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128 Reviews
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October 2, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

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4 previous reviews - show all
May 8, 2013

Tucked away in the sleepy little town of Albion, Indiana lies one of Midwest America's best-kept secrets. The Black Pine Animal Sanctuary (BPAS) is a non-profit organization that remarkably cares for ... more

October 2, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

I have been a volunteer at Black Pine Animal Sanctuary for five seasons; in all those years, I have NEVER - NOT ONCE - heard a negative comment about Black Pine from any of our visitors. Visitors leave here absolutely mesmerized by the facility, its phenomenal staff, its legion of volunteers, and its 100 exotic animals. Those who criticize this excellent organization obviously have their own agenda (usually a profit motive) because Black Pine does an excellent job of caring for animals that have been neglected, abandoned, mistreated or abused - often by private owners. Black Pine also excels in educating people about the "pros" and "cons" of keeping an exotic wild animal as a pet, or as a 'product' to be used for one's own comfort, convenience, pleasure or profit. Tigers, lions, leopards, primates, reptiles, bobcats, wolves, and even exotic birds thrive at Black Pine because of the ultimate care and attention they're given, often having come from tragic circumstances. Black Pine takes no government funds or taxpayer dollars; it is supported strictly from it admissions revenues, private donations and the sale of merchandise in its gift shop. An occasional grant or generous individual or corporate donation helps Black Pine expand, but its resources are limited and the staff does a superb job of managing its nickels, dimes and quarters. If you want to observe something truly, genuinely focused on caring for unwanted animals, I invite you to visit Black Pine before we close at the end of this month. Black Pine is open Saturdays on Sundays through October from 10 -3. There's no political agenda, no protests or 'preaching'; Black Pine is a compassionate, caring facility where neglected animals come for "the rest of their lives". Any true animal lover will recognize Black Pine for the superior work it does. Not for profit......all for the animals.
May 8, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

Tucked away in the sleepy little town of Albion, Indiana lies one of Midwest America's best-kept secrets. The Black Pine Animal Sanctuary (BPAS) is a non-profit organization that remarkably cares for about 95 exotic animals that have been confiscated, abandoned, neglected, mistreated or abused. From South American macaws and cockatoos to reptiles, primates, llamas, bears, tigers and lions, BPAS operates on a "shoestring" budget with only one full-time paid employee and two part-time paid staffers. All the rest of the people you encounter at Black Pine are volunteers, absolutely dedicated to the care and welfare of the animals who come to BPAS "for the REST of their lives". Black Pine is a 'retirement home' where animals aren't sold or traded; they don't breed animals or exploit them for commercial purposes. Nestled among acres of tall pine trees, it's the perfect setting for all these beautiful creatures. My personal 'favorite' (if I absolutely had to pick just 'one') is "Betsy", a tiny black bear who suffered at the hands of an atrocious practice called "bear baiting". Betsy was chained to a post so her owner could charge his hunting buddies to release their dogs and teach the dogs how to 'attack'. Defenseless, and unable to escape the torment, Betsy now suffers traumatic injuries: she's blind, crippled and endures permanent trauma from years of unspeakable abuse. Black Pine has been able to provide Betsy (and five other black bears) comfortable surroundings, appropriate medical care, and a healthy diet, so that she now enjoys an excellent quality of life. The staff, Board and volunteers at Black Pine live by one simple motto: "our animals come first". I implore you to plan a 'road trip' this summer to visit Black Pine; it's an experience you that will tug at your heartstrings, and make you appreciate the value and importance of exotic animals to our planet!

More feedback...

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?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

April 5, 2013
1 person found this review helpful

Quietly tucked away in a sleepy little town lies one of the best-kept secrets in northern Indiana. Black Pine Animal Sanctuary (BPAS) is home to about 90 exotic animals, all of whom have been abandoned, abused, mistreated, neglected or confiscated by authorities. From tiny little reptiles like Louie, the bearded dragon, to Mufasa, a handsome 562-lb. lion, BPAS is where these animals come "for the rest of their lives". The sanctuary is a 501c3 non-profit organization that does not trade, sell or breed any animals. Think of Black Pine as a 'retirement home' for these animals, none of whom can ever be returned to their wild, natural habitats, and none of them who would want to go back to the lives they endured before coming to BPAS. Albion, Indiana is a village of a few thousand citizens. Yet, this tiny community gives Black Pine its full, unwavering support and commitment. Without its many volunteers (many of whom live in or near Albion), the one full-time and two part-time paid staffers would never be able to continue in their mission, fully dedicated to the health and well-being of this band of unusual animals.
You'll meet 'Peaches', a cockatoo who has gained national notoriety for her 'colorful' vocabulary. Thanks to an enormously generous donor, Black Pine now houses six beautiful black bears, including little Betsy, who was once used as 'bait' in a 'bear baiting' arena that left her blind, crippled and in need of constant medical attention. Nala, a gorgeous 20-year-old African lioness, was a young cub in a private home before becoming Black Pine's first permanent big cat resident. Gus the gator started his life in a college dorm where students kept him in the dormitory's bathtub until Gus outgrew it, and had to be given new quarters at Black Pine. Chui and China were only a few weeks old when they came to Black Pine, victims of the multi-billion-dollar illegal exotic animal smuggling trade. You'll thrill to the spectacular sight of our nine - yes, nine! - tigers!
Situated on 18 acres of elegantly wooded property outside of town, BPAS has gradually, over the years, become recognized as a leader in the "business" of rescuing these exotic animals from the hands of neglectful 'pet' owners, or have suffered untold abuse at the hands of people putting profit before humane treatment of these creatures.
As a volunteer tour guide (and a member of the Board of Directors), I have come to appreciate BPAS as one of the leading exotic animal sanctuary in the United States. In fact, many experts in the field have told us that they consider Black Pine to be one of the very best sanctuaries in the country. This spring, or summer, take a leisurely drive to rural Noble County, Indiana and see for yourself what a learnign adventure your visit can be! Black Pine takes no government money or taxpayer dollars; it relies strictly on money from gate admissions, donations, and sales of items in our gift shop. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, the sanctuary is open to the public from 10-5 seven days a week. If you come up on any Sunday morning at 11 o'clock, I'll personally give you a guided tour and you can 'meet' our residents and hear their stories, some humorous, some interesting, some tragic.
For more information, visit www.blackpine.org.
We've had guests from almost every state in the Union, as well as England, China, Canada, New Zealand, and other parts of the world. Where ever you're from, please know that you're welcomed anytime (even during the winter by appointment). So, if you find yourself in northern Indiana with a little time to spare, be sure and visit Albion, Indiana and the Black Pine Animal Sanctuary. There's a quaint little bed-and-breakfast nearby, and many others things to do in the immediate area.

More feedback...

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?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 16, 2012

Professional Animal Retirement Center, d/b/a Black Pine Animal Sanctuary, takes in exotic animals that have been abandoned, confiscated, neglected, mistreated or abused. Our 85+ animals include lions, tigers, black bears, gray wolves, red foxes, primates, reptiles, exotic birds, 'pasture' animals (donkeys, llamas, pot-bellied pigs, etc.) and spotted leopards. Experts in the exotic animal field have told us we're one of only four or five such sanctuaries in the U.S.A. where they would even consider bringing an animal. With the exception of one full-time paid employee and two part-time employees, all others at the sanctuary are volunteers. I've volunteered as a tour guide for three years, and also serve on the fund-raising committee and the Board of Directors. As with many of our volunteers, this has become a 'passion' for me as we take these desperate animals in for the "rest" of their lives. We don't swap, sell, trade or breed animals; Black Pine is their 'retirement' home, and they're all well taken care of by our platoon of volunteer veterinarians. For more information, please visit our website: www.blackpine.org. Also, see the Fort Wayne (IN) Journal-Gazette's 'Metro' section of today's paper (10/16) for a front-page report on the two tigers that were just moved to Black Pine last Sunday (and two more are arriving next Sunday). We take no taxpayer dollars or government funds, relying strictly on volunteers, admissions, gift shop purchases and donations - large or small. Voted one of Indiana's top ten "summer gotta do" road trips, Black Pine is a stimulating, educational and inspiring experience for animal lovers of all ages. Come see us whenever you're in the northeastern Indiana area!

More feedback...

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

February 3, 2011

Black Pine Animal Sanctuary in Albion, Indiana (www.blackpine.org) is an awesome 'retirement' home for exotic animals that have been abused, mistreated, neglected or abandoned. With one paid full-time employee and one part-time employee, there's still a desperate need to feed and house the 80+ animals that reside here. Tigers, lions, llamas, reptiles, chimpanzees and exotic birds all make up the population of this remarkable refuge, staffed primarily by dozens of volunteers dedicated to the care and protection of these animals. As a volunteer 'tour guide', I have told these animals' "stories" to countless visitors, all of whom walk away with a better understanding of the plight of these animals - and so many more like them around the nation. I urge you to consider gifting Black Pine with your $5000; it would be a worthwhile investment, just as my volunteerism has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life!! Thank you!

The Great!

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

...its obvious care and compassion of these animals. Black Pine has helped educate numerous visitors about why it's important to "respect all creatures, large and small". We teach young children about the need to preserve, protect and care for these species, many of whom are becoming extinct due to man's inhumanity toward them.

Ways to make it better...

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

I'd encourage the organization to do more 'outreach' programs to help attract visitors to the sanctuary and to educate the general public about the need for such facilities. We should be speaking to local service clubs, community organizations, schools and businesses about how they can participate in and contribute to this worthy, well-managed organization.

July 12, 2014

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July 12, 2014

This place is scamming the public for tens of thousands of dollars to rescue animals from who? Private owners,
Think about this for one minute please, are they not a private owner who started out with one cat and found that being non profit is a way for you to fund their hobby? And they want to
take your pets away but they can keep theirs.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

No

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

None

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

July 8, 2014

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July 8, 2014

I am extremely disappointed in Black Pine Animal Sanctuary-The mission stated here has changed to suit the need to find new donations from Animal Rights Extremists-They encourage boycotts and bans on animal ownership now-This is a political agenda.
They themselves rather hypocritical by having
tours and allowing people to roam the facility-This is considered 'exploitation of animals' yet state they are against anyone else doing the same.
Apparently, it's now all about the money and not the animal at this facility-Extremely disappointed. I give it -0- stars but required to give it a rating and the only reason I gave it -1- star.
Attacking others on FB does nothing to help a single animal.

Ways to make it better...

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

Change their political policy and if they want to be considered a bonified 'sanctuary' and against showing of animals, it needs to be a closed facility.

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How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Badly

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Some

Will you recommend this organization to others?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

July 2, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

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4 previous reviews - show all
April 5, 2013

I've been visited Black Pine Animal Sanctuary, aka Professional Animal Retirement Center for 6-7 years and I've grown to love it more each year. The animals that call it home have come from a variety... more

July 2, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

I visit Black Pine Animal Sanctuary (current name) about once a month during their open season. I always look forward to seeing the animals having "known" some of them for 5 years of visits. New animal residents are always exciting to meet. It is wonderful to see a sanctuary where the animals come first--because it is THEIR forever home. I thoroughly recommend it as a place to visit for anyone who loves and respects animals. It is also a place that one feels good about helping with donations. Donations is how they survive.

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Life-changing

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

April 5, 2013
2 people found this review helpful

I've been visited Black Pine Animal Sanctuary, aka Professional Animal Retirement Center for 6-7 years and I've grown to love it more each year. The animals that call it home have come from a variety of situations, some deplorable and others from caring homes--they just didn't belong in homes because they ARE wild animals. The staff shares their stories, and their love and concern for these animals is obvious and contagious. I don't see how a visitor could leave the place without being touched and wanting to help in someway. The staff is mainly volunteer which says a lot about how important the mission of this sanctuary is. They work so hard to make this place not a good place, but a great place. BPAS rocks!

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

October 16, 2012

I have had the opportunity to visit PARC, better known as Black Pine Animal Sanctuary on about a monthly basis for 3-4 years. As an animal lover and advocate, I am greatly appreciative of the fine work they do, caring for animals that needed a home for a variety of reasons. I think it is amazing all they accomplish when most of their staff are volunteer. I think it says a lot about an organization when it is able to draw so many volunteers to help--and help on a regular basis. That is a labor of love. BP also serves in educating their visitors to the plight of the individual animals and the animals they represent. I recommend Black Pine as a place to visit, enjoy, and support.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

January 6, 2012
1 person found this review helpful

Since I last wrote about PARC (better known as Black Pine Animal Sanctuary), much has happened. More animals are now in larger enclosures and more animals have moved to their new "forever" home. Instead of two black bears, there are now five and they will soon be moving into a new habitat constructed specifically for them. Additional residents are a female cougar, three wolves, and a marbled fox. The staff is still dedicated and work hard for the betterment of the residents. It is a MUST for any animal lover who is in the area. And there are now permanent bathrooms--the decor is another MUST see.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

April 21, 2010
2 people found this review helpful

I have had some wonderful experiences at what I refer to as Black Pine (Animal Sanctuary). I've visited it frequently in the last couple of years and am always excited when I turn down the last road and into the facility property. The animals are so special and interesting. Some are retired performers and others have been rescued from terrible situations. There are quite a variety of animals, some farm and some exotics. My favorites are the tigers and bears, but there are also lions, leopards, several species of primates, reptiles, various birds, etc. Some of the older ones (Mr. Bear, Isaac, Caesar, India, Cody, Coby) have died in the last few years and I miss them all, but new residents are added when space and finances allow. The staff are wonderful--only 2 are paid a salary and all the others are volunteers. They are so dedicated and willing to share their love and experiences with the animals. For anyone in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio (& anyone visiting in the area), who loves animals and their welfare should plan a trip there. Their website is: http://www.blackpineanimalpark.com/

The Great!

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

being able to go behind the scenes and really being able to be closer to these amazing animals, than one typically finds in zoos.

Ways to make it better...

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

encourge marketing--I'm always finding people in the area who have never heard of it--but marketing costs money.

More feedback...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the closeness to the animals and hearing the tigers chuffing--the first time I heard one I was thrilled--and now I have heard them dozens of times.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

ARE dedicated and devoted to the animals.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

build larger enclosures for the animals that don't have them yet. Also a new sewer system is needed, and the ability to have more paid positions.

Ways to make it better...

it were closer to me--I have to drive an hour.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

money.

One thing I'd also say is that...

it is addictive--I am always ready to go back for a visit.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

July 2, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

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July 2, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

I have been to Black Pine many times, taking my camera with me. Every time I share my pictures, more and more of my friends become enamored with Black Pine Animal Sanctuary.
This year, my sister and I took my daughter, my grandson and his friend to this wonderful place. I was a little worried
that the boys (ages 13 and 12) would be bored, but the were not! We went for a general visit and they both want to go back for a tour so they can learn more about the beautiful animals that call Black Pine their forever home. None of these animals came from very good places in their past and it is just a joy to see them relaxed and contented in a sanctuary that caters to their needs, not to the public's needs.
During this summer break from school, my sister plans to take my other grandchildren during the week for a tour. I would like my son and his wife to also be able to go. My son loves wolves and Black Pine has a wonderful pack.
If you are in the Northern Indiana area, it is worth a trip to see the magnificent animals that live their lives here, in safety and grace

Ways to make it better...

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

Make it bigger so they would be able to rescue even more exotic pets. There are so many animals that would benefit from having these loving and caring people as their forever family.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

July 2, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

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July 2, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

I just took my girls to the Black Pine Animal Sanctuary and we left with huge smiles. This place is awesome. The animals are wild and beautiful and it's a much more intimate view of animals vs. going to a zoo. I have such admiration for the people for work and volunteer there and place like it. We also visited the gift shop which had the cutest items to choose from for reasonable prices. This year we decided to visit Black Pine instead of renewing a zoo membership and we are SO glad we did. We'll be visiting Black Pine from now on.

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How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

Some

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2004

July 2, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

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July 2, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

This will be out 3rd year visiting this great place. My grandson knew a lot of the animals names at 3 yrs old. It's much more up close and personal than a regular zoo. The staff is great. We love visiting every year. It's our "birthday trip" this yr. What a great service all of you provide.

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

June 28, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

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June 28, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

today was the first time there . we took r granddaughter . the staff was so helpful , my heart was heavy when we left . how sad that animals never new that mankind could love them see the beauty in them . my granddaughter said granny there home now and they have the staff to love them along with all the people that take time to come see them

Ways to make it better...

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

i would love to see a fun raiser

More feedback...

Will you volunteer or donate to this organization?

Likely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

June 27, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

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June 27, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

Living only 20 minutes away, I had no idea what a treasure we had so close...After my first encounter and tour I have now volunteered and hope people will get on board. For me it was almost a spiritual experience... and hearing the heartbreaking stories of these animals...makes me want to do more... the staff is wonderfully supportive and dedicated to these animals...it is not a ZOO...these lucky souls can live out the rest of their life feeling loved and cared for...after being abused and used...hope we can show them that not all humans are barbarians... Can't wait to work with the staff and help make a difference... GREAT PLACE...please go and see for yourself... We need more places like that!!!

Ways to make it better...

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

wish that they could get better funding and support through the county and city...!!!

More feedback...

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?

2014

June 27, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

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June 27, 2014
1 person found this review helpful

Great place. Obviously the staff and volunteers care for the basic needs of the animals, but what is fascinating is how the organization goes above and beyond meeting basic needs. They find ways to give quality life to animals that have lived most of their lives in a cage performing for human entertainment.

Beyond the needs of the animals, the addition of Black Pine has been a huge benefit to a small town. In some ways, it has put Albion on the map!

More feedback...

How would you describe the help you got from this organization?

A lot

How likely are you to recommend this organization to a friend?

Definitely

How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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Help with groundskeeping, preparing animal diets, housekeeping, maintenance projects, fundraising and awareness projects. Volunteer