BAY COUNTY, Fla. - The Bear Creek Feline Center is home to more than 20 big cats and they’re getting some national recognition from the cable channel HGTV.
“These cat's didn't ask to be captive,” said Bear Creek Feline Center Bertie Broaddus.
But they are, and thanks to Feline Center owners Jim and Bertie Broaddus, they're safe.
"I just want to try to give them the home, the best that they could have,” said Broaddus.
The couple turned their Bay County home into a sanctuary for big cats decades ago.
"It started many, many years ago with getting some cats that people tried to make pets out of and they don't turn out to be very good pets,” said Broaddus.
It is a safe haven for cats that have been abused, abandoned, or neglected.
"These cats are wild animals and once you take them out of the wild and their mother doesn't teach them how to hunt and you alter them with no claws, there's no way they can survive,” said Broaddus.
Bear Creek Feline Center is rated number two on a list of things to do in Panama City on Trip Advisor, which is how HGTV found them.
The cable channel was shooting for an upcoming episode for their reality series, "Beach Front Bargain Hunt" and stopped by to feature the Feline Center on the show, garnering them some national attention.
"Well it's exciting, though that's not why we do this. We do this because these animals need a home and the government doesn't have a place for them, they don't have a warehouse. and if we don't take them, or other places like us take them, they put them down. I just can't handle that,” said Broaddus.
The owners fund the entire center themselves and use all proceeds from their weekly tours to pay for food and medication.
To volunteer or donate to help them with their mission, visit their website, bearcreekfelinecenter.org.
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