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Big Cat Rescue: Numbers Don't Lie

Subject: The Numbers Don't Lie
Source: USDA Acquisition Papers

Carole Lewis Baskin claims that she became a sanctuary and began rescuing exotic cats when she bought her first bobcat in 1992. At other times she claims her sanctuary began in 1993 with the "rescue" of 56 bobcat kittens that she bought and then resold or bred.

USDA Acquisition records show that in one three year time period, between 1993 through 1995, Baskin bought 50 cats, sold 40, had 20 kittens born and had two illegally purchased leopards confiscated. Baskin also had many of her pet cats declawed. In 1995 Baskin then incorporated as a breeder. We have those original incorporation papers.

Baskin herself says a true sanctuary does not buy, sell, breed, declaw, exhibit their cats for money, or make pets of them. Baskin did all five of these things and still exhibits her cats for money to over 25,000 visitors a year. How then can Baskin honestly claim that she became a sanctuary or a rescue in 1992 when the records show that she was a prolific breeder, continuing to breed cats until 2001?

In a 2008 article, husband Howard Baskin is quoted as saying, "A few cats of other species were purchased in these early days and there was a limited amount of breeding". Fifty purchased cats are "a few" and 20 kittens are "limited breeding"...in less than three years...and they bred for a total of eight? 

In the introduction to Baskin's early "Safari Guide" she is quoted as saying that she paid for all but a few of her 144 cats. Are 144 cats "a few"? Are we to believe that Baskin bought these cats to rescue them? How about the ones she then bred, were they too rescues? 

We have copies of the USDA Acquisition records in Baskin's own hand showing these purchases, sales, and births.  Baskin does not deny that these records are hers, but claims they have been altered and calls them "half truths and misinformation." The only "altering" are notes written in margins by researchers to show which cats were bred after being purchased, etc. Much of the information can be verified the same way our researchers did it; through the names and addresses of the people the cats were purchased from. 

If Baskin now freely admits that she started out as a breeder, why then would she be so upset that these records have been exposed? And why does she continue to claim that she became a sanctuary and/or rescue in 1992? Could it be that her many thousands of financial donors might not support these lies if they knew the truth?

The numbers don't lie, but it would certainly seem that Carole Lewis Baskin does.

And how about the lies she tells her volunteer staff. Things like, she can't afford to rescue any more big cats. Charity Navigator shows that she took in $2,244,398 in 2010, had a $882,355 excess and another $4,865,981 in assets! Yet she still begs for donations to care for her cats and has no money to take in more? Unless someone pays to board them of course, as with the Ringling Brothers retired cats and the last three tigers she "rescued" from another accredited sanctuary.

Read the stories of the cats and you will see where most of Baskin's "abused and abandoned" cats really came from! Then make sure you make a donation to show your support for lies, deceit, and fraud.


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