Be an AdvoCat
Put Your Claws into the Cause
Sign up below to be an AdvoCat and get our monthly e-Zine called The AdvoCat that will tell you about our most recent rescues and how you can get involved, no matter where you live.
If you want to help as an on-site AdvoCat at our sanctuary in Tampa, please contact Edith.Parker@BigCatRescue.org
How to be an “AdvoCat”
We use the term “AdvoCat” to describe people who care enough about the plight of big cats to add their voice to help stop the abuse of big cats. There are eight ways you can take action as an AdvoCat – choose one or many! Our continued successes prove the power of many people expressing their opinion. You are not helpless – your voice CAN make a real difference for animals! Questions? Email email@example.com.
1. Receive Our Alerts
Sign up to get our monthly email newsletter called the AdvoCat that will tell you about our most recent rescues and how you can get involved, no matter where you live. This newsletter will give you updates about events at the sanctuary and advocacy issues. We do not rent, sell or trade your email address to anyone else. You can unsubscribe at any time. This is a great way to help that takes little time and costs nothing. Over 80,000 people who care about big cats are now AdvoCats.
2. Take Action – Visit CatLaws.com
CatLaws.com is the website where Big Cat Rescue’s system tracks relevant laws and venues allowing abusive exhibits and other issues where your voice can make a difference. Visit the site periodically to see if there are any new issues that require your action!
3. Take Action – Abusive Exhibits or Unaccredited Zoos
When visiting www.CatLaws.com, you will be shown several links that you can click that will enable you to take action to protect the welfare of Big Cats. One of the ways that we do this is by identifying Abusive Exhibits. We identify malls, fairs, and other venues that permit abusive displays like cub petting. When a venue is identified, we may send an alert asking to email that venue through our system objecting to the exhibit. Even if you are not in that geographic market, the volume of emails shows the venue that many members of the general public, i.e. their customers, oppose this abuse. While the exhibit may draw visitors who are not aware of the suffering that these exhibits inflict, the emails show that the venue is offending other customers, which is bad business. Dozens of venues have agreed to cancel these exhibits, or not have them in the future, after receiving thousands of emails from people like you who care.
Be sensitive to your own patronage of places that add to the problem. When you see a cub or adult tiger exhibit, voice your objections to the management of the venue. Nothing is as powerful as real customers saying “I won’t shop here anymore”. If you do see a traveling exhibit, particularly one with cubs, report it to info@BigCatRescue.org. When you want to visit an animal facility, make sure it is an accredited zoo or real sanctuary, not a roadside zoo or pseudo-sanctuary where your patronage just adds to the problem.
4. Take Action – Call and Write Your Legislator
When there is a current bill, call your legislators and write them a personal letter. This takes more of your time than the email you sent from CatLaws.com, but if you can make the time, it is far more effective! The reason is that so few people do it. For every person who takes the time to call or write, the legislator’s staff assume that many, many more people agree with that person but will not take the time to call or write. One day when the Founder of Big Cat Rescue was in the reception area of one of her legislators before an appointment, one of staff ended a call and turned to the other staff person and said “that is the 12th call I’ve gotten today on that issue – people must really be worked up about it!” It takes very few phone calls or non-form letters to make a big impression. If a bill is not ready for an immediate vote, you want to ask your legislator to “co-sponsor” the bill. That means they sign on in advance committing to vote for it. If the vote is imminent and your legislator is not a co-sponsor, you want to ask them to vote for the bill.
5. Vote for Legislators who Support Animal Protection Legislation
At election time, support candidates who care about animals. You can see incumbents’ voting records on animal issues in the “Scorecard” maintained by the Humane Society Legislative Fund at www.hslf.org/humanescorecard/
Preventing cruelty to animals should not be a partisan issue. It should be an American issue.
6. Host a Movie Screening
AdvoCats may organize free movie screenings of documentaries related to big cat issues. Titles include The Elephant in the Living Room, which takes viewers on a journey deep inside the American subculture of raising and keeping exotic wildlife as household pets and Lion Ark, a movie that documents some of the world’s most ambitious and daring animal rescues. This is a great way to introduce your friends and colleagues to the issues of big cats in captivity. To host a successful movie screening, AdovCats will need to secure a venue with adequate seating and functional screening equipment (ie. DVD player, projector, and screen). Venues to consider include your local library, school or university meeting spaces, or a community center. Depending on how many people you think you will expect, promoting the event can be a good idea. This can be done via Facebook or other forms of social media, or even making posters to hang around the community or campus! At the screening, you may want to ask people to sign up for our quarterly newsletter or our monthly AdvoCat email so we can connect with them on ways to get engaged to help big cats.
If you choose to hold a movie screening, please email Jennifer.Leon@bigcatrescue.org.
7. Table an Event
Want to share Big Cat Rescue’s mission at an event in your community? AdvoCats are welcome to table on BCR’s behalf in their community. Tabling at events is an effective way to introduce Big Cat Rescue to new audiences, bring awareness to both our sanctuary and our cause, and educate the public on how big cats are kept in the U.S. AdvoCats will not only have the opportunity to learn more about the issues facing big cats and strengthen their networking and community outreach skills, but they will also increase Big Cat Rescue’s capacity to end abuse of big cats in captivity.
8. Tell Your Friends
There is power in numbers! Please share this information with people you know. Ask them to join as an AdvoCat and to avoid patronizing abusive venues that allow cub petting. Urge them to take the more proactive steps above and donate if they can. Use this shortened link to send them to this page: www.BigCatRescue.org/advocats
Thank you so much for your interest in adding your voice to stop the abuse of exotic cats! Become an AdvoCat today!
To read past issues of our monthly e-Zine called The AdvoCat go to The AdvoCat News
To read past issues of The Big Cat Times go to The Big Cat Times