Information on Florida Big Cat Rescue, BCR, (formerly known as 'Wildlife on Easy Street, WOES) and its co-founder Carole Baskin  (formerly Carole Lewis)

          Animal Welfare (AW) = Responsible Animal Use
          Animal Rights (AR) = NO Animal Use

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Back to Hypocritical Exotic and Wild Animal Sanctuaries

 

What is a True Exotic Animal Sanctuary? By Zuzana Kukol, September 2008 Unedited Version HERE

 

According to FWC, Big Cat Rescue, BCR, is NOT classified as sanctuary April 18, 2013

 

BCR PHOTO TOUR HERE

 

BCR 2009 IRS Form

 

Big Cat Rescue filed trademark infringement lawsuit against G.W. Exotic Memorial Animal Foundation in February 2011.  The lawsuit alleges G.W. Exotic and Schreibvogel adopted the name “Big Cat Rescue Entertainment” in an effort to harm the credibility and goodwill of BCR Corp. and cause public confusion.

 

But according to the official Trademark BCR document:

"Disclaimer: NO CLAIM IS MADE TO THE EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO USE BIG CAT RESCUE APART FROM THE MARK AS SHOWN

Description of Mark: The mark is comprised of the word mark "BIG CAT RESCUE" in combination with a stylized design of a tiger."

 

Full copy of the original BCR vs. G.W. document is HERE   NEW

Full copy of the G.W.'s answer to BCR claims is HERE  NEW

G.W. press release regarding BCR August 4, 2011  NEW

 

BCR USDA Inspection Spring/Summer 2011  NEW

 

BCR Chairman Pays to Pose with a Tiger Cub October 2010

 

BCR USDA Inspection (lion and tiger cage needs improvements) September 29, 2010

 

Rebuttal to Carole Baskin campaign of hatred By Lynn Culver, September 2010

 

Before donating money or placing your pets in a sanctuary or a rescue, always ask for references and check for credibility (better safe than sorry). Donors should check the organization's tax return (IRS 990) to see where the sanctuary receives its funds and how much actually goes towards the animals (ie. food, vet care, and new enclosurers). Good resources are ActivistCash, Charity Navigator, iGive, GuideStar, etc...  Donors may also want to check to see if the sanctuary is a member of the BBB Charity Wise Giving.

 

Florida Exotic Owners ALERT: Carole Baskin is once again sending STUPID LETTERS to the neighbors of exotic animal owners, trying to scare them what will happen if we have a hurricane, and mambas and cobras escape.  She is also sending out her IDIOTIC QUESTIONNAIRE for the FL Governor and FWC. This seems like a serious invasion of privacy.

 

The TRUTH about BCR Snow Leopards The 'stories' BCR tells the naive public about their Snow Leopards
BCR's Snow Leopards were purchased by then 'Wildlife on Easy Street" as pets, or possible breeders; actually a birthday present to Carol from her still missing former husband Don. The plan was to buy 2 more VERY expensive pets while asking the public to pay for $7,500 cage- as reported by Big Cat Rescue in their Cat Tales March 1998 (page2) newsletter. See all USDA paperwork, WOES newsletter and seller/buyer contract HERE

As reported by Big Cat Rescue in their videos, they are calling their pet Snow Leopards  'surplus to the Species Survival Plan', click  HERE

BCR claims on their website about their leopard 'Chloe'  that "an individual was able to purchase Chloe as a birthday gift for his wife", while conveniently omitting the rest of the story: that is was Carole Lewis-Baskin herself who was the wife and recipient of the baby snow leopard as a gift. See the BCR screen shot HERE in JPG or PDF

 

 

1995 Big Cat Rescue History VIDEO The Big Cat Rescue (aka Wildlife On Easy Street) exotic animals' selling, breeding dealing and trading in 1995

 

As of 4/28/2008, Big Cat Rescue is not a BBB accredited charity. They no longer have permission to use the seal. Big Cat Rescue Corp (BCRC) does not meet the following Standard for Charity Accountability. Standard 20 : Complaints - Respond promptly to and act on complaints brought to its attention by the BBB Wise Giving Alliance and/or local Better Business Bureaus about fund raising practices, privacy policy violations and/or other issues. See PDF or MSDOC files, page 2
 

Cheetah Attack 2008! Carole Baskin Lewis bashes current cheetah owner when she could not get her own! Baskin claims she stopped breeding in 1997, so why did she want breeding loan in 2000?

The Big Cat Fight  11/11/2007

 

The Following Videos are hosted offsite

More than meets the eye?:

The Truth Behind Big Cat Rescue 

BayNews9 expose video

Also in MSDOC or PDF transcripts -

March 16, 2006

 
The Big Cat Rescue (aka Wildlife On Easy Street) exotic animals' selling, breeding dealing, trading and news in 1995  

Wildlife on Easy Street (now Big Cat Rescue) incorporated in March 30th, 1995. The purpose was stated as: “Acquisition, Shelter, Feeding, Breeding and Socialization of exotic and non-exotic animals;… According to Carole Stairs Lewis's (Baskin) December 1996 article 'How to Choose an Exotic Cat' published in 'Exotic Market Review', they already owned 120 exotic and wild cats acquired thru purchase or breeding, and the number was increasing. On February 5th, 1999, Carole Lewis made a post to Felines-L (private big cat owners E-list) announcing the total of 148 big cats at her facility. Current count, October 2007, using animal data from Big Cat Rescue website reveals the current total to be around 110* big cats. The facility was incorporated in 1995 with mostly young animals. At least 10 of their tigers are retired circus tigers and Ringling Brothers finances their caging and care.  BCR seems to have fewer cats now that they are supposedly  'rescuing', then they had in the past when they were buying and breeding. Where are all the 'rescued' big cats hiding?

*Count of individual animals under 'Photos of our cats' link is around 107-110 cats (some links have only a picture, so it is not clear if it is BCR's cat or if picture is there just for information). According to VolunteerMatch, they have 120 cats,  but this undated article on BCR's website claims 140 cats. Still less that 1999 count of 148 bought and bred pets.

Carole Baskin of Big Cat Rescue sending letters to exotic animal owners' neighbors to scare them in MSDOC or PDF  Fall 2007

For More on Florida issues, click HERE

 

 

THE TRUTH as reported in the past by BCR, in their own words As currently reported/presented by Big Cat Rescue
Baskin VideoHere is the TRUTH about the healthy, bouncy and playful  tiger cub Shere Khan that BCR (Wildlife on Easy Street) just purchased in 1995.  In Carole's own words on this  Big Cat Companions VHS VIDEO, she says that he was "bottle raised in a loving and nurturing home" and that  he "does bite hard", which is what any healthy cub with strong healthy teeth does.
Compare it to what is reported on Big Cat Rescue website

 <snip>He never got the vitamins and exercise he needed as a growing cub, so his back legs were badly underdeveloped. He was very sick for a long time and suffered major problems from calcium deficiency. X-rays showed that his baby canine teeth were rotting in their sockets from his malnourishment and they had to be excised because they had rotted through his face.<snip>

Well, since the video clearly shows healthy tiger cub as purchased, the breeder shouldn't be blamed. Who then caused Shere Khan's health problems later on as he was growing up? Or, are the malnourishment and rotting teeth claims regarding Shere Khan's condition even true?

The truth about pet Snow Leopards 'Wildlife on Easy Street" purchased as pet, actually a birthday present to Carol from her still missing former husband Don. The plan was to buy 2 more VERY expensive pets while asking the public to pay for $7,500 cage- as reported by Big Cat Rescue in their Cat Tales March 1998 (page2 newsletter, click on the B&W picture on the left) and see all USDA paperwork and seller/buyer contract HERE

As reported by Big Cat Rescue in their videos, they are calling their pet Snow Leopards  'surplus to the Species Survival Plan', click  HERE

BCR claims on their website about their leopard 'Chloe'  that "an individual was able to purchase Chloe as a birthday gift for his wife", while conveniently omitting the rest of the story: that is was Carole Lewis-Baskin herself who was the wife and recipient of the baby snow leopard as a gift. See the BCR screen shot HERE in JPG or PDF

 

USDA paperwork* indicates BCR (WOES) bought ocelot 'Nirvana' on 7/27/1994 from Miami Reptiles for $3600. However, the current BCR website claims: Nirvana came to Big Cat Rescue from a broker on 7/27/94. He had left her at the vet's office for dead because she was so dehydrated. <snip>
USDA paperwork* indicates cougar Catrina/Katrina was bought from USDA facility by BCR (WOES) for $650 in March 1995. Cougar 'Scratch' was also bought for $650. Cougar 'Max' was also acquired in the same transaction, but was given away. However, the current BCR website claims: Catrina came to Big Cat Rescue with two Cougars and a Black Leopard on March 14, 1995.She was supposed to be a Florida Panther with her deep red color and 60-pound, low slung frame. She was a pet, but when her owner moved she could not go with him...
USDA paperwork* indicates most if not all BCR (WOES) servals were either bought, sold, bred or on loan.

*PS: These forms were given to USDA facilities to fill out and keep on hand for their USDA inspector...that is why the USDA would not have copies of them

However, the current BCR website claims stories like:...Nairobi was the mascot in a pet store window until she came to live at Big Cat Rescue July 7, 1994...Fluffy came to Big Cat Rescue from Oregon as a result of the pet trade...Serengeti and Kalahari were unwanted pets after a divorce...  Website 'forgets' to mention that supposedly the couple getting the divorce originally got the cats from Carole Baskin. They were volunteers at WOES.  
USDA paperwork* indicates BCR (WOES) acquired their first white Siberian tiger 'Electra Kita' in 1995. However, the current BCR website claims Zabu is their first white tiger:...Big Cat Rescue has never taken in a white tiger before ...When Zabu and Cameron’s plight came to our attention we had to think long and hard about whether or not we would have a white tiger on our tour. We didn’t want to be perceived as using a white tiger to draw visitors...
USDA paperwork* indicates BCR (WOES) Clouded leopard 'Burma' was purchased in 1996 for $5500. However, the current BCR website only mentions one of these very rare and hard to get cats: Malachi Male Clouded Leopard came to Big Cat Rescue as a temporary boarder. <snip>
 

The truth about 'Wildlife on Easy Street' Bengal cats (domestic and wild Asian Leopard Cat hybrids). In their September 2000 Cat Tales newsletter, page 2, Carole admits that: "All of the Bengal cats have since been altered and turned loose to patrol the grounds on Easy Street" - click on the B&W picture on the left

However, Carole Baskin claims on her website regarding tiny Bengal cats:

<snip>...They bite. Even in play, even if they love you, they bite and I have scars all over my hands to prove that their love nips will leave you bleeding. They want to eat your other pets and they don’t care if it’s a German shepherd, they are going to be constantly looking for a way to take the dog down. That is why many of them can’t run free on Easy Street. They pick
fights with 500 pound tigers. I have even received reports from Florida's Game and Fish Commission of them stalking little old ladies and I have been called in to trap and remove them. ...<snip>

So the question remains, is Baskin fear mongering and attempting to create paranoia regarding small harmless sweet exotic cat hybrids, or, if she is right, did she release an army of attack patrol guard Bengal cats in 2000 that are now terrorizing little old ladies and fighting 500 pounds tigers???

To find out the truth about the monster Bengal kitties and verify BCR's claims, REXANO contacted Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, FWC.

FWC replied that there is  "No verifiable truth to that report. No knowledge of this ever being an issue in the 13 + years that I have been here serving as an inspector/investigator."

AR Fanatic Falsifies Data by Bart Culver, January 2007

 

Savannahs Do Make Great Pets, Don’t believe BCR’s Hype. By Brigitte Cowell, Ph.D., Kirembo Savannahs, October 2007  in  MSDOC or PDF files     Pictures of happy Savannah and other cats  HERE  and HERE

 

AR Fanatic Talks Conservation by Bart Culver, January 2007

 

Who says it is immoral to have wild animals as pets? By Bart Culver, February 2007

 

Personal Injury Lawsuit: Ocelot Bite 6/11/2003 

 

PETITION FOR INJUNCTION FOR PROTECTION AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE By Jay Baykal, October 2002

 

AZA Denied WOES Application for Certification, June 2001 

 

Some of the Wildlife on Easy Street ads placed in Animal Finder’s Guide circa April 1995 – February 1997

 

Too Purrfect  Carole Lewis in 'People' magazine December 7, 1998 issue, discussing her husband's Don Lewis mysterious disappearance in MSDOC or PDF files (...Police did learn, that two months before he vanished, Don Lewis had filed court documents seeking a domestic-violence injunction against Carole, accusing her of threatening to shoot him...)

 

Exotic Cats as House Pets By Carole Stairs Lewis

 

Cougar Attack Victim Release September 15, 1998  

 

Wildlife sanctuary faces federal charges after leopard attack 9/11/1998 (...Wildlife on Easy Street, the exotic cat sanctuary founded by Don and Carole Lewis, has been charged with 26 counts of violating the federal Animal Welfare Act...)

 

Caged leopard attacks sanctuary volunteer 9/4/1998 (...Carole Lewis, owner of the sanctuary, did not return a telephone message Thursday. Sheriff's deputies said Lewis was driving Harrell to the hospital ...)

 

Missing businessman sued over cougar bite  12/4/1997 (...Don and his wife, Carole Lewis, are named in the lawsuit, along with Wildlife on Easy Street...)

 

Carole Lewis (Baskin) article in LIOC (now known as  FCF) magazine  March/April 1998 issue (...The life of one of the sweetest little cougars ever to chirp his way into my heart lays motionless before me and I feel helpless....Before he got sick, Fleetwood and his sister Enya were out of their cages more than they were in them. They spent many nights a week with cabin guests and were always out doing events, riding in the car or walking around the yard....)

 

Missing millionaire worries family  9/19/1997 (...In June, Lewis told a Hillsborough circuit judge that his wife threatened to kill him, but the judge did not see a danger. ...Critics say Lewis turned the refuge, which is organized as a Florida not-for-profit corporation, into another business. They say he bought cats cheaply at auctions and then sold them to buyers impressed by the center's non-profit status...)

 

Federal Register Application to import jaguars and ocelots for breeding April 9, 1997 NEW

 

How to Choose an Exotic Cat By Carole Stairs Lewis (Baskin) as published in 'Exotic Market Review' December 1996

 

Two roaming cougars back in cages  8/7/1996 (...Wildlife officials said the Lewises may be cited for unsafe housing permitting the escape of the cougar, a misdemeanor. In June, the World Society for the Protection of Animals gave Wildlife on Easy Street poor marks for living and safety conditions...)

 

Searchers continue hunt for cougar  8/6/1996 (...A tame 80-pound cougar escaped about 7:30 a.m. and was still missing at 10 p.m. after a 12-hour search Monday, wildlife experts said...)

 

It's a bitter case of leopard custody 4/24/1995 (...The leopards, owned by Jack Don Lewis of Tampa, were seized in August by the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission because Lewis did not have the appropriate permit...)

 

ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVISTS By Cougar Ridge -  (...Their newest tactic is to call in multiple false complaints on the few like me who have the guts to stand up to them. The State and the Federal Officials know what is going on and are angry themselves. It not only wastes their time, but wastes taxpayer money...)

 

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