The sanctuary is home to the most diverse population of exotic cats in the world, with 14 of the 35 species of wild cat represented among more than 70 residents. These include tigers, lions, liger, leopards, cougars, bobcats, lynx, ocelots, servals, caracals and others, many of whom are threatened, endangered, or now extinct in the wild. The sanctuary began in 1992 when the Founder, Carole Baskin, and her then husband Don, mistakenly believing that bobcats made good pets, went looking to buy some kittens. They inadvertently ended up at a “fur farm” and bought all 56 kittens to keep them from being turned into fur coats. Today the sanctuary is devoted to its vision of a world where animals are treated with respect. The narrow mission of Big Cat Rescue is to provide the best permanent home we can for the cats in our care. We do this by building enclosures in a very natural habitat with foliage and shelter on our 67 acre site, by providing the best nutritional and medical care possible, and by having active operant conditioning and enrichment programs to provide for their physical and psychological well being. The broader mission of the sanctuary is to reduce the number of cats that suffer the fate of abandonment and/or abuse and to encourage preservation of habitat and wildlife. We urge people to behave in a way that will support these goals by teaching people about the plight of the cats, both in the wild and in captivity. We accomplish this through educational guided tours, educational programs for young people, and by maintaining a website that we believe is the world’s largest and best resource for information about exotic cats.
Florida law requires that all charities soliciting donations disclose their registration number and the percentage of your donation that goes to the cause and the amount that goes to the solicitor. Big Cat Rescue's registration number is CH11409 and non-program expenses are funded from tour income, so 100% of your donations go directly to save the cats. We have the highest rating given by Charity Navigator. We are a 501 c 3 charity as determined by the IRS Federal ID# 59-3330495. Our 990s are available online at GuideStar.org with a complete breakdown of how your money is spent. Please donate now!