Aug 31 2016

Vernon Charles Stairs

Yesterday we buried my dad.  Vernon Stairs built Big Cat Rescue, literally from the ground up. He turned this plot of sand and sand spurs, and rickety cages on concrete floors, into the big cat paradise it is today from 1996-2016. He died on his 75th birthday on Aug 26, 2016 and was laid to rest today in a military cemetery where he was honored with a rifle salute and an American flag. He worked 6 days a week, right up to the last couple weeks, and only took one vacation in the last 20 years that I can recall. Today his family and my mother’s family all gathered at the sanctuary to recall fond memories of Vern and to admire his handiwork in every cage at the sanctuary. He will live on in all of us and in the legacy that is Big Cat Rescue. More about him at

We had a huge scare yesterday as all of our google sites and our Big Cat Rescue intranet site, which is a google site, began to disappear.  We reported it to google right away and have been restored as of this morning, but you can imagine how awful it would have been to lose every medical record and every document ever written pertaining to the sanctuary.  We use a backup service, you you never know how well those will work and I don’t know any service that will actually clone a google site entirely, so it would have been a mess.

A lot of people are asking what we do in case of a hurricane.

Today is the last day to help end cub abuse by asking USDA to ban contact with all species of wild cats of every age at  The breeders, dealers, exploiters and their customers are all trying to get USDA to leave things the way they are, so USDA needs to hear from YOU!

Ms Claws was approved by the FWC to be transferred to our permanent collection.  I hate that term, “collection” but that’s the industry lingo. So she will no longer get live prey.  She will get stay out by Spirit Feather for a while, to keep her company, but if Spirit Feather shows any signs of not fearing people, then we will have to move Ms Claws out of the rehab area.  Some are worried about Spirit Feather sitting up on her shelves in the rain, but bobcats spend most of their daylight hours up in trees, so she’s doing what bobcats do.


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