How Can I Help?
Yes, there are horror stories - stories of abuse, torment and neglect of big cats, but that is not what this message is about.
This message is about the success stories, the happy endings, and the stories that make you feel good inside.
Stories like . . .Kalahari. He is now a healthy lion - comfortably living in his adopted pride. His territorial roar is magnificent. He was near death from starvation and beating.
Scar. Now he has the walk of a king he is as he struts around protecting his two lionesses. When he came to Tiger Haven, he was so weak he could hardly stand. Every rib and vertebrae was showing.
Tia. Although she is still flat-footed, she now bounces around in happiness whenever she has company. She had been kept in a tiny cage and went weeks at a time with nothing to eat. Her feet were so damaged from declawing that she limped in pain.
Sahib. Comes flying from his pool to the fence and throws water on everyone. Then happily chuffs, rubs the fence, goes back to the pool and does it again. When he became too big to have pictures made with the public at his former home, he was kept in a tiny dungeon of a cage - never seeing anyone.
It is so wonderful to see cats who were starving and weak, confined to a tiny cage and destined for a life of depression, now running and playing, and bouncing into and out of their pools, their rippling muscles showing.
Watching them contentedly cleaning their paws and face after enjoying several pounds of lean red meat with chicken appetizers.
Horror stories draw a lot of media attention, but after the cameras leave, the cats are still there.
And after they are rehabilitated, they must still eat - a lot.
They still need their enclosures cleaned - every day, even in cold, freezing rain.
They still need fresh water, even when the temperature is below zero and ice must first be removed from their bowls.
They still need their food prepared and delivered to them, even when the temperature is above ninety and the mosquitoes are more danger than the cats.
And they still need someone to get up in the middle of the night, during a severe thunder storm, so that if a tree falls on their fence they will not find themselves in dangerous territory.
It takes a lot of work to care for close to 200 big cats. But it is what we do. It is what we are qualified to do. It makes us happy, and it makes the cats happy.
The problem is - we can't do it all by ourselves. The cats need your help, too.
You see, it also takes a lot of money to care for the cats. The food bill alone runs about $30,000 each month.
No, the food is not donated to us.
That would be nice, but the cats like to eat on a regular basis.
They wouldn't think very much of us if we sat around waiting for someone to donate almost 2,000 pounds a day.
There are also the not-so-glamorous things like the electricity bill (approximately $4,000 per month), diesel fuel, equipment and facility maintenance, licensing, new enclosures, and a host of other daily necessities. We need your help, and since Tiger Haven is a non-profit organization, we cannot survive without your help.
One way you can help is to become a member. If you are a member, you are saying, "I believe in what you are doing, I want you to continue, and I want to be a part of it."
It doesn't cost much - only a few cents a day. But it means so much. It means the success stories and happy endings will continue. That is why we are here. That is what you are here for, too, or you wouldn't be on this web page.
We know there are a lot of people who would like to help, but sometimes do not because they think they cannot do enough (or what they can do will not be significant).
The late John Denver once said, "I can't do it all, and you can't do it all. But if you do what you can do, and I do what I can do, it will make a difference."
Perhaps you cannot foot the food bill for a year, help with a major medical surgery, or build an enclosure for a rescued cat.
But you can make a difference. Will you do what you can do?