Feb 26 2017

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Big Cat Updates

Have you asked a friend to vote today?  VoteCats.com


 Facebook Live Video Replays

2017 Volunteer Appreciation Awards Cookout at Big Cat Rescue


 Big Cat Outreach

Saturday 2/25, Big Cat Rescue participated in Gulfport’s Get Rescued a day long adoption fair with vendors, dog contests, speakers, and fun for the entire fur family! Staff and volunteers thoroughly enjoy this annual event where we get to spread the word about our sanctuary and mission. Thank you to Gulfport’s Get Rescued for inviting us, donating food to our foster kitten program, and supporting the care of the cats!

Pictured: Senior Keeper Rebecca Williams & Outreach Intern Helena Parsons


This is the “afternoon crew.” Pictured: Mike Surdyk and Barbara Nicholas

Note To Viewers:  Did you know YOU can learn to do these educational tabling events in your state?  If you are interested in that let us know.

  Projects Moving Day

This is Jamie’s video of moving cats on Friday, Feb 24, 2017

I LOVE this short video!


 People Often Ask

People Often Ask:  How can I get a job at Big Cat Rescue?  Afton made a video to answer that.


 Featured Big Cat

Per Viewer Request:  Here are a few more photos of Ares, Orion, & Artemis.  This is the last of what I have on this machine.

Photos posted in yesterday’s update.  Their story & PURR-sonalities were posted the day before that.


You can PURR-chase Hi-Resolution versions of these photos, without the big logo on them in Carole’s brand new online store at CatRescue.biz


Or, here is a photo key chain of Ares, Artemis, & Orion for just $3.00 from out main online gift shop at bigcatrescue.biz

There are only a few of these left.

If you need help ordering that, let me know.

 Bobcat Rehab Update

My little rehabs have graduated! Wyeth and Nova are spending their first night outdoors, 2/24/2017. They have been moved to the new rehab enclosures. ~Jamie




YOU CAN HELP us finish the wild bobcat rehab center by voting for Big Cat Rescue’s Robert McGivney at VoteCats.com. You can only vote once so it really helps if you could ask your friends to vote as well.  There is a form to fill out to to complete your vote, but it really is a legitimate company.  The prize money is sponsored by a pharmaceutical company through the PGA Golf Tournament.  They will send you one email and it has an opt out option on it if you don’t want any further emails from them.  We won this contest last year and the cats got about $53,000.  None of us nor our viewers got any spam or had any problems from filling out the form.

 Big Cat Challenge

Who Am I?  Can YOU Guess?

Everyone who ATTEMPTS to guess this gets an 8×10 hi-res photo of the cat belonging to this adorable paw.

If you want the photo you need to email me at lawanna.mitchell@bigcatrescue.org with your guess.  If you do not want the photo you can put your guess in the comments below.

THANK YOU, Keeper Sharon H. for sending in this photo.

 Keeper Corner

Per Viewer Request:  Keeper Spotlight – Candy C.

Several years ago, I moved to Florida from upstate NY. After getting to know the area, it was time to volunteer. I had free time since I was long retired from a once big computing company(IBM).

There was an online application that matched people’s interests to volunteer positions. BCR was the first place that popped up after I entered my information. I’d visited BCR and loved it so it was an ideal match. I’ve been at BCR since October, 2015.

When I first came to BCR, I volunteered in the gift shop as a cashier, restocking inventory, as well as backing up and giving tours. This volunteering is all on the “Partner” side. There is a sequence of classes that I took during the first three months that ended with The Small Cat Cleaning Class. Successful completion of that class enabled me to start training to clean the enclosures of the ocelots, bobcats, lynx, caracals, servals, and Savannah cats which is the “Keeper” side.

The training for cleaning small cats involved being observed and mentored by an experienced keeper. After being observed cleaning six times in each cat section, I was certified to clean small cat enclosures on my own. During this time, I was also volunteering on the “Partner” side giving tours and helping in the gift shop. The combined cleaning certification and ability to give tours allowed me to apply for a promotion to the “yellow” shirt level. I was promoted last December which was 14 months after starting at BCR.

I wasn’t sure that I wanted to clean small cat cages. After all, I have “the boys” at home, two male cats who are brothers(Mike and Ike). It feels as if I spend half my life cleaning out the litter box. However, I wanted to gain a better understanding of the cat’s personalities. I also discovered that finding cat poop was like “Where’s Waldo” because it can be a challenge to find. Keepers gain an odd sense of humor when it comes to this task.

My challenge became how to have the servals not hiss at me when I passed by. The second challenge was how to avoid a bobcat jumping out of nowhere to pounce on my poop-removal scraper that I put inside the enclosure. I gained a lot of respect for the cats needing to protect their territory. For that reason, Running Bear became my favorite bobcat. For his size, he is major league aggressive.

Of course, there is also Marianne bobcat who prances around the inside of her enclosure that she shares with Max. She often follows keepers in great merriment as they walk around the outside. When they stop, Marianne is known to turn her back and try to spray the keeper. One day, she tried to spray me three times. What perseverance! Those of us that she’s tried to spray figure that she loves us and is trying to claim us for her own.

I was happy cleaning the small cat enclosures and wasn’t sure if I needed to become a yellow shirt keeper. Besides cleaning small cat enclosures, yellow shirt keepers are trained to feed these small cats and clean cougar cages. However, the first time I got close to the cougars, I fell in love. They have beautiful eyes, expressive faces, and make neat cat sounds, including purring. The second time I cleaned cougar cages, Ares, one of the cougar cubs, locked eyes with me. He followed me everywhere. In reality, he was stalking me so I know to be very wary of him.

Everyone here would like a cat to pick them out. Ares made me feel special, even though I know that I’m not the only one. Hence, Ares is now my favorite cat. How fickle of me. Then again, I still like Running Bear and one is allowed to have more than one favorite cat at BCR.

All changes when it comes to feeding time for any of the cougars. They become amazingly aggressive and can’t distinguish your hand from a chicken thigh. Meanwhile, the growls, especially from a cat like Ares demonstrate how they really are wild animals and need to be respected as such.

Oh, and I like feeding the small cats, too. Feeding is a nurturing activity. We want the cats to eat and eat well. We’re disappointed when they leave food. And, we don’t want the birds to get their food when their trying to eat. Hence, we put chicken wire around where the cats eat and have “vulture watchers” with water guns.(we don’t spray the birds directly).

I volunteer at BCR parts of two to three days a week. Other than that, I have the normal chores at home plus Yoga and Zumba classes. Life is good.

Kitten clipart, cat art Viewer Photos

Warm weather means “water sports” with T.J. & Seth Tigers at Big Cat Rescue in Florida. My photos taken using web cam at http://explore.org/tigerlake.

 Heads Up – Correction

A couple days ago I told you to go to bigcatrescue.org/join/ to sign up to get The Big Cat Times magazine.

I was wrong!

That is the link to sign up for our email newsletter.  If you want to get The Big Cat Times magazine in your home mail box, please email me at lawanna.mitchell@bigcatrescue.org to let me know what name and address you want it mailed to and I’ll have Katie get you added to the list.

Reposting This Info

Jamie is in the process of working on the next issue of The Big Cat Times magazine that will be ready soon.  It is being packed FULL or photos and information about the cats.  You will not want to miss getting a copy of it.

For those of you who do not know what that is, it is a full color magazine that we publish and mail out quarterly.  It is FREE for our supporters.

Here are the cover photos from the last four issues.  Click on each one to get the PDF version of the magazine.  The PDFs are large files so if you are on a slow connection or device it might take them a couple minutes to fully load, but will be worth the wait.


 Another Victory!

Hudson County Passes Ban on Wild Animal Circuses!

League of Humane Voters of New Jersey

LOHV-NJ Victory: Hudson County Bans Wild Animal Performances on Public Land
Last night (2/23/2017), the Hudson County Board of Freeholders voted unanimously to ban wild animal circuses on public lands!

On January 10, 2017, LOHV-NJ Regional Legislative District Director Laurie Perla delivered a powerful presentation to the Hudson County Freeholders on the cruelty in the circus industry. Kudos to Laurie! Many thanks also to Julie O’Connor, LOHV-NJ Regional Legislative District Director, for her tireless work on this important issue.

This victory is one of many over the last six months. Cumberland passed a circus ban on public lands in December. Passaic County passed a ban on public lands in November. In fact, LOHV-NJ is giving awards to the Passaic County Freeholders on Tuesday, February 28, 2017, Freeholder Meeting Room, Passaic County Administration Building, 401 Grand St., Second Floor, Paterson, NJ 07505. The meeting starts at 5:30pm.

Jersey City passed a ban on both private and public in September. Bergen County passed a ban on public lands in July. A member in Atlantic County informed us that Atlantic County doesn’t allow circuses on County property. LOHV-NJ is presently getting the information on this ordinance.

LOHV-NJ continues to be a force in educating public officials about the horrific reality of animal cruelty in the circus industry. LOHV-NJ is winning for the animals and saving lives.


The Jersey Journal

Bergen Record

Please express your thanks.

Contact the Hudson County Freeholders who voted unanimously in favor of this important ordinance:

Anthony P. Vainieri, Jr. (D-District 8), Chairman: avainieri@hcnj.us
William O’Dea (D-District 2), Vice Chairman: wored1@yahoo.com
Caridad Rodriguez (D-District 7), Pro-Tempore: caryrodriguez@hcnj.us
Kenneth Kopacz (D-District 1): kkopacz@hcnj.us
Gerard M. Balmir (D-District 3): gbalmir@hcnj.us
E. Junior Maldonado (D-District 4): jmaldonado@hcnj.us
Anthony L. Romano, Jr. (D-District 5): aromano@hcnj.us
Tilo Rivas (D-District 6): trivas@hcnj.us
Albert J. Cifelli (D-District 9): acifelli@hcnj.us

Please support LOHV-NJ’s ongoing work to help animals by donating today:

League of Humane Voters of New Jersey | E-mail | Website

Marilyn Weaver, Executive Director
League of Humane Voters-FL
Compassion for all animals both human & non Human
Our vision: A society in which people value and safeguard the lives of animals.

 Hello Animal Advocates,

Great Job!! Pinellas County Commissioners voted for an updated breeder licensing ordinance that bans the sale of animals at flea markets, requires permit numbers for advertised pet sales, and inspections for breeders. At least 85 advocates showed Tuesday night in support of the ordinance! Even a couple breeders who spoke supported the ordinance, stating that they welcome inspections and would like to see a reduction in the number of dogs and cats euthanized in Pinellas County. Over 4,000 dogs and cats were euthanized at Pinellas County Animal Services last year. In addition, almost 2,000 were euthanized at the SPCA. Our job is not finished but we are heading in the right direction.

Much appreciation for those who drafted the ordinance including Elizabeth Olson and Doug Brightwell, Animal Services Director. And thanks to all of our “Sea of Red Shirts” animal advocates who took time out of their busy schedules to attend the meeting. For those who couldn’t make it–thanks for your e-mails to the commissioners. If we all do our part we can make the world a better place for animals!

Please send an e-mail to thank the Pinellas County Commissioners and Mr. Brightwell for making Pinellas County a better place for animals.

Thank you!
Renee Rivard

 Viewer Videos From Explore.org/bigcatrescue

There are some GREAT videos recorded by viewers at explore.org/bigcatrescue that you will really enjoy watching.

Here is a list of YouTube channels that feature videos of the cats here:


 BCR Website Page Updates



 Quick Links

As per viewer suggestions, Quick Links now has it’s very own page http://bigcatrescue.org/quick-links/

Bookmarking it will help you find things quickly.  That will come in handy for:

  • Helping us answer questions on social media
  • Finding answers to some of Carole’s Facebook Live questions

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