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Big Cat Rescue: Deceitful Cat Tales and Downright Lies
Subject: Deceitful Cat Tales and Downright Lies
Carole Lewis Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue, Tampa, Florida loves to tell you stories of the horror some of her rescued cats have endured at the hands of their abusive owners.
We've all heard the tale of Shere Khan, the first tiger Baskin bought for $800.00 and who can be seen in her video frolicking in a tub of water while Baskin narrates that Shere Khan came from a "loving and nurturing home". Once Baskin decided she could collect more donations by assigning Shere Khan an abuse story, the tale became that Shere Khan was neglected, could not walk, and was so ill he could barely lift his chest. view video >>
Now comes the tall tale of still another cat at BCR. Baskin claims that black leopard Shaquille was in a circus type act in Las Vegas where he was beaten with a baseball bat and forced to jump through burning hoops of fire. He supposedly arrived at BCR (then Wildlife on Easy Street) with horrific injuries to his eyes, due to this alleged abuse.
We tracked down the former owner of Shaquille and this is what she had to say:
"I am familiar with the black leopard named Shaquille which was given to Carol Baskin for breeding purposes. I knew his owner in Nevada, and I had owned him myself before my divorce in 1991. He was never used in any kind of show or performance, and was a cat who only liked women so my friend gave him to Carol. He liked me so I was there to help load him the day he flew to Florida, and to say goodbye. He was in good spirits and looked to be in good health with no injuries".
ps I would like to add that he had never even been to Vegas (he lived in Pahrump, NV) until going to the airport to be sent to Carol (then Lewis, "Wildlife on Easy Street"), nor had he ever had any health issues".
According to a former volunteer who cared for Shaquille, he was in beautiful shape when he arrived but soon developed allergies which caused him to claw at his itchy eyes. This volunteer complained to Baskin for months to get him treatment and he was finally put on Prednisone, which she herself administered as Baskin would not.
These are just two examples of the many lies and horror stories assigned to the cats at Big Cat Rescue to get you to part with your money.
While there are many ethical small sanctuaries in Florida needing help, Baskin's budget and genius at marketing insures that she gets everything that comes along...this month a new truck. With 50,000 plus donors, in 2009 Baskin reportedly took in 1.7 million, spent $83,304 on fundraising, and had a $602,588 excess to add to her nearly four million in assets. Someone truly interested in helping animals would have given that free truck to a struggling sanctuary that really needed it.
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