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Big Cat Rescue: Confusion...Room or No Room?

Subject: Confusion: No Room To Rescue, Or Four Empty Enclosures?
Source: Volunteer Website 2011

The volunteers at Tampa Florida's Big Cat Rescue have access to a website just for them where CEO Carole Lewis Baskin keeps them updated on such subjects as why they don't rescue more cats. One of Baskin's very confused volunteers forwarded this website to us. 

On February 3, 2011 Baskin says, "One of the questions we are asked most often is: Can we rescue more cats"? Then Baskin goes on to give reasons why they prefer to take only small cats.

"We can't even offer to take in Lions and Tigers because we have 47 green shirt cats right now and often only have one or two Green shirt volunteers here to care for them." In other words, Baskin often has only one or two senior (green shirt) volunteers to care for her larger cats, yet she will not hire or pay for staff to care for these cats, preferring to take advantage of volunteers.

Now Baskin's husband, Howard speaks to the volunteers, saying there is "noise" at the sanctuary (complaining), that they do not do enough rescues. "Think about how painful the decisions are that Carole has to make many times each year. Turning down the rescue of a big cat because we are at our limit."

So where does the confusion come in? Posted on this same site is a letter Baskin wrote to Ringling Brothers Circus, the very next month on March 23, 2011 saying, "We have four tiger enclosures sitting empty".

Baskin goes on to badmouth another facility where Ringling has placed four of their circus cats. "I have seen this facility, and it is no place to keep a tiger, much less four of them." Then later, "Would you be willing to send them to Big Cat Rescue under the same terms of the contract we have for your five remaining cats"?

What happened to the painful decisions Baskin has to make many times a year to turn down the rescue of a big cat because they are at their limit? Now, in the same news letter they have "four tiger enclosures sitting empty", if Ringling will move their tigers to Big Cat Rescue and pay them to board them as they do their others!

So which is it? No room to rescue more big cats, or 4 tiger enclosures sitting empty if the tigers come with board?

No wonder this poor volunteer is confused! 

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