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  

As a current intern here at IEAS, I cannot even begin to express how thankful I am to be given such an amazing opportunity to work with these incredible animals. My expectations have been beyond met right from the start. Everything you'll read about in other reviews is absolutely true. Not only are the physical needs of each animal met here, but their emotional needs are attended to as well. To be honest, this didn't mean much to me at first (I mean how many emotional needs can a tiger have anyway, right? Wrong). The beneficial results of the Emotional Enrichment program are evident; you really will have a hard time finding more relaxed, happy, and affectionate animals anywhere else. I constantly have people on my tours who are not only surprised at how calm and satisfied all the animals are, but are also amazed at how clean and well maintained everything is. I always tell them there's a reason for this: we work on it every single day. From sorting through produce daily, to scrubbing the animal's houses, cleanliness and organization keeps the sanctuary running like a well oiled machine. The staff here have my highest respect; each and every one of them consistently go above and beyond what is generally thought of as acceptable or satisfactory. Yes, they push us hard, but that's because each one of them sincerely want us to succeed, not only here, but also in our future careers. This sanctuary is truly one of a kind.

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?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

I'm currently interning at IEAS. There are so many wonderful things to say about this Sanctuary, I don't know where to begin. Everything here is done for the animals to give them the most comfortable, stress-free life that they can have. This is apparent in just about everything that you see happening around the sanctuary, from the large, naturalistic habitats designed for the animals, to the food prepared early in the morning. Even the our daily tours are designed to both educate the public about the exotic animals we have here and be given in a manner that doesn't agitate the animals. All of the staff and volunteers display a clear love for the animals living at IEAS, and I am truly blessed to be a part of such a wonderful organization, helping to give the best care possible to animals that were once neglected, abused, and lived life without any love.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Helping prepare meals and feed the animals, clean the animals' houses and habitats, build new houses and repair existing habitat fences.

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?

2012

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

I've learned a variety new skills in such a short period of time, from animal care and safety to power tool use and maintenance.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

I feel great about what I do. I'm helping improve the lives of animals that were once unloved, neglected, and abandoned. It's wonderful to be able to give them the quality of life they deserve.

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Rating: 5 stars  

As an intern here at the International Exotic Animal Sanctuary I can personally say that this Sanctuary is the most well-maintained and safety conscience animal facility that I have ever been to. The animal’s wellbeing, comfort, and safety really do come first here. I have learned so much as an intern here at the Sanctuary, and I am more than grateful that I received this internship. Not only is the Sanctuary a great home to all its residents, but it also prides itself on the educational tours the Sanctuary provides every day. I personally have given many tours, and I have yet to see a person who was not impressed by the Sanctuary’s spacious habitats, its cleanliness, and safety procedures. It truly is an amazing place. I would suggest taking a tour or possibly becoming an intern or volunteer to anyone!

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?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been an intern at the International Exotic Animal Sanctuary for two months and I can say with complete honesty that this facility treats their animals better than most people treat their own pets. Every minute of our day is spent making sure the animals are comfortable, and their well-being is the center of our operation. Each thing we do is catered to every animal’s individual needs, from diet preparation to the routine we follow when cleaning their enclosures. The landscape of the Sanctuary is beautiful, and the enclosures have been built to encompass it. Not only do the animals have spacious enclosures with large shade trees, they also have misters, fans, pools with waterfalls, caves, and houses to sleep in. Along with all of their basic needs being exceedingly met, the animals’ emotional needs are taken into account, and they are treated with items such as boomer balls and tires to play with. This is a truly amazing facility, and the animals are all so happy and healthy, despite some very poor upbringings prior to their arrivals here. I encourage everyone to take a tour to see for themselves what a fantastic lives these animals have. I am so glad I have the opportunity to dedicate my summer working for the benefit of these magnificent animals.

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?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

When I first accepted the internship at International Exotic Animal Sanctuary, I honestly did not know what to expect. This has become an eye opening experience. I was first off blown away on how clean and organized everything was and most importantly how happy the animals were. They have more than enough space to move around in their habitats, have waterfalls/pools, enrichment toys, trees, houses to protect them from the heat/cold, misting systems within their habitats to keep them cool. Another part of the Sanctuary that was truly wonderful to see is Bear Orphanage. You can come and see the bears actually interacting within their natural environment. They have 5 acres for the baby bears and 5 acres for the adult bears to roam around, a pond, enrichment toys as well, fresh water, and a lot of scrumptious food. Coming here has shown me how much hard work and dedication needs to go into running a good, safe sanctuary where the animals are truly happy and healthy. You can see this hard work and dedication in the staff here at IEAS, they very respectful, hard working, and know and care for each and every animal. They are more than willing to show us, the interns, each and every aspect of how to properly care for the animals and how to abide by safety procedures while feeding and cleaning their habitats. Everything we do here at the Sanctuary is for the animals, we want to provide them with a long, happy/stress free, and healthy life. I would encourage everyone to add this to their bucket list. This is a great place to see animals with various unfortunate backgrounds interacting in a stress free, natural environment.

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?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

I have never visited a facility that puts so much effort into ensuring animal comfort. I especially appreciate that they are never forced to be on exhibit, but have access to their houses as a haven from weather and unwanted attention. As an intern, I have especially enjoyed the opportunity to learn new skills such as grant and proposal writing, as well as the opportunity to be a part of their Unique Emotional Enrichment Program. Everyone here goes above and beyond to provide each creature with a high standard of life, and it definitely shows!

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?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

My first visit to the Sanctuary was September of 1995. I still remember the feeling of "awe" at being in the presence of such magnificent animals. It is a feeling I still get get everytime I am there. Over the years, I have seen it develop into the wonderful sanctuary it is today. It takes a lot of hard work to get accreditation from the AZA. Many zoos do not even have that status. IEAS was the first sanctuary. Everyone who cares for the animals are very devoted to them. They not only feed them and clean their enclosures but give them lots of love and attention that they need and which the animals reciprocate. The primary focus is always THE ANIMALS. Every tour is different because it depends on the mood of each animal as to who you will see. You may see many "lumps in the grass" as they get some "Z's" in the sun; they may be up and about and greet you; they maybe asleep in their house. It is entirely what THEY WANT TO DO. Their enclosures are always well maintained as well as the grounds. I have been a volunteer since 1998 and help with the care of the grounds. It is a continuous process but can be very rewarding, especially when you have such great supervisors. All of the animals have their degree in supervision and all of them are excellent supervisors. Most of my original "animal" friends have passed on. Many lived to be very old. Although I miss them very much, I know they lived the best life possible in captivity. They were given very good care and lots of love. I have many beautiful memories of each one. They have a way of giving you very, very "special memories". I have always said that if I worked 24hrs/day, 7 days a week, month after month, and year after year for 50 years, I could not begin to give back a small part of what they have given me through the years. I enjoy my 2 days a week at the Sanctuary and if I lived closer, would probably be there more often. It is a very special place.

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?

2012

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Rating: 5 stars  

The International Exotic Animal Sanctuary's main purpose is to provide a permanent home for exotic animals that have been abused, abandoned, neglected, confiscated, or previously owned by people unable/unwilling to give them the care they need and deserve. As an intern, one of the very first things you notice is the respect the staff has for each and every animal, and it shows in their work. The grounds are kept beautifully, the food preparation area is always clean and sanitized, and animal habitat's are extremely well kept and constantly being updated with new caves or waterfalls. And to top that off, the sanctuary runs one of the most prestigous animal care internships for large carnivores in the United States. This is truly a remarkable sanctuary that is providing the absolute best care they can possibly give to these magnificent animals. Working here taught me more than I could have ever imagined, and I know they will continue to touch the lives of future interns and visitors alike by creating such a wonderful home to all these animals in need.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

Participating in the Emotional Enrichment Program as I.E.A.S. was by far one of my favorite aspects of working there. This focuses on the individual emotional well-being of the animals by reducing the amount of stress and agitation, giving each animal the best life it can have under human care.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Working around/with the animals, and seeing that you are making a difference in their life is an indescribable feeling.

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Rating: 5 stars  

The International Exotic Animal Sanctuary literally does everything for the sake of the animals. As an intern, I learned very quickly what it means to work hard and from that, I realized that the dedication of the staff and volunteers is astounding. Each animal has their own likes and dislikes, and they are catered to personally. Some have a special diet, some need you to move around their enclosure in a particular way. All of the animals have a favorite toy. The keepers know each of those details and make sure that everyone else knows them too so that the animals are happy. When you visit IEAS, you'll obviously see magnificent animals, but you'll also see a group of people who have an enormous amount of love and passion for what they do. It was a great experience that I will remember forever.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

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?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I've had the priviledge of working as an Intern for the Sanctuary for the past 4+ months and have benefited so much from the experience. The internship has solidified my career path of working with animals for the rest of my life and staff here have helped make that possible. The animals here are unforgettable and bonds can be made very quickly which makes it harder than ever to eventually say good bye. I have worked with animals before and the quality of the animals' lives (enclosures and well-being) here at the Sanctuary far exceed any other place I have visited or worked. I'm very thankful that I am a part of such an awesome organization and encourage everyone to come out for a tour and say 'Hello' to us and all of our furry friends.

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?

2012

Was this review helpful?