There is a lot of money to be made in the animal rescue business. At least, for those willing to go to great lengths to emotionally manipulate people into donating to their cause, but such deceptive methods are a topic for a different time. Right now, it's time to take a look at Big Cat Rescue’s tax returns for 2018. Let’s dive right in.
In our analysis of last years tax return, we observed how Big Cat Rescue's annual revenue has been on a steady incline for over a decade. With that knowledge in mind, we weren't surprised to find out that the upward trend didn't deviate in 2018.
According to their 2018 tax return, Big Cat Rescue raked in a staggering $4,429,347, an increase of $314,266 from the previous year.
In contrast to the amount of money they make each year, the amount of animals in Big Cat Rescue’s collection continues to dwindle. In their 2018 annual report, Big Cat Rescue said, "By the end of this year, we have 61 exotic cats and 37 of them are over the age of 12."
61 exotic cats is quite a far cry away from the once great assortment of cats they had four years prior to 2018. In 2014, the homepage of Big Cat Rescue's website stated, "We are home to over 100 lions, tigers, bobcats, cougars and other species most of whom have been abandoned, abused, orphaned, saved from being turned into fur coats, or retired from performing acts."
With such a sharp decline of animals in their care, the amount of money spent caring for their animals should decline as well, right? Oddly enough, that doesn't seem to be the case.
Big Cat Rescue spent $663,401 (about 14.97% of their total revenue) on animal care and education programs. That's an increase of $46,759 when compared to what they spent back in 2014. Due to the cost of educational programs being combined with the cost of animal care, the actual cost of caring for their cats still remains a mystery.
As mentioned in our analysis of their 2017 tax returns, we do have insight as to what makes up animal care. In an article apparently created to smear their detractors, Big Cat Rescue admits that animal care includes the cost of food, veterinary care, and cage maintenance (emphasis added):
If animal care is comprised of many different expenses, then what could possibly make up educational programs? What is considered education is so broad.
Unlike Big Cat Rescue, sanctuaries like the Wildcat Sanctuary don't mask the amount of money they spend on their animals. As detailed in their 2017 tax return, the Wildcat Sanctuary actually reported how much they spent on food ($69,177), veterinary care ($79,724), and maintenance ($52,893).
The Wildcat Sanctuary was used as an example because what they list in their tax return is comparable to what Big Cat Rescue says makes up their animal care expense. It's worth mentioning that the amount of money Big Cat Rescue spends caring for their animals might actually be lower than what the Wildcat Sanctuary spends.
In a lengthy interview with Owen McGab Enaohwo, CEO of SweetProcess, Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue, let it slip that nobody is paid to feed animals, clean cages, and provide medical care.
Below is part of the transcript from the aforementioned interview, which took place back in 2014 (emphasis added):
Big Cat Rescue claims their ultimate goal is to put themselves out of business, but how many high-profile organizations worth millions of dollars do you know of that have willingly shutdown their operations?
Here is a quick recap for 2018:
Here are a few other highlights worth mentioning: