Big Cat Updates
Devin Saari’s Coordinator Notes for 4/25/2018
Great day today lots of volunteers to help get feeding and cleaning done.
Projects that were completed:
Loki’s lockout had limestone added to it
Keisha’s lockout had limestone added to it
The old bridge behind Loki was removed
Old printers and copiers were removed from staff offices
Smalls lockouts were *spray painted
The tiger lake explore cam was cleaned
Whole prey and chicken thighs were counted
*Spray painted? We use Rustoleum paint to prevent rust from forming on the cats’ cages.
Lauren Grant’s Coordinator Notes for 4/26/2018
We had lots of volunteer help today!
Cleaning was done by noon. Some volunteers stayed to help with food prep and got most of it done by 3.
The back of some of the Texas tigers cages was painted. They get to have an extended vacation so their cage can be prepped.
Everyone ate pretty well today. I left 8.4oz overnight with Andi, and she has been eating really well.
That’s about it
– Lauren G
Did You Know: Before feeding time we have to go out and shew away vultures to ensure the vultures are not stealing the cats’ food. You may have also noticed that we add an additional smaller mesh wire wrapped around the cats’ feeding lockout. The prevents the vultures and ducks from sticking their heads into steal food while the cats are trying to eat.
Zeus Update: Today’s evening Wildcat Walkabout Part 2 video shows Keeper Lynda and Zeus and Carole talks about how Zeus is doing. https://www.facebook.com/bigcatrescue/videos/10155316298616957/ Also at the end of the video see him eating.
Wildcat Walkabout Part 1: What did Carole do today? Cole & Marmalade’s owner is returning to Florida on Tuesday. Coordinators chatted about cats’ special diets and food prep. Carole also chats the USDA inspection changes and various cat updates. Find the video at https://www.facebook.com/bigcatrescue/videos/10155316261191957/
ONLY 3 1/2 DAYS LEFT
ONLY 3 1/2 DAYS LEFT to do a Facebook Fundraiser for Big Cat Rescue to help us help circus lions and tigers be rescued from Guatemala.
During the Month April, all $ donated through Facebook Fundraisers for Big Cat Rescue will be earmarked to help with this huge rescue.
Learn how EASY it is to set up a Facebook Fundraiser for Big Cat Rescue at BigCatRescue.org/facebook-fundraiser/
Learn more about this huge rescue operation for Guatemala circus cats at BigCatRescue.org/circusban
Andy Tiger wants to THANK YOU for caring enough to help us help the cats in Guatemala.
We were recently notified that Big Cat Rescue has earned a spot on the 2018 Top Rated List!
Thanks to our fans, we are one of the first winners of a 2018 Top-Rated Award from GreatNonprofits! Read inspiring stories about us and add your own! https://greatnonprofits.org/org/big-cat-rescue-corp
Student Q & A
Q & A Jennifer did for a student regarding stray cats in Tampa
Thank you for contacting Big Cat Rescue. Although community cats/feral cats are not the focus of our sanctuary, I am personally familiar with the topic and am able to answer your questions. Please see my answers below. I hope they are helpful to your daughter’s project.
1. How many cats are you able to find forever homes for each year? Big Cat Rescue does not directly place domestic cats into homes. We do, however, collaborate with the Humane Society of Tampa Bay to provide foster care for domestic kittens that are born to stray or community cats. To date, we have fostered over 600 cats in this program. Once these kittens are in good health and of weight, they are taken back to the Humane Society of Tampa Bay for adoption. We are very proud of this programs as kittens usually do not fair well in shelter settings.
2. Is there a Trap, Neuter, Release program in your city to help manage the feral cat problem? The City of Tampa does not have a TNR program, but Hillsborough County does run a Community Cats program. When cats are trapped by people and brought to the county shelter, a portion of those cats are returned to the community after being spayed/neutered, vaccinated, and ear-tipped.
3. Why are there so many feral cats in our country? Cats were originally brought to the US on merchant ships that carried grains and other foods. The cats were used to chase out rats and other pests. Cats were then used in warehouses, factories, restaurants, and other food-based businesses for the same reason. The problem is that cat movement cannot be controlled and cats reproduce quickly. Large community cats colonies became custom in nearly every community, particularly cities and towns in warm areas with access to water. Cat litter was invented in 1947. As a result, keeping cats indoors as pets started becoming popular. But people were still allowing these cats to breed and many were ending up in municipal shelters, where they would meet a tragic fate. It was not until the late 1980/early 1990s that the practice of spaying and neutering really took off. And more recently the idea of spaying and neutering community cats has become popular. Most countries have feral cats. For the past two decades, animal advocates and forward thinking animal control programs in the US have been increasing demand and access to low-cost spay-neuter programs for feral/stray cats. As a result, more and more communities are adopting TNR programs.
4. Does the city offer a low-cost or free spay/neuter clinic? No, the City of Tampa does not offer a low-cost or free spay/neuter clinic. Such programs are only offered by local non-profits such as Humane Society Tampa Bay and Animal Coalition of Tampa. The Humane Society of Tampa Bay provides a free spay/neuter program for Tampa residents.
5. Does Tampa have spay/neuter laws? No, neither Tampa or Hillsborough county require pets to be spayed or neutered.
6. Do you have anything else to add about the stray dogs and feral cats? When speaking about cats, it is important to differentiate between stray cats and community cats. From the ASPCA webpage:
A community cat is primarily wild-raised or has adapted to community life. The ASPCA defines a stray cat as someone’s pet who has become lost, or who has been abandoned.
- Stray cats are usually tame and comfortable around people.
- They will frequently rub against legs and exhibit behaviors such as purring and meowing. In contrast, community cats are notably quiet and keep their distance.
- Stray cats will also often try to make a home near humans—in car garages, front porches or backyards.
- Most stray cats are completely reliant on humans for food and are not able to cope with life on the streets.
The ASPCA uses the term “community cats” to encompass any unowned cat. Included under this umbrella are feral cats, those who have been lost or abandoned, and cats who might receive food and intermittent care from one or more residents in a community. Feral cats are cats who are too poorly socialized to be placed as a typical pet.
Jennifer Leon, MPA
Director of Outreach
Funny Story - Breezy Bobcat
Not many people know that Staff Members are expected to meet required Volunteer hours. I love to garden, so Kathryn has assigned me landscaping tasks around the sanctuary.
This week, I’ve been weeding and raking leaves around the Kitten Cabana. Due to the hard freezes in January, the plants were looking brown and ugly. I cut back many of the plants and removed other dead foliage from the pots.
I thought that I was doing an excellent job until Intern Lisa came along and asked “where is Breezy’s mint plant? Before anyone else noticed my faux-pas, I bought a new herb garden planter for Breezy filled with fresh “Sweet Mint” plants. Whew!
Barbara J. Nicholas
Director of Donor Appreciation
Phone2Action Weekly Update
Making the Call of the Wild at BigCatAct.com every week is truly one of the most important things all of us can do to stop the abuse, suffering, and exploitation of big cats and their babies.
Here is this weeks list of the states and Reps that received those Calls for the week of April 20th thru the 27th. Is YOUR Rep and state on this list? If it is not, are YOU making the Call of the Wild? Are you asking your friends and family to make that call?
Below are the previous weeks. Please glance through them and see if your state is there? If not, can you help us reach more people in your state?
Witness Protection Cat Update
The Ohio Supreme Court has denied jurisdiction of the former owner’s appeal. Filing a permanent seizure action is the next step for the Department of Ag. We will let you know when we have custody and can start posting images.
In case you haven’t seen it here is the article. http://www.toledoblade.com/Courts/2018/04/25/Ohio-high-court-declines-to-hear-Tiger-Ridge-case-state-retains-custody-of-exotic-animals.html
Learn more at BigCatRescue.org/law-enforcement/
Wild Bobcat with Drainpipe Stuck on his Neck
On April 26th Carole received a call and photos from a man here in Florida. He’s sent camera trap photos of a wild bobcat with a drain pipe stuck on his neck for the past few days. He tossed out a fish to catch the cat last night on the camera.
He’s retired and willing to bait and maintain traps for what he thinks is a very large male bobcat. He’s a wildlife photographer and says there are coyotes, raccoons and all kinds of critters he’s likely to catch but he’s willing to release and reset until he catches the bobcat.
Gale went out with traps an set them up. We will keep you updated as we get new info.