The Era of Tiger Pets Is Over, Plus: Influencer Defends Hitting Cat, Says People Are Upset Over ‘Nothing’

We start with some great news: Big Cat Rescue is shutting down because its services will no longer be needed.

Of course there are still plenty of tigers, lions, jaguars, leopards, pumas, lynx and cheetahs in the non-profit sanctuary’s care, but the passing of the Big Cat Public Safety Act has finally put an end to the cruel, abusive and absurd practice of keeping big cats as pets.

The animals will be moved to Turpentine Creek, an accredited animal sanctuary in Arkansas. Big Cat Rescue will continue to fund their care and will sell its existing land in Florida as it transitions to programs to prevent the extinction of big cat species, almost all of whom are critically endangered.

“We have always said that our goal was to ‘put ourselves out of business,’ meaning that there would be no big cats in need of rescue and no need for the sanctuary to exist,” Big Cat Rescue wrote in a memo released this week. “Supporting our cats in larger enclosures at Turpentine Creek, at much lower cost per cat than we incur by continuing to operate Big Cat Rescue, will free up resources to let us do much more to save big cats in the wild.”

photo of tiger and cub lying down on grass
Credit: Waldemar/Pexels

The Big Cat Public Safety Act has not only made it illegal to own tigers and other wild cats as pets, it also puts an end to the cub-petting business used by roadside zoos, in which cubs are taken from their mothers as infants so the roadside zoos can charge customers to pet the cubs and pose for photographs with them. While big cat “pet owners” are grandfathered in, many have been rescued and there will be no more pets after the current group dies out.

Influencer Hasbulla says people “are attacking me for nothing” over video in which he abuses cat

Hasbulla, the Russian influencer whose videos have been viewed more than 10 billion times on TikTok, says people are making a big deal over “nothing” in response to a video showing him abusing his cat.

Hasbulla 3 169
Hasbulla is 20 years old but has a child-like appearance due to a genetic condition.

The 3’4″ social media “star” is known for frequently talking about “acting like a man” and in addition to being an enthusiastic supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin and his war in Ukraine (he’s called Putin “a lion” on several occasions), he holds typical Russian views on the way men are “supposed” to act.

Hasbulla said he was merely disciplining his cat for “misbehaving.”

“Those brothers who think that I was beating the cat, pulled the ear, this and that. I pulled the ear gently,” Hasbulla said in a video accompanying a Twitter post. “I know that people are waiting for the moment, if I write something wrong, to just attack me like this. Like, ‘you do this, you do that’. She was misbehaving and I just pulled the ear and that’s it. I love my cat more than you. If I didn’t love the cat, I wouldn’t have it at home. My most lovely animal is a cat. And when she disobeyed, I scolded her a little. And you are attacking me for nothing.”

Of course anyone with common sense knows cats are not capable of “misbehaving” because they have no concept of what behaving means by human standards, and Hasbulla is being dishonest when he claims he was “gently” disciplining the cat.

In the video, which the Russian voluntarily uploaded, he’s seen grabbing the terrified cat by her ear and yanking violently. The cat runs from him and retreats to a cardboard box where she tries to soothe herself, but Hasbulla follows, scolding her in his native language and hitting her several times on her head and body.

Unfortunately there is little concern for animal rights in Hasbulla’s country, so it’s very unlikely he’ll run afoul of any Russian laws, and even less likely that an animal welfare organization will confiscate the abused feline.

18 thoughts on “The Era of Tiger Pets Is Over, Plus: Influencer Defends Hitting Cat, Says People Are Upset Over ‘Nothing’”

  1. Please PLEASE save this cat who is “disciplined by a physco,” He has NO BUSINESS OWNING A CAT AT ALL! CAN’T YOU HELP? CAN’T BUDDY DO SOMETHING? PLEASE DO SOMETHING FOR THAT POOR KITTY! CAN YOU IMAGINE LIVING IN FEAR OF THAT MANIAC ALL OF YOUR LIFE? Spunkmeyer is worried too! We have NEVER HIT or SCARED HIM ON PURPOSE! Hmmmm. Or otherwise! We just couldn’t do it! We rescued him and want him to have the best life!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s really sad and I wish I had better news for you, but Russia is one of those countries where this stuff isn’t taken seriously, and the government protects well-known people who toe the party line.

      There are people in Russia who care about animal welfare, but the government doesn’t help them.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Plus I have cancer and no telling that it will comeback and decimate me… Spunk (alias Spunkmeyer) is my next best friend (besides my husband of 46 years in June!) I both love and RESPECT him and so would never hurt him!. Can’t believe that the guy who wrote that he abused his cat!!! How can someone let him continue to do that! I am crying cause I was hoping to make it into a better world where the animals are safe! After the Memorial of Jesus death when he promised that we will taken care of! He did promise to restore our earth to perfection! And end war and all of the awful stuff! Our Memorial of Jesus death is Tuesday night and to find a location near you check He asked us to do this in remembrance of him! Luke 22: 19 So, that is why we do it once per year! Sincerely SissyBeans

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Best wishes to you, Sissy Beans! Your hope for a better and kinder world shows what a great person you are. If you’ve ever done anything for an animal you’ve already made the world a little better.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Tbh, the news of BCR selling their land and moving away seemed like a belated April Fools joke. But no, it’s true. At least the animals will be cared for at a larger facility.
    That little Russian twerp is deranged. Putin’s a lion? Lunatic dictator’s more like it.

    In any case, have you heard about the Cadbury Easter Bunny contest, Big Buddy? For the first time ever a cat
    won! He’s a rescue and car crash survivor, fittingly named Crash. The shelter where Crash reigns will receive a large cash award, as will Crash’s rescuer who’s pledged to donate the $$$ back to the shelter.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hasbulla’s social media managers posted some platitudes about peace some months ago to appease people who were not happy about his support for Putin, but you can always tell what’s written by him and what’s written by his team as the syntax and word choices are much different, even though his words are written by a translator who ostensibly speaks English.

      As with any of the world’s autocracies, it’s sometimes difficult to tell who’s a genuine supporter and who is saying the bare minimum to save themselves and their families, but Hasbulla has been effusive in his praise of Putin, and it fits with his overall obsession with being what he considers manly. Because nothing says “manly” more than abusing cats or dropping bombs on buildings full of kids, right?


    1. He’s also really fond of defenestrating people … For a while Putin liked to pose with Siberian tigers, he claimed to be concerned about their survival. I’ve seen the pictures but can’t find any reliable facts of his support. It would be a point in his favor if he really does care and actively supports the tigers.
      Does anyone know any details?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I believe the Amur tiger conservation efforts are genuine. There was a WWF report not long ago about successes in increasing their numbers, and efforts to settle some of them in a huge area of undisturbed wilderness where there is plenty of prey and room for each tiger to establish its own range, meaning a male tiger will establish the range and his mate will live there and raise the cubs while the male protects the territory.

        I saw a YouTube video of Russian men releasing a huge Amur tigress in a forest, and there was a documentary fairly recently that followed a tigress who had four cubs. She was incredible. The narrator said she had something like an 80% success rate while hunting, which is extraordinary, and she successfully raised all four cubs to adulthood. Mom of the year!

        Maybe Russian culture sees tigers as badass and that may explain their efforts. Whatever their motivation, I’m happy they’re doing it.

        re: Defenestrations. I love that word lol. The fact that a word exists to describe throwing someone through a window is hilarious, although the Russian version is not. I don’t even know why they bother with the pretense when everyone knows what they’re doing. “No, is no murder. He fell out of window, just like Tarlov, Rylsky, Slastyanov and Starkova. In Russia, window very dangerous!”


  5. Good news that big cats can no longer be kept as pets! Outrageous about that “influencer” though. “Punishing” a cat does nothing to alter behavior. It only scares the cat and damages whatever trust a cat may have in a person. We who live around cats know this, of course. I suspect it’s actually true of other animals, too. I feel for that poor cat.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly. I mean, I’m hyper aware of my tone of voice and my body language when I interact with Bud, cognizant of the fact that he picks up on literally everything and if I’m in a foul mood, that impacts him. So for a cat to live in a situation where her human physically abuses her because she “misbehaves” is just heartbreaking. She’s probably constantly on edge.

      I hope someone is able to get through to Hasbulla and help him understand that “disciplining” accomplishes nothing.

      Liked by 1 person

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