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September 21, 2012

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1 previous review
May 1, 2010

I became a member in August 2009 and a volunteer in October. I cannot express how healing it is to work with these amazing and loving animals. With over 50 big cats and various farm animals living c... more

September 21, 2012

Valley of the Kings goes above and beyond basic needs to care for their animals. I had the honor of helping take Assam, a tiger, to a veterinarian clinic for his second and third surgery. Assam was first operated on in September of 2011 for a cancerous tumor on his cheek. At first it was thought to be an abscessed tooth. The first operation in September bought this awesome tiger some time. His second operation in December of 2011 bought him some more time. He just had his third operation to remove the returning tumor and we hope to have bought him even more time. Other places don't necessarily give the quality of life care that VOTK has made part of their mission and promise to the animals they take in. VOTK gives each animal the best care they can with the people and resources they have. The residents at VOTK are loved and cared for above and beyond just a place to live. They have arrived at a very special place. I believe the volunteers and owners feel blessed to be able to participate in this activity and honored to know these amazing animals. If good karma was bright--VOTK would glow like the northern lights.

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The Great!

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

many ways. I have given and felt love from many creatures. I have felt the trust of hurt, wounded, and sick animals and have trusted several with my own life. I hand-fed and medicated an elderly tiger in the last months of his life giving him massages to keep his legs a little stronger. I have hand-fed and medicated an elderly, wounded lion for the last eleven months of his life. These experiences change you. Trusting and being trusted by these amazing animals is unbelievably life-altering.

Ways to make it better...

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

not change their organization. I would, however, love to organize unlimited funding for Valley of the Kings. They truly deserve it.

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?

2012

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

It would help us if we could improve our fundraising efforts, attract corporate sponsors and improve our ability to attract members.

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

My daughter and I volunteer regularly together. This experience was a great way for us to stay connected and gave us a bond. We started volunteering when she was 14. We have worked well together and bonded at a time when most mother/daughters spend very little time together.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

There are no words to express how satisfied and amazed I am every time I visit my friends (two- and four-legged) at VOTK. Sometimes at the end of the day I will just brush down a horse or donkey or two or three and we just relax together. VOTK is a very healing place for humans and animals alike.

May 1, 2010

I became a member in August 2009 and a volunteer in October. I cannot express how healing it is to work with these amazing and loving animals. With over 50 big cats and various farm animals living close together, you really appreciate the love, care, and dedication this place generates every day.

The Great!

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

the eyes of the animals living there, the volunteers I work with, and the visitors who come to experience the roars. There are no words to express how blessed I am to be able to spend time here--VOTK heals me like nothing else on Earth.

Ways to make it better...

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

do just what the owners do--make every penny count and continue to seek donations from every avenue available.

More feedback...

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

getting to know the animals and their very unique personalities. I have seen a large male tiger take a leg of meat to his pen mate who wouldn't leave her house before he fed himself. These fascinating animals amaze me on every visit.

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

friendly, caring, giving, helpful, and self-less. These are the kinds of people that make America a better place.

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

expand the amount of land which would allow them to save more animals and allow for larger pens. It would also allow for state-of-the-art equipment--no more carrying buckets of water in winter when hoses freeze.

Ways to make it better...

money and donations were limitless.

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

funding.

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

these animals are in a much better place. Many were taken from abusive homes or from people that were not prepared to care for a wild animal. These animals are loved and cherished for the rest of their days.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

September 21, 2012

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September 21, 2012

I am a certified veterinary technician in the state of Illinois. One of our class volunteer trips was to visit VOTK and that's where i first got involved. As a CVT, it is my job to assist in the health and well-being of the animal kingdom. I firmly believe because of the unconditional love and non judgemental character our animal companions offer us, it is my duty to provide the up most health service i can in repayment for how our friends can benefit our lives. Once i became a regular volunteer at VOTK, i learned that any animal, pocket sized or 900 pounds, is capable of providing people with health benefits we all are familiar with. Being a volunteer here has changed my world in ways indescribable and is of course a once in a lifetime opportunity!!

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?

Some

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

September 20, 2012

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September 20, 2012

My name is Andy Carlson and I have been a volunteer at Valley of the Kings for 16 1/2 years. VOTK is in my opinion, a model for how a big cat sanctuary should be managed and operated. Jill and Jim are completely devoted to the animals in their care and they have truly worked some miracles for their animals. Most of the big cats have come from abandoned, abused or neglected backgrounds. Jill and Jim, along with the help of their dedicated volunteers have helped heal the animals not only physically, but also emotionally and psychologically. To see these animals being “reborn” through love, kindness and respect is simply amazing. The other magical thing is, the animals share this message with new arrivals. Last year a new tiger arrived as it was just turning dark. As the back of the special transport trailer was opened we could see the tiger in his rolling crate and he was not real happy. He didn’t know where he was and he had been on the road for a number of hours. As he started to growl, suddenly in the darkness behind us we heard the lions and tigers who live at VOTK let out a thunderous chorus roar, as if to say “it’s okay, you are safe here, welcome home, we are glad you are here to join us”. Within seconds of the new arrival hearing that message you could see him almost as though he was taking a deep breath, exhaling and starting to relax. This is only one story that illustrates how dedicated and committed VOTK is to the animals in her care.

Thank you,
Andy Carlson .

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?

2012

April 29, 2010

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Review from Guidestar
April 29, 2010

I first stepped onto Valley of the Kings' property in April 2003. They had me with the first roar! I knew I had found what my heart had been searching for all my life. The energy from the big cats envelopes you and sustains you all day. I have never worked so hard and enjoyed it so much in my life. The animals are so grateful for our being there. You can see the love in their eyes. After a day of hard work it is often even harder to get in the car and drive off.

The Great!

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

the eyes of the animals. Many of the animals come from abusive or neglectful homes. They arrive unsure of us with dull, listless eyes. It is not long before their trust has returned and their eyes are shining and bright knowing they are loved.

More feedback...

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

spending time with and learning about the different animals.

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

increase in size and give more animals a loving 'forever home'.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 29, 2010

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Review from Guidestar
April 29, 2010

I have never been to a sanctuary quite like this one. The people who volunteer are incredible, the people who run it are unlike anyone I have ever met (in a very good way), and the animals are mesmerizing!

Photos

The Great!

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

educating the visitors about exotic animals.

Ways to make it better...

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

always be interacting with the animals.

More feedback...

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

getting to know the people who are there and working near the animals.

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

incredibly dedicated.

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

help many more animals.

Ways to make it better...

I would be able to spend more time there.

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

funds.

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

I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to volunteer at VOTK.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

April 28, 2010

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Review from Guidestar
April 28, 2010

I have been volunteering at Valley of the Kings (VOTK) for just over a year. In addition to the big cats, VOTK has a variety of other animals that were in need of refuge. Whatever circumstances brought these animals to VOTK's doorstep, the result was the same, they were finally home. Regardless of the chore a volunteer does, not only do the animals benefit but so does the volunteer. Its a win-win situation for all involved. The animals now have a forever home and volunteers get the privilege of seeing them flourish and grow. It is this type of environment that makes VOTK truly define the word sanctuary.

The Great!

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

I've seen the results of this organization in the lives of the animals. Animals that arrived from the most dire of conditions are given love, compassion and respect. They are allowed to live out the rest of their lives with dignity and grace.

Ways to make it better...

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

Keep things the way they are. The animals are the priority and get the best care available.

More feedback...

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

Seeing animals that came from horrible conditions learn to receive and give love. They learn to trust again.

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

People with big hearts who want to make a difference for the good.

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

Expand and help more animals from the worst of conditions. VOTK runs on a shoestring budget. Every dollar is stretched to the limit in order to provide the best care for the animals.

Ways to make it better...

My experience is the best possible. I have no complaints other than we could use more funding to help more animals.

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

Money.....not enough of it.

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

Valley of the Kings truly defines sanctuary. It is a port in the storm for the most innocent of animal victims.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 28, 2010

more

Review from Guidestar
April 28, 2010

I live 25 miles away from VOTK and I am amazed about how many locals have no idea that VOTK exists. It is not only a wonderful place for all the animals to find their forever home, it is also a blessing to me to be able to share my life with the animals, the owners and the volunteers. As soon as I pull up to the gate the positive energy fills me and prepares me for the day of hard but very rewarding work. I love each and every animal there and take great joy in spending one on one time when I can.

Photos

More feedback...

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

The contact with the animals. They all have unique personalities. Being able to talk to them as I work keeps my heart warm and a smile on my face throughout the day. The experiences are always unique and I love to blog about them.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 27, 2010

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April 27, 2010

Valley of the Kings provides food, shelter, veterinary care, love and forever homes for abused, neglected and abandonded animals, primarily large cats. It has been a joy to watch animals being transformed from a thin, scared state into healthy, happy critters.

Photos

The Great!

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

Seeing first hand the condition that large cats come into the facility in and how they are transformed.

Ways to make it better...

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

Provide a little more organization for the volunteers.

More feedback...

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

The rewards of being able to help animals that have had the misfotune of being exploited by humankind.

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

Extremely hard working and dedicated. Imagine manually processing and hauling meat sufficient to feed 40+ large cats.

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

Expand and take on more animals. Develop more efficient food processing for the large cats.

Ways to make it better...

We had sometihing to use besides a port-a-potty for bathrooms.

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

Financial and space. This is a small, struggling facility that depends entirely on donations and volunteer labor to exist.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 24, 2010

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Review from Guidestar
April 24, 2010

Valley of the Kings does an absolutely amazing job caring for animals with extremely limited resources. Many of these animals come to them from abusive situations, requiring extensive care, which is provided with a huge dose of love. I never cease to be amazed by what a small group of committed, volunteers accomplish at this wonderful sanctuary.

More feedback...

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

so passionate and committed to caring for the animals and showing their love. They work so hard and are always willing to give more.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

April 23, 2010

more

Review from Guidestar
April 23, 2010

Valley of the Kings Sanctuary and Retreat is an amazing place. The animals who come to live there get the best care financially possible and all of the love we have. The people that I work with are dedicated to the animals and inspire me to come back week after week. The animals themselves are incredibly sociable and grateful, I can tell. VOTK does so much good work and has saved so many animals, but we have the capability to do more if only we had more money.

The Great!

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

the happiness of the animals. Some still have physical problems from their previous owners and so it is amazing to see them in a safe place with friends.

Ways to make it better...

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

More feedback...

Ways to make it better...

VOTK had more money to expand to adopt more animals in need.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

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