Big Cat Rescue Plans PETS Party
By JUDY S. GRAY Tribune correspondent
Published: Jun 8, 2006
With the recent arrival of what most experts predict will be an active hurricane season, homeowners know boarding up windows, stocking up on water and having a family evacuation plan are part of the seasonal drill.
For pet owners, there’s a bit more preparation.
Longtime animal advocate Carole Baskin, founder and chief executive officer of Big Cat Rescue, formerly called Wildlife on Easy Street, understands that plight.
The not-for-profit corporation is a sanctuary for about 150 abused, abandoned or retired big cats. With an emphasis on public education, Big Cat Rescue offers tours and outreach programs and lends a voice to animal advocacy.
Baskin hopes to raise awareness about the proposed Pets Evacuation and Transportation Standards Act legislation that would ease concerns for pet owners.
The federal legislation would require state and local emergency preparedness organizations to include accommodations for household and service pets when disaster strikes. The U.S. House of Representatives voted 349-24 recently to approve the legislation. A similar Senate bill seeks to authorize the Federal Emergency Management Agency to reimburse shelters that provide for people with pets.
Baskin and her staff are hosting a Leave No Pet Behind bash Sunday as part of a nationwide advocacy effort orchestrated by the Humane Society Legislative Fund, based in Washington.
"Your donation is so important because the only way to ensure our pets are included in evacuation plans is through lobbying for change," said Baskin, who was chairwoman of Hillsborough County’s animal advisory committee until she resigned this week. She serves as a board member of the Humane USA political action committee.
"Every penny will go to the Humane Society legislative fund to support better laws for the animals," she said.
Hosted on the 142 acres owned by Baskin and inhabited by rescued bobcats, cougars, black leopards, lions, lynx and other big cats, the event will educate attendees and raise money for legislative lobbying efforts.
Partygoers will be entertained by a drum circle and fire spinners, and are asked to bring a dish or nonalcoholic beverage. According to Baskin, the plight of thousands of animals in Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina demonstrates that pet safety should be a priority long before a storm strikes. Baskin said it’s an issue all Americans, and especially Floridians, will face.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: PETS /Leave No Pet Behind legislative awareness party, with drumming circle and fire spinners
WHERE: Big Cat Rescue, 12802 Easy St., Citrus Park
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Sunday
COST: $25 donation
CONTACT: (813) 920-4130, or go to www.party launch.com/partyanimals/parties/index.cfm?e=BCR
For the cats,
Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL 33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457
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