Just what were those VIOLATIONS of the Animal Welfare Act?!? How exactly did Big Cat Rescue become a GFAS sanctuary?!? What even validates HSUS/GFAS sanctuaries as anything more than places making money of the Animal Rights Agenda?!?

Until now bonding was the most important issue of Private Exotic Animal Ownership for Health, Welfare and Socialization for Exotic Animals. Thee so called GFAS “F” FAKE Pseudo Sanctuaries insist on NO contact with the animals. How sad for an animal to be removed from a private owner and given to another private owner now classifying itself as a ‘sanctuary with no human contact’ when that animal was accustom to close contact possibly even hand fed. Where the Hell is the true concern for animals jerked away from their owners to such conditions!?!





Source: 1998 St Petersburg Times Articles

Carole Lewis Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue, Tampa, Florida, wants you to believe that she began rescuing cats and providing them a better home in 1992. Lets look at excerpts from stories run by The St Pete Times in 1998, 6 years after she claims she became a sanctuary, to discover the truth behind this claim.

St Pete Times September 11, 1998 (a year after her millionaire husband went missing)

“The wildlife sanctuary where a volunteer worker was mauled by a black leopard last week has for years been under investigation by the U.S.D.A. for improper care and handling of its animals.Wildlife on Easy Street (now Big Cat Rescue) has been charged with 26 counts of violating the Animal Welfare Act. The charges include failing to provide veterinary care to animals in need, unsanitary water receptacles, unsafe storage of food, shoddy records, shabby housing for the animals and trashy grounds.”

If Baskin truly did become a sanctuary/rescue in 1992 as she claims, it sounds like the animals would have been better off left where they were! We’re told that there were actually very few actual rescues, but that Baskin was anxious to take any cat she could use for breeding. Here are excerpts from still another article printed in the St Pete Times.

“Trent (Neil Trent, regional director for the World Society for the Protection of Animals) called Wildlife on Easy Street little more than an elaborate showroom for owners trying to sell bobcat and cougar kittens. It smells of exploitation the moment you walk in. “(His) report found safety lacking at Easy Street, so much so that, “there is a very real risk of injury to the visiting public” and “a strong likelihood of an escape of a large cat into the neighborhood.”

Numerous injuries and escapes actually did happen at Baskin’s so-called rescue, although she reports none of these incidents on her website. (Report # 33)

So who do we believe. Carole Lewis Baskin who says she became a sanctuary in 1992 to rescue animals…or the regional director for the World Society for the Protection of Animals who in 1998 says Baskin was little more than a backyard breeder exploiting animals and offering bobcat and cougar kittens for sale as pets? 

Baskin also ran a tour business which featured cabins that could be rented for overnight stays with a cougar, bobcat, or serval in your bed. She used cubs that she bought or bred for this purpose and had them declawed for the safety of her guests.

In a 2001 LlOC (now FCF) newsletter Carole wrote: “

“Nothing speaks tranquility like a leopard hanging inthe branches or a tiger wading in the water. Nothing can quiet your soul like the purr of a mountain lion. We invite you to pull up a chair and have a lynx or a bobcat come sit in your lap while you stroke its luxurious fur. You are in the cat’s enclosure and it can choose to come be with you or not. When it does, you know that you have crossed over that invisible barrier into the mind of the most mysterious animal. Making that connection between human and creatures that are considered untouchable by most is an epiphany experienced by the very few. It is during this meeting of the minds that people say they have seen God or that they have felt their own spirit move in a way that it never has before. But this is just the very beginning.”

Watch this DatelineTV report on Baskin’s bed and breakfast to see Baskin’s exploitation of cubs she bred and declawed for this income opportunity. Listen to the end of this video for confirmation that Baskin was in violation of the Animal Welfare Act and cited for improper care of her animals, a charge which she naturally denies. 

HYPERLINK http://vimeo.com/27376976″http://vimeo.com/27376976

After several cabin guests were bitten, Baskin decided it would be safer to exhibit her private collection of retired breeders and pets as “rescues”. Most true sanctuaries do not exhibit their animals for money, but BCR is not a true sanctuary. It is a highly advertised major tourist attraction masquerading as a sanctuary with well over 25,000 visitors a year. Last year (2010) Baskin took in 1.7 million dollars and had an 800 thousand dollar surplus. Just today (12-19-2011) a Tampa Bay radio station (DOVE 105.5) was running one of BCR’s advertisements, asking people to visit BCR to see “over 100 rescued big cats”. Read Subject 15 to read the background on 170 cats and find out where most of these “rescues” really came from. Keep in mind that cats bought at fur farms and auctions to be re-sold or bred for income are not rescues, nor are cats you are paid to take in or board. Where are these “over 100 rescued big cats”?

Subject: Animal Dealers & USDA

Violations of The Animal Welfare Act

Source: USDA Press Release:

Carole Lewis Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue, Tampa Florida, would like for you to believe that she began rescuing animals at her sanctuary in 1992. A USDA press release dated September 10, 1998, 6 years later, refers to her as an animal dealer with numerous violations of the Animal Welfare Act. Baskin could not have been a rescue and an animal dealer at the same time, so let’s look at what USDA, the agency overseeing the care of her animals, had to say.

Press Releases:


Jim Rogers (301) 734 8563

Jamie Ambrosi (301) 734 5175

RIVERDALE, Md., Sept. 10, 1998 The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently charged licensed animal dealers J. Don and Carole Lewis, doing business as Wildlife on Easy Street, Inc. (now Big Cat Rescue) in Tampa, Fla., with violations of the Animal Welfare Act. 

“The animal care program is designed to enforce minimum animal care standards under the law,” said W. Ron DeHaven, acting deputy administrator for animal care with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, a part of USDA’s Marketing and Regulatory Programs Mission Are. “We are charging that the Lewises did not even meet those minimum standards”.

APHIS inspectors found that the Lewises failed to:

– Maintain compatible groups of animals in the same enclosure

– Handle animals in a manner that prevented physical harm

– Maintain structurally sound housing facilities for dogs

– Clean water receptacles

– Clean premises and keep it free of accumulations of trash

– Maintain complete records on the premises showing the acquisition, disposition, and identification of animals

– Provide suitable method for rapid  elimination of water from outdoor housing facilities

– Clean primary enclosures as required

– Store supplies of food in an adequate manner; and

– Maintain a sufficient distance or barrier between animals and the viewing public

In other words, the place was a dirty trash strewn dump and the animals didn’t even have clean water receptacles. And this was just one inspection. Another turned up 26 similar violations! (Subject #18) Baskin would like you to believe that this was all the fault of her husband, the missing millionaire Don Lewis. But although Don’s name may have been on the USDA license, he had been missing for over a year at the time of this inspection.

Don Lewis went missing in August of 1997 after filing for an order of protection against his wife, Carole Lewis (now Baskin). The order of protection was denied and Don’s body has never been found, although Baskin had him declared dead before marrying her third husband, Howard Baskin, on November 1, 2004.

So just what was Carole Lewis Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue in 1992? An animal sanctuary rescuing abused and abandoned exotic cats as she claims? Or a sub standard facility of badly maintained cages run by animal dealer Carole Lewis Baskin who could not provide even the basic needs for her personal breeders and pets?

 According to USDA acquisition forms, In one short  time period between 1993 and 1995 there were at least 110 cats bought, sold, or born there. Baskin herself admits in her early Safari Guide that she paid for all but a few of her 144 cats. Are we to believe that she bought these cats to rescue them? What about the ones she bought and then bred. Are they rescues too? Was Carole Lewis Baskin an animal dealer or an animal rescue? 

Baskin now publicly admits that she used to be a breeder, while all the while insisting that she began as a rescue. But nowhere does she describe the extent of of the buying and breeding of the cats or the fact that she portrays them all as being rescued from abuse or abandonment. Nowhere does she admit that horror stories such as those of Shere Khan and Shaquille were invented to pull at people’s heart and purse strings. In 2008 her present husband, Howard Baskin explained in an interview that in the early years “a few” cats were bought and there was “a limited amount” of breeding. If Baskin claims that she has always been upfront about the origins of her cats, then why not tell the whole truth? 

Would Baskin’s financial supporters be as eager to donate if they knew they’ve been lied to for 18 years? Would they believe that Baskin became a rescue in 1992 if they knew the extent of the buying, selling, breeding, and even declawing that went on there for years? Do these donors have a right to know the truth?


View the 1995 articles of incorporation showing that Lewis-Baskin incorporated for the purpose of breeding. You cannot be a “rescue” or a “sanctuary” in 1992 and incorporate for the purpose of breeding in 1995…unless you are Carole Baskin.


Repeat USDA


Repeat violations usually end up with a suspension and fine-To the best of my knowledge, neither has occurred; the doors remain open!!!
GFAS has ‘accredited’ this ATTRACTION as a sanctuary while FFW states it is NOT an accepted Florida Sanctuary!!! It can not be both!!!
Considering the source and that BCR is NOT verified can never be verified unless based on lies from Carole and Howard Baskin-As an accredited GFAS sanctuary then we must consider the source of that accreditation as nothing more than a bad joke-rather comical as one more gigantic reveal of HSUS/GFAS.
Disclaimer connected to this blog…Things said are of my opinion ad the opinions of others…Stay tuned  -B


~ by topcatsroar on July 12, 2014.


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