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    Posted August 17, 2012 by
    Tampa, Florida

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    Tampa's Big Cat Rescue


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     beetraveler says it was heartbreaking to learn that so many big exotic cats were being kept as pets and confined in homes. "The captive breeding of these cats for profit is just shameful," she says. "Big Cat Rescue is passionate about advancing new animal protection laws in Congress. They currently take care of more than a hundred big cats that have been rescued from illegal owners, breeders and other sanctuaries."
    - Anika3, CNN iReport producer

    Tampa, Florida is the home to the world's largest accredited sanctuary for "big cats." Be very clear. While people can visit the sanctuary, this is NOT a zoo. Gale Ingham, Operations Manager, is very clear to point that out. Rather, they hold guided educational tours (no one can wander alone in the sanctuary), to help spread awareness about the plight of the animals that they have rescued. As I discovered, each cat at Big Cat Rescue has a story.


    Big Cat Rescue is fighting hard to educate the public about the plight of these animals and to have laws changed so that cats are more protected.


    For more on this organization's incredible story, watch this video as Gale Ingham, Big Cat Rescue's Operations Manager, explains some of its philosophy, introduces viewers to a few of the cats and tells how the public can help.


    For more info:
    Big Cat Rescue


    Tampa, Florida also happens to be the city hosting the Republican National Convention at the end of August. While it is known to many as a "convention and sporting city" and popular cruise hub, I discovered a whole new side to the city, starting with Big Cat Rescue.


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