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2018 Top-Rated Nonprofit

PARC Inc. aka Black Pine Animal Sanctuary

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animals, Children & Youth, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Youth Development, Zoos & Aquariums

Mission: We exist to provide refuge to displaced, captive-raised exotic animals for the rest of their lives and to educate people about responsible animal care and conservation.

Results: Approximately 19,000 people tour the sanctuary annually to observe and learn about the animal residents, bear witness to their recoveries from neglect, abuse, and exploitation, and to support the mission to advocate for better protections for captive animals and public safety. Over 250 animals have been provide refuge to date (2018). More than 150 college-enrolled and post-grad students have participated in the internship program, many of whom have gone on to gainful employment in animal care and veterinary medicine. Local advocacy and education efforts have swayed venues from hiring traveling animal "acts"; better local ordinances have been adopted; the community has embraced the organization as an "expert" to weigh in on decisions that may affect the welfare of captive wild/exotic animals or threaten public safety.

Target demographics: captive exotic animals and people

Direct beneficiaries per year: 19,000 people and nearly 100 animals

Geographic areas served: Nationwide

Programs: Permanent refuge for displaced, captive-raised exotic animals Sanctuary tours Internship program Volunteer program Field trips Outreach programs Advocacy for animal welfare and public safety

Community Stories

317 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Stephanie Doyle P.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

It is wonderful to see the animals in a more natural environment. These animals are very much loved and well cared for.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Black Pine Animal Sanctuary. I love this sanctuary. The animals are well take care of both mentally and physically. They have very nice enclosures in which to live. This place is their forever home. The animals are saved from their previous impossible living conditions and treatment. I have visited this place many times and I live a long distance away. I am always pleased at the new enclosures and the cleanliness. I think this place is great!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Love Black Pine Animal Sanctuary. They rescue animals that otherwise might not have anywhere to go and educate the public at the same time.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is an amazing place. We have been to multiple events here and always enjoy the expertise of the staff a d hearing the heartbreaking stories of the residents who now have forever homes.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We have been going here for years and love everything they do at this sanctuary!

Pam W.3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful sanctuary for animals. We came upon it while staying at a resort nearby. All of the workers are very knowledgeable about the animals and their needs. The animals seem happy and well taken care of. The guide was very informative. This is a clean place and they even have their own cemetery for their beloved animals when they pass away from this earth.

Becki Downing J.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Black Pine is only a few minutes from my house but this spring was the first time I had visited and I wish I would have gone 10 years sooner! There is so much education and learning for others to absorb from this place. It is NOT a petting zoo or an interaction, the staff makes it very clear that these animals are treated as if they are in the wild. I will go back every spring/summer until I can no longer go. Such an amazing experience.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Black Pine does not just care for the animals such a zoo would, they care about the well being, emotional, mental, physical of the animals in their care. I was blown away by the education and compassion I saw while I was visiting and so glad to see the money funded was being used to support these majestic animals to grant them the life they deserve to have! They are unlike zoos where the animals are on full display and here they can retire if they choose or interact with the public. Thank you for being a place where they may live in peace! Well done BPAS

Brenda Y.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What an awesome place!! Really care for their 'friends' furry or otherwise. Terrific educational opportunity for your family.

Al C.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Black Pine Animal Sanctuary is very special. Caring for 'retired' performance animals and others with very dedicated and loving staff members and volunteers who truly care for these dear creatures. Their mission is heart-warming.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The care given to these wild animals to foster their physical and mental well-being is evident. Black Pine also educates on the dangers of keeping wild animals as pets, both for the animals and the people. They are inspiring to so many in this part of the country!

Yvonna J.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Black Pine Animal Sanctuary. I have visited several times. I learn something new with every visit. From how these animals survive in the wild, to the particulars of each rescue and how the animals came to live at BPAS. I know more about animal conservation, food and enrichment needs and the differences between a sanctuary and a roadside zoo. Not all animals need to be "petted" and have close human interaction. These animals are well cared for, and loved by the entire community. They truly live at BPAS for the "REST" of their lives. They are doing fabulous work for the animals, while expanding our knowledge and understanding of what is the right thing to do.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Wonderful place for these animals to live out their lives! If you're in the area you need to check it out

Tammy Myers H.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I cannot say enough good things about this organization and all they do! Not only do they provide care and homes for animals for the rest of their lives, but the education they provide to people that visit their sanctuary is every bit as important.

Martha S.1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have always hated zoos. Felt so sorry for the poor animals. BUT-then my son and future daughter in law talked me into going to Black Pine. What a joy to see animals being treated in a loving manner and knowing that they would have a real home, a happy home for the rest of their lives.

Zoe F.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Such a fantastic place. They really care about the animals, for the REST of their life

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I live this place. They honestly love and care about the animals. They are intensely committed to providing the very best care possible for the animals.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

My wife and I have been donors to Black Pine for over a decade. They put the animals first, advocate for proper laws regarding wild animal ownership, and do a marvelous job of marketing and promotion to gain needed operational funding. They have multiple community days with special emphasis on specific animals. They have partnered with multiple commercial groups for construction, feeding, habitat promotion, and veterinary care. We're quite proud to be donors, wish we could do more, and would volunteer on a regular basis if we lived closer and my wife as more able-bodied. They keep donors and partners updated with regular enewsletters, Facebook posts, and mailings. Such a super bunch!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We have been there several times, usually to bring the grandchildren. It’s always a fun and informative experience, especially when taking the guided tour. Staff tells back stories of the animals Black Pine has rescued, along with their present habits and quirks. BP is doing great work with these animals and giving them a chance to a better “rest of their lives”.

Emily R.3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Loved visiting this place and hearing the stories about all of the precious animals. I love what this organization stands for and you can tell they take great care and pride in what they do!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Visited for their Wine and Dine in the Pines and it was so fun to learn about how all the animals got there. It's so nice that they will have a home. The staff was knowledgeable, friendly, professional. They really love what they do.

Heather R.2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This place,the animals and the people are outstanding! They take great care of ALL the animals,birds, reptiles and more!! My husband and I had a great experience with our tour! ❤️❤️❤️

Mike N.1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I appreciate BPAS balanced, practical perspective on changes we can make in our everyday lives to improve the situation with exotic animal trade. There is so much noise and propaganda out there that doesn't resonate with the average person. When I'm talking to people who want listen I recommend they read and follow BPAS and visit the sanctuary to grow their understanding of the impact of supporting the exotic animal trade.

1 Alea B.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

A well run rescue that focuses on the animals and education of what pets are and what aren't. You can really tell how much they believe in their mission.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Black Pine has been a favorite of mine for many years. The work they do gives these precious animals a life where they didn't have one before. If the exotic pet trade was nonexistent then BPAS wouldn't be needed. But, until the laws change, you couldn't ask for a safer place for these animals to retire. God bless you BPAS!

Mickie J.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been going to Black Pine for years as a visitor and always enjoyed it. I am now a volunteer of over a year. All of the staff are great and vey appreciative of donations and help. I volunteer there because its such a great environment and makes me feel good being around good people who actually care and are thankful for the help. I love it here.

1 Scott H.3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We love seeing and teaching tha grandkids about the animals. It is an awesome experience. All animals are well kept to live out tge rest of days with dignity.

1 Mary S.7

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful sanctuary! We are thrilled to have it in Indiana. The animals are treated with compassion that they may have never known.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We visited Black Pine Animal Sanctuary a few years ago. What a wonderful place! The animals were well cared for and their habitats were clean and natural. It seemed clear that the Sanctuary focused on the animals, not the human visitors, which is how it should be. The animals were not “on display” like at a zoo. This is their home and if they were out and about, people could see them, but they weren’t forced to be out. It is definitely a place I will continue to support with donations when I able and hope to visit again soon. A few photos from my visit are included below. Although I was fortunate enough to see Mufasa before he passed, I could not get a good photo of him.

1 Monica W.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I go to Black Pine Animal Sanctuary at least3 - 4 during the year. I always enjoy seeing all of the residents of the Sanctuary. I will most certainly miss my very favorite, Mufasa, since he recently passed away. Everyone who works/volunteers there does a wonderful job of explaining where and when their residents came to live at Black Pine for the rest of their lives. I attaching picture of the handsome Mufasa❤️

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We had multiple family members come from over two hours in various directions for this excursion. I totally goofed and made if for the wrong day (thought I was so on top of it making the reservation a month in advance), UGH. I called (freaking out the morning of) and talked to Marcia who fixed my screw up and didn't once make me feel bad about it, even though I'm sure she had to pull some strings on such short notice.

Our guide (who is also a lead keeper), Erin, was GREAT! She knew her stuff and was so professional in handling some questions by those who "don't get it", if you know what I mean. My uncle is hard of hearing (well in his 80's) and I'm sure didn't hear much of what she was saying through the tour. At the end he had approached Erin to ask questions that she had mostly already answered and she was so nice about it. I thanked her for being so nice and explained the hearing thing as we were leaving.

The animals are so much fun to watch and hearing their stories are both heartbreaking and heartwarming.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

PARC (Black Pine Animal Sanctuary) does a wonderful job of taking care of the animals that live there as well as educating the public about why the animals are there. Everyone involved has a passion about these animals and about preventing people from owning exotic animals.

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2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first visited Black Pine as a member of a tour group, and after hearing their mission and seeing the respect that they show the animals, I was happy to become a volunteer. As a tour guide, I feel honored to communicate the mission of Black Pine to the public! The animals are all amazing to see as well.

Clarissa B.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We were out on a motorcycle ride on July 7, 2018 and had to detour route 6 and stopped in Albion to fuel up and started talking to a local resident and he asked where we were going and we said up to the boat gala on the lake and he said well stop by Black Pine Animal Sanctuary they have lions, tigers, bears, monkeys and other exotic animals. So we said why not and we were so Happy we did the zoo keepers were all so helpful and you could tell they really loved the animals so needless to say we never made it to the boat gala because we spent the afternoon at Black pine and I wouldn't have changed that for anything. We are planning another trip there but we are going to take our granddaughter and nephew the next time. Keep up the good work absolutely loved our visit.

Laura Kristyne L.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

5 stars!!! We had an amazing time looking and learning about all the animals at Black Pine :) thank you so much. we have definitely been telling all our friends to make a visit, and we will be bringing the kids with us next time :)

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I absolutely adore Professional Animal Retirement Center - or as its known locally, Black Pines. We try to visit a few times a year and can always see how well cared for the animals are and how much the staff loves them. I also follow them on facebook and am constantly seeing them post about enrichment for their animals, which is crucial.

I absolutely adore their motto, which is "For The Rest Of Their Lives", and that they are always pushing the fact that wild animals are NOT meant to be pets, and speaking blatantly and candidly about the fact that wild animals are basically unable to have all their needs met by a "regular" person who doesn't have special training or facilities to care for them. They continue to strive to raise the word that keeping wild animals as pets is unsafe - for both the human, and the animal. They also refuse to breed their animals with other captive animals, as they feel it would further the pet trade and serve no use to anyone except as a cash cow - a feat that has led to severe inbreeding and sickly animals, as is seen in white tigers, for example.

Every visit I see new enrichment, new or updated enclosures, and largely healthy, happy animals. During guided tours, the staff is always careful to let visitors know what human behaviors are not allowed, as they might stress the animals out, because the comfort of the animal is more important than the visitors entertainment.

I wholeheartedly support this nonprofit, and only wish I had the capability of donating time and money myself towards the program and cause.

Diane216

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I lived in NE Indiana for most of my life and visited Black Pine Sanctuary many times. The work that the workers and volunteers do there is amazing. Exotic animals that had been used in circuses, road side zoos, some animals that had never felt grass before.. all of them don't have to worry anymore. They have beautiful, large enclosures for the rest of their lives. You can tell when you visit that it is not a zoo; this place does not exist for the public to view the animals. It exists for the animals to be at peace. With many states not having any sort of law prohibiting exotic pets, many people who buy them and own them, can not keep them. It it weren't for places like Black Pine, these poor animals would have no where to go. It is a beautiful area to visit and get to see such magnificent animals, but more importantly, it's a great place for the animals to spend the rest of their lives.

Kerry29

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been here in the past and just loved seeing the tigers. Starting 2017 I wanted to volunteer here to help the staff and the animals. They take such great care of the animals and they all seem so happy! This place is so peaceful and relaxing!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Black Pine Animal Sanctuary is a fantastic facility for rescued animals! They receive first rate dedicated and loving care from the hard-working staff and volunteers! Visiting is always an interesting and learning experience--take the time to visit, donate or volunteer--it will be an enriching experience!

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1

Donor

Rating: 5

Black Pine is an excellent refuge for the animals they take in "for the rest of their lives"! The staff and volunteers are extremely dedicated and caring-it takes special people to give of themselves as they do every day of the year. I love visiting Black Pine and it is an exceptionally fun and learning experience! Please donate to this very worthy facility-your donation will be appreciated and used responsibly!

Jody40

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My family & I visited last summer & we loved it! It was very interesting to lean all the animals stories as we toured the facility. The staff was very friendly & you could tell that the animals were loved & well taken care of. We look forward to visiting again soon.

1 Patty72

Donor

Rating: 5

This is such a wonderful place for animals retiring from various places as well as a sanctuary for those who were abused . The staff are amazing people who give many hours of care and unending love to the many inhabitants. A wonder organization to support and a cool place to visit.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I took my daughter there and she loved it so she applied to be an intern for her senior year. She "volunteered" 4 days a week even though it was a 35 minute drive each way and ate up the gas budget. She came home every day with stories of how wonderful everything was and how great the animals were.

1 Leslie113

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love what they do! Black Pine runs a wonderful operation with great people. They're knowledgeable, friendly, and caring about the animals. I highly recommend visiting if you haven't done so.

1 Rachel204

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I use to go there as a kid. I always loved seeing the animals, going on tours, and learning about all the animals, and what their story was.

1 tigerpower

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

A friend told me about Black Pine a few years go and I started following them on facebook.. For Mother's Day last May my daughter's gift was a trip to Black Pine. We didn't make it until Labor Day weekend but I can honestly say it was one of the best experiences I've ever had. It's clean and pleasant. There are two several shaded picnic areas. The gift shop is great. The animals are loved and we'll cared for. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable and willing to answer any question asked. We spent from the time they opened to almost closing walking around enjoying the animals. We will be taking the 2 hour trip again (hopefully more than once) this summer. I share every post I see on Facebook and several of my friends are also planning trips. Even my sister is planning a trip on her way to Michigan from Missouri.

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1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My adult daughter and I drove 2 hours to Black Pine on Labor Day weekend on a recommendation from a friend. We were not disappointed. The facility is nicely set up, for the most part easily accessible, very clean, and in a wonderful wooded setting. The animals are obviously loved and we'll cares for by the staff. The staff is knowledgeable, answers any and all questions asked and are informative on the 2 tours available. There are nice rest rooms and two great covered picnic areas. There is a wonderful gift shop with affordable, nice souvenirs. I was beyond pleased with our experience and pleased to get to know the animals I have been seeing on Facebook for several years. We will be going back again in the spring. It was a wonderful experience!

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I absolutely love Black Pine! Everyone is so nice and knowledgeable. My son loves it as well, and he is really excited about our private tour coming up. I also enjoy their Facebook posts about what the animals are up to, esp the enrichment activities. Wonderful place with great people for the animals we all love and want the best before. I believe these animals are very lucky to call this place home.

1 Trudy H.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful place that treats animals with respect and love. Its amazing the work they do. You can tell the animals are happy and healthy. I love to visit with my family every summer.

2 Vicki86

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We make the trip a "girls day out". We all love animals and this is just perfect for a walking around, enjoying the animals and spending time together. Try to go several times a year. Each season they have something special for the animals, like pumpkins for Halloween. Too cute.

2 Sally79

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Wonderful organization that really loves the animals and the work that they do. Very educational and informative! Love going there!

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1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

They are a class act all the way. I love going to black pines and seeing the animals living out the rest of their lives happy, healthy and loved. Each animal has a story( usually sad and awful) , they work so hard to get the animals to where they are. Will always support this organization.

1 Jody9

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a huge animal lover Black Pine has meant a lot to me for several years. I love being able to visit & watch them continue to love & care for the animals. They put the animals first & that means a lot to me.

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2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been to & have followed Black Pine for many years now & they are an amazing place for large animals to spend the remaining of their lives. These individuals care so much about the animals that they receive the best care that can be given. They try to give them decent living quarters for both warm temps & middle of winter.

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1 Abi J.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was an intern at Black Pine Animal Sanctuary for about 5 months, during which time I was able to witness the unparalleled level of care and dedication the staff of BPAS treat their animals with. I have volunteered for many zoos and non-profits and they are often run with a lot of waste. BPAS effectively uses every resource they receive. They have the mission and ethics of a charity and the business sense of a for-profit institution, which is oddly rare in the animal care field. I cherish my time working at BPAS and all that it taught me.

1 Lovintheup

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Black pines does so much good. The education they share is so valuable to help the future generation. The animals they care for are lucky to be in such good hands. They have made such a difference in both human and animal lives.

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1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have supported Black Pines in one way or another for years. It is great to see animals get the chance to live out the rest of their lives in a safe place with lots of TLC.

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1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

What a wonderful caring place for wild animals to enjoy what is left of their life. As Black Pine takes animals who have been abused during their life before Black Pine. BP is a great learning center for all of us on proper care of al animals including birds.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I've been involved with many animal non profits over the years. By far, Black Pine is the best. The care the animals receive is top notch. The volunteers are as devoted as is humanly possible. The leadership works harder than any other facility I've been involved with. They do more with each dollar than I thought was possible. These people care and it shows.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My first visit to Black Pines Animal Sanctuary was July 2016. We were vacationing nearby and decided to take grandchildren to see the animals. I had very little knowledge of animal sancutary philosophy and how they operated. As many people do, I thought of them as a different type of zoo. But with the help of a very knowledgeable and outgoing guide, I learned about the difference a place like Black Pines Animal Sanctuary makes in an animal's life. I instantly fell in love with the philosophy and BPAS. I have continued to visit BPAS and to support their nonprofit organization.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I visited BPAS with a young man who's on the autism scale. We had a private "behind the scenes" tour and both of us were fascinated, informed, and awed by the animals and the TLC they receive. This is not a "zoo" but a visit to the life-long homes of an amazing variety of beasts and birds

1 Michelle412

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My family and I have been there twice with a few years in between the visits. Both times we were amazed by what we saw and the latest one we were amazed by how much it had grown. The tour is amazing and very informative. Each animal has a name and they share that name with you, giving that animal more meaning and a longer lasting memory. The male lion we met on our first visit was the same one on the second and we remembered him. To see him there again was just wonderful. The animals all look happy and healthy and they finally look like they're at peace, living out their days the best they can. This is a great place to go and we're planning another visit soon.

1 Lynne K.

Donor

Rating: 5

We never knew this wonderful place existed, until an Indianapolis television station done a story about it.. We live about 2 hours away and decided to check it out.. We fell in love with it and continue to support it. The grounds were very clean and the staff super friendly. The work they do is outstanding. We can't wait to visit again this summer

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

It only took my first and second time visiting to see the amazing care and compassion the staff and volunteers have for the animals. As it should be the animals always come first.
I am an avid supporter and love my time visiting the animals. The efforts they extend to make the experience for the visitors educational is exemplary. Its nothing new that again and again is been shown there are so many out there that have no regard for animals as living and feeling creatures that deserve life without suffering or being used for profit. It makes my heart happy to know every single animal at Black Pine will know nothing but the best care possible for the rest of their lives.

1 Lauren134

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The people at Black Pine Animal Sanctuary are among some of the most educated, dedicated, and passionate people I've ever encountered in the animal industry, and the behavior in the animals has a direct correlation with that! The enclosures are kept clean daily, and the organization within the facility is great! Top-notch organization!

1 Abbey W.

Donor

Rating: 5

This facility is amazing, not only for the service they provide but the friendliness and community awareness they bring to their cause. They have some of the best community events (wine & beer tastings, silent auctions, etc) all while you get the chance to walk around the sanctuary. When you talk with the workers you can definitely tell how passionate they are about what they do.

1 Teressa J.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Black Pine is the coolest place that I have ever visited. The keepers are very knowledgeable and love to share information about all of the animals that make their forever home at Black Pine. They have rescued numerous animals who otherwise would not be alive today.

Previous Stories
2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Black Pine Animal Sanctuary at Albion, Indiana is such a great place to visit and spend time with family. They are very professional with their care of the animals in their keeping. They think of new and exciting enrichments for the animals so they don't feel bored or lonely. They inform all visitors about how the animals have come to them and advocate more humane treatment of animals through out the world. I love to take my grandchildren here to learn about what they can do to help make sure that the mistakes of the elders do not continue to trickle down. They learn that the animals that we share our planet with have rights that should be respected. With the help of places like Black Pine, maybe the next generation will not repeat our mistakes.

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1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As a senior citizen grappling with a few things, when I visit Black Pine, I leave feeling hopeful. Hope is a big gift in my life so they are not only giving deserving animals hope, they inspire it in humans as well.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

The first time I visited this place I was in awe. It's truly a magnificent place and the people who work there are truly awesome people. I'm truly grateful for this place for the animals well being. Please keep this place going. And please bless all who work there and god bless the animals!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As a society we are staggeringly slow to adopt legislation to protect animals. Because of this, there are far to many animals in urgent need of sanctuary. BPAS is not a zoo, it is a forever home for animals who have been surrendered, abandoned, seized by law enforcement or acquired through other circumstances. Many of their animals have lived in deplorable conditions prior to coming to BPAS. They have been exploited, used for profit, breeding or simply been owned by private citizens that had no idea of the magnatitude of their care. BPAS gives these animals the love, care, nourishment, and enrichment they deserve. The staff is amazing, loving, knowledgeable and dedicated. In addition to caring for these animals in need, they do so much to educate people. I don't know anyone who has ever visited BPAS that has not been impressed with and moved by this extraordinary facility.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My father had Alzheimers disease and went to adukt daycare three days a week. Wednesdays were field trip days and he got to Black Pine sanctuary. He loved it and wanted to go back. I never got a chance to take him back but I have gone and understand why he loved it.