May 14 2017

Avatar LaWanna | May 14, 2017 14 Views 0 Likes 0 Ratings

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Free Cookies Cookbook DownloadWe all had one or are one and today is the day to celebrate her!  All those critters out there who now have human “moms” would send cards, flowers and gifts if they could. Today’s post has a lot of Mother’s Day content, from videos to something free to download for your special “mom”.  There is also a special call to action to try and set things right for those cats who have been ripped from their moms.

Thanks to all our supporters who donated their best recipes, and LaWanna spending weeks on the compilation and editing, we have four new Cookbooks to offer online as downloads.  This one, Cooking Big Cat Style Cookies is FREE TODAY ONLY (Mother’s Day May 14, 2017) so download it free for your mom and maybe she’ll cook you a batch.  😉

To see all four new Cookbooks go to Big Cat Style Cookbooks.

Cat Moms at Big Cat Rescue (the furry kind) In some cases we don’t know if they were bred or not, but of our current population, these cats either were, or likely were, cat moms who had their cubs and kittens stolen from them to be used as pets, props and parts.


Big Cat Updates

Coordinator Sue’s report: Saturday May 13th More trimming and cutting done in Seth’s enclosure.  Picky cats ate well today, even in the rain. Hoover loves his bl ck thighs, ate 9lbs, off of a stick (cuz it was rainy) TJ ate two times and Joe ate Red and Turkey drums. Becky brought in boned chicken thighs for Cam and he ate all 4 lbs +

Tomorrow Apache Bobcat (age 22) and Andi Bobcat (age 20) will be sedated and groomed.  They are too old and arthritic to groom themselves and have mats that have to go.  You will be able to watch LIVE at


The mother cats in our Foster Kitten Program are the total package when it comes to making the purr-fect pets, but most commonly get looked over at the shelter. Make a mother’s day by adopting a mommy cat from your local shelter.

It was so great to meet so many of the watchers and one of the camera operators!


Facebook Live Video Replays

Dryden & Kewlona Bobcats go on Vacation in the FunCation at Big Cat Rescue. See how we catch bobcats and move them. Some day I hope to have tunnels from all of their cages to the vacation cages, like we do for the lions and tigers to go to Vacation Rotation.

Keeper Corner

Carole hanging out with Lori D, Secretary to the cats.  Joseph was putting on a show for her.  Hmmmm… must be because of all those great Letters to Management she wrote for him.



Big Cat Challenge

Give a cub back for Mother’s Day.  OK, so the damage has been done and it’s impossible to completely make things right for the thousands of lion and tiger cubs who were bred to be used as pay to play props, BUT you can make a difference.  You can stop the practice of people paying to pet and pose with cubs by making sure that none of your old photos, of you touching big cats (if you ever did) are still floating around the Internet.  And, even more importantly, you can ask one other person to remove any they still have out there.

When people see images like that, many of them want to do it too.  That drives almost all of the big cat abuse.  If we can get everyone to remove those photos from the web, and send the message that it was a cruel, uneducated thing to do, then we start to set things right.  Be nice about it.  Most of the people who did that sort of thing loved big cats and were lied to by the pimps who separated them from their money to do it. You will do a lot more good for the cats by being kind.  You can ask them to remove the images and give them the URL of to explain why.

Reminder to SHARE SHARE SHARE SHARE this important video:

 Keeper Spotlight – Chris Poole

You may have seen Chris’ clever Mother’s Day video circulating today:

I first discovered Big Cat Rescue online in 2005, I had graduated from Sheffield College in the UK in 2001 (Graphic Design) and since then had been working construction and traveling to different countries when I had the money. I decided I wanted to make a difference and not spend my life designing furniture brochures or bus timetables in an office all day and I’ve always been fascinated with animals especially predators like sharks and big cats, so when I found BCR and learned about their intern program in sunny Florida I had to apply!

It seemed like a grrr-eat (be ready for cat puns) way to gain experience working around these exotic animals that would help me secure a job in the future. Fast forward to September 16th 2006, I arrived at the sanctuary during a busy tour time and the big cat adventure began! The 3 month internship was an amazing experience, you could tell right away that everyone there really cared about the cats and the mission of the sanctuary, they were extremely dedicated and all the staff/volunteers went above and beyond everyday. I love to work hard and the BCR interns definitely do that, I learned so much about animal care during my 90 days at the sanctuary and I really loved getting to know the residents and helping provide them with a comfortable retirement. I remember thinking how silly the volunteers sounded when they were talking to the cats while we were cleaning the enclosures or handing out enrichment, I’ve always been a quiet, reserved guy and the thought of talking to a tiger seemed weird to me…. little did I know I’d be doing exactly the same thing soon after! Long conversations with the residents and learning how to chuff like a tiger are some of my fondest memories, male lions have always been my favorite big cat and I loved Cameron and Zabu, they’re such a striking couple together. Hearing Cam roaring at the sanctuary as you’re walking up to food prep to start the day was the best!

Big Cat Rescue really has a way of becoming part of you, it’s like a big family all working together to not only provide the best life possible in captivity for their residents but also to educate the public about how they can help the less fortunate big cats out there. It still seems absolutely crazy to me that people can legally own a tiger in the USA, it’s such a uphill battle to get the laws changed and help stop the abuse, but I think that’s what made being part of BCR so special and made everyone work harder. So when the job vacancy for the Media producer came up in 2008 and I was asked if I was interested I jumped at the oPURRtunity!!

It was tough to leave my family behind in the UK, but I knew I wanted to be part of the sanctuary’s mission again… I learned the editing software on my laptop in the UK one week and then the next I was at BCR filming Shere Khan and China Doll in their newly renovated lakeside enclosure! It was great to combine my eye for design with my passion for BCR, now I was staff on property I had the opportunity to help out with much more like surgeries/rescues and loved it. My first video that really got some exposure was the 2008 Halloween pumpkin video, it got a million or so views in a couple of weeks and I was proud that so many people watched it and also saw the BCR website at the end. Then to think of creative ways to educate people with our videos was really fun and rewarding too, my design degrees were finally being put to use!

I have so many fond memories of my time at BCR, I will list a few…

  • Rescuing Bellona the bobcat who was hit by a car, she jumped into a retention pond with a broken leg and I jumped right in after her with a net! … Then finally releasing her back into the wild 🙂
  • Rescuing tigers Alex and Cookie and Freckles the liger from a backyard in MS, I’ll never forget peaking through a gap in the fence to see a tiger staring back at me… Again it’s unbelievable that this is still allowed, the animals deserve so much better and it’s a major public safety concern
  • Christmas time at the sanctuary was my favorite, cooler weather and lots of trees and presents to hand out to the cats to destroy! Cameron LOVES the smell of pine!
  • Seeing Snorkel the tiger running full sprint for the very first time after we moved him up front to a larger lakeside enclosure, he was such a cool guy.
  • Talking to the cats and having them respond back!
  • Swimming in the tiger lake to repair the enclosure (tigers were obviously locked out!)
  • Joking around and having a laugh with the volunteers when we were doing projects…. and pulling the occasional prank 😉

Of course a little black kitten came into our lives when I was at BCR too (2012), a friend of ours found Cole at a busy intersection one evening all alone and she texted us a picture of him, we saw this tiny little fuzzball and we picked him up the next day.

He lived on the property with us in our trailer and Cheetaro the leopard was our neighbor…. someone at BCR mentioned that black cats were the least likely to be adopted and most likely to be euthanized in animal shelters because people chose colored/patterned cats over them (more photogenic) and black cats were also considered bad luck.

So that’s when I decided to start making some small cat videos at the weekends to show people how pawsome Cole was, black cats have always been my favorite and I grew up with one since I was born.

A couple of those vids went viral and then Marm came along the following year and it became my new hobby! … it’s safe to say things took off from there! I try to keep a balance of silly entertaining vids and educational videos with a message, it’s so amazing that we have such a large, dedicated following and I can use Cole and Marmalade to make a difference too! 🙂



Chris Poole owned by Cole & Marmalade
Check out our purr-fect videos!
Follow Cole and Marm on Facebook

Puppies Have Moms Too

Hello Dog Lovers!

This is not a pro-business issue, this is a moral issue! Hillsborough’s pet stores are trying to lead the public to believe that their puppies come from breeders that take their dogs on mile long hikes in the country every day and get love and affection. USDA photos show something different. These breeders have hundreds of dogs and puppies. They are puppy mills. Dogs are living in cages 24/7 in unacceptable conditions–there are so many puppy mills , and so few USDA inspectors, the USDA usually gets out to their properties once every year or every two years. People don’t even want chickens that lay their eggs for breakfast living in cages! So let’s speak up for these dogs!

If you haven’t seen it—here is the article about the current arrest of “Puppies Tampa” owner for illegal sale of puppies

Please attend the meeting to let the commissioners know we don’t appreciate businesses that mislead our consumers and participate in the puppy mill industry. You don’t even have to speak if you don’t want to—just Wear a red shirt and bring a crowd with you.

10:00am on Wednesday, May 17th
Commissioners Board Room
601 E. Kennedy Blvd, 2nd Floor
Tampa, FL 33602

Please send an e-mail to the commissioners:

Ken Hagan
Sandra Murman
Al Higginbotham
Victor Crist
Les Miller
Pat Kemp
Stacy White

Below is a “Copy and Paste” message or you can write your own.


Subject Line: Misleading Consumers and Participating in the Puppy Mill Industry

Dear Commissioners,

Puppy stores in Hillsborough County are misleading consumers and participating in the puppy mill industry. This is a moral issue, not a pro-business issue. I am very disappointed that the commissioners plan to grandfather in the pet stores. You have proof that the pet stores purchase from mass breeders in the Midwest who keep their dogs in unacceptable conditions. Please explain to the public how you plan to regulate the stores and please reconsider the grandfather clause. Thank you.

<Your Name>

Have your family, friends, and co-workers jump into the car with you. Puppy Mills can be a thing of the past—If we all do our part!

If you aren’t already a member of the League of Humane Voters, please join at

Mom will never know you forgot this was Mother’s Day if you download this kit for her today.



Big Cat Rescue Bowling Team

BCR sponsors a bowling team in the Cypress Men’s league at AMF Lakeland Lanes. The Big Cat Rescue bowling team is the 2016-2017 league champions. It finished last Monday, May 8th.

Congratulations to the Big Cat Rescue bowling team! They won the championship last night! And a special thank you goes out to Howard Baskin for coming out and supporting the team!! ~Keeper Sharon

Names below are in order left to right in the picture.

  • John Rolfe
  • Eddie Doucette
  • Jeff Henry (Team captain & Keeper Sharon’s husband)
  • Dennis Scott
  • Kurt Lockwood

S.A.V.E. Award

For outstanding volunteer service, the August 2016 SAVE Award went to Barbara Riddle!

To celebrate Barbara Riddle, a $1,000 donation was given to the Andean Cat Alliance to fund ongoing research and conservation efforts spanning four countries.

The Andean cat is a small feline found in the high Andes of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, and Peru and in the northern portion of the Patagonian steppe in Argentina. It is one of the least known cats in the world and is considered the most threatened feline in the Americas, being among the five most endangered cats in the world.

Though the Andean cat is found across a wide area, its extensive habitat ranges share common characteristics including; aridity and extreme temperatures, scarce vegetation, and a rocky terrain.

Despite what little is known about the Andean cat, it is certain that their habitat is both fragmented and highly fragile. The current distribution of the Andean cat covers four countries each with significant cultural, social, and economic diversity. Human populations also fluctuate greatly in the regions where the Andean cat is found, this presents a challenge in developing conservation strategies since the attitudes and interactions with the Andean cat vary greatly by locality.

Research is a fundamental component of the Andean Cat Alliance. Their coordinated work and establishment of a common database has facilitated a study of population genetics, as well as the development of a global distribution model for the Andean cat. Through systematic use of camera traps, they were have also documented the use of habitat and diet of the species. Greater knowledge about the Andean cat has allowed the members of the Andean Cat Alliance to re-assess the conservation status of the species in each country and propose actions for the development of conservation.

 Viewer Videos From

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

  WANTED – Graphic Artists

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

 Quick Links

As per viewer suggestions, Quick Links now has it’s very own page

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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