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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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! :-)
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.