Officials in Palm Beach County, Florida arrested Heather K. Southworth for felony fraud after exposing her big cat rescue charity as a complete fabrication.
Her non-existent organization, called Rescue: Big Cat Organization, complete with a fictional website, location, staff, and convenient donation link, was outed by The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission when they attempted to visit the site and found that no such rescue exists.
While her website claimed that Rescue: Big Cat Organization was “home to over 150 of the world’s most endangered felines,” and that their facilities were “better than those found in most Zoos,” officials report that the whole thing was fabricated. Clearly the real “purrrr”pose of this organization had little to do with rescuing any big cats.
Donations to the organization went to a P.O. box registered to Southworth or to a Paypal account, but the exact amount that she made from the scam is so far unclear.
Scams like these injure the reputations of real rescue operations like Big Cat Rescue, located in Tampa Bay, FL and damage the credibility of environmental activists across the country. If you are passionate about the rescue or long-term care of large animals that are not in their natural habitat, please do your part to support quality operations.
Photo Credit: Rescue: Big Cat Org website Pictures page.