International Exotic Feline Sanctuary Inc

Rating: 4.92 stars   278 reviews

Issues: Animals

Location: PO Box 637 Boyd TX 76023 USA

Mission: Care for abused, abandoned and illegally obtained large cats and bears IEAS currently cares for 66 large cats and 10 bears IEAS also serves as an educational facility for visitors
2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 75-2283460
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I am currently an intern at IEAS. I have only been here a couple of weeks and I already have a huge amount of respect for this place and all the people that work here. The work is long and extremely tiring, but so rewarding. This place puts the animals first for everything, unlike at a zoo. During tours, if an animal gets agitated, the tour will either not go by that animal or not stop by them. Everything is done to ensure the least amount of stress on all the animals. IEAS doesn't have a ton of people to rely on getting everything done, less than fifteen people, including interns, do it all. If you want to be an intern, expect to work hard, right away. This is a great organization, run by people who really care about the animals there.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I am currently an intern here at IEAS and over the past three months have learnt a great deal about caring for exotic felines and bears and also what it takes to keep a sanctuary like IEAS running. This is indeed truly a sanctuary for these previously abused and neglected animals and everyone works very hard to provide them with a relaxing, comfortable, and peaceful place to live. Every animal is treated as an individual and a lot thought and planning goes into making sure each of them receives the care that is right for them. The animals are fed well balanced nutritious diets and are provided with spacious naturalistic habitats with trees, pools and perches. Especially the Bear Orphanage is one of its kind with 10 acres of forested land for the bears to roam around and dig dens and live as free as they can in captivity. IEAS is not a zoo so the animals are never forced to be on display and everything is done to make sure they don't have to feel agited or stressed. Those animals who yearn for company and attention are part of the unique Emotional Enrichment Program that caters for the animals' emotional needs by offering them comfort and security. Staff, interns and volunteers participate in this program by sitting with the animals safely on the other side of the fence. This is truly an amazing place and I would highly recommend to everyone to come out on one of the educational tours and visit the amazing animals that call IEAS home!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

change nothing

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I am currently an intern at IEAS and it has been an amazing learning experience thus far. The staff here is extremely knowledgeable about each individual animal and they strive to provide each one with the best possible care. Everything including their diet, habitat, physical well-being, and emotional well-being are taken into account during the day to day operations so that each animal is content and stress-free. With 77 animals in their care this is no easy task, but the Sanctuary is run very efficiently while still maintaining safety as their number one priority. I've learned so much during the first half of this internship and I am so grateful to the IEAS staff for running such a great internship program.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 1 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

If you are a big cat, bear or other exotic animal, then IEAS is the place to be. You'll get top notch nutrition, spacious living quarters, toys to play with and qualified individuals constantly looking out for your health and well-being.

And if you are looking for a nice place to visit, by all means stop by and take a guided tour of this tree-filled, park-like facility filled with beautiful big cats, bears and other amazing animals.

However... If you are a prospective intern or volunteer, think twice before setting foot in this place. In many cases the interns are treated harshly, and from what I heard it wasn't much better for the volunteer help. If you don't stack up precisely to their very high standards, they will treat you "accordingly". There was much favoritism- those not favored by the staff would be given the dirtier, harder jobs while those that they liked were chosen to help with or observe things that the others didn't get to do. Even asking a simple, reasonable question or getting confused when you're doing something can get you a look of contempt or getting snapped at. In a nutshell: after the "training period", *everything* should be second nature to you and there shouldn't be any questions. Don't even get me started on making mistakes (which, last time I checked, we all do as humans...).This makes for a very anxious and stress-filled 3 months for an IEAS intern. It really is an environment of fear.

I thought an internship was a learning experience, where one is supported and encouraged while they gain skills and knowledge for their desired career path. Instead, it is like bootcamp. They paint the picture that all is happy and harmonious on the surface, but underneath- what the public doesn't see- is tension and angst.

I don't write this to try to 'bring down' this organization. For the most part, they do good work. It's just sad that they can't treat people as well as they treat their animals.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Treat people better.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

No

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Okay

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Unsure

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

IEAS is a great place. I am currently an intern here. This sanctuary takes excellent care of their animals and puts their needs above everything else. I love that they cater to the animals' emotional needs. Their Emotional Enrichment program is awesome and unique, and their habitats are beautiful and spacious. The staff here are very hard workers and work very efficiently. All of the animals here seem very happy and comfortable, which they definitely deserve after the lives they had previous to their arrival here. I highly recommend that everyone visit this amazing sanctuary.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would change nothing.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

IEAS is a great place, I am currently enrolled in their intern program. Their safety protocol is the best and the care that the animal receive is above and beyond any other place that I have worked. IEAS is run efficiently and I love that the animals emotional health is considered along with their physical health.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I am currently an intern at IEAS and the staff is incredibly knowledgable. They know all the animals on a deeply personal level and are very accomodating to the needs of even the quirkiest of animals. An amazing group of people working with a truly astounding group of animals. Far exceeds any expectation I had or could've had.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

None!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

The number one priority of the International Exotic Animal Sanctuary is to provide a permanent safe home for animals that have most likely been neglected or abandoned. This sanctuary was built for the animals, and the staff continue to ensure that the animals' needs come first. The respect and care that the staff shares with the animals is amazing. Come for a tour and see the sanctuary that these animals now call home.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

None!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

This sanctuary is very impressive in terms of the quality of care each animal receives. This includes not only feeding but emotional care as well. Everything that is done is based solely for the well being of each individual and the safety of the animals, staff, volunteers, and guests. From the perspective of an intern, the experience gained here can only be beneficial and one can learn as much as one desires. It is a huge stepping stone for this career field and one will quickly learn their limitations and if this career is for them.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I am an intern here at the International Exotic Animal Sanctuary. I am very proud to say that I have chosen a great animal facility to work at for many reasons. The staff, including the animal keepers, behaviorist, and director, are very knowledgeable about each exotic animal housed here and strives to provide a stress-free and safe environment for each animal. The staff is very serious about the safety policies for both themselves, the public, and the interns so that any mistakes, minor or major, are and will be avoided. They are very specific in their training methods and expect the interns to learn and work quickly, but efficiently. Some things that I admire the most about the sanctuary is that each habitat is large enough so that the animals do not feel constricted, there are many enrichment items to keep the animals occupied and happy, and that so much effort is put into reducing the stress and anxiety of each animals after they are brought into the facility. The emotional and behavioral enrichment methods have made animals that were once abused by previous owners and came to the facility as easily agitated beings into friendly and calm animals. I am excited to continue my journey at IEAS and learn many new things about exotic felines and the work and dedication it takes to becoming a zookeeper!!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

None!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

Was this review helpful?