Wanted: A Giving Heart on Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving to non profits – giving of time, heart, money – coming on the heals of the two biggest shopping days Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Instead of shopping; GIVE instead.

The 6th annual Giving Tuesday is November 28th, and this year I want to ask for your support of an organization near and dear to my heart, Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, FL.

For over 10 years , I’ve supported Big Cat Rescue (BCR) and want to tell you about this wonderful sanctuary for abandoned and abused big cats that I visit several times a year and support financially. I’ve seen cats arrive in horrible conditions, some starved and bone thin, recover to their majestic selves due to the love and care of the BCR staff. Cats who only knew abuse and beatings come to trust and love again other cats and humans through enrichment and constant attention.

I can attest to the dedication of the staff, mostly volunteers, who work with an open and giving heart to care for the majestic big cats who have a permanent home at Big Cat Rescue. Volunteers who clean out enclosures, sing and talk to the cats, and go on rescue missions to save a cat from abuse. Every dollar donated to Big Cat Rescue goes directly to the cats. There are a handful of paid staff who get funding through the daily tours given at BCR. All donations are used to care for and feed the big cats.

What is Big Cat Rescue ?

Big Cat Rescue is one of the largest accredited sanctuaries

in the world dedicated to abused and abandoned big cats. At anytime it is home to 60 -100 lions, tigers, bobcats, cougars, lynx, servals, ocelots and caracals . The cats come from horrific abuse situations, are orphaned, saved from becoming fur coats, retired circus performers, or rescued as babies left motherless when killed by hunters.

Founded in 1992, its mission is to “provide the best home we can for the cats in our care, end abuse of big cats in captivity and prevent extinction of big cats in the wild. “

Over the years I have sponsored many cats including this year:

Tigers Zeus and Keisha – Rescued from horrible abuse in upstate NY where they were barely fed . They came to BCR emaciated and close to starvation but are now doing well and never hungry!

TJ Tiger – The first cat I met on my first tour of BCR ! TJ was rescued in 2007 from a breeding facility in Florida run by a former circus performer who believed in chaining cats to a wall and beating them into submission.

Cameron the Lion – Rescued in 2004 from a run down roadside zoo in New Hampshire.

Bobcats Max and Maryann – Max was rescued from a backyard breeder in Rhode Island and now shares a home with Mary Ann. Mary Ann’s previous life included living in a filthy 5’ x 10’ cage filled with feces and meat scraps.

Nabisco Bobcat – I met Nabisco during his first week at BCR when he weighed only 9 lbs! He is a ball of energy!

Sabre Leopard – The coolest dude to ever live at BCR – arrived when he was just 3 .

These cats like to eat!

Feeding the cats is the biggest expense. The annual food bill at BCR is $200,000 – that ‘s $16,000 each month! There are not enough coupons to cut to feed these hungry cats! So on Giving Tuesday, the goal is to raise enough money to feed the cats for 4 months – that’s $64,000. To donate any amount for breakfast, lunch or dinner, go to bigcatrescue.org/give.

BUT This is just ONE way you can help the cats.

Here are some other ways you can give on Giving Tuesday:

1. Make the Call of the Wild – FREE – only costs a few seconds of your time


The Call of the Wild is a quick call to your members of Congress to ask for their support of the Big Cat Public Safety Act. which would:

  • End the ownership of big cats as pets,

  • end cub petting (the main cause of big cat abuse),

  • and limit exhibitors to those who do not repeatedly violate the law.

It is not often in our daily lives that we get to do something that really makes a difference, but you can make a difference with one call.

2. Sponsor a cat(s) – Just like I do ! I already renewed my support for the cats for 2018 and even included more cats in my sponsorship!

3. Sign up for Amazon Smile Shop on Amazon and support the cats at the same time and at no extra cost to you! Amazon will donate a portion of your purchases to Big Cat Rescue. Nothing better than getting a deal on Amazon and knowing Amazon will donate directly to the cats! Sign up for the Smile program here

4. Watch and Share BCR Videoes– Big Cat Rescue is on YouTube and by sharing the educational videos you help educate others on important cat issues and bring awareness to Big Cat Rescue.

5. Donate Unwanted Gift Cards – Maybe you’ll get some this holiday season, maybe your wallet is full of unwanted cards right now. Donate them to Big Cat Rescue by clicking here

A Star on Charity Navigator

Rest assured your money donations are being used appropriately and for the cats. Big Cat Rescue is transparent in its operations and has earned Charity Navigator‘s highest 4-star rating for “sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency” EVERY YEAR since first evaluated in 2010.


Please consider this Giving Tuesday a gift to the precious cats of Big Cat Rescue. With our voices and support these cats can live the life they deserve at their forever home in Tampa.

From the Bottom of my heart thank you for your consideration and for saying YES to these cats. It is only because of generous financial support that Big Cat Rescue continues to exist.

The cats and I thank you and wish you a peaceful and joyous holiday season!

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Foodie who is allergic to milk and lamb and eats vegan and gluten free. I’m a life long fitness enthusiast , runner, dancer and passionate about talking food, nutrition, health and exercise. I am a lover of cats big and small, and call Disney World my 2nd home.