When Carole Baskin and Big Cat Rescue became known for trying to stop the trade in exotic cats as pets, Diane Roger left and joined Judy Watson and Jim Moore. She had been written up by staff repeatedly for starting fights with the volunteers and staff at Big Cat Rescue, so we were relieved to see her go.
Probably, in order to be accepted in the new group, Diane Roger began slandering Big Cat Rescue and Carole Baskin. Diane had been given access to our data base as she complained about the heat of working outside with the cats. After she left, which was in early 2005, we began getting calls and letters from our supporters saying that someone named Diane had contacted them telling them all sorts of untrue things about us and asking that they support her new friends. With a data base of more than 25,000 people who love exotic cats, she could make a lot of new friends by giving them our donor list.
To date though, I don’t know of one who actually changed their support.
When Diane Rogers trouble making ways resulted in her being thrown out of the new groups, Diane became even more incensed that there are fewer and fewer places where she can go play with baby big cats. There is no legitimate case to be made for why breeding and trading in big cats should be alllowed, so the only thing she can do is try to discredit us.
On May 16, 2008 Diane Roger sent this email out to a number of Big Cat Rescue supporters. If she, or others have sent slanderous letters to you about Big Cat Rescue, and you would like to help build a case against those who abuse exotic cats, please forward them to TheirVoices @ 911AnimalAbuse.com
Sent: 5/16/2008 11:13:57 A.M. Eastern Standard Time
Subj: latest news about Big Cat Rescue, Citrus Park, Tampa
Let’s see now, Big Cat Rescue has lost its
TAOS Accreditation and the right to use the
Better Business Bureau’s wise giving seal.
What’s going on over there ? ? ? ? ?
Sent: Wednesday, May 14, 2008 8:48 PM
Subject: RE: Big Cat Rescue
Dear (name deleted):
Big Cat Rescue does not meet TAOS requirements for a fully accredited sanctuary; the organization has been classified by TAOS as an Approved Rescue Facility. I hope this is helpful to you.
TAOS – The Association of Sanctuaries
Chief Executive Officer
MAARS – Midwest Avian Adoption & Rescue Services
Co-founder & Treasurer/Secretary
AWC – Avian Welfare Coalition
From the Better Business Bureau:
In response to this question:
BCR’s seal has been removed by the BBB and she is no longer permitted to use it. IS THIS A FACT?:
Answer from the Better Business Bureau:
Mon, 28 Apr 2008
As of today, Big Cat Rescue is not a BBB accredited charity. They no longer have permission to use the seal.
Bennett Weiner | Chief Operating Officer
www.bbb.org/charity | Start With Trust
BBB Wise Giving Alliance
4200 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 800
Arlington, VA 22203
Diane Roger also forwarded this email from Judy Watson to supporters of Big Cat Rescue.
Sent: 5/14/2008 7:50:58 A.M. Eastern Standard Time
Subj: More lies from Carole Lewis Baskin
Here is just another example of how Carole just makes
things up as she goes along.
Here, she is throwing around a lot of innuendo about a
gentleman named Thomas Kirby. Carole’s lies are at
the bottom, so you may want to read that first.
Any time someone speaks against her, she makes up
lies and puts them on her “animal abuser” list.
Did you read that stuff I sent you at www.rexano.org/bcr.htm ?
Subject: Fwd: [REXANO] baskin after slowswimmer
Date: Tue, 13 May 2008 18:01:12 -0400
Sent: Tue, 13 May 2008 5:23 pm
She can keep on guessing. One clue: I have never been convicted of any crime in Georgia, so there is a “Thomas Kirby” that she can leave out. Unfortunately I am also not a surgeon qualified to do transplants who blew the whistle on shabby hospital practices. Or am I? I may or may not be an artist. I have never driven with alcohol in my system and I have never driven a boat, either. My criminal record is squeaky clean and so is my driving record, heavy duty knocking on wood on that last.
She’s telling the truth about what I say about animal rights activists, but, duh. That’s all a matter of public record.
If you want to read a “Spanish page of Yahoo”, go on to www.yahoo.es, then look at “my groups.”
Did Don Lewis come out in the lion shit or the tiger shit? I hope that I saved the bio that Baskin might have deleted, especially the part that made it obvious that she must have been Don Lewis’s “other woman” while he was still married to his former wife. I think we also know who has permanent neurological damage.
We read stuff like this to see just how loose the animal rights activists are. It looks like the geese were hitting the milk of Magnesia pretty hard this week. Thank you for posting this, Zuzana. It’s pretty funny ;> I don’t know if she’s lying, I’ve been convinced for a while that Baskin has simply lost her mind.
Posted at www.911AnimalAbuse.com
Thomas Kirby AKA slowswimmer
Thomas Kirby posted at Yahoo, that if money were no problem, “I would own lions and tigers and breed lions, tigers, and ligers.” You can read a lot of his posts at http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/Phoenix_Exotics/ and he often posts tirades against what he calls ARA (Animal Rights Activists) saying that they are the enemy who are taking away all of his rights.
A recent post by Thomas Kirby tells you where he is coming from. This was posted on the Phoenix Exotics group on May 1, 2008: “No way on Earth will I support any anti-puppy mill bills. The goal of those bills is to put an end to breeding.”
Is this the same Thomas Kirby who was arrested in 2006 for leaving the scene of an accident where a 11 year old boy was run over by the boat he and his drunken friend Roger Guzman were allegedly driving?
An Internet search of Kirby’s handle slowswimmer1 dates back to 2006 and seems particularly unkind given that the boy who was run down while swimming is partially blind from the accident and has permanent neurological damage. A lot of people have the same names, but the articles surrounding the crime say that Thomas Kirby was 35 and an LA resident. Articles go on to say the men were Latino and Kirby’s post about wanting to breed lions and tigers was on a Spanish page of Yahoo. Maybe it is all coincidental, but if you know the truth, please post it here.
The article can be read at this link:
Note from TheirVoice:
Big Cat Rescue has not lost any standing with The Association of Sanctuaries. They have always been an accredited rescue facility and have always said so.
As for the BBB, if you go to their website they say that Big Cat Rescue does not qualify for the seal because they posted letters their opposition sent to the BBB and that it was a violation of their standards to do so. Nothing in their standards said that, but it seems they chose to interpret it that way.
Big Cat Rescue Corp (BCRC) does not meet the following Standard for Charity Accountability.
BCRC does not meet this standard because its response to three complaints brought to its attention by the BBB of West Florida was to post on its website links to copies of these complaints along with allegations that the complaints were “false.”
In the fall of 2007, BCRC distributed in Florida a flyer about upcoming public meetings being held by the Florida Wildlife Conservation Committee to discuss neighbor notification of exotic animal ownership. Shortly after the BCRC flyer was distributed, the BBB of West Florida, located in Clearwater, received written complaints alleging that the flyer threatened individuals, businesses and/or organizations that possessed such animals. BBB of West Florida forwarded three of the complaints to BCRC.
Upon receipt of the complaints, BCRC posted on its web site criticism of the three individuals alleging that each filed a “false” complaint with the BBB. In addition, BCRC posted links on its website to the complaints received from the BBB of West Florida.
The BBB Wise Giving Alliance informed BCRC that publicly identifying and criticizing individuals who complained about it to the BBB is not an appropriate way to respond to complaints, whatever their nature. BCRC subsequently removed from its web site the above mentioned criticism of the individuals as well as the links to the complaints received from the BBB.
Big Cat Rescue Corp (BCRC) meets the remaining 19 Standards for Charity Accountability.
After Don Lewis disappeared in 1997 the sanctuary stopped breeding and trading in exotic cats and there was a small band of people who left when the policies changed. Between 1997 and 1999 Susan Aronoff, Judy Watson, Jim Moore, and Debbie Sandlin left Wildlife on Easy Street because of the change in direction.
PDF with photos