Senate Bill Introduced to Protect Big Cats
Did you know that there are at least 10,000 big cats kept in private hands in the U.S., but that no one knows exactly how many or where?
It’s a dangerous situation – for people and animals – when tigers, lions and other big cats are kept as backyard pets or in roadside zoos. When things go wrong, as they too often do, police officers, veterinarians, firefighters, EMTs and other first responders are forced to make life-or-death decisions.
We will never forget the Zanesville, Ohio tragedy, when a backyard exotic animal owner released 38 big cats and 18 other dangerous animals and then took his own life. To protect the surrounding community, law enforcement had no choice but to kill most of the animals. This type of situation happens time and time again.
Thankfully, today there is a solution.
U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn) has introduced the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act (S.1381). Spearheaded by the International Fund for Animal Welfare, the bill aims at banning private possession and breeding of tigers, lions, and other captive big cats in the United States, while requiring current “owners” to register their big cats. The identical House version of the bill was introduced in May by U.S. Representatives Buck McKeon (R-CA) and Loretta Sanchez (D-CA).
You can help both big cats and first responders by urging your senator to co-sponsor the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act (S.1381).
First responders have to risk their lives when a person is killed or mauled by a big cat, or after a big cat escapes.
A few months ago, a young woman was attacked by an adult lion while she was cleaning his enclosure. Tragically, the young woman died, and the lion had to be killed by authorities.
The incident took place at a facility that breeds and frequently transports its big cats for public display.
IFAW’s big cats database shows that since 1997, incidents involving the animals have resulted in 22 human deaths including five children; and over 200 people have been mauled or injured.
And yet private ownership of big cats remains legal in many states.
Things need to change. You can help IFAW make it happen.
Ask your U.S. senator to co-sponsor the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act today.
IFAW North America Regional Director
Grand Opening of the Vacation Rotation Enclosure at Big Cat Rescue
Bengali, an 18 year old circus tiger was the first to be released into the 2.5 acre Vacation Rotation enclosure.
Join us tonight at Hamburger Mary’s for Bingo
This event helps us do great things for the cats, like the Vacation Rotation enclosure.
Alert Recipients: An NFL player just bought a tiny tiger cub.
We need your voice to speak up for this cub today!
During the past week there has been extensive national media coverage reporting that Arizona Cardinals football player Darnell Dockett has purchased a tiger cub as a pet. He’s been boasting about it during interviews with ESPN and other media outlets. And tweeting photos of the poor cub on Twitter.
We are extremely concerned that an NFL player, who should be a role model for young people, is instead promoting the dangerous, irresponsible and abusive practice of owning an exotic cat.
It is also concerning that Dockett has been quoted in the media regarding his intent to bring the tiger cub to an Arizona Cardinals training camp practice.
To make matters worse, it seems Dockett also owns a pet alligator and recently tried to purchase a monkey. It is very disappointing that a professional athlete such as Dockett is fast becoming the “poster child” for owning inappropriate pets and making extremely poor choices when it comes to pet ownership.
Big Cat Rescue contacted the Arizona Cardinals organization to speak to them about whether they plan to allow Dockett to bring the tiger cub to practice and whether they condone his ownership of the cub. Nobody with the team bothered to return our calls or emails.
In reviewing statements Dockett has made about owning exotic animals, it seems clear to us that he doesn’t care about their welfare or safety. Reaching out to him directly would likely be a waste of time and the attention could even have the undesired effect of encouraging his selfish and arrogant behavior.
So instead, we’d like to ask you to appeal to the Arizona Cardinals organization on behalf of this tiger cub. Politely let the Arizona Cardinals know that animal lovers in America do not want to see a professional football player own a tiger cub as a pet and exploit it as a prop for his “image.”
Thank you for speaking out for this defenseless, voiceless cub!
Today at Big Cat Rescue July 30 2013