Usually, people are either dreamers or doers.
I feel so blessed to be surrounded by Big Cat Rescuers – volunteers, interns, staff and our fantastic donors – who are the magical and rare combination of both!
It is because of our generous donors that we can dream big dreams for our cats and then take the actions to make those dreams a reality. This annual update/appeal letter outlines some of the things we have accomplished since last July…and our dreams for the coming year.
One of our biggest dreams came true last August thanks to your financial support: the opening of our 2.5 acre Vacation Rotation! This lush area was christened by Bengali. Since then most of our tigers, lions and leopards have enjoyed two-week vacations! I am forever grateful that Flavio, Bella, Sasha and Nyla, four of our beloved cats who passed on this year, were able to roam, swim and nap in this expansive natural setting before they left us.
Now we need your help again to build a Little Cat Vacation Rotation. This will allow our smaller cats to go on two-week vacations in their own special area! Your donations will make this possible for our lynx, bobcats, caracals and servals.
Last September, we rescued JoJo, a caracal/serval hybrid, and Reise, a very talkative cougar, from a facility in South Florida that was shutting down. Watching these cats blossom at Big Cat Rescue has been truly heartwarming.
Another highlight of the past year was the release of two Florida bobcats back into the wild. Fencer had been caught in a fence, which broke his toe. His toe healed and he was released in October. Khaleesi came to us as an eight-week-old kitten. We watched her grow, taught her to hunt and released her in November. These are the success stories we live for! They sustain us through the heartbreaking times.
In May, we rescued three starving, neglected tigers seized from a NY facility after it lost its USDA license. Zeus, Kimba and Keisha lived most of their lives in barren cages with rock floors. They arrived here in bad shape. Unfortunately 20-year-old Kimba had severe kidney failure and had to be put to sleep in June. Though Kimba was not with us long, we hope to give Keisha and Zeus many wonderful years here. Your donations allow us to rescue cats from such horrid conditions.
My biggest dream of all is for the day when big cats will no longer be abused and warehoused in tiny cages in America. When private owners will no longer be able to buy big cats as pets. And when breeding and exhibiting captive big cats and cubs will end. This dream gets closer to reality each time a U.S. Senator or Rep. co-sponsors the Big Cats & Public Safety Act. This crucial pending Federal bill will end the misery of thousands of captive exotic cats.
Your donations are the reason we can continue to fight for the passage of this bill. Can we count on you to help? You can also learn how to make a huge impact for big cats and be their voice at www.StopBigCatAbuse.com.
To make your donation go further, The Reitzel Foundation will match dollar for dollar the first $25,000 in donations! And because tour revenue covers our modest fundraising and administrative expenses, 100% of your donation goes to support the cats and end the abuse.
Thank you for sharing our dreams and for donating to our sanctuary as generously as you can.
Florida law requires that all charities soliciting donations disclose their registration number (CH11409) and the percentage of your donation that goes to the cause and the amount that goes to the solicitor. We do not use professional solicitors, so 100% of your donation goes to Big Cat Rescue. Our low fundraising and administrative costs are covered by tour income, so 100% of your donations go to supporting the cats and stopping the abuse. Federal ID #59-3330495. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING 1-800-HELP-FLA TOLL-FREE WITHIN THE STATE. REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL, OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.