AdvoCat News 2010 06

It is with a heavy heart that I let you know that Windsong, the bobcat who started Big Cat Rescue and is lovingly regarded as our “Founder,” has died.  If not for her, Big Cat Rescue would never have existed.

Windsong was in the final stages of renal failure by June. She had been diagnosed last December and treated for her advance arthritis, and given fluids, but the treatment only bought her another six months.  Now she was beginning to waste away, feeling too nauseous to eat regularly and was beginning to get mouth ulcers that come along with advanced renal failure.  I could delay making this awful choice, pump her full of fluids and painkillers again and hope for a few more months, but that would only delay the inevitable.  Windsong is 18 and there was no way to turn back the clock and time’s ravages on her little body.  She was already asleep while we were doing the blood work, so I asked Dr. Wynn to end her life before she had to suffer even one more day of feeling awful.  It was very peaceful as her spirit left her frail little “cat suit.”

I have never cried so much and wondered out loud to Jamie as to why?

Find out why here:

Post your tribute, and read others if you are a Volunteer or AdvoCat here: and more than anything, please continue the work she started by being a voice for these animals.  There are lots of ways below that you can honor her memory by being a freedom fighter.



Angelica Bobcat Rescued from Foreclosure

Angelica Bobcat at Big Cat RescueA woman in Hudson, FL has had a bobcat as a pet for the past 14 years and now is in foreclosure and cannot take Angelica, a female bobcat, with her when the bank repossesses her home. She broke down crying at the thought of losing her long time pet, but said if she knew then, what she knows now about exotic cats, she would never have gotten her.

She willingly signed a contract with Big Cat Rescue agreeing that she will never own another big cat. She had actually visited the sanctuary 10 years ago and said that when she ran out of options for keeping her pet with her she knew that Angelica would have the good life here and never have to worry about eviction.

Angelica, who had been living in a chain link cage with a concrete floor, enthusiastically explored every inch of her new spacious and natural Cat-a-tat. She strolled around stretching her legs and occasionally stopped, dropped, and rolled in the newly discovered substrate. She really likes leaves!


Servie Serval Rescued from 2 Room Apt

“That was terrifying! I am dripping sweat!” were Jamie’s first words when she called to let me know that she and the new serval were on their way home to Big Cat Rescue.

Thanks to many of you who responded to the alert we sent out last month, we were able to rescue this serval when her owner had been Baker acted and later died.  The serval (who neighbors had reported was a ion) had been left behind in a cramped, 2 room apartment and Big Cat Rescue had been called in to remove her.  Easier said than done.

Big Cat Rescue’s President relayed the terrors of being trapped in a hall with a VERY MAD, very large serval.  Stand Up For Animals is Animal Control in Marathon, FL and they had taken a very large dog kennel in for Servie the Serval to get used to.  The plan was to feed her in the carrier, and shut the door…  She wasn’t having any part of that plan.

Instead she hunkered down in the bedroom and challenged anyone to come near her.  There were just too many places in the bedroom to avoid being netted, so Jamie opted to usher her into the hall after blocking the exit with the big carrier and all of the pillows in the house.  Easy enough, right?

Servie Serval at Big Cat RescueJust quietly crowd her into the waiting darkness and luxury of the softly bedded carrier…no dice.  Instead Servie became a 40 lb pin ball of teeth and claws bouncing off the walls, ceiling and Jamie with such speed that your head would have to spin like Linda Blair’s in the Exorcist just to keep track of her.  Finally she dove into the carrier and Jamie used her boot to shut the door.  Good thing too, as paws and claws snatched wildly at the shoe.  Those skinny little Serval legs fit through the tiniest holes!  It’s hard to understand why people think they can make pets out of cats like Servals and Savannahs.

Once Servie saw the huge Cat-a-tat, complete with den, bushes, trees, grass, birds and exciting neighbors you could just tell she was a little sheepish about putting up such a fuss.  This was paradise by comparison!  Read more about her at the link and be on the look out for the upcoming video of her rescue.

Music Video and TV Show for Big Cat Rescue


Singer, songwriter and inspirational speaker; Terez created an moving theme song and, with Chris Poole’s help, a music video for Big Cat Rescue.  In Terez’ own words, “It is my hope that those who view this video get even a small taste of the power and majesty of these animals, feel the magic of Big Cat Rescue and are moved to take action to be part of the solution for big cats.  Let this song and BCR’s feline ambassadors serve as a reminder”…just like them I see – we’re all beautiful, wild and free…” ”

See the video here and order the CD to help support the big cats.

Want to see Big Cat Rescue get its OWN show? Your vote could make that happen on the Oprah Winfrey Network.  See our video about what the show would include and vote for us here:


Fur Ball Trips

Thanks to American Momentum, Jaguar of Tampa & Malcolm Out Loud, our King of Beasts Fur Ball Sponsors, we have a fantastic line up of fun and excitement for you at the Oct. 8th Fur Ball.  In our live auction you will be able to bid on such exotic vacations as Bora Bora, or your own Out of Africa experience, or Sailing and Sun in breath taking Mallorca, and even the magical Isle of Capri.  Got a Need for Speed?  Then you will want to win a stay in Monte Carlo that includes tickets to the 2011 Grand Prix and the opportunity to meet the drivers.

See photos and full descriptions of these trips and the night’s activities here:

Congresswoman Castor Fights Animal Abuse

We are thrilled to report that Congresswoman Kathy Castor, Representative for District 11 where Big Cat Rescue is located, on May 13th became a Co-sponsor of this important bill. The bill closes a loophole that has (a) prevented consumers who do not want to buy real fur from knowing if they are doing so and (b) has allowed Chinese producers to send to the United States garments containing domestic dog fur from animals who are killed in gruesome ways, including being skinned alive.

Current laws require that garments containing fur be labeled with the species used and other information. They also forbid the import or sale of domestic dog and cat fur products. However, the current labeling law allows the Federal Trade Commission to set a dollar amount below which no label on the garment is required. For many years the limit was $20. In 1998 it was raised to $150. Many garments – such as jackets, parkas, sweaters, vests, and accessories – are trimmed with fur and fall below this threshold.

Congresswoman Kathy Castor at Big Cat RescueA series of recent investigations by The Humane Society of the United States revealed that dozens of designers and retailers were selling some fur-trimmed jackets described as “faux,” “raccoon,” “coyote,” or not labeled at all, which turned out to be raccoon dog (a type of dog common in China), domestic dog, or wolf. For example, of 38 jackets subjected to mass spectrometry tests, every single garment was either unlabeled, contained a label that misidentified the animal, or was falsely advertised – some as “faux.”

The Fur Labeling Act, if enacted, will close this loophole by requiring all fur to be labeled. Many retailers and designers, who today cannot tell if the materials they are using are real fur, have come out in support of this bill. Pictured here at the sanctuary with family and friends, Representative Castor has visited the cats repeatedly over the years and has shown great compassion for animals. Co-sponsoring this bill is a wonderful example of that compassion in action!

Often we ask you to email a legislator asking them to support a bill. It is even more important to thank them when they do. Please help us show Congresswoman Castor that people who love animals appreciate her support by sending a short email thanking her for co-sponsoring H.R. 2480 to Thank you!

For more information on what you can do to protect the big cats and other animals visit:

Send a FREE Video E-Card for Father’s Day

LaWanna has been busy creating hundreds of new ecards, games and puzzles on our Big Cat Fun site. Now you can send Video E-Cards for FREE and choose from some great Big Cat videos.  See and send the most popular Father’s Day video ecard here:

Creature Quotes

Visit and download chapters 14 & 16 to see some of Big Cat Rescue’s stars included in this thought provoking ensemble of quotes like this one:

“Considering that slavery had been globally accepted for millennia, it is encouraging that people were able to make such a major shift in the their moral view, especially when a cause like abolition conflicted with strong economic interest. We can still learn for history the invaluable lesson that an enormously powerful and profitable evil can be overcome.”

(“Free at Last” The New York Times, August 26, 2001)

David Brion Davis, Ph.D. (1927-)

American emeritus professor of history

Pulitzer Prize for Non-Fiction Literature 1967

Snow Leopard Cloe Undergoes Lithotripsy

Cloe the snow leopard was diagnosed with a kidney infection and kidney stones in her left kidney about six weeks ago. She has been on antibiotics and our vet and Big Cat Rescuer Dr. Wynn decided the best option to help save her kidney function was to consider lithotripsy. Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) is a procedure used to shatter simple stones in the kidney or upper urinary tract. Ultrasonic waves are passed through the body until they strike the dense stones. Pulses of sonic waves pulverize the stones, which are then more easily passed through the ureter and out of the body in the urine.

Snow Leopard Cloe at Big Cat RescueCloe was sedated by Liz Wynn, DVM and Ashley Joyce, Surgery Vet Nurse of Ehrlich Animal Hospital on Saturday March 15th for the procedure. A team of veterinary interventional radiologists; Allyson Berent, DVM, Dipl., ACVIM, Chick Weisse, VMD., Dipl., ACVS., and Haven Bade, LVT. from the Animal Medical Center in NYC, and Demetrius Bagley MD of the Thomas Jefferson University in PA volunteered their time and flew in to perform a procedure that would allow for the pulverized stone material to pass more easily from her kidney to her bladder by placing a stent (tube) in her ureter.

The lithotripsy machine, operated by John Follman, BMO. of Bay Area Partners, Ltd., gave Cloe’s kidney 2500 shock waves! The equipment for this ground breaking procedure was donated by Margie Irvin CEO of the Bay Area Renal Stone Center. Cloe’s progress will be checked with x-rays in a few months. A very special thanks to all the people who came together to make this happen!


Protect Bobcats, Foxes, Coyotes, & Maybe Even Your Pet

Windsong Bobcat asks you to helpWe need a large number of animal advocates to attend the Commission Hearing to ask for a ban on Fox and Coyote Penning.

At this meeting, Commissioners will decide whether to regulate or prohibit fox and coyote penning-a cruel activity in which trapped foxes and coyotes are released inside fenced enclosures to be chased by packs of dogs, who often kill or maim the captive animals.

People who participate in fox and coyote penning have attended past meetings in large numbers, which makes it appear that more people support this activity than the few who actually do.

We need animal advocates to attend this meeting and testify–however briefly–in support of a complete, immediate ban on this inhumane practice, and show the state wildlife agency that the vast majority of Floridians strongly oppose such animal baiting inside fenced enclosures.


1) Call the Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) at 850-488-4676 and e-mail: and ask for an end cruel fox and coyote pens.

2) Attend the June 23 FWC meeting starting at approximately 9:30-10:00 a.m. in Lake Mary at the Lake Mary Orlando Marriot 1501 International Parkway, Lake Mary, FL 32746 and respectfully ask Commissioners to prohibit this practice immediately.

3) Write a letter to the editor of your local paper calling for state
policy makers to ban this egregious, inhumane activity.

4) Urge others to write letters to the editor and take action as well.

Additional information and talking points can be found below and you can RSVP as well:

Mosquitoes & Management


Mosquitoes: We asked Jim at Bug Smashers to find us the world’s leading authority on eradicating mosquitoes and he did. We can get them under control, but it is going to be expensive and a hassle. It will run $2625.00 to start and $250.-$1000. per month annually April thru Sept. depending on how much rain. They will be setting out 200 briquettes (1 ever 200 square feet) in the swampy areas. They will spray our Northern and Western perimeters each month which is $250.00 and will fog the problem areas after any rain event that drops more than 1 inch of rain. That is where the expense and hassle comes in. That costs $400.00 for two foggings, 7 days apart and we have to turn the water bowls upside down during the fogging. The fog is otherwise deemed safe for pet cats and expected to be safe for ours. This will not eliminate the mosquitoes entirely, as that is impossible given the fact that we are bordered by swamps and have low lying, shaded areas on site, but it is the best that anyone can do, and we are already seeing our cats and our keepers getting much relief from the initial efforts.

Management: Sometimes volunteers help us with the cats. Other times, however, they help us with each other. Doug Van Dyke, president of Leadership Simplified, volunteers to help selected members of management through one on one executive coaching and participation in a group called Leadership Perspectives. As we improve as managers and work more skillfully with each other, we enhance our ability to care for the cats and educate the world about their plight in the most effective and efficient manner.

Thanks to everyone who helps us help the cats!

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