AdvoCat 2013 06


Happy Father’s Day

Don’t forget to tell your father how special he is on Sunday, June 16.  Send one of our beautiful, FREE e-cards by clicking the card below.

Fathers Day Card Snow Leopard

Sponsor a big cat:  http://www.bigcatrescue.biz/servlet/the-Sponsor-A-Cat/Categories

or check out our Gifts for Him: http://www.bigcatrescue.biz/servlet/the-Gifts-for-Him/Categories or maybe a donation to some freedom for the big cats in your father’s name?  See below.

 

One Last Chance for Flavio?

At 24 years old, Flavio is the world’s oldest tiger. He retired from the circus to Big Cat Rescue on New Year’s Day 2002. Since the circus tigers were all fully clawed, they have had to be kept in roofed cages here to prevent escape, which limits the amount of open space they have been able to enjoy.

Six months ago we began our first attempt at creating a huge, open air space encompassing 2.5 acres, that had walls high enough to contain even the most agile of the big cats. This new design is a $200,000 endeavor but we felt it was worthwhile because all of our big cats can get a 2 week vacation in the space.

tiger flavio flower fieldSo far, thanks to some amazing donors, we have raised 76,311.00 and have the north wall completed. We have the bottom two rows of caging material raised around the rest of the acreage, but still need to add the two toughest, top rows. To do so requires a lift truck and we have been trying to buy, rather than rent, because there are so many ways we can use a lift truck at the sanctuary.

Every day I look at the progress and am both thrilled and sad. Every day I look at Flavio, in the twilight of his time here on the planet and ask if he can just hang on until it is done. I can’t write this without crying, because I don’t think he has months to wait.

We all desperately want Flavio to know what it is like to have an unobscured view of the sky. Before his time is up he should know what it is like to walk as far as he can without hitting a wall. He should be able to wade out into the pond and and send waterbirds flying, like his wild cousins do. He should be able to climb the sloping ramps to the platforms and look as far as his old eyes can see without seeing a cage wall.

If you want all of this for Flavio, and all of the other tigers and lions here, YOU can make it happen. We still need to raise $123,689.00 and every little bit helps a big cat here: http://www.razoo.com/story/Bigcatvacation

 

Vacation4b

 

 

The Federal Bill To End Big Cat Abuse

 

CatLawsHR1998Many of our readers will recall that in March 2012 Big Cat Rescue and other animal welfare groups introduced the federal Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act in the House of Representatives. Even though this was introduced late in the two year session and by September the election distracted legislators, thanks to the thousands of calls and emails from so many of you to your Representatives asking them to co-sponsor the bill, we ended the session with 60 co-sponsors!

Now we are in a new two year session and are getting an early start this time, with the bill renumbered as HR 1998 having been reintroduced on a bi-partisan basis on May 15, 2013 by Rep. Buck McKeon (RCA) and Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA).

WE NEED YOUR HELP to build co-sponsor momentum again. The most effective thing you can do is both call and email your Representative. For our “tips” sheet about calling your Representative, or other questions about the bill, please email Howard.Baskin@BigCatRescue.org. To read more about the bill and send an email just go to www.BigCatBan.com. The site will let you easily locate your Representative by your zip code. To maximize the effectiveness of your email, please take just a moment to alter the subject line and a portion of the email template you will see at the website.

Regulation of how big cats are treated simply cannot work. Despite the regulations that are supposed to insure humane treatment, big cats are being mistreated daily and rescue after rescue from absolutely horrible conditions cannot solve the problem. The only solution is to stop the rampant breeding and private possession. If you have time to do only ONE THING this year for big cats, please make it calling and emailing your Representative and asking them to co-sponsor HR 1998!

 

FWC Adapts to Changing Technology

 

Changes in technology like the now pervasive use of social networking on the Internet are drastically changing how people communicate and how they expect to receive information.

One challenge for regulators is how to adapt their rules to these dramatic changes.

An important and incredibly satisfying portion of what we do, here at Big Cat Rescue, is taking in orphaned and/or injured native bobcats and nursing them back to health, teaching them to hunt, and returning them to the wild. A rule about not exhibiting rehab animals that was established way before the internet existed prohibited publishing photos or videos of the rehab animals. The unintended consequence was that, as people increasingly rely on visual presentation as the way they want to receive information (versus reading the written word), not being able to show our rehab work visually was increasingly limiting the ability of ourselves and other rehabbers to educate the public about the importance of rehab work in preserving Florida’s wildlife and the need for us to live in harmony with our wild neighbors, particularly as we continue to impact their habitat and have more contact with them.

Late last year we began an active dialog with staff and counsel at the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) about the impact this was having. With the generous pro bono help of two passionately cat loving attorneys, David Ganje and Eric Husby, the dialog with FWC staff and counsel was a mixture of brainstorming together on both the legal and practical aspects of how to balance the concerns on which the rule was originally based against the benefits of creating more public interest and knowledge about rehab work that is now made possible by the widespread use of images and video on social networking platforms.

Particularly in the last few months FWC moved on this issue with speed that is difficult to accomplish in the administrative world of a government agency and came up with a solution that we feel addresses both the concerns and the needs in a fabulous way. They established a separate permit that rehabbers can apply for that grants permission to display images and video of rehab animals. To protect the animals, the permit is conditional on taking photographs and video in a manner that does not create harm or stress to the animal or in any way impedes the rehabilitation of the animal.

Big Cat Rescue is pleased to be the first recipient of this permit and would like to enthusiastically thank FWC for what we feel was a classic example of how a government agency and a stakeholder can work together to address and adapt to issues created by a world where technology changes so rapidly and in ways that rules or procedures established in a prior era could not have predicted.

Now you can see some of the great photos from the recent release of Copter and Gator the two orphaned bobcat kittens:

Bobcat2

Copter and Gator in rehab at Big Cat Rescue just before their release.

Bobcat5

Gator bolts for freedom!

Bobcat4

Copter takes 45 minutes to get up the courage before making his big move!

Bobcat3

Copter calls “Wait for me, Gator!” as he runs to catch up.

 

Major Surgery for Serval

 

Cleo arrived at Big Cat Rescue when her former owners no longer wanted her. People almost always discover within the first year or two that exotic cats don’t make good pets. Cleo is now 16 years old.

Cleo Serval surgeryRecently during feeding time, her keepers noticed a slight swelling on her side. The swelling was very hard and seemed to wrap around her abdomen. An appointment was made to transport Cleo to Ehrlich Animal Hospital to see volunteer veterinarian Dr. Wynn.

After a physical exam, xrays, and an ultrasound it was determined that Cleo had a large mass. To determine if it was removable she required an exploratory surgery. During the surgery it was discovered that the mass may be removable. In some cases masses can have large blood supplies or involve vital organs and are inoperable.

Dr. Wynn and Dr. Justin successfully removed the tumor which was no easy task as part of the bladder and ureter wrapped around the mass. Samples of the tumor were sent away for testing and Cleo returned to the sanctuary to spend two weeks recovering in the Cat Hospital.

Cleo’s tumor was a leiomyosarcoma, a tumor of smooth muscle, arising from her uterus. It is malignant so it could spread to other tissues. For now she is happy to be back in her enclosure. Her keepers will be keeping a close eye on her for any changes in behavior or signs of another mass. A huge thank you to Dr. Wynn, Dr. Justin, and staff and volunteers who provided hospital care. You have all given Cleo a second chance! 

 

Zabu the White Tiger LOVES Her Ball

 

 

 

Kansas Cats Get Proper Burial

Sweetly Sleeping

Undersheriff, Joe Butner, and his family made sure the exotic cats who had been tossed on the trash heap by their former owner got a proper burial and memorial. More about this rescue from last month in Atchison, KS here:  http://bigcatrescue.org/most-daring-rescue-ever/ 

 

Big Cat Rescue Wins!

 

A big roar of applause to all of you who voted for us daily on Facebook in the SunState Federal Credit Union Contest.  The prize money was $1,000 plus $300 to the person who nominated the charity.  Since that person was Big Cat Rescue’s founder, the $300 has been donated back to Big Cat Rescue making the total win, for your efforts, $1,300 for the cats! 

 

Summer Camp

 

It’s back and better than ever! Big Cat Rescue’s Summer Camp is a huge hit each year and the limited spaces fill up quickly. Several weeks are full already.  Reserve your spot today for a roaring good time this summer! http://bigcatrescue.org/kids-camp/

 

Planning a Party?

 

ECHOage is an online birthday party service where kids get the gifts they want AND give to a charity.

✓ Free online invitations

✓ Secure gift & charity giving

✓ Contribution tracker

✓ RSVP manager

✓ Thank you notes

Half of the money raised goes to the items that you choose to fund a larger gift for your child and the other half to the charity of your choice.  The cats of Big Cat Rescue are hoping you pick them.  http://echoage.com/charities/big-cat-rescue  

Fundraiser for Big Cat Rescue

It’s Drag Queen Bingo and there is no cover.  Just buy your own food and drinks and pay $10 for a set of 10 Bingo cards with three games each.  Play all night for just $10 and the proceeds go to Big Cat Rescue.  There will prizes for the winners in all 10 rounds! Come in Safari, or Cat Costume attire for fun and prizes. It will be like a mini Fur Ball where it is a night of Big Cat Rescuers all having fun to support the big cats. Play the Ad for the Hamburger Mary’s Event to Benefit Big Cat Rescue on July 1, 2013 7:30 PM at 1600 E. 7th Av Ybor City, FL and then RSVP to 813 241-MARY  

  

Big Cats Protecting Kids

Denton, TX Police Alumni AssociationLaWanna Mitchell is the person who built and maintains our BigCatFun.com site, our two free e-Card sites and is the person you are frequently interacting with on Facebook and YouTube when you post comments.  One of her creations is a Child Safety ID Kit that she will co brand with schools and police departments as a way of helping protect children and sharing the plight of big cats with an audience we might not otherwise reach.  The following is a nice note from the Denton, TX Police Alumni Association.

Hi LaWanna,

The Child Safety Kits were a big hit with the folks at the Jazz Festival this weekend. We handed out over 150 CDs, and had quite a few people ask for info about Big Cat Rescue. We had visitors from all over Texas, and as far away as San Francisco.

I thought you would like a few pictures of the booth setup, as well as a copy of the sign we used to let people know about the kit.

Thank you for all of your support, and we look forward to handing more of the kits out at our next event.

Stu Moorhead

 

Top 5 Most Shocking Incidents

of Big Cat Exploitation

 

We hope by sharing a new list with you each month that you will join us in speaking out for the big cats and cubs that are exploited across this country every day. We encourage you to take one small action today and reach out via phone or email to contact one or more of the offenders listed below and politely express your concern. Together we can be the voice for the voiceless…together we can make a difference. Please join us in our mission of Caring for Cats & Ending the Trade.

No. 1 A supporter contacted us begging us to look into the city of Clay Center’s Utility Park & Zoo (Kansas), which she says is a horrid zoo operated by – believe it or not – the local Public Utility Commission! Website photos show they have at least one black leopard. This supporter tells us that the animals are living in small, barren cages with little or no enrichment. Their website actually boasts that “no tax funds are being expended on maintaining the park” and that “the addition of the zoo has been a source of pleasure for local residents.” Please contact the city and let them know that the zoo is NO pleasure for the animals and that public utility employees should NOT by running a zoo and caring for big cats! Contact Mayor Jim Thatcher at 785-632-5454 and citymayor@claycentersks.com. Contact Public Utilities Superintendent Bill Callaway at 785-632-2137 and bcpuc@nckcn.com.

No. 2The Science Spectrum (Texas) is hosting its annual Critterfest from June 27-30. Once again the event will feature Vincent Von Duke’s lion and tiger show. The website claims “the show will…teach important lessons about conserving the World’s endangered species.” What it doesn’t say is that Von Duke is one of the most notorious exploiters of big cats. He has received numerous USDA violations, including improper diets for his cats and lack of veterinary care. Please contact the Science Spectrum to let them know that people do not want to see lions and tigers forced to perform for entertainment. Contact Executive Director Sandy Henry at 806-745-1216 (ext. 8) and sandy@sciencespectrum.org. Contact Marketing Director James Nesmith at 806-745-1216 (ext.7) and james@sciencespectrum.org.

No. 3 The cover of the May 24th issue of Entertainment Weekly magazine showed popular singer Bruno Mars posing with a black leopard on a leash. Please contact Entertainment Weekly’s Managing Editor Jess Cagle and let her know that animal lovers do not want to see actors and singers photographed with wild cats such as this rented leopard just for “shock” value in order to sell magazines. She can be reached at 212-522-1851 and jess_cagle@ew.com.

No. 4 CORRECTION: Last month we gave you an incorrect email address for Harper’s Bazaar magazine, which had photographed a major spread in the magazine called “Animal Nursery.” Numerous models were shown holding and cuddling tiger cubs, Serval kittens and other exotics. Fashion Director Carine Roitfeld was quoted telling the media, “The shoot was a dream come true because I had never held baby tigers before.” Would you please explain to Roitfeld and the editors at Harper’s Bazaar why being used as photo props is NOT a dream come true for these baby big cats? The correct email is editors@harpersbazaar.com.

No. 5Space Farms Zoo (New Jersey) boasts on their website that they are “internationally famous for their lion cub breeding program.” Yet they offer no information as to WHY they would be breeding lions. And just last month, a tiger cub was born at the zoo and immediately taken from its mother. Owner Lori Space Day claimed in a newspaper article “this is the start of {the cub’s} early training to get accustomed to human touch and coming when she is called.” The article also says the cub will be placed back with its parents AFTER ONE YEAR. Please Contact Lori Space Day to let her know people do NOT want to see her breed and exploit big cats and their cubs. Phone: 973-875-3223.

If you hear about exotic cats or cubs being exploited in your area, please contact Susan Bass at Susan.Bass@BigCatRescue.org. As always you can keep up with the latest action alerts at CatLaws.com   Thank you!

 

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