Big Cat Habitat Gulf Coast Sanctuary Inc
7101 Palmer Boulevard
Sarasota FL 34240
Our mission is to provide a safe, loving and permanent home for big cats and other exotic creatures in need, and to educate our guests on the importance of species preservation to ensure the survival of these magnificent animals for future generations.
CEO/Executive Director Ms Kay P. Ross
Board Chair Ms. Kay P. Ross
Board Chair Affiliation Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary
General Info
Organization DBA
Big Cat Habitat & Gulf Coast Sanctuary
Tax Exempt Status Public Supported Charity
Incorporation Year 1995
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes May 2017
State Registration Yes Apr 2017
IRS Letter of Determination
Financial Summary
Projected Revenue $1,000,000.00
Projected Expenses $885,000.00
Impact Statement


Big Cat Habitat completed an exciting building project in 2015, which provided new, spacious compounds, complete with shaded yards and pools for eight new big cats.  The 'Walk on the Wild Side' shaded walkway was added to allow our visitors to walk through these habitats and view our Tigers, Lions and Ligers up close. The completed walkway extends out to the pasture land, where guests can visit with our camels, donkeys, ponies, a zebra, Clydesdale horse, and an American buffalo.
In addition, three multimedia monitors have been erected in the demonstration arena.  Educational videos are being shown during the hours the Habitat is opened.  The history of the Habitat is shown using multiple photos of the many animals at the Sanctuary creating a unique epilogue to our patrons.
  In 2016, our major building projects included the construction of a brand new natural habitat, complete with waterfalls, pools, live trees, and arial perches for our 5 resident African Servals.  The completion of this project would not have been possible without the generous support of everyone involved in the 2015 Giving Challenge! Every dollar raised during last year's Giving Challenge went towards the completion of this new African Serval Compound.
Our other biggest improvement was the installation of a vastly improved restroom facility for the comfort of our guests, who support these magnificent animals (how exciting, no more port-o-lets)! We contracted with a local Sarasota company to build a climate controlled facility, complete with handicap access, and separate men's and women's facilities/washrooms. The new facility will allow us to host corporate parties and special events for our guests, in support of these animals.
We've also completed the installation of over two dozen security cameras and an overall improved security system. This increased surveillance will provide additional protection for the animals and the visiting public. 
Needs Statement
$6,000 is needed to offer our elementary educational program to economically disadvantaged students throughout Sarasota and Manatee County schools.Three new habitats have been built for our growing number of exotic cat population.  These new habitats are in need of pools for the cats to cool off in.  The cost for each pool is $4,000.  Hayward Pool Pumps has donated the pumps.  As summer approaches, completing these pools becomes an important issue. An escrow account has been set up for donations to build permanent restrooms.  The cost will be $60,000.  The Habitat has been using portable toilets.  Do to the increase in visitors and the need to provide "changing areas"  for infants, has made this a priority. We currently need; volunteers with educational degrees or teaching experience to administer our new elementary education program to students and provide educational tours to groups;  encourage local individuals to become volunteers to provide needed manpower for our newly constructed habitats.
Background Statement
      Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a safe and permanent home to many endangered big cat species and a variety of other exotic animals that have been surrendered or confiscated from their original owners who could no longer properly care for them. Along with our commitment to provide these beautiful creatures a loving home for life, our mission embodies educating adults and children about species of animals and habitat conservation in a effort to ensure the survival of these magnificent creatures for future generations.
      Founded by Kay Rosaire, a world renowned animal trainer and eighth generation circus family descendent, the Sanctuary began providing permanent homes for rescued big cats in 1987. The Sanctuary, which, was originally supported by Ms. Rosaire's career performing with her own big cats, didn't obtain its nonprofit status until 1996. Since then, the Rosaire's have continued to save hundreds of animals from unhealthy situations and the possibility of being euthanized. At present, the entire facility supports more than 140 animals including an abundance of exotic big cat species (lions, tigers, leopards, cougars, and servals, etc, ), as well as a wide variety of other creatures (bears, camels, monkeys, lemurs, macaws, cockatoos, tortoises, etc.). In addition to providing lifelong homes for big cats (which can span upwards of twenty years or more) and other wildlife, Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary also fosters public appreciation of exotic animals and imparts the importance of species preservation and habitat conservation through our educational programs. While this is accomplished primarily through our live animal educational demonstrations performed by Ms. Kay Rosaire and her son, Clayton Rosaire, the sanctuary also possesses an excellent elementary education program serving students in both Sarasota and Manatee schools and performs outreach to organizations throughout the community. An estimated total of 50,000 guests visited our facility in 2012 and received our important educational message about the need to preserve exotic animals from extinction.
      While Ms. Rosaire has no plans of retiring from her leadership position anytime soon, Clayton Rosaire is poised to carry on the important work Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary provides to the current animal population and will continue to educate the public regarding the plight of these exotics.
Areas Served
Areas Served
FL- Manatee
FL- Sarasota
Areas Served Comments Although Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary is located in Sarasota, Florida and serves the immediate and surrounding communities, accept exotic and native wildlife throughout the continental United States upon request. In addition, we also provide on-site and out reach education species habitat conservation to citizens throughout the United States and beyond.
Service Categories
Primary Org Type Animal Related
Secondary Org Type Education
Tertiary Org Type Animal Related
Statement from the Board Chair/Board President
Our animal care program was designed around our belief that people who live and work with animals are bound by duty to assure their well-being; to provide appropriate housing, nutrition, medical care, and humane treatment and handling. As a result of our vision, our animal care program which is administered by our professionally trained caregiver staff provides the optimum mental and physical health of our animals. The program features multiple enrichment opportunities in each of our animal habitats, such as filtered pools and climbing apparatuses for our larger animals and small toys for our smaller animals. The nutritional needs of our animals are thoroughly researched with each animal receiving an individual dietary plan which is monitored daily. Our medical team is comprised of local board certified veternarians who frequently consult with our animal caregiver staff, as our staff are often the first to notice any changes in animal behavior which might result in a need for medical care or further observation. Each of our animal caregiver staff values the human animal bond and therefore, ensures that each of our animals is treated with dignity, respect and love.  
Budget $100,000
Category Animal-Related, General/Other Animal Protection & Welfare
Program Linked to Organizational Strategy Yes
Population Served Adults Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Families
Short Term Success
All of the animals at the facility will exhibit optimum health on a daily basis and those who do not, will receive immediate medical attention in an effort to prevent continued illness and/or loss of life.    
Long Term Success
All animals within our care, regardless of their health status upon their arrival at our facility, will exhibit optimum mental and physical health throughout their natural remaining lifespan which for captive big cats is twenty or more years.     
Program Success Monitoring
Animals are monitored on a daily basis for any behavioral changes that might indicate a deviation in their overall health status. Changes indicating a decline in health are recorded and reported immediately to veterinary staff to determine if medical attention is necessary. As a result of constant behavioral observation by our animal caregiver staff and our veterinary team, animals exhibiting a decline in health are treated immediately and loss of life is minimal.
Program Success Examples
As a result of the success of our program, a high percentage of the animals live the full term of their natural "captive" lifespan which has been noted to be at least twice the lifespan for their wild counterparts. Often, we receive animals from situations that were previously unhealthy for them and we invest incredible effort into restoring them to their optimum health. One such lioness, who came to us in extremely poor physical condition as a cub, is now healthy and happily turning three this year. Not only did she receive excellent medical care upon arrival, but also benefited greatly from proper nutrition and hands on care from our animal caregiver staff.  Fortunately, she is just one of our many success stories and represents many of our animals who have been given the wonderful opportunity of lifelong sanctuary with us.
CEO/Executive Director
CEO/Executive Director Ms Kay P. Ross
CEO Term Start Jan 1996
CEO/Executive Director Email
Former CEOs/Executive Directors
Senior Staff
Staff & Volunteer Statistics
Full Time Staff 11
Part Time Staff 2
Staff Retention Rate % 90
Professional Development Yes
Contractors 0
Volunteers 44
Management Reports to Board Yes
CEO/Executive Director Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation N/A
Non-Management Formal Evaluation Yes
External Assessments and Accreditations
Risk Management Provisions
Government Licenses
Organization Licensed by the Government Yes
Fundraising Plan No
Communication Plan No
Strategic Plan Yes
Strategic Plan Years 5
Strategic Plan Adopted May 2014
Management Succession Plan No
Continuity of Operations Plan No
Nondiscrimination Policy No
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy No
Policies and Procedures No
Management Comments by Organization
Planning & Policies Comments by Organization

Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary, Inc. is perpetually evolving.  Our 5 year plan (2014) provides the direction the Habit will follow.  New habitats are being added. Upgrading current habitats is an ongoing program. 



Multi-Media Comments by Organization The Habitat is in the process of developing "multi-media" programs.  This will include You-Tube, Facebook, Constant Contact and several other media outlets.
Board Chair
Board Chair Ms. Kay P. Ross
Company Affiliation Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary
Board Term May 1996 to May 2050
Board Chair Email
Board Members
Board Members
Ms. An Cantor Community Volunteer
Mr. Richard Czina Retired
Mr. Clayton R. Mowrey Rosaire Productions
Ms. Shareet Pennino Providence Service Corporation
Ms. Linda Rosaire Retired
Ms. Kay P. Ross Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Board Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 6
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Gender
Male 2
Female 4
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 99
Board Orientation No
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Board Meeting Attendance % 83
Board Self-Evaluation Yes
Written Board Selection Criteria No
Board Conflict of Interest Policy Yes
% of Board Making Monetary Contributions 100
% of Board Making In-Kind Contributions 100
Standing Committees
Special Events (Golf Tournament, Walk / Run, Silent Auction, Dinner / Gala)
Community Outreach / Community Relations
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Donor Services
Fiscal Affairs
Housing and Community Development
Fiscal Year Projections
Fiscal Year Begins 2016
Fiscal Year Ends 2016
Projected Revenue $1,000,000.00
Projected Expenses $885,000.00
Organization has Endowment No
Capital Campaign
In a Capital Campaign Yes
Campaign Purpose Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary, Inc. needs to have permanent restrooms. Big Cat Habitat has contracted with a company who manufactures "prefab" restrooms. This will be a major upgrade from our current portable restrooms.
Campaign Goal $35,000.00
Campaign Dates Jan 2016 to Aug 2016
Amount Raised To Date 24000 as of June 2016
Anticipate Campaign within 5 years? Yes
Audit/Financial Documents
Historical Financial Review
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201520142013
Program Expense$890,655$690,885$577,971
Administration Expense$30,621$37,547$42,427
Fundraising Expense$0$0$0
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.141.111.08
Program Expense/Total Expenses98%97%93%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue0%0%0%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201520142013
Total Assets$934,132$806,599$747,572
Current Assets$236,234$177,885$182,109
Long-Term Liabilities$0$0$25,000
Current Liabilities$4,587$4,768$2,126
Total Net Assets$929,545$801,831$720,446
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201520142013
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountAnimal Behavior Exhibitions $836,197Animal Behavior Exhibitions $492,995Animal Behavior Exhibitions $421,227
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountContributions, gifts, grants $80,744Contributions, gifts, grants $157,787Contributions, gifts, grants $161,297
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountFundraising $72,979Fundraising $125,104Fundraising $71,058
CEO/Executive Director Compensation N/A
Tax Credits No
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities51.5037.3185.66
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201520142013
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets0%0%3%
Financials Comments
Financial Comments by Organization

Organization filed for an extension for 2015 Form 990.  2015 Form 990 will be filed no later than 08/15/2016.

Financial Comments by Foundation
Foundations and corporations are included with individual contributions as they are not separated in the 990s.  Financial figures were taken from the Federal 990s.
Nonprofit Big Cat Habitat Gulf Coast Sanctuary Inc
Address 7101 Palmer Boulevard
Sarasota, FL 34232
Phone 941 371-6377