Welcome to our Adventure!

Al and I are thrilled that you have found your way to our blog. We hope you enjoy reading our journal and viewing our photographs of the natural wonder of our United States of America. Let's hit the road together!
Homer, Alaska

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Slightly Off-topic :-)

Hi...I'm back!
Before I get to my off-topic, I wish to thank all those who have taken the time to look over the blog, make comments, and struggle to figure out how to "follow" us :-). My friend Kelly worked her way through it today, and I think this is what you need to do to be a follower. On the right hand column, find the Follow section. Right now there are 2 of you :-). Click on the Follow rectangle just above the "pictures". That will take you to a window that will allow you to register with Google...it's easy, just your email and a password, and then you can come back to the blog and click on the Follow button again, and then you're on the list! I believe that once you've done that, you will be notified when I've made a new post. I'll know after I do this one :-).

My off-topic discussion is the result of an email I received today. A few years ago, Al and I had the pleasure of visiting a facility called Big Cat Rescue in Tampa Florida: http://www.bigcatrescue.org/.  This is an excellent facility which rescues many different types of big cats: lions, tigers cougars, bobcats, leopards. And many exotics, like ocelots and servils. They are a non-profit organization, relying totally on donations and funds received from people visiting the facility. The cats they rescue come from private owners who think its "cool" to have an exotic pet, only to find it's not very easy or practical to have a wild animal in their house, or from "roadside zoos" keeping these cats in deplorable, inhumane conditions to entice tourists to visit and spend a few dollars.

The email I received was from Big Cat Rescue, asking for help in shutting down a particularly loathsome facility in Nevada. I quote from the AdvoCat newsletter:

"Celebrities Megan Fox and Brian Austin Green decided it would be a great photo op to play with a chained adult tiger and bottle feed a baby tiger.  They easily found that opportunity at Big Cat Encounters Ranch in Pahrump, Nevada.  As they hoped, the photos ended up on celebrity blogs worldwide, which only encourages others to seek out encounters like this. You don’t have to know much about cats to see the terror in this poor tiger cub’s face.

Karl Mitchell is the owner of this facility.  He has a notorious criminal, as well as animal abuse, record that stretches back decades to 1985. Recently featured on Animal Planet’s “Fatal Attractions,” he was seen inside his tiger cages slapping and boxing his tigers in the face.  California’s Fish and Game, after seizing animals from him in the past, have characterized him as “a dangerous person and a serious liability to any person or animal he's involved with.”

Not even 3 months ago, Mitchell was fined over $68,000 for a long list of violations of the Animal Welfare Act.  Despite cease and desist orders being issued over and over, this man blatantly continues to abuse animals.  While he appears on TV and in celebrity news worldwide, when will authorities finally stop him? 

Many years ago, Big Cat Rescue took in two of Mitchell’s abused cats.  After her rescue, Dara, the cougar, died from a fatal brain infection from the severity of Mitchell’s blows to her skull.  Shaquille, the black leopard, received beatings that crushed his eye sockets and caused permanent eye damage that he suffered from all of his life. 
We have gone undercover at other facilities that offer “pay to play” exhibits to expose the cruelty that results.  You can watch our video at: http://www.bigcatrescue.org/video/00389.htm


Please let the USDA, Nevada authorities and your legislators know that you will not tolerate any further delay in shutting Karl Mitchell, and other abusers like him, completely down.  You can easily send a letter by clicking on  

Letters to the editor of the Las Vegas Sun can be written at http://www.lasvegassun.com/contact/letters/""

This is a cause very dear to my heart, and for all cat lovers out there, big and small, I'd so appreciate it if you would take a few minutes to Write a short note to the email above and express your dismay at allowing this kind of animal abuse to be allowed. And if you're in the Tampa area, please stop at Big Cat Rescue, the tour is so very interesting and the animals are wonderful! The facility is top-notch, and the care and love is very evident in the way they are house, in special "catitats". It's great!
Thanks for listening...I promise I'll be back to preparing for the road next :-).

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