When you first lay your eyes upon Big Cat Rescue Corp. you will notice a small yellow sign in front of the check-in area with the words "YOUR TOUR FEE HELPS FEED THE CATS". That should make any animal lover feel absolutely ecstatic that the price of admission into the tourist attraction is going towards such a great cause but is it really?
If we are to believe what's written on Big Cat Rescue's website the answer is, no. The price you pay for admission is not going to feed the cats. On their website you can clearly read,
So why the dishonesty? I have read a couple of articles people have written after touring the zoo and they say something along the lines of "the cost of tours buys food for the cats". One article that comes to mind is this one, where the visitor states,
So what are the non-program expenses Big Cat Rescue mentions? The answer to that question can be found in Big Cat Rescue's 2013 Audited Financial Statement. Non-program expenses are Management/ General expenses and Fundraising expenses.
$347,710 went to those two categories in 2013. That money covers a portion of salaries, payrolls, advertising, real estate investments, and etc.. So the money you paid thinking it would go towards putting food into the cat's bellies is actually going into people's pockets.
Should people just donate directly instead?
That seems like it would be the obvious answer, right? Well, you would be wrong. Even if you were to donate money instead of touring their facility your money still might not even go to the cats. Big Cat Rescue's 2013 IRS 990 form and Audited Financial Statement shows us that out of the nearly $3 million dollars they made, only about $500,000 went to the care of their cats although educational programs are lumped in with animal care. That leaves about $1,549,703 not going to the care of the cats in 2013.
One thing that should be noted is a total of over $600,000 went to salaries and payrolls which is more than what is spent on animal care. About $250,000 went to the CEO/Founder's family and according to an online application they sent out, about $35,000 goes to a cameraman they hire to make simple Youtube videos. So, is your money actually going to the cats?
Should people just not donate at all? That's not up to us. People should research pertinent information about Big Cat Rescue to be better informed in order to draw their own conclusions. We often wonder what would happen if people stopped donating. The CEO/ Founder claims to be a multimillionaire in her book titled "The Millionaire's Manual to Manifesting Millions". In her book Carole Baskin states,
So if people stopped donating would the CEO/ Founder finally be forced to care for her cats herself since she purchased many of them? Who knows...