THE WILDCAT SANCTUARY

Rating: 4.95 stars   93 reviews

Issues: Animals

Location: PO Box 314 Sandstone MN 55072 USA

Mission: The Wildcat Sanctuary (TWS) is a 501c3 non-profit, no-kill big cat rescue located in Sandstone, MN. TWS provides a natural sanctuary to wild cats in need and inspires change to end the captive wildlife crisis. TWS is funded solely on private donations. The Sanctuary is a home for animals, not a zoo for people and is not open to the public. Combining natural and spacious habitats with a life free of exhibition and exploitation, TWS allows all residents to live wild at heart. As a true sanctuary, we do not buy, breed, sell or exhibit animals.
Results: TWS provides natural sanctuary to over 125 wild cats. We provide large, free-roaming habitats that offer our residents to live wild at heart. Each animal can escape extreme weather in a temperature controlled den or central animal building. Every individual has the opportunity, often for the first time in their lives, to choose a path to walk and a place to lie down. After living in a small concrete cage in the backyard of a Texas home, Sabrina the tiger, now has a free-roaming habitat with grass under her feet, a pool with a fountain and a safe environment for the rest of her life.
Target demographics: wild, exotic and big cats of the captive wildlife crisis
Geographic areas served: National
Programs: No More Wild Pets Campaign, Sponsor a wild one program, Volunteer, Feed A Feline, Help us build Wild Woodlands
2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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EIN 22-3857401
320-245-6871
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

As a volunteer at a similar wildlife sanctuary, I am always impressed by the care and facilities provided needy wildcats at this sanctuary. Their actions have been life-saving for many of their residents and Tammy is ceaseless in her quest for perfection

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?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

I've supported TWS from afar after learning about their good work from a fellow volunteer at Big Cat Rescue in Tampa, FL. Both of these organizations are unique in their dedication to offering sanctuary, primo care and never breeding or exploiting their creatures. All on a tight budget and with many volunteer hours.

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

having them accept elderly, abused and abandoned animals from terrible situations.

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

Pray to win the lottery!

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

Their focused dedication on enrichment of the animals lives.

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

Dedicated hard working and loving

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

Lobby for better legislation and provide for additional needy animals. Purchase land for habitat.

Ways to make it better...

I could be there physically!

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

Too many animals, too little money. Legislation needed to prevent private ownership of wild animals nationally.

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

Wildcats are at the top of the food chain... Extinction for these species guarantees extinction all the way down the line. Habitat destruction is major threatr

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I learned about the Wildcat Sanctuary from a coworker about four years ago. Since that time I have been in awe of the work Tammy, her staff and volunteers are doing. From finding a new home for the sanctuary ( allowing the cats to roam and exist with dignity) to the rescues of those animals in need, the Wildcat Sanctuary exhibits a generosity of spirit that should be embraced and acknowledged.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

I just learned about the Wildcat Sanctuary this year, and since following their site and email newsletters, I can't believe how much love the people who run this organization must have for their animals. It's such a treat to get an update, photo or video, to see just how happy these big cats are in their home at TWS. I wholeheartedly support their cause and their ambition to educate the public on their mission.

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?

2011

How did you learn about this organization?

I actually was curious about the legality of private bobcat ownership in our state, and ended up in a google search tree (googling things in different articles I became curious about) before I eventually got to TWS's website. As a professional web designer, I was very impressed with the quality of their site, both with the design but also the wealth of information. Once I got to their site, I'm sure I spent several hours reading everything and viewing all the pictures! Seriously, you guys have a great website, keep it up!

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Rating: 5 stars  

I am an animal lover and I am particularly fond of big cats, and cats in general. After reading up on what TWS does, I felt compelled to donate to their cause. I think we being the creatures with elevated thought should follow their lead and take better care of the planet's inhabitants- trees, cats, etc. I love reading about how the cats celebrate various holidays and think that the pictures they share of these awesome creatures, helps to bring attention to their need as fellow living creatures. I wish them continued success and hope they are always there to help those felines in need! :)

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I am impressed with TWS in their ability to put the cats they rescue first and to let us "see" and learn about these animals via their website. It is amazing how the animals are doing and thriving in their habitats TWS provides for each resident, they truely look happy and well taken care of. TWS does a good job of educating the public and is always there, no matter what state, to help another cat in need. Thank you to all at TWS for all you do, you go beyond all expectation when taking care of the residents!

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?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

The Wildcat Sanctuary is an amazing organization! It is wonderful to know that there is an organization that rescues cats and gives them a good environment in which to thrive, get healthy and live safe, happy lives. I have donated money and items from their 'wishlist' many times over the years and also sponsored a tiger. I was given the opportunity to go up to the facility when Titan and Lilly were brought together for the first time. What an amazing experience and opportunity to see that your donations do make a difference. The tigers were so happy that day. You can't put a price on that. It feelings good to know that you are making a difference in the life of a wild cat. The staff do an excellent job to keep it going. I only wish I could do more. Oh - and I love the vehicle wraps you're doing. I've seen a couple around town.

Was your donation impactful?

Likely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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Rating: 5 stars  

I've supported the Wildcat Sanctuary for more than 10 years. It all began with a billboard that took my breath away at an airport. And then I met Tammy Theis, the founder and director. I got to see first-hand the care that these animals get. I got to see the sacrifices made for their well-being. I got to see the Wildcat Sanctuary grow over the years. There is no organization I believe in more. I cannot imagine a staff more committed to their work. Residents are given more than just food and shelter. They receive enrichment, caring... compassion. Every animal deserves this. But especially these animals, who are often abused, neglected, rejected. This is why I feel very good about donating to this organization, and why I would (and have) eagerly recommend it to my friends and family.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
1 previous review
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

The Wildcat Sanctuary is one of the most amazing places I've ever seen. They make do on a shoestring budget, somehow always making sure that the cats in their care have what they need. The Sanctuary was founded by a woman who has amazing empathy for these creatures, and she has assembled a caring, nurturing, and knowledgeable staff. They work hard to ensure that the cats are not only fed and given medical attention, but that they have the enrichment necessary for a full life. The cats have toys, pools, and caves. This is probably one of the best possible situations for these animals in captivity.

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

the recovery of Titan and Lilly. They arrived at the Sanctuary damaged and malnourished, and are now happy and healthy tigers.

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

do whatever I could to keep Tammy Theis involved. She is the heart and soul of the organization. I would also hire an expert fundraiser - they need money!

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

the knowledge that there is a safe haven for abused and neglected wild cats.

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

kind, loving, and knowledgeable.

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

work wonders. They'd build habitat, buy medical equipment (maybe even replace their broken snow plow!), rewire the sanctuary... pay for MANY needed upgrades.

Ways to make it better...

there was more that I could do.

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

money and public perception. 1st and foremost, they need money to build habitat and pay for ongoing expenses. Then, we need to educate the public: a) wild cats are NOT house pets, and b) wild cats kept in a sanctuary are not a threat to the public.

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

this place is special. It's not a gimmick. People aren't allowed to visit. This is truly a haven for these animals. It is one place where humans do not come first. I love it with all of my heart.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-3-01

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I have volunteered for a few years now for TWS. The work that Tammy and the keepers is wonderful. They respect the wild nature of the cats while giving them compassion and letting them have fun. Moving to AZ and not being able to volunteer in person at TWS gives me an opportunity to still be connected. I continue to financially suport TWS and spread the word about the great work is done 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?

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?

2012

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

I met new friends.

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Rating: 5 stars  

While I do not have experience with Wildcats, I have had years of experience in animal rescue, wildlife, and wolfdog rescue. I know the sacrifices that are required to provide for animals that, through no fault of their own, have been abused, abandoned, or forgotten. The staff, volunteers, and interns work for the good of these cats to provide them with quality care, food, and enrichment to provide them a happy life. I donate whenever I can and, if I lived closer, I would volunteer. The organization communicates to supporters and it is clear, via video, Facebook, etc. that the cats are in the best hands they could be in. You can rest assured that any donations that are made go directly to benefit and care for the animals.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

I have volunteered in the past at the Wildcat Sanctuary. Sadly for me it was relocated to an area that was too far for me to get to and I miss not being there. There are a lot of people who love and want to protect animals, but I've never met anyone who walks the talk more than the staff of the Sanctuary. Not only do they focus on giving the animals care and dignity, but they focus on educating the rest of the population on the crisis of private ownership of wild cats. The focus has always been the cats for no other gain than to give the cats an amazing life for the rest of their days. I've volunteered many places with animals and people and the Sanctuary is by far and away the most impressive.

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?

2011

Was this review helpful?