Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Washington Post Spot-lights Big Cat Rescue and Paul Miller

A Tip of the Santa Hat to the Givers of Gucci Gulch



PH2007122402135.jpg
Angelina Jolie arrives for a news conference at the National Press Club in April, organized by Quinn Gillespie, calling for the United States to more than quadruple its foreign aid for orphans and early-childhood education. (By Susan Walsh -- Associated Press)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007; Page A23

When Global Action for Children, an advocacy organization for orphans and vulnerable children in developing nations, needed professional help to stage a Washington news conference this past April, it turned to Quinn Gillespie & Associates.

At the time, Global Action did not have enough staff to launch its new drive to increase U.S. funding for primary-school education in poor countries. So the lobbying and PR firm provided ample assistance free of charge.

Lobbyists don't get much respect from the public. But behind the scenes, lobbying and public relations firms such as Quinn Gillespie often do a lot of good deeds -- without pay -- to advance public and charitable interests.

In this holiday season, let's take note of a few of them.

Quinn Gillespie, for example, helped plan and manage the news conference, which featured actress Angelina Jolie, Global Action's honorary board chair; Kay Warren of California's Saddleback Church; and the group's executive director, Jennifer Delaney.

Quinn Gillespie staffers Rochelle Behrens, Catherine Goode, Virginia Hume, Sue Garman Kranias, Richard C. Powell Jr. and Ashley Prime drafted and sent out news releases, edited speeches, and managed the event's arrangements. Jack Quinn, an advisory board member, backed the effort.

"This was truly invaluable to GAC," Delaney said. "We could not have done it without them."

But Quinn Gillespie is not the only K Street Santa.

The McLean-based nonprofit Our Military Kids supports the children of deployed and severely injured National Guard and reserve troops. The law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld supports Our Military Kids. Akin Gump helped the charity lobby for federal funds from Congress.

Similarly, Collins & Company, an Arlington-based lobbying firm, has been providing pro bono consulting to the Yellow Ribbon Fund since the fund's inception in 2005. The fund offers assistance to injured soldiers and their families at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda.

FD Dittus Communications helped Friends of New Orleans raise more than $60,000 through a series of events this year, including a panel discussion at the Aspen Institute in Colorado and a reception for New Orleans leaders at the home of political consultants James Ca rville and Mary Matalin.

Rodney Ferguson, managing partner in Washington for Lipman Hearne, a PR firm, also helped collect money for New Orleans, in his case for the Friends of the Times-Picayune. With the help of Ferguson and his staff, the relief fund raised more than $30,000 at a Washington fundraiser, which is a lot of money for a small charity.

Ogilvy Public Relations provided pro bono public relations counsel to the fourth annual Congressional Blues Festival. Festival proceeds benefit the Music Maker Relief Foundation, which provides grants for basic needs such as health care and food to low-income musicians over the age of 55.

Fleishman-Hillard public relations staffers volunteered at Miriam's Kitchen, a food shelter in Foggy Bottom. They arrived at 6 a.m. to prepare and serve breakfast for more than 200 people. They also handled promotional efforts for Miriam's Kitchen's annual fundraising gala, 100 Bowls of Compassion.

Paul Miller of Miller/Wenhold Capitol Strategies helped Big Cat Rescue, a nonprofit group, press for legislation that would help end the trafficking in lions, tigers and other big cats as pets. Big Cat Rescue works to provide a permanent home for wild cats who have been abused, abandoned, bred to be pets, retired from performing acts, or saved from being slaughtered for their coats.

Gary Schleuger, president of Pioneer Government Affairs, helped arrange his fifth annual Boehner-Kennedy Dinner, which has raised more than $5 million over the years for the Center City Consortium to benefit the District's Roman Catholic elementary schools.

The Raben Group worked with the Navajo Nation's Washington office to organize and support a Uranium Roundtable -- convened by Reps. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Jim Matheson (D-Utah) and Rick Renzi (R-Ariz.) -- to consider the risks associated with future mining on the tribe's land. The lobby firm also plans, pro bono, to launch a national campaign to stop the proposed mining that, it says, threatens Navajo communities.

Patton Boggs's Washington office also worked pro bono for Native Americans, in its case the Cheyenne River Youth Project in Eagle Butte, S.D. The firm obtained funds to help the teen center there, which has dealt with a spate of suicides.

Separately, Patton Boggs's Gordon Arbuckle, Betty Barton and Robert Kapla have been working with NatureServe, a nonprofit conservation organization, to build congressional support for a nationally consistent information network on the status of at-risk species and ecosystems. Patton Boggs helped NatureServe get in contact with lawmakers, which resulted in improved funding for the organization.

Members of DLA Piper's lobbying practice helped Maher Arar, a Syrian-born Canadian citizen, prepare for a congressional hearing. Arar was detained by U.S. officials in 2002 while changing planes in New York and was taken to Syria, where he was tortured and imprisoned for nearly a year.

When Arar was asked to testify about his experience, Joe Da vis and William Minor in DLA Piper's Washington office guided him through the process -- pro bono.

Public Strategies, the national communications firm, served as the free-of-charge adviser for the Campaign for Philanthropy, a program designed to boost charitable giving in central Texas. Just three months into the public effort, the campaign has assembled more than 100 volunteers, 12 corporate sponsors and major foundation support.

Happy holidays!

Please send e-mail tokstreet@washpost.com.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/24/AR2007122401766.html?sub=new

For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL 33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org MakeADifference@BigCatRescue.org

Sign our petition here:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/344896451?ltl=1140270431

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be
confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above. You are hereby
notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of
the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The
recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of
viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused
by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Escaped tiger kills visitor, mauls two others at SF Zoo

Escaped tiger kills visitor, mauls two others at SF Zoo

Article Launched: 12/25/2007 06:47:21 PM PST


A tiger escaped its cage, killed a visitor and mauled two others Tuesday evening at the San Francisco Zoo in a shocking Christmas Day attack about a year after another mauling.

Police shot and killed the tiger outside the zoo's Terrace Cafe shortly after the park closed to visitors at 5 p.m.

They encountered the tiger mauling a man who was covered in blood, said San Francisco Police Department Sgt. Steve Mannina. When officers tried to intervene, the tiger turned and headed toward them, prompting several officers to fire numerous shots at the tiger.

The dead tiger remained outside the cafe as darkness fell over the zoo. Two others mauled by the tiger were rushed to the hospital with critical injuries.
The zoo, festooned with holiday decorations was silent after the attacks, save for police helicopters and police officers sweeping the grounds for potential additional victims.

"We won't know until tomorrow whether this was negligence or intentional or how the tiger got out," Mannina said.

Some zoo employees in the gift shop locked themselves in as they had been instructed in case of emergency, but would not comment further.

According to the zoo's website, the zoo has two Siberian tigers, Tony and Tatiana, who live in an outdoor enclosure near the Lion House. It also has a female Sumatran tiger, Padang, at the west end of the Lion House. It was not immediately clear which tiger escaped.

The attack occurred about a year after a 350-pound Siberian tiger named Tatiana attacked and seriously injured keeper Lori Komejan during a regular afternoon feeding.

The California Division of Occupation Safety and Health later ruled the zoo was responsible for that incident because of poor training and how the cages were set up.

Contact Barbara Feder Ostrov at bfeder@mercurynews.com or (408) 920-5064.


For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org MakeADifference@BigCatRescue.org

Sign our petition here:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/344896451?ltl=1140270431

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be
confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby
notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of
the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The
recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of
viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused
by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.



Tiger Escapes at San Francisco Zoo & Kills

Tiger Escapes Cage in San Francisco Zoo

Last Edited: Tuesday, 25 Dec 2007, 10:14 PM EST
Created: Tuesday, 25 Dec 2007, 9:42 PM EST


A tiger escaped its cage at the San Francisco Zoo on Tuesday, killing one person and injuring two others. 

The tiger was shot, San Francisco Fire Department spokesman Lt. 
Ken Smith said. 

Smith said there were 4 tigers in a caged area of the zoo and one got loose. The tiger made it to the Terrace Cafe, a restaurant in the zoo. It was there the tiger mauled one of the victims. Policed arrived and shot the tiger while it was mauling the victim. 

Two people were injured; one is in critical condition at San Francisco General Hospital. All 3 victims were visitors to the zoo - not employees.  It's still not clear how the two visitors suffered their injuries. 

The zoo, which had been scheduled to close at 5 p.m. PST, was evacuated.

Officials at first worried that four tigers had escaped, but only one escaped its pen, Smith said.

Police officers and firefighters are continuing their investigation. 

   

Last December, one of the zoo's tigers mauled a zookeeper during a regular public feeding. The 350-pound animal reached through the cage's iron bars and badly lacerated her arm. The zoo's Lion House was temporarily closed during an investigation. 


The attack happened in a cafe at the east end of the zoo shortly after the 5 p.m. closing time, the Chronicle reported. The tiger cages are near the center of the zoo.

The zoo was evacuated.

Police officers and firefighters are investigating. Police, fire and zoo officials could not immediately provide details on the attacks to The Associated Press.

Officials at first worried that four tigers had escaped, but only one got out of its pen, Smith said.

Last December, one of the zoo's tigers mauled a zookeeper during a regular public feeding. The 350-pound animal reached through the cage's iron bars and badly lacerated her arm. The zoo's Lion House was temporarily closed during an investigation.


SAN FRANCISCO -- One person was killed and two others critically injured Sunday night after a tiger broke loose from its cage and went on a rampage inside a cafe at the San Francisco Zoo.

Authorities said they got a 911 call at 5:17 p.m. reporting that at least one tiger had broken loose from its cage and was prowling the grounds. Heavily armed police officers confronted the tiger inside the Terrace Cafe, killing it as it attacked a man. Three other tigers were found on the grounds and returned to their cages.

San Francisco Fire Department Lt. Ken Smith said at least one man had been killed. A critically injured man who had been mauled in the face was treated by emergency workers inside the cafe. Another iman -- apparently the brother of the other injured man -- was also being treated at San Francisco General Hospital.

The zoo had been open until 5 p.m. for an event at the park's skating rink called the "Reindeer Romp."

Last December, one of the zoo's tigers mauled a zookeeper during a regular public feeding. The 350-pound animal reached through the cage's iron bars and badly lacerated her arm.


25 December 2007

One person was killed and two others injured when a tiger escaped from its cage at the San Francisco Zoo today, police said.
The animal got out just before zoo closing time at 5 p.m.
It fatally mauled a victim at a zoo cafe, police said.
It is not known how the tiger got loose and there were reports three other animals also got out.
All animals have been accounted for, according to Sgt. Neville Gittens.
The conditions of the other victims are unknown.
Fire, police and zoo officials are at the scene investigating.


For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org MakeADifference@BigCatRescue.org

Sign our petition here:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/344896451?ltl=1140270431

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be
confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby
notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of
the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The
recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of
viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused
by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.



Monday, December 24, 2007

Chinese baby tigers found dead in refrigerator

Chinese baby tigers found dead in refrigerator

Chinese baby tigers found dead in refrigerator-BEIJING (Reuters) - Two Siberian baby tigers have been discovered dead in a refrigerator at a Chinese zoo, the second attack in less than a week on the endangered species in a country where tiger body parts are treasured as medicines.

BEIJING (Reuters) - Two Siberian baby tigers have been discovered dead in a refrigerator at a Chinese zoo, the second attack in less than a week on the endangered species in a country where tiger body parts are treasured as medicines.

State media reported on Monday that the baby tigers were found over the weekend in the freezer in the ticketing office of the Three Gorges Forest Wildlife Park in the southwestern province of Chongqing.

"They were born not long ago and are now dead," a park employee was quoted by the Beijing News as saying.

The discovery comes days after a Siberian tiger was found skinned and beheaded at a zoo in the same area.

Local authorities are investigating the cause of the deaths, the newspaper said. Calls to Park officials and the local Forestry Bureau went unanswered.

China breeds Siberian tigers as a way to protect one of the world's most endangered species, which mostly live in northeast China and Russia.

According to Xinhua, of just 400 estimated to live in the wild, only 10-17 live in China. Many hundreds live in captivity where they are popular in zoos.

Tiger bones are used to treat everything from skin disease to rheumatism and occasionally used in the production of special wines as well.


For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org MakeADifference@BigCatRescue.org

Sign our petition here:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/344896451?ltl=1140270431

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be
confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby
notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of
the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The
recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of
viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused
by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.



Friday, December 21, 2007

Big Cat Rescue joins International Tiger Coalition

The following is an excerpt of a note from the International Tiger Coalition

Dear All,
 
Please do not think my recent silence means that the ITC has been idle.  On the contrary.  There is much afoot, and I wanted to update you before the end of the year.  Let’s plan to meet up again during the first part of January.  Meanwhile, here is some of what is new:
 
New members
We have six new members, which means the ITC now has 41 member organizations.  Congratulations to you all, as this is unprecedented in conservation history!  Please welcome AMUR; Big Cat Rescue; Education for Nature – Vietnam (ENV); International Trust for Nature Conservation; Phoenix Fund; and The Fund For The Tiger.
 
Kanha Circle
As mentioned in earlier meetings and updates, the ITC’s success at the CITES CoP last summer inspired those working exclusively on in situ tiger conservation to explore whether there was basis for creating a larger alliance speaking with one voice to save wild tigers.  Please find attached a summary of what happened at what is now called the Kanha Circle, which was a November meeting in India’s Kanha Tiger Reserve to discuss a means of pushing tigers back up the list of global priorities.  The results are exciting, and we are pursuing financial support to implement a global campaign that would include us all.

Tigers as cricket “stars”
Just after the Kanha Circle adjourned, ITC member WPSI was contacted by ZeeSports to make tigers the new Indian Cricket League’s first subject for cause messaging.  ZeeSports offered creative assistance, billboards, video screens and banner space, passes for 15 “tigers” (people dressed as) and tiger conservation messaging inserted in English and Hindi during play-by-play commentary broadcast across Asia.  WPSI and its supporters made it all happen in a week, and we hope that they will share video and more details with us soon.  Congratulations, Belinda and Company!
 
January TCM conference in Beijing
It is not too late to register for the Beijing conference on traditional Chinese medicine’s role in tiger conservation, which will take place in late January.  Some of you are getting bounce-backs from the organizers in Beijing.  For safety’s sake, please forward all of your registration materials to me via email.   Please also ensure that your contacts in relevant embassies (especially tiger range states, the UK, EU, Australia and the US) in Beijing know about the conference.
 
I apologize for not getting back to you about your questions regarding the sponsors of this conference.  The three organizers include the American College of TCM and Save The Tiger Fund, both of which are ITC members.  The World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies (WFCMS) is the third organizer and is the quasi-governmental organization associated with China’s State Administration for TCM.   ACTCM and STF have been working with those who head the WFCMS for a decade.  They were instrumental, with WWF, in organizing China’s first conference on TCM and wildlife conservation in Beijing in 1999.  STF’s Campaign Against Tiger Trafficking (CATT) is the main funder of the conference, and we believe that this will be unique opportunity to get our messages across to leaders in the TCM community in China and around the world.  Special thanks go to IFAW, WWF and TRAFFIC for their on-the-ground assistance in making this conference possible. 
 
China’s new “Love Tigers” website
Just as the TCM conference begins in late January, the ITC will launch a new website in China called “Love Tigers.”  This will be a website created by prominent Chinese artists and writers and other tiger lovers in China.  It will be written in Chinese for Chinese and will feature news and commentary about tigers.  The focus will be the wonders of wild tigers as well as the dangers posed to wild tigers by tiger trade from any source.  This will be China’s first website dedicated to wild tigers.
 
Release of China survey results
A survey of urban Chinese commissioned by some members of the ITC will be released in January, but you will receive an advance copy of them very soon.  In essence, the survey (a stratified random sampling of populations from seven major cities) shows a pervasive latent demand for tiger products.  The good news is that a huge majority of the Chinese public favors keeping China’s tiger trade ban in place - for the sake of wild tigers and China’ global image.  We will be submitting a paper on the results to a peer-reviewed conservation journal.  Please let us know if you would like to be a co-author.
 
Delivery of signatures from the ITC mosaic campaign
We are moving forward with a plan to present the more than 70,000 signatures collected from people around the world asking China to keep its trade ban in place.  We are exploring the possibility of presenting them to Chinese officials at the time of the TCM conference in January.
 
ITC’s award-winning “End Tiger Trade” campaign
As you know, our “End Tiger Trade” campaign won an honorable mention in the PR News Non-Profit Awards.  This is a big deal in the non-profit communications sector in the U.S.  We were not THE winner in our category, however, we don’t feel so badly about that since we were beat by the much more costly Darfur campaign of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and Google, Inc.  We should be very proud that we were a finalist in league with these giants - and we have a trophy to prove it.  Thanks to all who made that possible, especially Jan Vertefeuille!

Possible access to China’s top leadership
While I cannot name names at this point, I can tell you that one of our ITC members has been able to talk with a very influential member of China’s State Council about the importance of China keeping its tiger trade ban firmly in place.  This State Council member asked for a written summary of the issue for China’s top leaders.  We will let you know whether this information reaches the top.
 
Happy holidays to those who are celebrating holidays at this time.  Happy New Year to all!
 
With gratitude for your continuing partnership,
 
 
Judy Mills
Save The Tiger Fund
Director, Campaign Against Tiger Trafficking (CATT)
1120 Connecticut Avenue, NW
Suite 900
Washington, DC  20036  USA

www.savethetigerfund.org/CATT


For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org MakeADifference@BigCatRescue.org

Sign our petition here:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/344896451?ltl=1140270431

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be
confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby
notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of
the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The
recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of
viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused
by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

FW: Tiger mauls Assam zoo visitor to death


For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org MakeADifference@BigCatRescue.org

Sign our petition here:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/344896451?ltl=1140270431

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be
confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby
notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of
the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The
recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of
viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused
by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.



------ Forwarded Message
From: Carole Baskin <MakeADifference@BigCatRescue.org>
Date: Wed, 19 Dec 2007 10:46:20 -0500
To: "BCRVolunteers@yahoogroups.com" <pamassard@yahoo.com>, <1bigcatrescue.catnews@blogger.com>, <1bigcatrescue.rules@blogger.com>, <1bigcatrescue.gatojim@blogger.com>, <1bigcatrescue.hsus@blogger.com>, <1bigcatescapesmaulings@blogger.com>
Conversation: Tiger mauls Assam zoo visitor to death
Subject: Tiger mauls Assam zoo visitor to death


Tiger mauls Assam zoo visitor to death

From correspondents in Assam, India, 08:05 PM IST

A 50-year-old man was mauled to death by a Royal Bengal tiger Wednesday at a zoo in Assam while he was trying to take photographs with his mobile telephone, wildlife officials said.

A wildlife authority spokesman said a family of four, including the victim's wife and two children, were visiting the zoo in Assam's main city of Guwahati when the incident took place.

'The person crossed over a barricade and went near an iron cage to take photographs using his cell phone. There were two tigers and one of them pounced and tore apart his hand... the other tiger also attacked him,' Narayan Mahanta, the zoo warden, told IANS.

The person was shifted to hospital and was declared brought dead by doctors.

'It was an unfortunate accident and probably was a result of carelessness on the part of the man to have crossed the barricade,' the zoo official said.

In another incident, wildlife officials tranquillised a leopard in the heart of Guwahati after the cat was reported to have been roaming the streets.

'The leopard in the last few days attacked and killed several goats and chicken in the area and was creating terror in the area. We have captured the animal and now shifted it to the zoo,' a wildlife official said.

http://www.indiaenews.com/india/20071219/87129.htm

For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL  33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457

http://www.BigCatRescue.org MakeADifference@BigCatRescue.org

Sign our petition here:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/344896451?ltl=1140270431

This message contains information from Big Cat Rescue that may be
confidential or privileged. The information contained herein is intended
only for the eyes of the individual or entity named above.  You are hereby
notified that any dissemination, distribution, disclosure, and/or copying of
the information contained in this communication is strictly prohibited. The
recipient should check this e-mail and any attachments for the presence of
viruses. Big Cat Rescue accepts no liability for any damage or loss caused
by any virus transmitted by this e-mail.




------ End of Forwarded Message

Saturday, October 20, 2007

2 Lions, 4 Tigers Rescued Today by Big Cat Rescue, IFAW and ASUS/WAO







ASUS Big Cat Rescue logo small IFAW

                                                                                  Click on logos to get high res versions for printing


Joseph the lion in OHContacts: Chris Cutter (IFAW), Tel. (508) 737-4623, ccutter@ifaw.org




Brandon Frazier (IFAW), Tel. (202) 536-1907, bfrazier@ifaw.org




Scott Lope at Big Cat Rescue Tel. (813) 323-5991, Operations@BigCatRescue.org




Carole Baskin at Big Cat Rescue Tel. (813) 493-4564, MakeADifference@BigCatRescue.org




Carol Asvestas of Wild Animal Orphanage Tel. (210) 688-9038, wao@stic.net


Note to editors: Photos, video & more info available at http://www.bigcatrescue.org/rescuelionsandtigers.htm


 


Animal groups rescue abandoned lions and tigers from Ohio woman


(Tampa, FL – 20 October 2007) – Today three animal welfare organizations: IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare), Big Cat Rescue, and The Wild Animal Orphanage rescued 6 abandoned big cats – 2 lions and 4 tigers – from an unsanctioned Ohio shelter. The animals are being relocated to licensed animal sanctuaries in Florida and Texas. The move highlights the pressing need for reformed U.S. laws covering exotic pets and has been lauded by animal advocates nationwide.


Nikita the tigerThe animal rescue groups are taking the big cats under a court order. The cats were formerly owned by Diana McCourt until the USDA revoked her license to use the animals and fined her. McCourt was subsequently evicted from her property and abandoned the cats. Local authorities were forced to take possession of the animals. Now they will be moving to permanent sanctuaries where they will receive much better care.


“IFAW is pleased to step in and be part of this extraordinary effort," explained IFAW U.S. Director Jeffery Flocken. “We are advocating for stricter regulations preventing illegal ‘big cat’ ownership and look forward to the day these types of rescue measures will be unnecessary.”


During the relocation, all six big cats will be transferred to Big Cat Rescue of Tampa, Florida – where 2 lions and 2 tigers will reside – while the remaining 2 tigers will continue on to permanent placement at the Wild Animal Orphanage in San Antonio, Texas.


“People need to understand the tremendous responsibility involved with taking on the care of these exotic animals," said Carol Asvestas, Wild Animal Orphanage Director. "These animals require a lifetime commitment that can be very costly and, at times, dangerous. What’s made this move easier for us is the overwhelming unity of participating organizations. It's been wonderful.”


"While we are happy to be able to rescue four of these cats we are so thankful to IFAW for arranging the transport of them and for enabling the rescue of the remaining two tigers. Once IFAW’s federal bill, Haley’s Act, becomes law it will be illegal to abuse big cats as photo props and horrific situations like this will cease to exist," said Carole Baskin, Founder and CEO of Big Cat Rescue.Tiger at Siberian Tiger Foundation in OH


The six big cats being relocated are:


• 1 Tiger born April 24, 2000 named Ekaterina

• 1 White Tiger born March 3, 2000 named Sierra

• 1 Tiger born August 20, 1995 named Nikita

• 1 Tiger born June 8, 1994 named Simba

• 1 Lion born August 19, 1998 named Joseph

• 1 Lion born May 12, 1994 named Sasha


The cats are expected to arrive in Florida on October 21st and in Texas on October 23.


About IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare)

Founded in 1969, IFAW works around the globe to protect animals and habitats promoting practical solutions for animals and people. To learn how you can help, please visit www.ifaw.org


About Wild Animal Orphanage

We are dedicated to providing a permanent home for and lifetime care to hundreds of formerly unwanted, neglected or abused animals. Learn more at http://www.wildanimalorphanage.org


About Big Cat Rescue

We provide the best home possible for the 140+ exotic cats in our care and are reducing the number of big cats that suffer the fate of abuse, abandonment & extinction. Find out how at BigCatRescue.org

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The Lake

The Lake–by Willow Hecht

Today Scott asked me, Bethany the intern, and Shiloh to row around the lake in the canoe and pick up pieces of styrofoam that had floated up from the building at the bottom of the lake and collected at the water’s edge. There was lots of it because of the recent rain, and Scott didn’t want any more coming up on the banks or into the cat cages.


The lake is much bigger than I had thought, and is divided into two parts. The larger part is in the back, and is surrounded by fields, the intern housing, more cat enclosures, and various sheds, etc. We started out in the canoe, me in the middle to do the picking up, Beth in the back to steer, and Shiloh up front. For a few minutes we spun around in circles while they tried to paddle, and Scott stood on the bank laughing at us. Then they got the hang of it, and we crossed over the small part of the lake, the part you see on a tour, to the strip of land that divides it from the larger lake behind. There we had to get out and haul the canoe over the grass, then get in again.


We discovered a lot more styrofoam than we thought was there. Also, it was too dangerous for me to do the picking up from my seat in the middle–every time I leaned over, so did the canoe. We figured out a better system, which involved pulling ourselves parallel to the bank, and using our oars (I had one too) as spatulas to pick up the pieces. We filled the bottom of the canoe with styrofoam. Once Shiloh’s paddle flung a small silver fish back into the canoe right in front of me, gasping, and I scooped it up in both hands, and flung it back in the water.


The best part was when we passed behind the tiger cages by the interns’ barn. The new tigers stayed hidden, but Snorkel, and then Flavio, came back there to look at us. They craned their necks and peered over the tall grasses to see us, and chuffed. We chuffed back to them, wishing they could come for a swim with us! They were very interested in what we were doing and watched the whole time we went by.


Once the canoe was full, we pulled over by the interns’ barn and got out. We unloaded the styrofoam onto the bank so it could be picked up later, and Beth went and knocked on the door of the barn, asking for food. We knew Daria was there because we had seen her walking back for lunch earlier. She came out and brought us Oreos, granola bars, and a box of Cap’n Crunch. She wanted to come with us, but there wasn’t any room in the canoe.


We continued on, fortified, this time with me in back to steer. We couldn’t decide where was the best place to go to next. It was starting to look like a job that could take all day, if each bank had as much styrofoam as this one had. Some of it had obviously been there a while and was stuck into the bank, with grass grown over it. We didn’t think we could get it all out, and decided to leave it and collect it from the bank by walking. It turned out the far banks had hardly any to collect.


Once, towards the end, we almost went over. We had pulled up perpendicular to the bank on the far side, and somehow two of us moved at once or something, and the canoe tipped way over. I screamed, but we righted it. Of course, then the bottom of the canoe was full of water for the rest of the ride.


Just another normal day at Big Cat Rescue!

July 14, 2007

Monday, May 28, 2007

Tiger Rescue by Barbara Frank

Notes from Barbara Frank on Tiger Rescue

Savage Kingdom TJ Bella " I never thought in all my years that I would be part of a “tiger rescue”. I was honored to be part of this dedicated group of volunteers to help in the rescue of four tigers from a breeding facility that was shut down. We met at the Sanctuary at 6am. Dr. Winn and Scott were hard at work getting supplies ready that we might need. We loaded up the van, and we were on our way. We were all ecstatic about this rescue. We were also scared of the unknown. We joked nervously about who in the group could run the fastest, who could climb the highest – just in case, these “kitties” had other plans! Being the oldest and slowest in the group, I knew where I stood!

When we reached our destination, we looked around and with heavy hearts realized how many hundreds, maybe thousands of animals were bred for sale. Gut wrenching when you think of babies being pulled away from their mothers to be sold as someone’s pet or exhibited somewhere, finally ending up, where? No one knows. No, we can’t save them all, but we were here to save four. They were the last to go. No one wanted these four magnificent cats. They looked tired and resigned to their fate. They were to be euthanized by the end of the day.

Big Cat Rescuers Cynthia Smoot No one in this group had actually participated
in a rescue before, but we worked with precision as a team. We all had our eyes on our Operations Director Scott Lope. The volunteers knew what Scott wanted just by looking at him. We all knew our place, and we knew what to do. Was it fun? Was it easy? Absolutely NOT! Was it rewarding? Of course! The “New Kids on The Block” are home. No more breeding, no more cramped cages, no more hungry tummies. They are home."
Barbara Frank

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Vote For Big Cat Rescue on Current TV


When you vote for Big Cat Rescue on Current TV you make it possible for us to educate a much broader audience about the plight of big cats in captivity. Thanks for helping.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Job Opening at Big Cat Rescue July 2007

Cynthia has done a wonderful job for us in the following job description and intends to stay on as a volunteer, but she wants more time with her family….her other family. She will stay on and train someone, but has indicated that she would like to have this job filled by July.

The best candidate for this position will be a current volunteer who cares more about helping the mission of Big Cat Rescue than the meager income this job provides. The best applicant will be the one who sees this as a life investment and not just as a 9-5 job. Preference will go to the person who best convinces us of why they would be the perfect person for this paid position.

Guest Relations, Gift Shop and Partner Coordinator

Duties:

1. Manage Gift Shop.


a. POS Point of Sale system management, including creating bar codes and items, deleting discontinued items, ringing up sales, balancing register at the end of each day, running reports, dealing with connectivity and Internet issues, processing credit cards and batches and training Admin Partners in same.
b. All product ordering, dealing with merchants, finding the best deals, budgeting for best return on investment vs. storage capacity and shelf life, knowing what sells, checking each shipment as it arrives for accuracy, tagging it appropriately, entering it into inventory and neatly storing excess.
c. All soft drink and water ordering, dealing with merchants and delivery trucks and keeping the machines fully stocked throughout the day.
d. Inventory maintenance; knowing what we have, where we have it and being able to accurately identify it in the POS system through proper labeling.
e. Keep bathrooms spotless and stocked in the gift shop and at the beach. Keeping the toilets working is essential when we have a lot of guests or a lot of rain.
f. Keep work areas clean, swept, dusted and well organized.
g. Keep all product areas clean, swept, dusted, well organized and properly labeled so that inventory can be maintained accurately.
h. Use best marketing practices, signs, displays, rotating screens and multi media to enhance the sales of gift shop items. Includes having videos playing before and after each tour.
i. Maintains bug spray for guests and a clean waiting area in the back yard for them.
j. Coordinates the recycling and trash removal from gift shop area.
k. Changes A/C filters, air purifier, water purifier filters and keeps bulbs replaced.
l. Manages Petty Cash for paying small ticket items, and submits receipts for reimbursement. Petty Cash receipts must ALWAYS add up to cash expended.
m. Fulfill phone orders and shipping. Apply proper postage to orders and letters. Coordinate with postal employees or Fed Ex. as needed.


2. Guest Relations.

a. Be a happy face to the public.
b. Sign in tour guests and deliver completed forms to proper staff.
c. Answer phone and be able to give detailed information on Big Cat Rescue, tour times and types, directions from everywhere to the sanctuary and be able to take and deliver messages for the rest of the staff and volunteers.
d. Keep guests in gift shop or in back yard waiting area until their tour guide takes over and making sure none wander off.
e. Be able to explain to our guests about our Adoption program, Membership program, Snow Leopard Trust program, Legislative Actions, Weddings, Memorial program, Fur Ball, Volunteer program and a variety of other aspects of the sanctuary.
f. Answer front gate.
g. Send Thank You notes and donation receipts to all donors.



3. Fur Ball.

a. Receive, tag and acknowledge all donations to Fur Ball auctions.
b. Store in a manner as to protect them until the Fur Ball and chart them so that we know what has been donated and where it is when the Fur Ball rolls around.



4. Coordinates Admin or Partner Volunteers.


a. Solicit, coordinate and train Admin / Partner Volunteers to help with all of the assignable duties above while retaining ultimate responsibility for the accurate and proper implementation. Scheduling of these volunteers overlaps with Operations Manager’s need of these people for tours and special projects, so the person in this position must be able to work with Operations Manager to best cover the needs of the sanctuary while maintaining harmony in what can be a stressful environment when volunteer staffing is low.
b. Other duties as assigned by the officers and directors of Big Cat Rescue.


Requirements:

40 hours per week on site. Continuing green shirt level volunteering and its minimum requirement would be expected in addition to paid hours, so the candidate needs to understand that there would not be adequate time for a second job and should only take the position if the compensation meets their needs.

I agree to perform the above tasks to the best of my ability in exchange for 18,720.00 annually.



___________________________ _____________________________
Witness




AGREEMENT RELATING TO EMPLOYMENT AND POST-EMPLOYMENT
COMPETITION AND NON-DISCLOSURE


This Agreement is between the undersigned individual ("Employee") and Big Cat Rescue Corp. ("BCR").


RECITALS:

A. BCR is an educational sanctuary which provides a variety of services to animals, business and industry, private and public institutions, and the general public primarily in the following markets: By providing a permanent home to discarded exotic animals and finding solutions to the causes of such suffering, abandonment and abuse.


B. BCR has a proprietary interest in its business methods and systems ("Systems") which include, but are not limited to, policy and procedure manuals, computer programs, financial forms and information, supplier information, accounting forms and procedures, personnel policies, animal care policies and procedures, databases and documents containing information on our donors, prospective donors, other supporters or individuals who contact us for various information or reasons, and visitors (all of whom hereinafter referred to as “Clients”), information on the animals in our care currently or in the past, , all of which information is not publicly disclosed and is considered by BCR to be confidential trade secrets; and


C. BCR intends to employ Employee in a position where Employee will have access to information relating to BCR's Systems and BCR will encourage Employee to develop personal relationships with BCR's Clients and prospective Clients; and


D. BCR will be vulnerable to unfair post-employment competition by Employee since Employee will have access to BCR Systems and will have a personal relationship with BCR's clients and prospective clients; and


E. In consideration of the benefits associated with being paid to work for Big Cat Rescue, Employee was willing to enter into this Agreement with BCR as a condition of employment, pursuant to which Employee will limit his right to compete against BCR following termination of employment for any reason to the limited extent set forth in this Agreement.


NOW, THEREFORE, intending to be legally bound, the parties agree as follows:


Article 1. NON-DISCLOSURE AGREEMENT:

BCR may, pursuant to Employee's employment hereunder provide and confide to Employee BCR's Systems, techniques and methods of operation developed at great expense by BCR and which Employee recognizes to be unique assets of BCR's business. Employee shall not, during or after the term of employment, directly or indirectly, in any manner utilize or disclose to any person, firm, corporation, association or other entity, except where required by law: (a) any such Systems, techniques and methods of operation; (b) any Client information, legislative contacts, vendors, sales prospects, customer lists, products, animal records, research or data of any kind; or (c) any information relating to strategic plans, sales costs, profits or the financial condition of BCR or any of its Clients, customers or prospective customers, which is not generally known to the public or recognized as standard practice in the industries in which BCR shall be engaged. Employee will not remove from the BCR property without written consent any of the Systems either on paper or in digital form, and if such systems are removed from the Property they will be returned on the day requested with any and all copies. Any digital form of any Systems that employee has on any computer that is not BCR property will be permanently erased with no copies retained. Employee acknowledges that failure to comply with these provisions constitutes a criminal act of theft of these Systems owned by BCR.


Article 2. NONCOMPETITION AGREEMENT:

A. Subject to the provisions of Paragraph B below, Employee, for a period of two (2) years following termination of his employment, shall not, without BCR's written permission, directly or indirectly, on Employee's behalf or on behalf of any other person, firm, corporation, association or other entity, engage in, or in any way be concerned with or negotiate for, or acquire or maintain any ownership interest in any business or activity which is the same, similar to or competitive with that conducted by, engaged in or developed for later implementation by BCR at any time during the term of Employee's employment.

B. The provisions set forth in Paragraph A, above, shall apply to (i) all fifty states and (ii) each foreign country, possession or territory in which BCR may be engaged in business at the termination of Employee's employment or at any time within twelve ( 12) months prior thereto; but only if Employee was directly or indirectly involved or exposed to plans for such business at any time within twelve (12) months prior to termination.


C. Employee further agrees that Employee shall not for a period of two years, directly or indirectly, at any time in any manner,

1. Induce or attempt to influence any employees or volunteers of BCR to terminate their employment or volunteering with BCR, nor

2. Contact or attempt to contact any of BCR’s Clients for the purpose of raising funds for any organization or cause or selling any product or communicating any information that is either disparaging of BCR or inconsistent with the mission or positions of BCR, nor

3. If Employee does have contact with any Client, disparage BCR to any Client.


D. Employee acknowledges that in the event of any violation by Employee of the provisions set forth in Article I above or this Article 2, BCR will sustain serious, irreparable and substantial harm to its business, the extent of which will be difficult to determine and impossible to remedy by an action at law for money damages. Accordingly, Employee agrees that, in the event of such violation or threatened violation by Employee, BCR shall be entitled to an injunction before trial from any court of competent jurisdiction as a matter of course upon the posting of not more than a nominal bond, in addition to all such other legal and equitable remedies as may be available to BCR. Employee further agrees that, in the event any of the provisions of this Agreement are determined by a court of competent jurisdiction to be contrary to any applicable statute, law or rule, or for any reason unenforceable as written, such court may modify any of such provisions so as to permit enforcement therefore as thus modified.



Article 3. TERM OF EMPLOYMENT: Employee acknowledges that BCR has the right to terminate Employee's employment at any time for any reason whatsoever.


Article 4. MISCELLANEOUS:

A. As used throughout this Agreement, BCR shall include Big Cat Rescue Corp., a Florida non profit corporation, and any other entity in which Big Cat Rescue Corp. has an interest, and its subsidiaries or affiliates.

B. Reference to the masculine gender shall include the feminine gender.

C. This Agreement shall supersede and substitute for any previous employment agreement between Employee and BCR, and is entered into in consideration of the mutual undertakings of the parties, the cancellation of all previous agreements, and the release of the parties of their respective rights and obligations under any previous employment agreement, excepting only such rights and obligations which by their nature are intended to survive termination or cancellation of such employment agreement.


IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have caused this Agreement to be
signed.


________________________________
Employee

________________________________
Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue



Date: ________________, 2007.

For the cats,

Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
an Educational Sanctuary home
to more than 100 big cats
12802 Easy Street Tampa, FL 33625
813.493.4564 fax 885.4457
http://www.BigCatRescue.org MakeADifference@BigCatRescue.org

Sign our petition here:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/takeaction/344896451?ltl=1140270431