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Emergency Surgery

Ringo Faces Life-Threatening Blockage

November 19, 2019

We are less than two weeks away from Giving Tuesday! On December 3, 2019, we are asking you to #GiveFocus and #GiveFuture to big cats by helping us reach our $40,000 goal. We will spend the day highlighting what your support can do while celebrating YOU with fun giveaways.

The first portion of our $40,000 goal has been allocated to restocking our veterinary supplies after Ringo, a 16-year-old tiger, underwent emergency surgery to remove a would-be fatal blockage from his intestines. Not only did we quickly go through our stock of supplies during the complicated 6-hour surgery, but we realized we needed a few pieces of equipment that would have made the operation much smoother. The first $3,000 donated on Giving Tuesday will #GiveFuture to Ringo and other animal residents facing emergency situations #RallyforRingo.

This past weekend, animal care team members noticed that Ringo was acting strangely. On Monday, the team and staff Veterinarian, Dr. Kellyn Sweely, sedated Ringo to x-ray his abdomen. They saw a strange shadow in the region of his stomach, at this point they knew Ringo would need surgery immediately. Severe blockages can quickly lead to issues that can result in an animal’s death. Dr. Kellyn and the team worked quickly.

During the six-hour surgery, we used up a large portion of our medical supplies, completely exhausting many medications, sutures, fluids, disposable medical equipment, and other various supplies. We even had to get some additional medications and equipment from local veterinarians.  Luckily, Dr. Kellyn was able to remove the blockage, although this required a 20-inch incision which will take Ringo a while to recover from. It is only because of YOUR dedication and support that we were able to perform this life-saving surgery on site! Your previous support to help us build our Jackson Memorial Veterinary Hospital and past donations to purchase vital medical equipment over the years made this surgery possible! With your help, we will use the first $3,000 of our Giving Tuesday fundraiser to replenish our supplies and even buy a few pieces of medical equipment that we discovered during the surgery could greatly assist us if this situation were to arise again.

The rest of our goal will be used to lay the foundation for our 2020 Vision: Your Focus. Their Future. We plan for 2020 to be the hallmark year that serves as the catalyst for ending the Big Cat Trade in our lifetimes. That means we will be upping our education and advocacy game, taking our standards of care to the next level, and preparing for a future where all big cats have found sanctuary. From the small steps of controlling the futures of animals who have found safety and peace at the Refuge to the bigger dreams of touching the lives of those who have yet to be rescued, we are going to focus on the future of all big cats!

One of the best ways to help is by holding off on donating until 8 AM EST and making your donation through Facebook, if possible. Facebook will be matching dollar for dollar all donations made at 8 AM on the dot for up to $100,000 per nonprofit. We missed out on this opportunity last year because the money was GONE very quickly, within SECONDS, but this year, we hope to rally our supporters ahead of time to set their alarms and make their donations at 8 AM EST Tuesday, December 3, 2019 (not a moment before or after).  This is a pawesome opportunity for everyone! Thanks to Facebook, your $1 donation becomes $2, your $20 becomes $40, and so forth! Please give directly at this link on Tuesday, December 3, 2019, at 8 AM EST so we can qualify for the match. (Did we mention it needs to be right at 8 AM EST on Tuesday, December 3, 2019?)

Giving days, such as Giving Tuesday, involve so much asking and you wonderful supporters cheering us on as we strive to reach our goal, that we do our best to show our gratitude to you! That’s why we are giving away the following items as we reach our Giving Tuesday milestones:

Once we raise $5,000, we will give away a Family Fun Pack consisting of four general admission tickets, at TCWR calendar, sticker, and newsletter plus a reloadable Big Cat Bucks Gift Card.

At the $10,000, one lucky winner will earn a photo of their favorite animal resident plus a magnet!

When $15,000 is raised, someone will have the opportunity to be taken behind-the-scenes with an exclusive Coffee with the Curator tour!

There will be lots of celebration at the halfway point of $20,000 when we give away a paw painting plus a DVD of the animals creating it! We will also give away a second paw painting at $25,000.

At $30,000, one lucky person will get a free Big Cat Call-Out! This means we will create enrichment with a custom message and give it to an animal resident and film it. You and the receiver of this gift also get complimentary access to the Refuge to see the call-out in real-time. This makes a wonderful gift and has been used to send birthday wishes, holiday greetings, even proposals!

We’ll only be $5,000 away from our goal when we raise $35,000, so you certainly deserve a special reward! One lucky winner can have a purrsonal Facetime/video chat with Emily McCormack and  their favorite TCWR animal resident.

The biggest prize of all will be given away once we hit our goal of $40,000! We will give away a Two-Day Weekday Get-Away for two to Eureka Springs! You will get complimentary lodging at the Refuge for two weeknights, a couples massage at New Moon Spa, an escape room package for 2 at Escape Room 13, dinner for 2 at Nyx, and a $25 gift certificate for Mid Street Café.

For more information about Giving Tuesday on December 3, 2019, please visit

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