Jennifer Leon



Jennifer manages the sanctuary’s education programs, advocacy campaigns, legislation & policy initiatives, and community outreach activities – all of which seek to raise awareness about the plight of captive big cats.

She has been active in the animal welfare community for nearly two decades from volunteering at her county’s municipal shelter and fostering to assisting various local and national animal welfare groups with grassroots campaigns, fundraising, education and legislative advocacy. 

Jennifer has two undergraduate degrees and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of South Florida with a focus in public policy. 

She frequently speaks to local civic and community groups about the sanctuary, issues of big cats in captivity, effective advocacy, and other related topics. Jennifer was a featured speaker at Jackson Galaxy’s Cat Camp 2018 in New York City and at the National Coalition On Violence Against Animals’ 2018 annual meeting.

Prior to joining the team at Big Cat Rescue, Jennifer had a career with the U.S. General Services Administration, operated her own pet care business, and worked as the Executive Director of a community-based environmental group. She’s also served on the board of two Tampa Bay area nonprofits and has successfully advocated for animal welfare at all levels of government.

In her free time, Jen continues her volunteer work advocating for local and state laws to improve the lives of animals and enjoys hiking, kayaking, and kicking back with her husband and fur family.


My superpower is building relationships with unlikely allies

I can look past differences to find shared values that unify and motivate people.  – Jennifer Leon


Jennifer Leon Speaks Out for the Florida Panther


What Can I Do to Save the Florida Panther?

10 News Interview “What’s Next For the Greatest Show On Earth” “Panther position paper passes, but not without protest”

A Tribute to Bengali and the Circus Tigers

Big Cat Rescue is at Expo

Fish and Wildlife Commission considers fate of panther

Out of Tragedy Comes Unlikely Allies

Critics blast outsourcing federal animal inspections


Meet the Big Cat Rescue Team. See a typical day at the sanctuary.

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