AdvoCat News 2010 03

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Saint Patrick is most known for driving the snakes from Ireland. It is true there are no snakes in Ireland, but there probably never have been – the island was separated from the rest of the continent at the end of the Ice Age.  Thanks to the reckless trade in all manner of pythons and exotic animals, the south is in dire need of a modern day St. Patrick who can drive the invasive snakes out of our glades and woods.  Please ask your lawmaker to restrict the trade in dangerous exotics HERE

I’m feeling lucky to count you among my friends.  With your help we are getting “greener” every day and are seeing an awakening of monumental proportion.  It is an exciting time to be alive and to witness the shift in the way people are thinking about animals and the way we are all beginning to see that life here is precious.  That seems even more clear as new life begins to spring forth after a long, cold, hard winter.

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: or join more than 10,000 of our facebook fans.



Help Us Win Again This Year!

Thanks to YOU who participated in the March Goodness contest last year, Big Cat Rescue was the grand prize winner of $10,000.  The contest starts this year on March 15 and will be in 2 rounds.  In these lean economic times it really helps to be able to win contests that have prize money and this one has $10,000 on the line!

Round 1 winners are decided based upon the charity that gets the most unique donors from Mar. 15 till Mar 31.  The minimum donation is $10 and that is all we are asking you to donate during round one.  Since $10 is what you would spend on a couple of magazines, we are hoping you will ask all of your friends and family to donate $10 too because the winner will be determined by the most people and not the most money.

We have to win Round 1 to compete in Round 2 (with other regional winners) and in Round 2 the winner is decided by the charity who raises the most money between April 2 and April 6, 2010.  We can’t count any of the money raised in Round one, so save your big bucks for Round 2 where they can do the most good.  Please make a $10 donation here via Razoo (powered by Network for Good) and the best part is that Razoo never charges any processing fees to the charity.


A Wickedly Wonderful Day for the Cats!

Wicked Cast

On Tuesday, February 9th, Donna Vivino and the company of WICKED visited Big Cat Rescue for a private tour of the sanctuary.

The cast and production company of Wicked have a longstanding reputation for supporting non-profit animal welfare organizations in the communities in which the musical is being performed.

In WICKED, Donna Vivino plays Elphaba, who crusades to save the rights of animals.

So in a perfect confluence of themes, the touring company which was performing in Tampa visited Big Cat Rescue in support of the 100+ magnificent animals that call the sanctuary home.

“We were very excited to partner together with the cast of WICKED” said Jeff Kremer, Big Cat Rescue’s Director of Donor Appreciation.  “The sanctuary envisions a world where the animals we share it with are treated with compassion and respect, just as Elphaba does in the play…making life better for animals who didn’t get a fair chance in life.”

During their visit, Donna Vivino and colleagues were presented with a Ceramic Plaque as well as “Cat-A-Tat” sign in recognition of their support of the sanctuary’s animals as well as those around the world.  See the video of their visit:

Sanctuary Standards


Thanks to you the big cats are protected by a law that passed in 2003 and finally became enforceable in 2007 that made it illegal to sell big cats across state lines as pets. Now we need your help to close some of the loopholes left in that law.

There were some great criteria set out in the new law, but no way for the government to know if a sanctuary was in compliance, other than asking them to be honest. Most of the places that call themselves sanctuaries, really aren’t because they breed, buy, sell and allow the public to pet their “accidental” cubs.

Please let the US Fish & Wildlife Service know that you want more accountability from sanctuaries by sending a quick email before March 22.


Tiger Next Door on Animal Planet

The US Broadcast Premiere and DVD Release of the documentary film “THE TIGER NEXT DOOR” will be a shortened (43min) version on Animal Planet on March 25, 2010 9pm

Then see the entire story (86min) on DVD! Reviews and Trailer also featured on the website:

This powerful documentary is also being featured at the:

Saturday April 10 6:30pm

Florida Film Festival

Enzian Theater

1300 South Orlando Avenue

Maitland, FL 32751

(407) 629-0054

Wednesday April 14 3:30pm

Regal Winter Park

510 N. Orlando Ave.

Winter Park, FL 32789

(407) 628-0163

Harlem Tiger


“Beautifully made… A seamless narrative that challenges thinking adults.” — The Huffington Post

“A great story told with intelligence, compassion and some amazing footage.” –NOW Magazine

“ … an affectionate profile, a damning exposé, and an urgent missive.” –Eye WEEKLY

“The Tiger Next Door” is a gripping moral tale. The film deserves the largest possible viewer-ship, both because of the questions it raises about keeping wild animals captive, and because of the questions it raises about being a human being. –Tom Regan, Culture and Animals Foundation

The film maker, Camilla Calamandrei, will be available after the Orlando shows and would be happy to meet any Big Cat Rescue fans for dinner or a Q & A session.  Email if you plan to be there so we can arrange something fun.

Saving Tigers From Being Farmed for Their Parts

The International Tiger Coalition booth at the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) Conference of the Parties was sponsored by Big Cat Rescue thanks to all of YOU who voted for us to win the Chase contest prize of $25,000 on facebook. The booth in Doha, Qatar featured ITC information materials, a continuous feed of ITC videos and tiger-striped giveaways (such as lanyards from which to hang CoP15 identification badges.)  Over 1,500 delegates representing more than 170 governments, indigenous people, non-governmental organizations and businesses are attending the world conference.  We also sponsored our ITC moderator, Judy Mills, to attend the conference to present an intervention to save the tigers who are being farmed in China.

Tiger SnorkelAlready at this conference we have seen the result of our joint efforts.  “We will ask our members not to use endangered wildlife in traditional Chinese medicine, and reduce the misunderstanding and bias of the international community,” said the World Federation of Chinese Medicines Societies’ Huang Jianyin.  “The traditional Chinese medicine industry should look for substitutes and research on economical and effective substitutes for tiger products, which will improve the international image and status of traditional Chinese medicine and promote TCM in the world,” he added.

We are there as part of this 40+ member coalition of tiger protection groups to ask that CITES parties enact stronger measures, such as trade bans on other products, to end the trade in tigers, their parts and derivatives. CITES parties have been trying to end the trade in tigers since adopting a strong position in 1993, but China has only paid lip service to the treaty and now is openly opposing it in hopes of opening up the trade in tigers, so that a handful of business men can profit on the 6,500 tigers they have been breeding and stockpiling in tiny, barren cages.

The US has been complicit in this scheme as well though, as Americans are the second largest consumer of tiger parts and our lax laws and even more lax enforcement provide a legal cover for illegal activity. When almost anyone can own a tiger in the US, with very little oversight, then it is easy for tigers who have been poached in the wild, at a much cheaper cost than raising them, to end up being sold here. If you pay to see baby tigers or pay to hold them in photos, you are hurting tigers; both the ones who will lead miserable lives in cages and those in the wild that are being poached and killed for their parts.

You can help put an end to the misery here and send a strong message to the rest of the world that we are cleaning up our act at the same time we are asking China to clean up theirs. Please take a minute to print out this letter to sign and send:

Forever Sponsor of Some Special Cats

We have lost some amazing cats in the past few months and it saddens us to see so many of our dear old friends becoming even older.  Our time with so many of them is now measured in days and weeks and it is heartbreaking to lose each one.  We are only strengthened in the knowing that they are finally free from lives of confinement and that because of YOU there is less and less demand for the abusive situations that brought them here.

You can keep their memory alive, while funding the work that ends the trade, by remembering them in our cemetery with a memorial  marker that includes their photo, dates of birth and death, and your name as their forever sponsor.

India ForeverThese markers are 8 x 8 inch black marble with the photo and text engraved by laser so it will never fade.  For a donation of $500.00 you can have your name added as the forever sponsor.

If you would like to be the Forever Sponsor of

Anastasia Siberian Lynx 1992-2009

Rocky Bobcat 1997-2009

Tarzan Jungle Cat  1993-2009

Cha Cha Jungle Cat 1997-2009

Adonis Leopard 1990-2010

Shanghai Leopard Cat 1991-2010

Crystal Jungle Cat 1995-2010

India Tigress 1996-2010

King Tiger 1990-2010

you can make a donation of $500.00 online here:

Paying it Forward

Sometimes the most unexpected things happen in a wonderful way. Big Cat Rescue had a recent fire safety inspection that became an unplanned investment of time & resources, both of which are always in short supply. On calling to find a supplier for fire extinguishers for our buildings I came upon A to Z Fire, (4017 W. Osborne Ave, Ste 5, Tampa, Fl, 813-350-0665, When I described the needs of the sanctuary, the gentleman who answered the phone informed me that he was the owner of the company. Not only would he send his crew over with the needed equipment on Monday, but he was going to donate the equipment to us, because he knew who we were and he loves what we do! Wow! I never even asked! Needless to say, we are receiving much more than safety equipment for our facility. We are honored to receive a gesture of friendship and support from Mr. Dan Freitag, owner of A to Z Fire. We do believe that no kindness goes unnoticed, and now our supporters know exactly where to go for their fire safety needs. Thank you Dan, for helping out and for making our day!

Said Dan Freitag, “Our donation is not alot, but If only more people would help our community out, in just small ways, everyone; I believe, would benefit in the long run. By us helping out others from time to time, showing my kids and other kids that it is our responsibility to help animals and others out- I feel it will help make someone elses life a little easier, more safer, more loving and compassionate and will help create a more productive world for the next generation to come! From time to time, we all need a little help and encouragement!”

2009 Annual Report

See all the good work that your support has enabled at Big Cat Rescue in our 2009 Annual Report:


Lock Down at Big Cat Rescue

There are 114 enclosures at Big Cat Rescue.  Each of these enclosures is secured with a padlock on the entry door, and some of the enclosures have more than one entry door.  These weather proof locks were donated by Masterlock approximately 10 years ago.  Many of them have rusted, and are no longer operational, and some have had to be cut off the doors because they had rusted so severely that they could not be opened with a key.  Since these locks all arrived at the same time, we are seeing a fast growing trend.

We wrote a letter to Masterlock thanking them for their past generosity and explaining our current situation.  Unfortunately they have had so many requests for donation recently that they were unable to donate another batch of locks.  Sooooo,  we will be purchasing 130 keyed alike weather proof locks from Masterlock and would be OH SO appreciative if some generous supporter or supporters out there would help us out with funding.  Each lock will cost $12 and we are seeking to purchase 130 so that we have some back up locks as well.  Replacing all of the old rusted locks with these new locks will cost the sanctuary $1,560. Please help us keep the cats safe and secure.

Here are some facts about the locks.

  • Master LockMust all be keyed alike
  • 1-9/16″ (40mm) wide laminated steel body for superior strength
  • High-tech thermoplastic shell designed to withstand the elements
  • Hardened steel shackle with molded cover
  • Exciting, colorful outdoor protection
  • Matching colored keyhead for added convenience
  • Ideal for all outdoor applications

Sweet 16 Kiss Trick E the Leopard Cat


Trick E Leopard CatBig Cat Rescue was founded in 1992 and to celebrate our 16th anniversary we have celebrated the sixteen species of wild cat that reside at the sanctuary.

This is the last month and the last cat you can “kiss” is Trick E the Amur Leopard Cat.

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, Nakita the Lioness, Rose the Caracal and Pharaoh the White Serval.

“Kiss” Trick E the Leopard Cat or “Kiss” them all:

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