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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Center for Animal Research and Education Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals

Mission: The Center for Animal Research and Education's mission is to provide for a safe, permanent and loving home to exotic animals in need. CARE focuses on excellence in physical and emotional care, advocating animal welfare through education, and conducting minimally-invasive research that will improve living conditions for captive animal populations world-wide.

Results: CARE has been officially in operation since 2003, and in that time has cared for over 100 animals. Our first priority is caring for the animals that are already here, but we are always willing to give a home to animals in need whenever we can. In addition to rescue and animal care, we are dedicated to advocating animal welfare and improving husbandry and veterinary practices through education and research.

Target demographics: Exotic Animals in Need

Direct beneficiaries per year: 50+ animals

Geographic areas served: Bridgeport

Programs: Internships, Adoption and Sponsorship, Educational Tours, Husbandry and Veterinary Professional Development, Research, and Animal Care.

Community Stories

214 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Wendy Gray S.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been a fan and supporter of the Center for Animal Research and Education for years, and have been able to visit and tour the facility twice. I am so impressed with how much the staff truly cares about the animals and their welfare.

Alesha G.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've been following CARE for as long as I can remember and I adore everything about them. The kindness and love they show for the animals under their care, the level of education they share with the public and the excellent quality of life the animals have under CARE is absolutely phenomenal. I honestly can't say enough good things about them.

Kristy5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

CARE is an amazing organization, they have a wonderful facility, and it's clear that everyone who works and volunteers there truly loves the animals. The Youtube videos are a great outreach, and my family and I have really enjoyed watching the tiger cubs' progress this past year! We had the opportunity to visit CARE in January, and it was awesome actually being able to be there in person! We had a great time and learned a lot on the tour!

LuAnn Wright M.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I view and research several big cat sanctuaries around the world but C.A.R.E. is in a class of its own. They love the animals and care for them above and beyond what is required. You can tell by the way the cats respond to the caregivers. I can't wait to visit and volunteer here!! Look up big cat Derek on youtube. You won't regret it.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

They take care of their animal's really well. They treat their animal's like they are family. It is a great place to visit if you love big cats.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I discovered CARE a couple of years ago on You Tube. I was instantly enthralled with the animals in their facility. It is obvious that the animals are the PRIORITY, their health, safety, diet, comfort, everything! What a wonderful, loving forever home for these majestic creatures.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have been watching Derek and the Care Center on every platform that is available at least for the last 5 years. What we viewers see are responsible and immensely hard working care givers for exotic animals. They are a voice for these animals that didn't choose to be purchased as a pet or otherwise. They not only entertain with videos, but they educate as to why these beautiful creatures are not pets. There is a reason the animals in their care often live past projected life times for captive and wild animals alike. The people at care are heroes that deserve recognition and praise. I will continue to give anything I can and tell my friends to do the same.

Haifa Dakhail

Donor

Rating: 5

I am a follower and a donor only, but they sure make us (followers) feel like a member of their wonderful family. Kindly showing us every moment of the animals' life on the social media and explaining every matter, Sharing with us all the details they decide to do to the rescued animals' health and well being, and even taking our advices seriously :)

1 Amy Christoph Weirs S.

Donor

Rating: 5

Fantastic facility, we have been supporters of this facility for the past several years. Wonderful people doing wonderful work caring for these big cats and other animals. Teaching people about the species while also giving them a loving forever home

1 Mary Elizabeth C.

Donor

Rating: 5

The Center for Animal Research and Education (CARE) is an outstanding facility which provides permanent homes to big cats rescued from zoos, owners, and other facilities who can no longer take care of them. At CARE these cats thrive and live long and happy lives. I am continually impressed by the amount of attention and love each individual cat is given so that their every need: medical, social, emotional, physical is promptly addressed. This is done almost entirely by loving volunteers and interns. CARE is one nonprofit I donate to regularly because I believe in their mission and can see how they accomplish their goals of providing the best home possible for the animals put in their care.

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Donor

Rating: 5

I've been following CARE for several years now and am constantly impressed by the way each animal is treated as an individual with special attention to their personality and needs. No action that involves the animals is taken without research and preparation. All the animals are so well cared for that they live very full and long lives. It is especially a great pleasure to follow their progress when they arrive as babies and watch them grow into happy adults. I cannot recommend the staff and volunteers at the Center for Animal Research and Education enough for their professional and loving treatment of the animals under their charge.

kroegerfamily4

Donor

Rating: 5

I love C.A.R.E. and if you go visit the sanctuary....I'm sure you will love C.A.R.E. too. My favorite part is the sights, sounds and smells. When you see the C.A.R.E. enclosures, they are so open, so spacious and so clean with special items for their entertainment and each animal shows you just how much they love living at C.A.R.E. When the smell of C.A.R.E. gets in your nose, you just breathe it in and soak it up and gets into your soul...you never forget it. When you hear the animals talk, their purrs, squeaks, chuffs, snuffles, moos, roars, and mews puts a smile on your face and you just want more. The people, staff and volunteers are pretty amazing too. I live in Alabama and when I visit I always feel at home. I love being a part the C.A.R.E. family.

1 Jan Czarina Domingo O.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Having the chance to volunteer at such a wonderful place is such a great experience. I initially found CARE through BigCatDerek's Youtube channel. Once I found out it was close enough, I just had to volunteer after two visits, the first toured by an amazing intern and the second by Derek himself at their Fall Festival. The people I've worked with at CARE are all extraordinary and hearing about how long they've been with the cats is astonishing. The kitties are so well taken care of and are so happy to be where they're at. I couldn't think of a better place for them to live the rest of their lives in their forever home known as CARE.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My wife and i have been comming here for about 8 years. We have been to several other facilities and this is the best. Have met allot of great people and the animals are awesome.

1 Kyle B.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is a great facility! I love to take my family there, this place is educational and fun!

1 Cameron D.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I was lucky enough to discover this incredible facility thru my fiance who happened to intern and volunteer here. CARE is a wonderful nonprofit who emphasizes and prioritizes the safety and well being of their furry 4 legged (and 3 legged) residents! Just by coming to CARE for a weekend tour, you will not only learn about each of the unique species that call CARE their furever home, you will realize how each resident has their own special personality! 11/10 would recommend!!!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My daughter Nicolina interned at CARE in 2018 and continues to volunteer. I had the opportunity to enjoy this unique experience when I visited and toured CARE in January 2019. There are no words to describe the beauty of these magnificent animals. They are cared for with such love and respect. I cannot wait to go for another visit!

1 AnitaCastillo

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found Care through Big Cat Derek and it was clear from the beginning I wanted to be involved. From the day I came out to Care I saw the amount of time, love and dedication all staff and volunteers sacrificed for these amazing animals. I’m so glad I chose to be a part of this organization and can confidently say it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. The animals who live there are extremely well cared for and the abundance of love they receive daily makes me proud! I suggest all my family and friends take a weekend to go up and meet the cats it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.

1 zudnic1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CARE has been pretty much a life save for me. I got started back in 2007 from hearing a radio ad and followed the given website. Once I had taken the initial tour of the facility, I was hooked and have been going back ever since. I came for the cats, but stayed for the people.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

My name is Shawn Barr and began to volunteer at C.A.R.E in 2007. I try to get out there as many weekends as I can. Since I have started volunteering, I have learned and gained more knowlege about This facility and the animal in there of, than just simply watching about them on t.v. If there was one wish I could be granted, is for C.A.R.E to have more time and materials, to house more abondoned, abused and injured big cats. Maybe even smaller ones, Like Cervals, Lynx and bobcats. I guess in my own opinion, C.A.R.E is simply the best place for a big cat to live its life to the fullest, next to being out in the wild.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CARE is an amazing place. Every time I go, it's a joy to be be around the animals, helping them live a better life and caring for their needs no matter how great.

1 Mallory_Pfeifer

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering on and off at this facility since I was 18, and without a doubt it is the best place in the entire world. There is truly nothing like CARE and the CARE family.

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Center for Animal Research and Education is like no other big cat sanctuary. A staff and board that care so strongly and work so hard. An executive director and curator that do anything and everything to provide the absolute best care they can to our cats and lemurs. CARE is just truly one-of-a-kind!

Jamie_R

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a part of this organization for 11 years and it has been such a remarkable experience. Not only do the animals have my heart unconditionally, but the mission and the people are truly amazing. I believe in the ethics of CARE so completely. I could not imagine dedicating my time, energy, and love to a more deserving place.

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2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been fortunate and proud to have been involved with CARE for the last 6 years. What started out as a volunteer opportunity in a field I always wanted to be a part of, has turned into a critical part of my life. As, first and foremost, an animal lover and advocate, my main concern has always been the respectful care and welfare of animal in captivity. Through the years I have never once felt that the animals at CARE have received anything less than above-and-beyond emotional and physical care. I am honored to work with such dedicated and caring individuals who put the animals' welfare at the top of their priority list. Not only am I a part of this organization, I am a supporter of CARE's mission and work. My heart is full seeing the animals thrive and knowing that they are in the best hands possible.

2 Drew G.

Donor

Rating: 5

After finding BigCatDerek on YouTube and realizing I didn't live too far, I just had to visit. The moment I stepped out of my car, I knew there was something special about this place. All of the animals just radiate love and you can tell that the staff and volunteers take extremely good care of these animals. Now I sponsor one of the cats and have introduced several more people to the facility. We all love it and visit whenever we can.

1 MizzTV

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

In 2017, I lost my 12 year old cat to oral cancer. I was devastated. I happened to discover CARE on Youtube via Derek "BigCatDerek" Krahn's videos. I've watched all the CARE people do so much for the animals as they have such a passion for them. I fell in love with all the animals at CARE & admire the people who devote their entire lives to the well being of all. And on top of it all, watching it all helped me heal from the loss of my cat.

2 Abby18

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This facility has my heart for the way they treat their animals. CARE treats their staff and volunteers with care, love, and respect the same as with the animals in their charge. Safety for the animals, staff, and visitors are top of the line.

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2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering for a little over a year and have learned many things from the intelligent people who are a part of this organization. They give exemplary care to all the animals. Their pedagogy for educating the public on their animals is inspiring. I am proud to call myself a servant to their cause!

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3 Heidi B.2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

CARE is the most amazing place on earth. Not only do the world's most unique creatures live here but the most incredible volunteers, interns and donors dedicate their resources to make CARE the perfect sanctuary for all.

2 Julie Fair M.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have never been to CARE and yet I love all the kitties just the same. Donating so hot cats could get pools and when Ms Noey lost Wali... the stuffie sent I know made her feel a little better. #PrideStrong

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have now been a volunteer and donor for at least 6 years now. Every second spent volunteering, every penny spent for donations could not have been spent any better. This place is Heaven on earth. The care for each animal, the safety for both animals and humans are impeccable. Never could find a better place. Highly recommended for all

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I interned at CARE last summer and since then I have gone back several times to volunteer. CARE is an amazing facility thats provides the BEST care for the animals that live there! You will not find a more dedicated group than the staff and volunteers of CARE!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

These people are so passionate and kind when it comes to all their animals and it absolutely shows in the work they do! I’m so happy to have found them and have learned so much about all these big kitties since I began following.

Donor

Rating: 5

Visited CARE in July. It was an awesome, informative, extremely friendly environment. Can’t wait to visit again! The animals were so happy!

Donor

Rating: 5

They give the big cats the absolute best life possible!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have followed CARE for years on social media and YouTube--I visited them last summer on a chance trip to Texas, and I'll never forget it. Their devotion to giving their animals the best life possible is clear to see, as is their dedication to educating others. The facility is cleverly constructed, and each enclosure is perfectly tailored to its resident. The waterfall in Boomer and Slade's enclosure is a personal favorite, along with the massive pylon climbing/resting structures in many tiger and lion enclosures that allow them to sit up high and observe their domain. Hearing a lion roar, for the first time in my life, was an incredible experience that I won't ever forget. I'm so thankful a place like this exists, and so happy for the many beautiful creatures that have called CARE home.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This place is the bees knees (or should I say the cats knees) the cats are not only the snuffliest and down right cutest in the whole entire world, but the love, kindness and devotion that the people at CARE show every day melts my heart. I am an avid subscriber and fan of the BigCatDerek content which highlights some of the amazing work they do at CARE... so anyone who likes cute kitties/snuffles/meows of any size has to check this out!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I can’t say enough good things about CARE. A wonderful group of people that truly care for and love the animals they rescue. We had the chance to visit and stay in their Safari suite and got to see first hand how they care for their animals . All their animals live in spacious comfortable clean enclosures and are spoiled rotten. What a great place!

2 Nicolina S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is one of the best nonprofits I have ever worked at. They really love their animals! Tours are a great way to see the animals and learn all about them!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

They really care about what they are doing and they focus on what is best for the animals. They are a great group of people do amazing things!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Amazing people and an amazing facility. These folks are 100% dedicated to these animals. And they are by far one of the most transparent organizations out there. No secrets, nothing shady. They are completely devoted to the care and wellbeing of all their animals.

Marlene M.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Center for Animal Research and Education is one of the best big cat sanctuary. When I lived in Texas I would go there all the time and help anyway I could. The executive director and curator work tirelessly to do anything and everything to provide the absolute best care they can for the cats, lemurs and domestic animals. CARE is just truly one-of-a-kind!

Helene Sunny J.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I live in Norway and have seen tigers and lions in Zoos around Europe. I knew little about the animals before I started looking at CARE's/BigCatDerek's videos on YouTube.
WOW I have cried so much the last few weeks, I have laughed, listened to Derek, learned a lot about cats in all sizes (included new stuff about my own house cats)
I think CARE does amazing work. The cats and other animals in the facility looks like they are in good shape and sound mind
My only (?!!) wish now, is to travel to Texas to see this place :)

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've been following CARE through a virtual experience for less than a year now, but it didn't take me long to fall in love with the big cats. I can tell that the animals are very well taken care of. I sense the bond that they have with the people that are caring for them, and that they are truly loved. I always look forward to watching the videos and sharing that same bond with them. I hope to someday visit the sanctuary in person, and meet all of my favourite cats and the people there who are responsible for such a great cause. CARE is a very special place and deserves to be recognized.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My hubby and I have been following CARE for years, a month ago my hubby's heart stopped at home and I had to do cpr. It stopped again at the hospital and so he required emergency surgery.
We realized we'd never been away from our children for 24 hours together since our oldest was born 11 years ago. When the doctor cleared my hubby to travel short distances I told him we were taking A mom and dad trip, just us. I told him we could go anywhere, he chose CARE.
When we arrived Heidi and her team made my husband feel like he was the most special person and when we took the tour they allowed us to donate toys to my hubby's favorite cat, Solano. The trip made his year. After all of the scary and stress, it was great to see him really smile and to feel like he was really special. I will remember this trip for the rest of my life.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a part of the CARE family for over ten years now. Having lived all over the world and visiting many other places, CARE stands out in caring for all of their residents. Best proof is in the old ages of the cats, and people from all over returning for visits. What a blessing for animals and people alike.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

After watching webcasts of the C.A.R.E. facility, you can see just how well cared for and loved these animals are. I hope to someday get the privilege of visiting.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

CARE is such a wonderful place for these animals. It is unique and you can tell that the animals are very happy and healthy. I have never been on site, but plan to honeymoon at the Safari Suites as I have fallen in love with the animals just from the virtual experience. The whole CARE staff have their hearts and heads in the right place and have consistently proven that with their investments. The cats enclosures, care, and enrichment out reach that of many well funded zoos that I have visited. A big hand for these folks! They deserve the best!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

These animals have a wonderful home at this amazing facility!

Donor

Rating: 5

C.A.R.E has such a special place in my heart. Not only is it an amazing facility but the education is the real winner. With funny and down to earth social media behind them, they are unstoppable. I always feel fulfilled not only for the cats and animals but all the humans who benefit from this amazing organization.

Donor

Rating: 5

I had the amazing opportunity to visit CARE during their Fall Fest 2016. I have followed them on social media for a few years now and their dedication to the animals is absolutely outstanding. The facility is clean, they take great care to give the cats enrichment activities and toys, they obviously love what they do. The animals are very obviously well taken care of and happy, they all have bright eyes and big personalities. The photo attached here is from Fall Fest where I was lucky enough to get to feed Selena the tiger a chicken drumstick (with tongs of course) through her enclosure fence. Definitely the experience of a lifetime! I donate as often as I have the means.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have visited CARE several times over the past few years. This truly is a sanctuary for the animals in their care. The animals are given as much room, enrichment activities, and attention as is possible. They are fed close to their natural manners (many zoos feed their big cats ground mush whereas CARE gives them real animal parts like they would eat in the wild). They are treated with the respect they deserve; not as attractions. I'm proud to have CARE in our county!

Kristie5

Donor

Rating: 5

The Center for Animal Research and Education (C.A.R.E.) is not just a non profit organization. C.A.R.E. is a sanctuary full of peace and love and comfort for the rescued animals. When you visit C.A.R.E., you will see how well the animals are treated and how much they are loved and cared for based on their personality, their appearance and the sound of happiness in their voice. Once you visit C.A.R.E. the staff and the animals become embedded into your heart and soul. You become a part of their family. C.A.R.E is not just cages and workers, this sanctuary is my home away from home.

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Donor

Rating: 5

The staff at C.A.R.E. go above and beyond to make sure each and every animal at C.A.R.E. is healthy, happy, loved and FREE. Yes, I said free because the environment that most of these animals were rescued from made it possible for them to call C.A.R.E. their forever home. The staff also takes great care of all the visiting humans too. I love C.A.R.E. and if you go visit...you will fall in love too.

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Donor

Rating: 5

I LOVE CARE! They are my favorite charity and I always give when I can! The staff there is exceptional and dedicate their lives to their animals. They are truly an amazing organization!

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3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Absolutely love Care! They are amazing and take amazing care of their animals! I have personally donated to them multiples times and will continue to support them for many years to come!

Tom_116

Client Served

Rating: 5

My wife Diane and I stayed two weeks ago and we are both still talking to each other and others about our time. What an absolutely amazing getaway and so close to home. The tours with the animals was great but I think the best part was that we were treated more like family than guest. It was almost tough saying goodbye on Sunday. Our room was beautiful and comfortable. We will definitely be back for day visits and weekends, we have to keep up with all our new human and animal friends at C.A.R.E. love ya Heidi and Rachael, big

2 Mary479

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure of visiting CARE and seeing the services they provide large cats and other exotic animals on a firsthand basis. Safety is emphasized and underscored - you are not visiting a petting zoo or touch tank. The volunteers and workers are all on the same page on what to do and how to do it and it shows in the animals faces and spaces they live in.

1 Donna272

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The people at C.A.R.E are by far the greatest people I have ever been so lucky to meet in my lifetime. If I could I would move so I could live close to them and be apart of their exordinary way -daily. I never felt more whole and complete in my life as the times I spent volunteering at The Center with the people and animals.

Board Member

Rating: 5

CARE is a most Precious place providing for such awesome exotic animals! The exotics are all so special as are all the exotics in the world! Thank you Lyddia, the most awesome Tigress I have ever met who stole my heart. Not understanding how I can bond with another, and then came Mwali! My best animal friend in the world that I would be honored to give my life up for him if it was necessary! Thank you Roscoe, Zeus, Spotty, Tawney, Levi, Noel, Dahlia, Milo, Araali, Jelani, Zuberi, Boomer, Slade and all the others for giving me and the other humans at CARE so much love! Truly, God's Anointing embraces CARE!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

CARE is by far the best organization I have ever been to and had the pleasure of interning at. This home for rescued exotics is a place where these animals can live out the rest of their lives in a safe and loving environment. I have never met people who genuinely care for animals as much as they do. The amount of blood, sweat and tears these workers put in is evident when seeing how happy the cats are. The Center for Animal Research and Education will always hold a strong place in my heart.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

CARE is staffed and supported by the most hard working and devoted people I've ever met in my life. Their selfless dedication to the welfare of the resident animals and the knowledge they posses is unrivaled.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

They show great compassion and CARE for the animals! They have expert knowledge in animal husbandry and take extensive care in everything they do for the animals!!

Charlotte41

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Awesome place. Heidi and her staff do a great job caring for these beautiful animals. The grounds are so clean and the animals loom so happy.

1 Annie48

Donor

Rating: 5

An AMAZING facility to LEARN THE RIGHT WAY to CARE and for and value our beloved exotic animal friends! The people who operate and volunteer at CARE are always so polite, professional, and personable when you visit.
This is my ongoing vacation destination and primary non-profit organization to support, and it will remain so. I KNOW that my donations and time are well-spent to support these animals and the people who dedicate their lives to care for them in the most beautiful way.
THANK YOU for your CARE. See you soon!

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General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I'll put this as simply as I can without seeming gushy: The amazing people of CARE are true representatives of everything good in the world. (and that's not gushing!)
Aptly named, the folks at CARE are truly committed to the well-being of the animals who live on their premises and the humans who support them.
These people sincerely want what is best for all species: To nurture and to enrich through the best possible care and education they can provide.
This is a top-notch facility that I strive to visit at least twice per year, and fully support in any manner possible, and will continue to do so for the rest of my days.
BRAVO, CARE!
*pictured is Jamie Reed on our first tour at CARE in Spring, 2015.

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Mallory4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Center for Animal Research and Education is truly the greatest place in the world. These animals are loved and taken care of, and you can see it in their eyes how full their souls are. Not only are the animals spectacular, but the people are everything! They are my family, and there is truly no place like it!

Natalie82

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an amazing place. The animals could not be in better hands. If you have the chance to go, dont pass it up. It is an experience of a lifetime!

Amy_309

Donor

Rating: 5

Everyday I see the wonderful work and love put forth by the staff at C.A.R.E. They are committed to giving all of the animals in their care the best life possible, and I happily donate whenever I am able so that they may continue to do so.

Frances19

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Over the years that I have been involved with this organization so many things have impressed me. The care and love they give each animal, but at the same time giving the respect that these big cats demand. I have nothing but praise for the owners, interns and volunteers at CARE.

Lori184

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Having the opportunity to observe these majestic animals in this superb facility was truly a privilege. Such an amazing organization.