We finally got our hands on a copy of Big Cat Rescue’s 2017 990 form. Like our previous review, we’ll keep this article brief by only focusing on the important bits of information they disclosed in their latest report to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The trend continues with Big Cat Rescue’s total revenue for 2017 exceeding what they raked in the year prior. They made $4,115,081, an increase of $174,355 from 2016. Along with an increase in revenue, they also had an increase in surplus funds which totaled at $1,045,272.
According to the 2017 990 form, only about $646,120 (15.7%) of their total revenue went towards animal care and whatever they deem to be educational programs.
We're still unclear as to what exactly makes up their educational programs, however, we do have more information on what animal care is composed of.
In our previous write-up, we found out Big Cat Rescue had said that animal care includes the cost of feeding the cats, providing veterinary care, and maintaining their cattle panel cages.
We had also pointed out that educational programs likely make up the majority of that expense due to a interview Carole Baskin, CEO and Founder of Big Cat Rescue, had participated in back in 2014 (emphasis added):
On a related note, The Wildcat Sanctuary, a facility closed to the public and accredited by the same organization as Big Cat Rescue, made about $1.2-million back in 2016 as reported in their financial statement to the IRS.
According to the document, The Wildcat Sanctuary had over 100 animals for that year. That’s worth noting because they spent $186,228 on food for their animals, veterinary care, and supplies for their facility. Big Cat Rescue spent nearly four times as much on animal care/education even though they had around 70 cats compared to the 100+ animals residing at The Wildcat Sanctuary.
Why is there such a large gap between what Big Cat Rescue and The Wildcat Sanctuary spent on their animals? Could this explain why Big Cat Rescue combines animal care with educational programs?
Another fact worth pointing out is how much Big Cat Rescue spent on salaries and compensation. The amount of money that went towards that expense last year was $815,214, a near 73K decrease from 2016.
The documents reveal that $266,746 went towards Carole Baskin’s family.
We can’t help but ask the question if one family member in particular, Howard Baskin, made even more money under the guise of legal expenses which totaled at $265,404. We believe it’s a fair question to ask considering that in a back-and-forth exchange through email, Howard had made it clear that he was the person to speak to regarding legal matters (see Blurring The Lines Between Activism And Cyber Bullying).
Here is a quick recap for 2017:
Here are a few other highlights worth mentioning:
We will leave you with this question. How much money would Big Cat Rescue have to make each year for you to start questioning whether they're only in it for the money?