June 27 2017
Big Cat Updates
Evening Walkabout with Carole and Afton.
Cats: Cameron, Joseph, Zeus, Frosty, Ginger, Kewlona, chatting with Afton, chatting with Gale, passing Diablo, Sabre, Tonga, Dryden, Nabisco, Mrs. Claws, hear a little about Mickey, etc.
Thermos – Stainless Travel: Great travel mug for those summer vacations. Enjoy your coffee, tea, or hot chocolate on the go with this 18 oz. Big Cat Rescue Travel Mug.
AFTON’s New Video!!
Join us as we celebrate the 500th foster kitten and her siblings as they take their first trip to the kitten cabana.
Viewer Susann Mesna has sent in a New Kitten Cheat Sheet
Keeper Rebecca Williams: Zeus loves water and has access to a pool. To help him out the volunteers will also cool him off by misting him with his special hose nozzle. He loves this so much especially during the hot summer months. Here he is cooling off in the shade after his second shower of the day.
The 2nd photo, some of you may have already seen, but it seemed to belong with this new photo from Keeper Rebecca because it is Rebecca giving Zeus a shower the day he got his new special nozzle. Not sure who enjoys those showers more, Zeus or Rebecca.
Keeper Desmond Fowles caught Cameron Lion for “Tongue Out Tuesday”
Keeper MaryLou got a really cute snapshot of Sabre a few days ago.
You guys have been asking and asking for more photos of Dr. Justin, so here are a few. Well, HELLO,Dr. Justin! Got treats, today? (Photos from April of Dr. J checking on Max, Sabre, and Babycakes.)
I know this has been posted in Big Cat Updates before but it is a question we can asked almost every day. Hardly a day goes by that we don’t get a few emails or messages asking us is this facorilty or that facility is legitimate or not. We want to say, THANK YOU, to everyone for caring enough to want to support the good guys., We are always happy to share whatever info we have and encourage everyone to research as well.
Here is a page with some good guidelines you can use when deciding is a facility is one of the good guys or if they are part of the problem.
If you ever need to refer back to this page it is an an easy web address to remember.
- Our name, without spaces, “BigCatRescue”
- We are a non-profit organization so add “.org”
- The subject is sanctuary standards so add “/santuary-standards/”
How can you tell a real sanctuary from a fake?
It’s actually easier than telling a diamond from a cubic zirconium because if you look at them, under any light at all, they are easy to tell apart. The problem is that the fake ones insist on keeping you in the dark. Some legitimate sanctuaries believe that their animals should never have to see humans, other than for their daily feeding and cleaning, and are closed to the public. Pseudo sanctuaries use this same tactic to keep the public from seeing the deplorable conditions that their animals are kept in.
Fake sanctuaries often have wonderful web sites full of self serving documentation about all the wonderful ways your donations save lives. They rely heavily on direct mail campaigns and paid solicitors. New laws have enabled these mail houses to front the costs and then pay themselves, exorbitantly, from the proceeds making it that much easier for pseudo sanctuaries to solicit funds. This means that even less of your donation is actually going to the cause (assuming any of it was before).
There are a few fool proof ways to know if the sanctuary you support is a real sanctuary or a fake:
Real sanctuaries don’t breed or buy animals. If there are babies, they were probably bought or born there. People don’t get rid of them until they are too big to handle. If there is a baby, ask how it got there and ask for proof.
Real sanctuaries don’t exploit animals. They don’t take dangerous animals out in public on leashes or in cages. Many pseudo sanctuaries do and they say they are educating the public that these animals don’t make good pets, but when people see that they can be walked on leashes or taken out in public to be shown off or to make money, then they will want to buy one of their own. It is the equivalent of saying to your audience, “Do as I say, and not as I do.”
Real sanctuaries adhere to the law. They will be licensed by the state, and usually by the USDA. They will be classified by the IRS as a non profit 501 c 3 charity. They will be licensed by the state to solicit donations, and every piece of solicitation that you see, from print to web site, will have documentation of the fact that they are so licensed. Some states, such as Florida, go a step further and require that the percentage that goes to the program services of the cause be included in all solicitation materials. Big Cat Rescue spends 100% of its donations on program services (ie: taking care of the cats).
Real sanctuaries meet the highest sanctuary standards. Fake sanctuaries will say that they don’t like the politics, or it’s a waste of donor’s money, or that they don’t want someone else telling them how to take care of their animals, but none of those are valid reasons for not meeting the highest sanctuary standards. Many fake sanctuaries are licensed by their state and by USDA and will tell you that these governing bodies are the watchdogs of the industry, but neither USDA nor any state law defines a sanctuary as being a place where animals are not bred, sold or exploited. USDA’s standards only require that an animal’s cage be big enough that he can stand up and turn around in it
The Global Federation of Sanctuaries only accredits real sanctuaries. It only costs $150.00 per year to be a member and the application is only four pages long, so it is not a huge investment of time and money.
Accreditation is only granted after an on-site inspection if the facility meets the high standards of care and responsibility. The facility must continue to maintain those standards and be re-inspected regularly to insure compliance. Membership provides real sanctuaries with a method of demonstrating their excellence to the public and donors. Membership also enables small sanctuaries across the nation to unite as one voice for the animals because The Global Federation of Sanctuaries is a member for the Captive Wild Animal Protection Coalition which is made up of 20 huge organizations including the Humane Society of the United States, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, The Animal Protection Institute, Peta and many more.
Real sanctuaries spend your donated dollars on program services. This means they spend the money on the things that made you select them as your charity.
GuideStar.com lists all non profit organizations and posts their tax returns so that you can see how the money is being spent. If you type in the key word “animal” almost 15,000 organizations are listed, but only 23 of them are accredited by The Global Federation of Sanctuaries. The industry standard allows that charities spend up to 35% of their donations on soliciting and still be considered reputable. A search of the 990s on GuideStar will show that fake sanctuaries often spend as much as 75% of their donations on raising more money. In almost all of these cases you will see that the biggest expense in the pseudo sanctuary is in providing a salary to the founder. Big Cat Rescue’s founder donated millions of dollars to start the sanctuary and refused compensation for the first 20 years of the rescue’s growth. Now, that she does receive a salary that salary NEVER comes out of donations!!!
You can also check agencies that monitor non-profits. Those agencies exist to help the public make wise and informed decisions when donating to non-profits. Many of the pseudo sanctuaries state they are non-profit, and they may have a non-profit status, but are they a well rated charity? Have their operating procedures, and donation handling, earned any good ratings from independent agencies that monitor non-profits?
Examples: Charity Navigator is the leading independent evaluating body for nonprofit organizations. BCR has earned their highest 4-star rating for “sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency” every year since we were first evaluated by them in 2010. Per their rating letter “Only 7% of the charities they rate have received at least 4 consecutive 4-star evaluations, indicating that Big Cat Rescue outperforms most other charities in America.”
The Independent Charities of America has certified Big Cat Rescue as one of the Best in America Charities every year since 2008.
GreatNonprofits, the leading provider of user reviews for nonprofit organizations, has named Big Cat Rescue has named Big Cat Rescue as one of its “Top-Rated Charities” every year since the beginning of its ratings in 2010.
As in every aspect of life, the truth is out there. With the right tools you can discover it for yourself. Bookmark those non-profit monitoring agencies and when you need to research a various facility look them up and see if they are well rated or not.
Read the rest of this page at: http://bigcatrescue.org/sanctuary-standards/
If you think a sanctuary may be a scam, check this list of facilities that have been caught, red handed: http://911animalabuse.com/
Bobcat Rehab News
Here is the video I forgot to add. =) It’s so cute. =)
This doesn’t apply to you viewers, but many of you frequently ask to know more about the behind the scenes little details of how things get done when there are so many volunteers that work so many various schedules. Good communication is the key. When we are going to be off we leave notes for each other, we communicate a lot by email, and texts.
Notes to Gifts Shop Volunteers,
I have ordered 2 plug adapters for the dehumidifiers that were moved to the small storage shed by Andi Bobcat, they should be here Monday. Please plug those dehumidifiers in and let’s make sure we empty them daily….perhaps when any volunteers from the gift shop go to see the kittens we can go on to the shed and empty the water that has collected.
There are ed tours on Monday and Tuesday so we have no private tours on those mornings. Please see the schedule on the wall inside the storage room off the mailroom for details.
Ponchos will be arriving, not sure which day they will come. Please put them in the storage shed and we will get them into bins. There will be a Coke delivery on Tuesday.
Please count the lion/tiger overlay magnets #1011. I don’t think the inventory is accurate for that item and I want to correct it. I have several items on order and they may also arrive while I am off. If they do please put them in the storage shed, and put the packing slips in my mailbox. Sometimes I do not get information on when the deliveries will arrive from the vendors.
We replaced all of the vox systems batteries on Saturday so all of the voxes have the new batteries in them, so far they have been lasting a month. Please let Candy and I know if that changes with the heat and we will adjust how often they are replaced.
I think that is everything. I’ll be volunteering to clean cages on Monday and help feed on Tuesday so I will be available via the radio and text if you guys need me.
Thanks so much for all of your help with the gift shop.
See you soon.
Have a great day.
For the Cats,
Master Keeper/ Gift Shop Manager
Big Cat Model Carol Judge is looking quite cheery today: I enjoy wearing my Zabu Leaps Out design (which I love, of course). The shirt material softer than I expected and is comfortable. This terrific Big Cat Model says, “This shirt can be used as a conversation starter about white tigers being the result of inbreeding, and therefore Unnaturally Beautiful.”
Here is a list of YouTube channels that feature videos of the cats here:
- Jamie Veronica: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsY6X3rUv8UlIUbrxNeu-Aw
- Susann https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUFOZiTvzKRvj-oVbzdByvg
- Ruxandra https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvCsjKptd1gM9BhfDkGQGNg
- Donna P: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcFbhMc8Sqr-8MreWuYr4Bg
- Shawna https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfl9S-vDPJIgjl8QpM6Aypw
- Cathy S https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6ynHBFLKj0BVnK5jo2gTnw
- Janie M https://www.youtube.com/user/donutgirl100
- Jaime T: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCsY_oF0NhXc5OS8CcTaUi2A/videos
When you purr-ticipate in Carole’s Facebook Live contest you need to put your answers in the special form at BigCatRescue.org/win
Question: What state were Dryden and Kewlona actually born?
Winner: Rhonda D
Carole is looking for a graphic artist who really gets what we are all about and would would like to help us with some graphics for shirts. If that is you or if you know someone like that, please have them email Carole at email@example.com
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