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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: Operation Cool Cats, CARE’s ongoing summer project for building in-ground swimming pools for all of the tigers, is in full swing. So far, Chompers, Consuela, and Bonnie, Clyde and Levi have had pools built in their enclosures – and they love them! The summer heat can be very hard on the cats (especially our older cats) so providing cats with swimming pools as a means of cooling themselves off is essential. While the cats are provided with above ground pools every summer, we felt as if permanent, cemented, in-ground pools were a more viable alternative. Our volunteers and interns have been hard at work digging holes for the pools and then securing the pools in the holes with cement. While the building can be labor intensive, it is entirely worth it to see the cats enjoying the cool water and being able to stay cool in the Texas heat. By the end of this summer, we are hoping to have a completed in-ground swimming pool in each tiger enclosure.

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

169 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

They do GREAT work at CARE. They offer so much education about big cats that everyone can participate in. I have been to many facilities with big cats and this is the best that I have ever seen. It is such a shame that animal facilities such as this must struggle to make great things happen. Good luck to everyone involved with CARE!!



Rating: 5

CARE is an amazing facility that gives big cats a home that is different than anywhere else I have seen. The love and care is top notch. The people are pleasant and the animals seem truly happy. I would recommend CARE to anyone who wishes to make a difference in a big cats life. After one visit you will be hooked. The only issue I have found is their lack of funding. The location is one hr from the DFW area and has very little public exposure. The location is good for the cats but not so good for donors and visitors. they also need more trees.

Comments ( 1 )


CARE Admin 01/19/2012

Thank you so much for the great review! You are absolutely right that we need more shade, something we really plan to work on this year. Last year was so difficult on the cats. We so appreciate your support!



Rating: 5

In the 2 ½ years that I have been volunteering at CARE, I have led many tours, cleaned up a lot of tiger poop, and helped with fund-raising and special events. I am now a member of the board and dedicate as much of my free time to working for the cats as I possibly can. I have learned so much about these cats.
It is such a tragedy to know of the loss of species in the wild and the consequences of irresponsible private ownership.
We all know that there is a strong possibility that many of these great cats will disappear in the wild within our lifetime. The only way that people will know they exist is to see them in captivity, which is a horrible shame. These animals deserve better than that, and by being advocates for their cause, hopefully we can turn the tide and ensure that there will always be tigers in the jungle and lions on the savanna. In the case of the cats at CARE, they have never known that freedom, and never will. They were born into captivity and will live the remainder of their lives in enclosures. All we can do is dedicate ourselves to providing them with the best care possible. Giving them large enclosures with lots of enrichment, fresh food that provides them with all of the nutrition that they need and medical care to make sure that they are healthy and live without pain. And of course, lots of love. I may not have a lifetime of experience working with big cats, but I know what I see. Our cats are cared for, cherished and protected. And they respond to the love and attention they are given. No, it is not a natural occurrence that these wild predators have a relationship with humans. Yet, because of their situation, these cats have formed powerful bonds with their caretakers. They enjoy our company and affection almost as much as we do.
It is no surprise that I love these cats. They are precious to me and hold a very special place in my heart. But it isn’t just the cats that make CARE special.
The people who are the backbone of CARE are amazing! People from all over, with so many different stories. These people keep CARE going. They are volunteers, interns, partners, visitors and donors. They all contribute to our purpose-giving our cats a loving, safe home for as long as they live. I have enjoyed getting to know all of the people at CARE. I love sharing my stories of the cats with visitors and watching their reaction to being in such close proximity to these guys. And I cannot begin to express my respect and admiration for our Executive Director, Heidi Krahn, her husband Derek and their children. They are an amazing family, full of humor, dedication, and love. Heidi has dedicated her life to these cats and to watch what she accomplishes on a daily basis is simply astonishing. The Krahn family are the heart and soul of CARE and it is an incredible honor to be a part of the CARE family.
I get to work around animals that I have appreciated for most of my life, but only from afar. I continue to learn and above all, I get the satisfaction of knowing that I am doing something to protect animals that I cannot imagine this earth without. With some luck and a lot of hard work, we will continue to educate people about the consequences of keeping big cats as pets or using them for entertainment and monetary gains. We want to continue to provide a home for cats that have been abused or abandoned. Hopefully we can work as advocates to save these species from extinction, so that someday years from now, someone like me can fall in love with these animals and know that they have a protected place in this world.