It has been a year since we last reported on Big Cat Rescue’s finances which can only mean one thing, their 2015 990 forms have finally been released to the public. We have all been patiently waiting to see just how much their revenue has increased in a year and how much has gone towards animal care, or in this case, how little has gone towards animal care. Lets dive right in.
At first glance we can see that Big Cat Rescue’s 990 form was prepared by the FRSCPA, a firm that has been providing consulting services to owners of McDonald’s franchises for almost 30 years. That piece of information can be overlooked unless you’re against the fast food industry in which McDonald's is a part of. So if you’re against the fast food industry and the alleged animal abuse associated with it then maybe you should consider asking Big Cat Rescue to no longer do business with the FRSCPA.
Moving on, we can see that in 2015 Big Cat Rescue raked in $3,613,340, an increase of $158,404 from the previous year. As was to be expected, the trend still continues with Big Cat Rescue’s total revenue increasing while the number of cats they house in their facility gradually decreases.
Along with the increase in revenue there was also an increase in the amount paid out in salaries. Big Cat Rescue spent $788,627 on salaries which is a $72,643 increase from the year prior. Who are some of the people being paid? There appear to be 20 paid staff and contractors as indicated by Big Cat Rescue’s website. While we may know who is being paid we still aren’t able to see the amount of money they are all being compensated.
We can only see how much money the CEO/ Founder, Carole Baskin, made along with her husband, Howard Baskin, and her daughter, Jamie Veronica. We find it odd that Big Cat Rescue seems to now be hiding the amount paid towards the CEO’s mother, father, brother, and niece after we started reporting on it last year.
According to Big Cat Rescue's "Our Staff" page, the CEO's family members are all listed under the paid staff category. If they're so transparent like they claim, why are they now keeping the amount of money paid towards the CEO’s family members a secret? If we had to give our best guess, we would guess that the total amount paid to the CEO and her family is likely over $300,000.
Full list of paid family members in 2015. (Notice the amount of compensation IS NOT listed)
Full list of paid family members back in 2014. (Notice the amount of compensation IS listed)
If you donate to Big Cat Rescue then you should want to know how much of their revenue is actually going towards taking care of those adorable cats they always post pictures of on Facebook.
According to Big Cat Rescue’s 2015 IRS 990 form, $561,280 (about 15.5% of their total revenue) went towards animal care. We should point out that they lump in the cost of “educational” programs with the cost of animal care. Since they combine the cost of animal care with the cost of educational programs we can only assume the actual amount they spent on animal care is pretty low.
Another important fact to consider is that all of Big Cat Rescue’s animal care is done by volunteers, even the majority of their veterinarians donate their time.
To paint you a good picture of how little has gone towards animal care we will add all of their revenue from 2004-2015.
According to our calculations, from 2004-2015 Big Cat Rescue has raked in a astounding $24,773,161. Out of the nearly $25-million, only $4,908,277 (about 19.8%) went towards animal care and educational programs.
Subtracting Big Cat Rescue's total expenses from their total revenue they're left with $751,239 in surplus funds.
By adding up the amount of surplus funds they had left over from 2004-2015 we ended up with the figure of $7,272,624.
We often wonder why they beg for donations in an emergency when they seem to already have millions of dollars at their disposal.
That about wraps up our analysis. We must warn you though, this is only what Big Cat Rescue has to report to the IRS. There could very well be illegal activities going on that we would never know about until they slip or someone inside their operation blows the whistle, like was the case of the GFAS accredited sanctuary, The Wildcat Sanctuary.
Big Cat Rescue's 2015 IRS 990 Form