

Happy Holidays Friend of Big Cat Rescue,

I hope all your Holiday Wishes come true and that your New Year’s Resolutions will take you to the next level of accomplishing your life’s goals.

The big cats, and I are hoping that you will cast your vote for them on Facebook as Dec. 11 is the last day to qualify for the $25,000 prize and make it into the next round of voting for $1,000,000.  We can’t make it into round 2, unless we are in the top 100 for round 1, so please help us win at

It is also that time of year to make your charitable gifts so that you can write them off your 2008 taxes.  A gift to the cats goes farther than most because we only spend 15% of our funds on admin and fundraising combined, compared to 35% by most other charities.

As usual there is a lot to report and if you visit the links you will get the whole story, photos and videos.

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:





  Bobcat Rescue

Bobcat RescueA call comes in at 6:15 am from the Sheriff’s department to Big Cat Rescue:

A bus driver discovers a bobcat in the middle of a six lane road during morning rush hour. She was able to nudge the cat out of the middle of the road into the bike lane, but could not get the bobcat to step up onto the curb.

Big Cat Rescuers raced to the scene and you can relive their harrowing experience here:


  Farewell to Rocky, Tarzan & Cha Cha

We said a sad farewell to three of our exotic cat friends since the last edition of the AdvoCat.  More about their lives and their passing here:

  Holiday Specials


Mon 12/21 through Thurs 12/24 – Florida Teachers admitted free to our regular day tours by presenting teaching credentials.  This is for teachers only, not for their families or school admin or support staff.

Check out all of the FREE Holiday games, Letters to Santa, puzzles, wallpapers, ecards and more:

Our ProStore has everything the animal lover would want for the holidays.  Check out our specials here:

One of a kind gift: Framed Paw Print From Trucha the Tiger’s Last Day With Us

Trucha the tiger pawImagine being ripped from your mother at birth, raised in a small cage until you were old enough to breed, then bred as often as physically possible in a way nature never intended, and each time having your own offspring ripped away from you at birth.

That was the life our beautiful tiger named Trucha led for 14 years until she was scheduled to die when a place called Savage Kingdom was closed when no one wanted her – except Big Cat Rescue. All the years of unnatural breeding made Trucha an easy target for advanced, inoperable mammary cancer, which was discovered not long after she arrived. Predicted to live only a few months, she enjoyed another year of life – which she lived to the fullest.  She chuffed her thanks to her keepers right up to the end.

The week she passed was rainy, and our keepers noticed two clear fresh paw prints.  Master Keeper Barbara Frank quickly mixed up cement and poured it into the impressions in the soil.  They were covered to shield them from the threatening storms and dug up the next day after they had hardened. Julie Hanan, a Senior Keeper who is also an accomplished artist, then mounted each one, along with some other natural elements, on a piece of artwork that would appropriately memorialize this special tigress.

We hope that whoever ends up with this unique, priceless piece of art will appreciate that it represents the lasting imprint she made on the hearts of those who cared for her as well as the 1000’s in captivity whom she represented.

Because there is only one, this is a first-come-first-served item for pick-up only as it is too fragile to ship.  Call to be the first to get this one of a kind offering for $250.00 813.850.7052  If you are not the first caller ask about other paw prints of our living tigers.

Get Your Own Big Cat Rescue Credit Card.

If you are approved for a new Capitol One credit card and make a purchase before the end of the year, you will generate a $50 donation from Capitol One to Big Cat Rescue and the cats will benefit from a percentage of all of your charges, at no additional cost and no annual fee.  More here:


  Big Cats in the Cloud

China Doll the Tiger by Julie HananWe are always trying to stay ahead of the curve at Big Cat Rescue and every week we implement new ways of doing our job more efficiently.  If you saw the recent CNBC story called Inside the Mind of Google, you know that cities, such as Washington, DC are utilizing google’s Apps and saving tax payers more than 3 million dollars annually by moving their city management into the “cloud.”  Thanks to a google grant, Big Cat Rescue has been awarded our own online cloud where all of our volunteers can interact by sharing training documents, managing spreadsheets, using gmail and shared calendars, and contributing to our private online web site.  This is greatly enhancing our ability to schedule cleaners, tour guides, feeders and off site events and to make it easy for our volunteers to log their hours, and stay up to date on the happenings around the sanctuary.  One of the most critical sections of this site enables volunteers to post observations about the cats, which in turn can be automatically emailed to the cell phones of the vet, manager, volunteer committee and others so that these reports can be checked out in real time, rather than relying on hand written charts as before.  Emergencies have always been reported by radio or in person, but now even the less critical issues are getting quicker action.

  2009 Photo Contest Ends 12/31/2009

Enter the 2009 Photo Contest now!

1 Grand Prize:  Big Cat Keeper Tour including Photo Safari at Big Cat Rescue, and Internet exposure at our Official web site:

3 First Prizes:  1 hour Photo Safari, and Internet exposure.

3 Second Prizes:  Big Cat Rescue T-shirt, and Internet exposure

3 Third Prizes:  Tour Pass for Big Cat Rescue and Internet exposure.

Three subject categories to submit to:  Wildlife (of course), Pets & Landscape

Entry fee is $5.00 per photo or slide and digital entries are encouraged.

Judging will be in January 2010 so all entries must be emailed or postmarked no later than December 31, 2009.  

Mail all entries and fees to:  Big Cat Rescue attn:  Photo Contest 12802 Easy Street  Tampa, FL  33625

You can also email your entry but image must be 480 pixels on the longest side and 72 DPI and in .JPG format to qualify.  Be sure to state on your email the reason you are sending the photo and proof of entry fee payment via a copy of your receipt from paying at the button below.  The entry fee is $5.00 per photo.  Email both the photo and receipt to

  Saving Cats in the Wild

Volunteers at Big Cat Rescue are saving Leopards and Tigers in the wild by shipping %$!@ .  We’re not going to say it, but its four letters and something we deal with every day when cleaning cages.  Find out how Leopard %$!@ is being used to train game warden dogs to protect Leopards and Tigers in the wild here:

  Animal Planet Hero of the Year Party

Thanks to all of you who voted for Scott Lope as Animal Planet’s Hero of the Year, he made the top 10 and on Dec. 18 Animal Planet will announce the winner.  We won’t know until that night who won, but have decided to combine our annual Volunteeer Awards and a party to celebrate Scott getting into the Top 10 on the night of the announcement.  By the end of the night we may have even more to celebrate if he wins.

The Volunteer Party starts and 6PM and the public is invited to join us at Whiskey Joe’s at 7PM.  The Animal Planet announcement is supposed to be at 8PM, but may be later.

When: Dec. 18, 2009 Volunteers at 6PM / General Public 7PM

Where: Whiskey Joe’s 7720 West Courtney Campbell Causeway Tampa, FL 33607-1430 (813) 281-0407

  Fur Ball Raises Funds to Feed Big Cats

ATT Yellow PagesThe Fur Ball raised enough money to feed Freckles the Liger and Alex and Cookie, the Tigers who came with her, for most of their expected lives at Big Cat Rescue. We are so grateful to everyone who helped by donating items, attending and bidding on our live and silent auctions. And we would particularly like to thank our major sponsors whose consistent support over the years has been so helpful, King Sponsors American Momentum Bank, Jaguar of Tampa and Teasdale Worldwide; Media Sponsors Cox Radio and Fox 13; Leopard Sponsors AvantGold Jewelers, Collman & Karsky Architects, Genesis Group, and Saab of Tampa, along with the new sponsors who joined us this year, Media Sponsors Accent on Tampa Bay Magazine, Tampa Bay Business Journal and Tampa Bay Magazine and new Leopard Sponsor AT&T Real Yellow Pages. Please consider thanking them for their support with your patronage.


 Tony the Truck Stop Tiger Update

Last we heard, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Department was still considering a permit application that would allow the truck stop owner to keep Tony as a prop for selling gas.  Should they deny the permit, we stand ready to rescue Tony, but if they issue it there isn’t anything we can do to alleviate this tiger’s misery.  One of our AdvoCats wrote a touching poem in his honor and says, “For the past three years, our town library has showcased an Art & Poetry Exhibition. We have a reception where the artwork is displayed and poets read their poems. The art and poetry is also featured in a catalog.

I have been fortunate enough to be part of this wonderful event with my poems about tigers and cats. In this, our fourth year, my poem is about Tony.This tiger’s sad and tragic story has completely captured my heart, and while I am not a writer by any means, you can never go wrong if you “write from the heart.

The Art & Poetry Reception was a great success, and I did find the courage to read Tony’s poem. So many people inquired about Tony and wanted more information. I was ready with a brochure of info on Tony. It was a great way to bring Tony’s story to more people and hopefully gain their support for his freedom.”  D. DeSantis

  Sweet 16 Kiss Nikita the Lioness


Nikita the LionessBig Cat Rescue was founded in 1992 and to celebrate our 16th anniversary we are going to celebrate the sixteen species of wild cat that reside at the sanctuary.


This month you can “kiss” Nikita the Lioness.


November 2008 honored Windsong the Bobcat who started Big Cat Rescue since then you could Kiss one cat per month including, Hercules the Snow Leopard, Genie the Sandcat, Nik the Tiger, Rambo the Jungle Cat, Aspen Echo the Cougar, Esmerelda the Serval, Sabre the Leopard, Cameron the Lion, Zza the Ocelot, Zabu the White Tiger and Dances With Wolves the Canada Lynx.

“Kiss” — Nikita the Lioness or “Kiss” them all:

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