Cat House

Sanctuaries/Rescue Facilities

EFBC/FCC is not a rescue organization. This is a common misperception, especially because there are two large big-cat rescue places somewhat nearby. We however are primarily a breeding and research facility. Approximately 10% of our animals are from rescue-type situations, because sometimes we do help out Fish&Game when they need to place an animal.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of unwanted big cats in captivity today. Most of them are tigers, lions, cougars, and bobcats. The tigers and lions are mostly "generic" animals - the tigers are not pure Bengal or Siberian subspecies, even if they are described that way, and they are often inbred. Generic cats, or those of unknown origin, should not generally be bred. They are not an endangered species - tigers and lions and some other cats breed very well in captivity, and the available cage space should be used for animals of known origin, with care taken not to overbreed. More importantly, inbreeding can lead to serious health problems. Many people think "a tiger is a tiger". But, there are definate differences between the the subspecies. However, some species with a small captive population are managed with no regard to subspecies. The most important thing is to support preservation of the remaining animals in the wild - that's where they're endangered.

The FCC does not generally take in cast-off pets, because we simply have no room for these cats, there are so many of them. And many so-called "sanctuaries" are breeding yet more, contributing to the surplus animal problem. Please don't contribute to the problem by buying a "cute" cub if you haven't done your homework! In some US states it is fairly easy to buy these non-endangered cats as "pets", and many people then dump them when they're a few months old and not quite so cute anymore. Or a small circus folds and the animals need new homes. Or those people who go from shopping mall to shopping mall with tiger & lion cubs that you can get your picture taken with - they dump the cubs when they get too big. Rescue places take in unwanted big cats and give them a safe home, so that they don't end up as fur coats, or exotic meats at restaurants, or in a canned-hunt operation. Hopefully the rescue center does not then breed yet more big cats, but unfortunately some do. Make sure you understand the philosophy of any organization you donate to - do they raise funds by calling themselves a rescue facility, yet also breed animals? If they breed, do they register their animals with the International Species Inventory System (ISIS) and follow studbook keeper recommendations on breeding - or are they just another place that wants to play with baby tigers and get public donations to do it with. Many places send out fundraising flyers with pictures of abused animals, while in reality 90 percent of their cats are not abused animals, their owners just had to give them up (often because of money problems or new ban laws). Some people collect over a hundred tigers and then can't afford the upkeep. One horrible place regularly threatens to KILL their animals if you don't donate RIGHT NOW. Yet they reject offers from other facilities to place some of the animals.