The EFRC was founded in 1991 by Joe Taft in Center Point, Indiana, on a rural stretch of 15 acres. Our mission is simple: we provide permanent homes for exotic felines that have been abused, abandoned or for some reason have nowhere to live out their lives, while educating the public about these beautiful cats. Today, the EFRC is a national leader in the rescue and care of exotic felines from all around the country. We are a USDA licensed and inspected 501(c)(3) organization.
With over 220 big cats from 24 states calling the EFRC home, the scope of the nationwide problem of exotic cat ownership comes into focus. Today the EFRC is staffed by a devoted, full-time group of six professionals, trained in caring for exotic felines. They are supported by four other employees and several volunteers.
The EFRC has brought a sophisticate level of care to each of its cats, providing them with proper nutritional diets, a high-degree of social interaction, preventative medicines and prompt veterinary care. The EFRC benefits from having an on-site clinic where Dr. Fred Froderman, DVM, performs procedures when required. This will typically include general veterinary care, tumor removals, spay and neuter procedures, administering intravenous fluids and blood work. The level of care provided at the EFRC for the long-term health of each cat is substantial.
In our first 20 years the EFRC has developed strong working relationships with the USDA, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Department of Natural Resources within numerous states. Many of our exotic cat rescues have started with a call from one of these agencies. The weight of this problem involving exotic cats, through no fault of their own, is staggering. For every new cat the EFRC accepts, we decline many more requests. For those cats that are fortunate enough to call the EFRC home, they receive a second chance at a better life.
In a typical day, the EFRC will process and distribute 4,000 pounds of meat to our exotic cats. Their habitats, ranging up to an acre of natural landscape, are cleaned every day. The facility is inspected on an annual basis by the USDA and has always received excellent grades. William Finney, a veterinary medical officer with the USDA who has inspected the EFRC in the past, was quoted as saying “They do a very good job, especially in comparison to the other ones (rescue centers) I see.”
The EFRC, starting with 15 acres of land in 1991 before expanding to 26 acres in 1998, now encompasses a total of 108 acres of property. The purchase of the additional 82 acres, adjacent to the original property, was made possible in 2002 thanks to a grant from the Clark Charitable Trust of Lincoln, Massachusetts, in conjunction with a gift from a private donor. With the original 26 acres of the EFRC now 100% developed and at full capacity, a few needed habitats have been erected, starting in 2006, on the previously undeveloped, new part of the EFRC. With the trade in exotic felines being so pervasive in today’s society there is no sign that requests for the EFRC to accept unwanted exotic cats will subside. There is a tremendous need for the EFRC to bolster its resources to continue to meet the sophisticated needs these magnificent cats require.