Carolina Tiger Rescue’s mission is saving and protecting wild cats in captivity and in the wild. We believe the ideal home for wildlife is in the wild. Therefore, we believe it is critical to conserve their native habitats. We believe wild animals should not be kept as pets. We believe captive breeding should ONLY be done in accordance with Species Survival and Population Management plans. Lastly, we believe all wild animals, both captive and in their native habitats, deserve to be treated with respect and not exploited for entertainment and commercial purposes.
In order to be true to our mission and values, Carolina Tiger Rescue focuses on three main areas.
One of Carolina Tiger Rescue’s chief activities is rescuing animals in need across the country. Every animal that comes to Carolina Tiger will spend the rest of their life with us. We rescue animals from private individuals who have realized that wild animals do not make good pets. Some of our animals have come from facilities that have closed due to financial issues. Others were confiscated by law enforcement and needed a new home. Sometimes they are just abandoned. Though each animal had a different story before they came to us, we hope once they call Carolina Tiger home, they all share the same story of being happy and healthy for the rest of their lives.
Education is one of the most important activities that we do on a daily basis. We educate the public through our tours and community presentations and exhibits. We educate children and students through field trips and summer camps. Finally, we educate college students through alternative spring breaks and pre-professionals through internships. We want everyone who leaves Carolina Tiger Rescue to know what they can do to protect wild cats, both in captivity and in the wild.
Advocacy covers a broad range of activities. Carolina Tiger Rescue primarily focuses on educating groups and businesses about the ways their activities and decisions impact wild animals, particularly wild cats. For example, a church or business bringing in wild animal entertainment for an event may not understand the implications. Traveling entertainment acts perpetuate the wild pet trade, including the indiscriminate breeding of wild animals (fueling the need for wild animal sanctuaries), generally poor animal-welfare practices, and risk public safety. Marketing depicting wild animals interacting with humans or in cutesy ways belies how dangerous they really are.
We encourage people to refrain from cub petting or cub photo businesses, to refrain from visiting facilities that breed wild animals or use them in commercial ways, and to advocate for ordinances and laws that ban neighbors from privately owning wild cats.
On occasion, Carolina Tiger contacts particular businesses or groups and requests that they not use a wild cat for an event, that they change the way an ad or publication appears, or to take some other action to support the respectful treatment of wild cats.
When called upon, we also assist legislators and other policy-makers as they pursue legislation and ordinances that ensure public safety and animal welfare.