What is the Call of the Wild?
It is the most important thing you can do to help big cats!
The Call of the Wild is a quick call to your members of Congress to ask for their support of the Big Cat Public Safety Act. Put simply, the Big Cat Public Safety Act would:
- End the ownership of big cats as pets,
- end cub petting (the main cause of big cat abuse),
- and limit exhibitors to those who do not repeatedly violate the law.
It is not often in our daily lives that we get to do something that really makes a difference, but you can make a difference with one call. The only way the Big Cat Public Safety Act will pass is if legislators hear that enough of their constituents care about this issue.
Two Ways to Make the Call
1. Go to BigCatAct.com, provide the required info, and click the CALL ME button. You will receive a call from our system, which will automatically connect your members of Congress. You will either speak to a staff whose job it is to answer public calls or receive an answering machine.
2. On your cell phone text the word CATS to 52886. Follow the prompts to connect with your elected officials. (Message and data rates may apply. Text Stop to opt-out. Help for help. )
Government, Legislation, and the Big Cat Public Safety Act
This 20-minute presentation by our Director of Outreach, Jennifer Leon, is a go-to overview of government basics and how a law is passed. It also explains why our federal bill, the Big Cat Public Safety Act, is necessary and why it is the key to ending big cat abuse. Just click play to watch!
What Our Bill Will Do
The Big Cat Public Safety Act would ban private ownership and breeding of big cats with limited exemptions. It would end the ownership of big cats as pets, end cub petting (the main cause of big cat abuse), and limit exhibitors to those who do not repeatedly violate the law.
Ban Private Possession. The bill would make it illegal to possess any big cats, except at qualified facilities such as:
a. USDA licensed facilities that:
- do not allow public contact
- do not employ people who have been convicted or fined for animal abuse or neglect
- have no serious repeat violations in past 12 months or repeatedly refuse to allow inspectors into their facilities
b. Nonprofit wildlife sanctuaries that do not:
- trade their cats
- do not allow public contact
- do not publicly display their animals outside of their sanctuary
c. State colleges, universities, agencies, or state-licensed veterinarians.
Ban Breeding: The bill would limit the breeding of big cats to licensed facilities or owners who breed under a conservation plan.
Grandfather Current Owners & Establish Tracking: The bill would allow owners to keep their current cats, provided they register the cats with US Fish & Wildlife Service [FWS] within 180 days of the Act’s enactment. Owners would not be allowed to buy, sell, or breed big cats; or have direct contact with the public and their big cat.
Learn more about the various big cat abuse issues at BigCatRescue.org/Abuse-Issues/
Making the Call of the Wild – Step by Step Instructions.
Making the Call of the Wild is easy and only takes a few minutes!
ONE: Go to BigCatAct.com or text the word “CATS” to 52886 and follow the link that is sent back to you.
TWO: Type in your name, address, zip code, and phone number into the form on the right side of the page. IT IS SECURE!!
- Why does it need my info? So the system can look up the phone number for the Representative for your area and call you back.
THREE: Click the CALL ME button.
- The system will automatically connect you with your member of Congress.
FOUR: Answer the phone.
- You will be connected to either an answering machine or a person who is taking messages for your elected official.
FIVE: What do I say? Well, that is easy, too! It’s just ONE sentence.
- “Hi, my name is _____. My zip code is _____. Please ask your boss to co-sponsor the Big Cat Public Safety Act, H.R. 1818.”
That’s it! It’s a quick and simple call that will make a huge difference for big cats. And you can make the call as often as you want!
At TigerRescue.org you can see which states have not had anyone make The Call of the Wild. If you know ANYONE in those states, please explain to them what The Call of the Wild is and why it is so important for them to participate.
The cats cannot make the call – they need YOU to be their voice.
Question: How can I find out of my Representative was a co-sponsor or not?
- Answer: Here is the link to find out: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1818/cosponsors?q=%7B%22search%22%3A%5B%22hr+1818%22%5D%7D&r=1
Question: If my Representative is already co-sponsoring the bill H.R. 1818, what else can I do now?
- Answer: You can keep making the weekly Call of the Wild at BigCatAct.com but instead of asking your Representative to co-sponsor H.R. 1818 ask them to CHAMPION H.R. 1818
Question: What is the difference between Co-Sponsoring and Championing?
- Answer: Co-Sponsoring means they will vote for it. Championing means they will actively try to get their friends and colleagues to Co-Sponsor as well.
Question: My Representative sent me a form letter. What should I do now?
- I would send them something like this: “I appreciate your response, but it seems like a form letter to me, saying that you aren’t going to actively champion this bill so that it will be heard in the sub committee. That is why I asked you to Co Sponsor the bill. As you know, that shows your fellow members of Congress that you support this no nonsense bill that ends the practice of breeding lions and tigers for backyards and basements. Please show me that you really care about this issue by adding your name to the dozens of Representatives who have already co sponsored the Big Cat Public Safety Act (HR 1818). Thank you.”
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