Disposition Requirements

Big Cat Rescue is a permanent retirement home to exotic cats, but sometimes people dump other animals at our gate.  If we can find a sanctuary that is better designed for these non cats we may consider their disposition using the following guidelines:

A. Living Animals

tigerSuccessful animal management efforts rely on the cooperation of many entities, both within and outside of The Global Federation of Sanctuaries (GFAS.) While preference is given to place animals within accredited member institutions, it is important to foster a cooperative culture among those who share the primary mission of accredited facilities. Sanctuary Standards draw a strong distinction between the mission, stated or otherwise, of non-member organizations and the mission of professionally managed sanctuaries accredited as defined at SanctuaryStandards.com

An accredited sanctuary balances public display with demonstrated efforts in education, conservation, and science. While some non-member organizations may meet minimum daily standards of animal care for wildlife, these are not enough. When an animal is sent to a non-member of Sanctuary Standards, it is imperative that the member be confident that the animal will be cared for properly. Animals may only be disposed of from Big Cat Rescue’s collection if the following conditions are met:

  • Dispositions must meet the requirements of all applicable local, state, federal and international regulations and laws.
  • The Director or Chief Executive Officer of Big Cat Rescue is charged with the final authority and responsibility for the monitoring and implementation of all dispositions.
  • Any disposition must abide by the standards set forth by SanctuaryStandards.com.
  • Specifically, “a member shall make every effort to assure that all animals in his/her collection and under his/her care are disposed of in a manner which meets the current disposition standards of the Association and do not find their way into the hands of those not qualified to care for them properly.”
  • Animals shall not be disposed of at animal auctions.
  • Additionally, animals shall not be disposed of to any organization or individual that may use or sell the animal at an animal auction. In transactions with SanctuaryStandards.com non-members, the recipient must ensure in writing that the animal will not be disposed of at a wild animal auction or to an individual or organization which allows the hunting of the animal.
  • Animals shall not be disposed of to organizations or individuals that allow the hunting of these animals or their offspring.
  • Domesticated animals are to be disposed of in a manner consistent with acceptable farm practices and subject to all relevant laws and regulations.
  • Live specimens may be released within native ranges, subject to all relevant laws and regulations. Releases may be a part of a recovery program and any release must be compatible with SanctuaryStandards.com Guidelines..
  • Detailed disposition records of all living specimens must be maintained.
  • Proper animal identification techniques should be utilized.
  • If live specimens are euthanized, it must be done in accordance with the established policy of Big Cat Rescue, USDA and the Report of the American Veterinary Medical Association Panel on Euthanasia (Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 202 (2): 229-249, 1993).
  • In dispositions to non-SanctuaryStandards.com members, the non-member’s mission (stated or implied) must not be in conflict with the mission of TAOS, or with this Policy.
  • In dispositions to non-SanctuaryStandards.com member facilities which are open to the public, the non-member must balance public display, recreation, and entertainment with demonstrated efforts in conservation, education, and science.
  • In dispositions to non-SanctuaryStandards.com members, Big Cat Rescue must be convinced that the recipient has the expertise, records management capabilities, financial stability, and facilities required to properly care for and maintain the animals.
  • It is recommended that this documentation be kept in the permanent record of the animals at Big Cat Rescue.
  • No animals will be sent to research facilities.

B. Deceased Animals:

Deceased animals are to be disposed of from an SanctuaryStandards.com member institution’s collection if the following conditions are met:

  • Dispositions of dead animals must meet the requirements of all applicable local, state, federal and international regulations and laws. Maximum utilization is to be made of the remains, which could include use in educational programs or exhibits. Consideration is given to scientific projects that provide data for species management and/or conservation Records are to be kept on all dispositions, including animal body parts, when possible.
  • SSP and TAG necropsy protocols are to be accommodated insofar as possible.

Geoffroy Cat at Big Cat RescueC. Pet Trade:

Big Cat Rescue recognizes the importance of pets, but believes that wild animals do not make good pets. However, there are a few cases where disposition of non exotic animals, such as farm animals and domestic dogs and cats to private, established hobbyists and reputable pet industry groups, can be both beneficial to the individual animal and the survival of individual animal. In addition to the requirements listed in earlier sections, an animal is only to be disposed of from Big Cat Rescue’s collection if the following conditions and regulations are met:


  • No animal should be disposed of to private hobbyists or the pet industry if it would create a public health risk, create a safety risk, or have a negative impact on the conservation of that species. Under no circumstances are primates to be disposed of to a private individual or to the pet trade.
  • Fish and aquatic invertebrate species that meet ANY of the following, are inappropriate to be disposed of to private individuals or the pet trade:
  • species that grow too large to be housed in a 72-inches-long aquarium (the largest tank commonly sold in retail pet stores)
  • species that require extraordinary life support equipment to maintain an appropriate captive environment (e.g. cold water fish & invertebrates)
  • species deemed noxious (e.g. grass carp)
  • species capable of inflicting a serious bite or venomous sting (e.g. piranha, lion fish, or blue-ringed octopus)
  • no animal is to be disposed of if close human interactions poses a threat of the spread of disease to the animal and/or human.Transaction Forms

Big Cat Rescue will develop transaction forms to record animal acquisitions and dispositions. These forms will require the potential recipient or provider to adhere to Big Cat Rescue’s Acquisition/Disposition Policy, and all relevant SanctuaryStandards.com and member policies, procedures and guidelines. In addition, transaction forms must insist on compliance with the applicable laws and regulations of local, state, federal and international authorities.


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