Big Cat Rescue Needs Your Help
As many of you know, Carter and Olivia have been adopting Cheetahs from south Africa for years. That is actually how One More Generation came to be. We first set out to raise awareness about the plight of the many endangered species and then we started aligning ourselves with some of the best and most progressive animal rescue organizations in the world. Shortly after we launched OMG, Carter celebrated his 9th birthday and instead of birthday gifts, he asked allhis friends to make donations to OMG so we could start helping however we could. He raised $175.00 dollars that day and he felt so bad that all his friends donated money, that when they all left, he went up to his bedroom and placed $20.00 of his own savings in the pot. If you ask him today how much he raised, he will proudly tell you $195.00
Anyway, since that day, we started making donations to various groups including the ‘Big Cat Rescue’ in Tampa FL which runs the largest Big Cat Sanctuary in the world. Big Cat Rescue is the largest accredited sanctuary in the world dedicated entirely to abused and abandoned big cats. The nonprofit sanctuary began in 1992. The sanctuary is home to more than 100 exotic big cats. The cats at Big Cat Rescue are there for a variety of reasons, including:
- Abandoned by owners who wrongly thought they would make good pets
- Abused by owners in order to force them to perform
- Retired from performing acts
- Saved from being slaughtered to make fur coats
- Rescued as babies after hunters killed their mothers
Big Cat Rescue’s mission is to provide the best possible home for the animals in their care and try to stop the flow of exotic cats needing sanctuary by educating the public about the plight of the animals and supporting stronger laws to protect them. The non-profit organization is: Accredited by the Global Federation of Sanctuaries, Certified by Independent Charities of America as a “Best in America Charity”, a Member of the WorldSociety for Protection of Animals, Rated 4 Stars (highest rating) by Charity Navigator for sound fiscal management. The sanctuary is situated on 55 acres in the Citrus Park area of north Tampa.
We have watched their work over the years and during the summer this year, we actually made a trip to the sanctuary to meet with the folks who work so hard to try and save these amazing animals. We were greeted by WILLOW HECHT – EDUCATION CO DIRECTOR. Willow is the on-site liaison for Dr. Beth Kamhi who works remotely to manage their Education Department.
While we toured the facility, Olivia and Carter we mesmerized by the sheer number of Big Cats at the facility and we were also pleasantly surprised to see how well each of these cats were taken care of. Often we visit organizations seeking our help and find conditions less favorable but not here. The entire team at Big Cats Rescue sincerely care for what they do and for each of their residents. Although it is sad that these animals have to live in such tight quarters, their lives are far more improved compared to the many horror stories associated with each rescued animal. Each of these animals came from a situation that was truly horrific. We are all (as are all the cats) so fortunate that the folks at Big Cat Rescue do what they do.
While talking to the folks at Big Cats Rescue, we learned that although things on the surface looked rosy, the reality is that the Big Cat Rescue is facing a major hurdle. The issue is regarding food prices. Due to the increase in beef prices, the high quality carnivore diet that they feed the 100+ cats at Big Cat Rescue has tripled in price. Natural Balance, from whom they buy the vitamin-enhanced diet, had held their price at $1/lb all these years while beef prices rose. They have now raised the price to $3.10/lb, over 300%! The ‘Big Cat Rescue’ buys 64,000 pounds of beef per year. This will increase their food bill by $128,000 this year–a HUGE number for any organization to have to contend with! Here is a video about the issue: