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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

In-Sync Exotics, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals, Protection of Endangered Species, Wildlife Preservation & Protection, Wildlife Sanctuaries

Mission: "To provide a caring, safe haven to some of God's most beautiful creatures. We put their needs above all else; the old, the maimed, the unwanted can find sanctuary here."

Results: We spent a lot of time this year fundraising for our new animal residents requiring specialized medical care due to their age and present health condition, plus funds were needed to build the cats a new play area, complete with an outdoor splash pool.

Programs: Animal Husbandry Training Program Volunteer Program Community Outreach Program Enrichment Program

Community Stories

133 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Dana W.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

People are always surprised when I tell them there's a big cat sanctuary so close to the city. It might be tucked away in Wylie but what's happening there is nothing short of amazing. I've been volunteering there almost 6 months now and I wish I'd found them sooner. A few hours every Saturday transforms my entire week and I wouldn't trade the time I get to spend being hot sweaty and dirty with those beautiful cats for anything.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Where do I start. I visited in-sync with my son a few years ago and fell in love. I was touched by how well the cats were cared for and with how much they were loved. When I started reading about where these gorgeous creatures came from and the condition most were in when they arrived I had to be a part of this dedicated and loving group of people. In -Sync is additionally focused on educating folks on how the cats are exploited for profit and the cruelty involved. It broke my heart. I have been a volunteer for over a year now. It has been even more rewarding than I had expected. The love, care and respect that Vickey and the team give to the cats is so inspirational. I can't think of a better place to spend my Saturday than with my beautiful cats. When I saw this quote that the volunteer coordinator has on her email, I thought this says it all for me. It reads: "I always wondered why somebody didn't do something about that. Then I realized I am somebody. "

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In-Sync is a wonderful place that rescues tigers, lions and various other big cats to provide them with a much better life. I had no idea how much work was required each day to take care of these amazing animals and it is very rewarding to volunteer and be a part of this great team.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

An amazing non profit rescue. I volunteer here and the staff is so concerned with the safety of the animals and staff and each and everyone here loves all the cats. I would highly suggest at least paying a visit to this beautiful place.

Haley13

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I came to In-Sync Exotics with the intention of seeing whether I could volunteer and help out, as my longtime career goal in life is to eventually work one-on-one with wild animals. I was not disappointed with the place. The animals' enclosures are enriching, spacious, and green, adjacent to their enclosures where they can rest out of the way of the hot sun, and sleep. They seem well taken care of by the staff, who appear to be knowledgeable people in the field with enthusiasm and genuine care for the cats. I look forward to volunteering here in the months, and possibly years, to come, and getting to know the other people involved who share the same love and interest in wildlife as I do.

-Haley Shaw

4 Don C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found ISE four and a half years ago. I saw their page on Facebook. I have always been fascinated with Big Cats so I went to visit. I was so impressed I asked about volunteering. The screening process took three weeks and started training. My Zen place was found. The Cats are amazing, they are not pets to is they are our friends. We care for them like friends. Their areas are cleaned every day rain, snow or 105 degrees. They are fed quality meats everyday. They get Vet care my our own wonderful Vet Emily. Staff live on site start at 0700 in the morning and work sometimes until midnight cleaning, feeding and giving meds.
One of the things I have seen that others outside can't is how our new friends change from intake to residency. We take in cats that have been neglected, most with horrid health. They are scared, angry and sick. The patience and love shown them from day one changes them. They bond with us and over time they show us care back. I have seen tigers that would hide in their den at feeding until we left that now chuff and make happy noises to see their feeders. And greet their cleaners with fence hugs. Those are when the cats rub on the fence against you like how a cat rubs on your leg just with a fence between you. Check out our before and after pictures of some of our cats and others.
We even took in a goat that showed up after a tornado hit Wylie. She had two kids. They have become part of the family. As did our two lemurs.
We also have released many Bobcats back to the wild. New intakes of bobcats are watched for a period of time to see if they have been desensitized to humans. If they can be released when they are healthy again they go to a safe release place.
The owner, Vicky Keahy, is one of my heroes in life. Her leadership in care and concern for the Cats health and safety is stellar. ISE is her life.
I now live 2 hours away but I still make my weekly trips to get my therapy. I volunteered to help rescue big cats, they wound up rescueing me.
I love this place. I plan on volunteering until my last day on earth. Then I will meet up with my cat family that have went on before me.
I donate monthly as well because I see how the donations are used. Quality food and medical care as well as housing expansions that are spacious and planned well. The Tigers have pools that they love. The Bobcats, Cougars and Leopard have climbing areas that are safe and comfy. I could go on and on. I will end just by saying you would have to see how they Cats treat the Staff to truly understand to nature of ISE.

Emily141

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found out about In-Sync from a coworker of my mom's. I was looking into Wildlife and Fisheries at Texas A&M for my major because of my love of animals, mainly exotic animals. I've been a cat lover all my life, and when I heard about this place hidden away only 15-20 miles from where I live, I was ecstatic. That was a couple years ago, and now I've been a number of times. I'm a part of the project volunteer staff and I take friends and family with any chance I get. I HIGHLY recommend it if you are ever in the area of Lake Lavon.

Any donations go straight to the cats, whether it be to fund toys for enrichment, a new vet center for their health, food, water bills from cleaning and refreshing their buckets, or even the new enclosure to house more cats. You can always find the cats happy, lounging about and enjoying the cool pools or their secluded dens, playing with boomer balls or each other.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I found out about In Sync exotics I was truly amazed something like this was only an hour away from my house. I started volunteering about 6 months ago and it has truly changed my life. I try to volunteer twice a week because it's extremely important to help these beautiful animals. Cleaning enclosures is my favorite thing to do because I get to be up close and personal with animals. Building a bond with a tiger just wasn't something I ever thought I would do on my life, but In Sync changed that quickly for me. Everyone who volunteers truly cares about the wellbeing of all of the animals. We take our volunteerings duties seriously to keep the place safe for us and the cats. I wouldn't want to spend my extra time anywhere else. In Sync Exotics is the best thing I ever accidentally stumbled upon.

Pamela117

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I first visited In Sync my first impression was how healthy the animals looked. They all appeared to be well fed and had sleek coats. As my visit continued I also noticed that many of the cats were actually playing with their toys, enjoying waterfalls and pools, and seemed- well- actually "people-oriented". I wouldn't say they were tame by any means, but it was clear that their experiences at In Sync were good ones, and that they were used to positive interactions with the staff. They had large and clean shaded areas as well as large yards, which I was told they rotated to throughout the day so that all the cats had a chance to be in the large yards and play. I also like that In Sync very diplomatically educates visitors with wandering "Animal Ambassadors" who circulate the grounds and answer visitors' questions about the cats as well as educating them about the follies of trying to own a wild cat as a "pet", and about the "cub petting" and canned hunting industry.


On a subsequent visit I was also invited to see the commissary (I was considering volunteering at In Sync). Each animal had their own food menu and plan, based on their preferences (!) as well as health.

I am now a full on volunteer in training. Safety and cleanliness are paramount here. The work is hard and the facilities and tools are very modest, but everyone here truly cares for the animals and works as a team. I am looking forward to spending more time at In Sync and getting to know some of the cats better.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I visited this place for the first time a year ago and I immediately knew I wanted to be apart of what they are doing. When you visit, you see how much love each of these cats get and it really shows. Now that I'm volunteering, I see it even more. I see people sifting through meat to find just the right piece for the picky eaters, I see the money go directly to the cats and their health over decoration to please the public eye, I see people staying up all night with a cat after surgery just to make sure they don't bite at stitches and so they aren't alone, and I see beautiful bonds formed between animal and human. It's been an amazing experience. Visit, and you'll see for yourself.

Terri69

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first visited in March of 2015 and began volunteering the following month. The commitment of staff and volunteers to these animals is phenomenal. If you are ready to brave bumpy, country roads on the edge of Dallas to find the correct gravel lane that leads to In-Sync, you won't regret it. Inside are happy cats and some tiger pools that are to die for. The newest enclosures can only be accessed by ducking under a horse gate but they are well worth the trouble. I volunteer often and highly recommend In-Sync for a visit to anyone who loves big cats and wants a bit of pastoral adventure.

1 Kendall C.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In-sync is an amazing place full of people who dedicate their time and energy into these animals. It's truly breathtaking how beautiful these creatures are and without In-Sync most of these cats would be dead. Every time I see the cats I'm amazed at how far they have come since first arriving at In-Sync.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first visited here two years ago. I spent a great amount of time talking to the volunteers. The cats are so well taken care of and so loved. You could feel how much the cats loved the volunteers back. All the chuffs and moans you can imagine. I was hooked and became a volunteer myself as soon as I could. Come see us! You get so much closer to the cats than you will at a zoo. You can almost count their eyelashes.

Previous Stories
4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a volunteer at In-Sync. I am very proud to be at a facility that cares so much for the cats that are under our care. We strive daily to make their lives more enjoyable. Our only reward is the chuffs and moans we get each day and we treasure each one.

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1 Ricki

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I became aware of In-Sync Exotics 11 years ago when my teen age daughter told me about a classmate of hers whose mother ran this exotic cat rescue. I couldn't wait to get over there to see if it truly was a legitimate operation. Wow! I never left after that first day!! In Sync gives each cat individual care and diets determined by their needs and the condition in which they arrived. Medical care is top notch and the staff continually checks blood work, weight, food consumption, etc. to keep good track of their health. The cats are provided with environments that duplicate as closely as possible what they would need in the wild: swimming pools with water falls for tigers - all of whom love to swim; high platforms for lions who love to lay down to survey their domain; ramps, platforms and tall structures for mountain lions and leopards who love to be up high and look down on people. They all have access to large grassy playgrounds. Every enclosure is cleaned every single day, even holidays, and meals are served in bowls with their names on them! (since they are each on their own individual diet). Great care is given to make sure each cat gets individual attention each day and they all get enrichment at least once a week - usually more frequently. The love given to these beautiful animals is palpable as you walk around the grounds and see how relaxed and content they are. Every single one of them is a rescue or has been rehomed to us by owners who found out that they do not make good pets. This place is amazing and all of the animals who call In Sync home would have nowhere else to go if they did not come here, to this welcoming, loving haven.

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer at In-Sync Exotics for nine years and I really cannot imagine nor remember what my life was like before I started working with these magnificent animals. The cats at In-Sync are actually family to all of us who are lucky enough to be near them. We cry when we see them come to us at first sick, frightened, undernourished, covered in open sores, and then the joy begins as we watch them blossom into the magnificent animals they were meant to be. The love that is showered over them by staff and volunteers makes the magic happen. It takes a lot of cleaning, positive vibes, great food, correct medication and great vet care to achieve these successes - none of which comes cheaply. I know for a fact that every penny goes directly to the care of these exotics! I am so proud to be a member of such an outstanding sanctuary - the cats' comfort and well-being comes before all else, and that is as it should be!

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Brenda100

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first visited In-Sync in December 2012 for their Xmas lights tour. I was hooked, but was too busy with work. Two short months later I was laid off from my job of 35 years - so I decided to just early retire and needed something to do. This is when my life changed - I was a volunteer with In-Sync and hooked. I had always had a passion for big cats, but had never truly understood just how special they are. A short two months after I started is when disaster struck at In-Sync in the form of canine distemper. It was the most heart and gut wrenching time to see these apex predators fall to such a cruel disease. I was just getting to know these cats and then watched them and called keepers when I felt the cat needed them. I never knew my love for a cat could grow so strong in such a short time and then to have my heart ripped out when they didn't make it. I will have to say it made me question my decision to volunteer here at first - but - there were other cats who also needed care and love. The whole experience of this outbreak, getting to know all the cats here, the care and love they receive daily - it made me grow as a person - it made me stronger - it made me a better person and it made my heart full. My passion for this place still grows after 3 years of volunteering here. If you are looking for a place to visit, donate to or volunteer at and you have a love for big cats - this is the place to do it. There is nothing in this world that makes my heart smile as much as this place. While many of our cats came from not ideal situations, they are happy, healthy and loved - and they are with us for the rest of their lives.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with ISE for just over a year now and it's been such an amazing experience! It is truly a place designed and geared toward the animal's best interests. We are open to the public only a few days a week and even when we're open, we keep things quiet and peaceful for all of the animals. You can come to ISE and really get up close and personal with these beautiful animals without infringing on their space and environment. I always recommend to anyone and everyone I meet to visit ISE. It's honestly an experience you and your family will never forget.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My family and I have been volunteers/supporters of In-Sync for over 15 years. You won't find a more caring, dedicated and hard-working group of people anywhere. All share the same love and devotion for these magnificent animals. We are grateful to be a part of it.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My wife and I visited In-Sync several times and were very impressed with the care provided by the staff and cadre of volunteers. In 2014 we applied to become volunteers and underwent an extensive training program. Having an insider view of In-Sync reveals so much more of the dedication and commitment of the staff and volunteers. It is a very serious sanctuary where the health, safety and happiness of the residents cats is primary at all times.

Tasks are performed to rigorous standards and total focus and discipline are constant expectations. Meals and treats are prepared daily to exacting standards. Every enclosure is thoroughly cleaned daily 365 days a year. Occasionally horrible weather is not an excuse. Each cat gets the medication they need for any health issues. It can be very hard physical labor but no one complains. Everyone realizes that they must do whatever it takes to insure healthy, safe and happy cats.

We have a decades-long history of volunteer work for non-profit enterprises. None more well-run nor more important than In-Sync. In-Sync is an extraordinary place and it it an honor to be a volunteer there.

1 Ashley12

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've never seen a group of more hard working staff and volunteers! The love and care that is given to these cats is beyond words. The animals that call ISE home are being given the love and care that most have never received in their previous lives. In-Sync works 24/7 to provide this for all who call this home!

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This sanctuary is beyond amazing! The animals are all so taken care of down to every detail, it is truely all about them! I have felt extrememly blessed to become a part of this amazing group of people who care for these animals and feel a great deal of happiness everytime I leave and sadnes at the same time to not stay and watch the cats get their love and play time! Their training program is great to keep the cats comfortable, happy, and stress free in their own environment while doing routine checkups. These cats are spoiled rotten and deserve every bit of love and happiness they can get! As a visitor to the sanctuary, the staff and volunteers are so helpful in answering questions about the cats and where they came from to who they are now. The changes and their stories are unbelievable! It's a real thrill to be able to feel so close to these amazing cats ! Highly recommended for visitors and volunteers!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering at insync for less than a month and I can see the love and devotion every staff member and volunteer has for these animals. They are truly blessed creatures to be so loved and so very well taken care of. It's a wonderful atompsphere full of kindness and compassion.