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Panther Ridge Conservation Center

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals

Mission: To provide educational information and tours to inform the public about the growing conservation needs of wild exotic cats. To provide a lifetime home and superior care for abandoned, neglected, or abused exotic felines.

Programs: Provided educational information and tours to the public informing them about the problems associated with captive exotic cats and the growing conservation needs of wild exotic cats. Operated a facility that provides lifetime homes and superior care to 15 previously abandoned, neglected or abused exotic felines.

Community Stories

102 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Ashley58

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My mother and I went to Panther Ridge on a break home from college and it was one of the best experiences of my life. The owner, Judy Berens is an amazing woman who, along with her staff, dedicate their lives to creating an absolutely impeccable habitat and life for these cats. The grounds are maintained perfectly with every single need taken into consideration. The love Judy shows for the cats is definitely evident when she walks into the cage and they purr and rub against her in delight. It truly is a miracle to see all she has done for these beautiful animals. I would advise everyone, young and old to make it a priority to contribute to this great cause and see the facilities themselves. I cannot wait to return!

Client Served

Rating: 5

sometimes when someone suggests you should do something, someone who is thoughtful and brings meaning to her life, someone who is articulate and adventurous, sometimes you should take that person's suggestion, as i did, two weeks ago when i visited PANTHER RIDGE CONSERVATION CENTER in wellington. my expectations of panther ridge were high, frankly, and yet still, those expectations were BLAM! way exceeded. the grounds/facility are meticulously gorgeous, and the planning that goes into enclosures worthy of the cats is brilliant.
i mean, i LOVE cats of all sizes. i find them so smart and funny and athletic and of course, shockingly beautiful. but to see these big kitties up close and to experience them w/owner ms. judy berens, is in a completely different dimension. the way judy moves among the cats is so purposeful, respectful and loving--and the education she imparts to panther ridge guests is invaluable. bottom line, we must save the cats.
i love all of judy's cats, charlie, aztec, his daughter isabella (that little flirt), amos, dudas, audrey and randy, machoman, all of them! i encourage people to make an appointment to visit, and if you are unable, pls consider a contribution. yes, our tickets were a generous gift, but we happily paid again. afterall, we were given so much. bravo to judy berens, panther ridge, and the lucky and happy cats who live there. i can't wait to visit again.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been to Panther Ridge two time over the past couple of years. The experience is better than any zoo i've ever visited. Judy takes you and your guests on a personal two hour tour, showing you all her beautiful cats. It's an educational tour that leaves you wanting to help these precious cats existance. The grounds are miticulously manicured and well maintained, as are all the enclosures. You can see how all the volenteers genuenly care about their duties and the animals well being.
I've always loved animals of all kind. One visit to Panther Ridge and you instantly feel a connection w/these beautiful cats. I have too many favorites to name ie; Bella, Amoes... my heart melts everytime i visit her web site to admire the pictures. It's a pure joy to see how well Judy takes care of these cats, as she feeds them by hand. She truely is like a Mother to them all, and the love they have for her is easily witnessed. I can't wait to go back, and at least know that some cats are truely loved and cared for in this world live in.... Thanks to all who make a differance.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Panther Ridge is top notch - you can tell that these beautiful cats are well loved and well cared for. The owner, Judy, will give you a personal tour, and in some cases, go into a cats enclosure. The cat will go right up to Judy, weave through and around Judy's legs, and immediately start to purr... Incredible way to see some phenomenal large cats up close and personal. Highly recommend.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have gone to many Large Cat sanctuaries and THIS IS THE ONLY ONE that has treated the cats with dignity and respect. They live on a beautiful estate to live on and are loved and cared for as if they each were the only one on the premises. You can take PRIVATE tours!! The owner takes you!! Judy Berens, the owner is one of the most compassionate people you will ever meet. It is a truly wonderful experience, one you or anyone in your party will never forget. Prepare to dress comfortably, bring water and bring everyone you have ever wanted to impress with a true up close experience with large felines!!! Thank you Judy for all you do! You are amazing!!!

Donor

Rating: 5

My boyfriend arranged for an amazing tour at Panther Ridge for my birthday. If you love big cats, this is a must-see! After we parked the car, our gaze immediately went to a large cheetah walking a lengthy fenceline. He seemed happy to greet the visitors. It was very cool to see Judy brush and feed Charley the Cheetah, and to watch him enjoy all the attention. I was very happy to see the ample acreage he has to roam. The shade trees and fans were nice, to ward off the Florida heat for both us and the cats. I especially liked visiting Audrey and Brandy, two new cougars to the facility. They definitely are lucky they have this new home. It was definitely a "once in a lifetime" experience to see such magnificent animals up close, and so happy.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Panther Ridge is a crown jewel. The 1st time I went there, for an animal communication seminar, Charlie Cheetah walked towards me when I arrived to greet me. I was hooked! He looked so regal in his magnificent, lush 2 acres enclosure. I thought I was in heaven. Judy Berens, who founded this feline paradise, has a knowledge on cats second to none. She has a very wholistic approach with her big cat family. From exquisite diet to daily enrichment, nothing is spared for the well being of theses lucky felines. The enclosures are big, spotless, odorless, shady, all made out of natural material. No laying on concrete at Panther Ridge! Jaguars have private pools! Everyone has a fan pointed to their favorite hang out spot, toys, treats... And most important a forever home! Thanks to an outstanding team of workers and volunteers, lead by Judy and animal trainer extraordinaire Scott, this place is truly precious, a must see on everyone's list when you visit south Florida!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

An amazing facility. Was truly impressed with how well-maintained the animals' habitats were. The grounds were immaculate as well. Judy and Scott were extremely knowledgeable about all the cats there. One thing I truly enjoyed was the ample amount of time we had with each cat. I enjoyed the fact of being extremely up close and being able to hear some of them purr, and take fabulous photos also. I definitely recommend this sanctuary.

Donor

Rating: 5

My husband and I enjoyed a wonderful tour last week. What a fantastic experience to learn so much and closely observe all the gorgeous cats at Panther Ridge. We were very surprised to find that this facility is located in a very beautiful high end equestiran neigborhood in Wellington. The place is spotless, pristine, and absolutely lovely. The animals of Panther Ridge have a great life. Charlie the Cheetah alone has more than 2 acres of land for his enclosure! Judy couldn't have been more entertaining or more gracious. I would recommend a tour for everyone. It was the best. Thank you again, Judy!

Donor

Rating: 5

We had a perfect experience during our first tour in June. Judy and her right hand man Scott, made our visit personal and informative. Judy is impassioned, worldly and well respected. Scott is the perfect assistant to Judy...great young man...He adds to the experience and knowledge. You'll see what I mean when you go. The cats are kindly cared for. You'll learn about each and it's current condition. From healthy to the heart breaking recent rescues she's working with. The grounds are clean and extremely well cared for. A nice personal touch...Scott knows you are coming and is waiting for you at the gate. He opens it and welcomes you to drive in...a nice personal touch and first impression, that just gets better.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Panther Ridge Conservation Center is an amazing organization. The facility is beautiful and well designed for the benefit of the animals being saved by this center. The tour is quite educational, unique and personalized. It was wonderful being able to see the care and love being given to so many gorgeous animals that have been rescued and given a lovely and loving home. Anyone who cares about and loves big cats, this is a MUST SEE!

Libby D.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Having heard a little about Panther Ridge, I was thrilled when my husband arranged for us to get a tour! It was everything I'd hoped for and so much more.
The attention to detail, the love for the animals, the effort put in to make sure each one is getting the absolute best possible attention and care, it is mind boggling.
Judy took us around and thoroughly introduced us to each cat, telling it's personal history and details about that particular type of cat in the wild.
It was obvious that she loves the cats and that they recognize it. Even one cat who had only arrived a short time before was already happy to see Judy and interact with her.
My daughter could not get off work to come with us. We will be sure to go back soon so she can have this experience.

Nikki J.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to tour this facility in early April. To say I was impressed would be a complete understatement. The staff and volunteers are consummate professionals. Knowing each animal as thoroughly as one would know their own children.

I was enthralled with stories of each individual cats' history, how they came to the facility and their day to day antics. I was further impressed by the care which each resident receives. I watched as the daily food allocation for each animal was carefully prepared, weighed, and measured, and was stunned by the care and thoughtfulness that went into every aspect of their care.

Additionally, Judy was extremely kind and accommodating, answering all of my questions with grace and kindness, regardless of how naïve. It was an amazing "once in a lifetime" experience and I look forward to the opportunity to share it with friends and family in the future.

The best part of the experience, I was the proud recipient of my very own "Duma Doo"

You tube it, if you are wondering.

Nikki Vaught

1 Adriana C.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My family and I just spend a wonderful day at this amazing facility. The care these beautiful cats receive is evident in their perfectly suited habitats and in the interaction with owner Judy Berens. From the cheetah, to the jaguars, ocelots and servals, each species of cat had a glowing coat and bright eyes. It's evident that they love Judy and, outside of their natural habitats, I can't think of a better place for these animals, some of which were badly mistreated or surrendered as pets when owners could no longer manage them. Thank you Judy for the invaluable care you give these magnificent animals. I hope that many others visit Panther Ridge and learn to appreciate the majesty of these cats.

MaryEsq

Advisor

Rating: 5

I have been privileged to work with Panther Ridge and Judy Berens and have been to the facility a number of times. This is a wondrous place devoted to the care of rescued big cats that, at Panther Ridge, are obviously completely loved and contented. The world is a far better place for Judy and this sanctuary that work, unceasingly, on behalf of creatures that must be protected but would not be but for places and people like these. More than five stars!

1 Stephanie89

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am privileged to provide veterinary care for the panther ridge facility. judy berens is super knowledgeable in the care and handling of these remarkable animals. she is tireless! the cats are happy and healthy. I rarely have to do anything at the sanctuary besides inspection. on the rare occasion that one of the cats needs care judy never hesitates or questions the need for treatment. the place is immaculate and beautiful.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had a tour of Panther Ridge in 2009 and found it to be the most well taken care of sanctuary I have ever seen. And, most importantly, the cats are very happy. I liked it so much that I began to volunteer in August of that year and I am still there. It is a lovely place to visit. The tours are small and personal and our staff takes the time to tell each cat's story and educate visitors on the challenges they face in the wild.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Panther Ridge has sort of become my home away from home - I began volunteering there just short of a year and a half ago, and feel as if I'm accepted as family. As Dan mentioned in the review below, when my buddy CJ the cougar sees me on Sunday mornings, he gives me an excited chirp and runs over to greet me. Experiences such as these cannot be appreciated in word form - you need to see it for yourself.

I've interned with zoos and other conservation groups, and the living space alotted to the PR cats are not only exceptional in size (being several times larger than the minimum required by law), but are thoroughly cleaned daily (I would know - that's part of my job!). The food we feed them is top notch (another part of my job is diet prep), and each cat is specifically treated depending on his or her medical or nutritional needs.

There are cats of all sizes, places, and experiences. One of the most rewarding things that I have encountered is seeing personalities change for the better. Several of our cats came from people or places that left an emotional scar - these scars are often seen in their behavior. And, over time, the remarkable thing is that they become HAPPIER after arriving at Panther Ridge. One of our cougars, Apache, was shy and a bit reclusive when I first started. Now, whenever there is a tour, she chirps and plays with her toys and puts on a show for everyone! Her transformation is unbelievable. I think testimonies like these are what highlight Panther Ridge.

The founder of Panther Ridge, Judy, is by far the most dedicated woman I have ever met. She loves these animals with all of her being, and you can tell. The bond her and the cats have, and the bonds that I have developed, can be felt in the air.

I hope you decide to come visit us! You won't regret it! :-)

2 danbodenstein

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Panther Ridge is a rescue / retirement home for big cats. I visited Panther Ridge several times before becoming a volunteer there. I learned about the animals and their history, as well as their ailments. As an amateur photographer, I've arranged several outings for a local group of over 800 members to Panther Ridge.

The one thing I have noticed about Panther Ridge is how clean all the habitats are. I have never seen a sanctuary this clean. The enclosures are cleaned daily by use of a lock-out. The animals are fed in their lock-out while trained volunteers can go in and clean. The next thing you notice is how happy the animals are. There is a true love bond between the owner and the animals and with the volunteers. You know you've made it into their heart, when a cougar chirps as you approach the habitat.

The animals have enrichment toys that always draws laughter from visitors. I consider it a true honor to volunteer there.