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Collection: Dutchess

Species: Tiger (Panthera tigris
DOB: January 1, 2008
Sex: Female
Arrival Date: October 20, 2023

Rescue Story: In 2023, Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge (TCWR) took in 34 cats from Big Cat Rescue, an accredited Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) sanctuary in Tampa, FL. Big Cat Rescue (BCR) was founded in 1992 to safeguard the world's exotic wildcat species through a multifaceted approach with conservation efforts to protect them in captivity and their natural habitats. BCR championed the fight on Capitol Hill, which aided in passing the Big Cat Public Safety Act in December of 2022. With united missions, BCR and TCWR have collaborated in rescuing exotic animals nationally, and both are founding members of the Big Cat Sanctuary Alliance (BCSA). BCR has been a leader in captive wildlife advocacy for over 30 years, and with the new Act passed in Congress, its mission has shifted to focus on conservation efforts in the wild. BCR approached TCWR in 2023 about relocating their remaining animals to the beautiful Ozarks. TCWR broke ground on the new habitat expansion, Freedom Field, in 2023, where BCR animals will reside. Dutchess is one of the 34 cats relocated from BCR.

Original Rescue Story: After the Zanesville Massacre, which occurred in 2011, the state of Ohio passed a state-wide ban on the private possession of big cats in June 2012. In place of this new Ohio initiative, Tiger Ridge Exotic’s previous owner hired a team of attorneys to fight the new ban. Furthermore, Tiger Ridge Exotic’s previous owner refused to report how many wild animals he had owned and accrued numerous violations, ranging from failure to provide adequate vet care, inability to feed his animals with proper diets and clean water, and failure to comply with federal safety requirements leading up to the seizure of his animals. 

In 2015, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) seized 11 animals from Tiger Ridge Exotics, including one lion, six tigers, one black leopard, one liger, one cougar, and one Kodiak bear. The ODA won temporary custody of the animals until permanent custody was determined. The animals were divided between three facilities, including BCR, which temporarily housed Dutchess, three other tigers, and a black leopard throughout the court proceedings. After a four-year-long legal battle, Dutchess and the four other big cats became permanent members of the BCR family in May of 2019.  

7 products
  • Freedom Field T-Shirt
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    $ 25.00
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  • Tiger Sublimated Sock
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    $ 12.00
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  • Tiger Decal
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    $ 5.00
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  • Dutchess Tiger Adoption
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    $ 150.00
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  • Tiger Patrol Child Tee
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    $ 16.50
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  • Get Stacked Tiger Paint & Puzzle Kit
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    $ 35.00
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  • Red Panda in Tiger Costume Plush
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    $ 25.00
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