Pollyanna has provided the artwork for the new logo for an American charity – the Lions Tigers and Bears Rescue Sanctuary based in California.
America has a Captive Wildlife Crisis. Shockingly in many states in the USA it is legal to buy and own exotic pets, including big cats, without any licensing or regulation. There are estimates that this has lead to as many as 30,000 captive Big Cats, Bears and Wolves living in substandard conditions throughout the country. Incredibly there are more tigers in backyards across America than in all the public zoos in the USA added together. The exotic animal trade is a 17 billion dollar a year industry, second only to drugs and weapons in raising black market money. In many states big cats, most commonly lions, tigers, cougars and bobcats, are acquired by roadside zoos and when they eventually become surplus animals, are sold for pets or abandoned.
The Lions Tigers and Bears Rescue Sanctuary provides a safe haven for unwanted and abused exotic cats who have been abandoned, exploited or illegally kept. They rescue animals from often dreadful circumstances, and bring them back to live in the wide open space of large acreage habitats where they have the opportunity to live out their lives with dignity in a caring and safe environment.
In the Summer of 2010 Pollyanna was pleased to have the opportunity to stay with founder Bobbi Brink at the sanctuary which is based in the tiny community of Alpine in the Californian desert. She is pictured above next to the entrance sign bearing her logo! While at the sanctuary Pollyanna assisted with the care of the cats, and of course took the opportunity to sit and sketch and observe them.
Telling Pollyanna about her mission to help these animals, Bobbi said “After witnessing the heart-breaking phenomenon known as the "exotic animal trade" and seeing the victims of this business, I was compelled to do what I could to help these animals. I have spent many sleepless nights picturing the tortured lives these cats end up living. The disgusting places where these marvellous animals are kept - sometimes in places you would least expect, in miserable holding cells with no sunlight or windows, living in cages so small they barely have room to stand up or turn around. Many live in basements, never seeing sunlight or smelling fresh air. I have seen 10 or more cats crowded together in a small enclosure, where they restlessly pace in filth, and fight each other for scraps of food.”
Pollyanna was delighted to see the rescued cats enjoying their new life in the spacious enclosures at the sanctuary, and is looking forward to painting them for future exhibitions.
Meanwhile her logo is not only representing the charity on all their stationary and publications – but also raising funds to support the work carried out by the sanctuary. It is available to purchase on a wide range of fundraising giftware including T shirts, jackets and baseball caps!