You can never say enough about a group of people who volunteer their time to take care of beautiful creatures that mankind decided to use and abuse for their own entertainment.
The sanctuary has given these regal animals their life back, and gives them the ability to live their lives the way the earth has intended, with respect, dignity and everything they could possibly need.
IEAS is working on erasing the negative impact that man has created, giving them back their sense of pride. What could be more important.
I have visited the sanctuary twice and am always impressed with their care of the animals and their professionalism. With the exception of being in the wild, the animals have the best possible environment and are treated with individual respect and love. The personnel are tops and the tours are very informative. I wish I could just sit down by the fence and "talk" to a tiger!
IEFS is a good steward of donations. It is important to kn ow that $$$ is going to the care and enrichment of the animals. A GREAT ORGANIZATION!
I took a scheduled tour several years ago and have been a supporter and email member ever since that time. What the staff provides these mgnificant animals is truly awesome. They are all healthy and as happy as possible under the cicumstances. It is very obvious that the staff truly cares about each and every animal, knows their personlitiy, likes and dislikes, and serves them with love and respect. The enrichment items are terrific, the videos emailed out are inspiring, and I know the money the IEAS would receive would be used responsibly.
A GREAT CAUSE!
I have been supporting this charity ever since I visited there many, many years ago. I am a cat lover, from the smallest to the largest, and at the time I visited back in the early 1990''s all they had were exotic cats who had been purchased as pets and then - well - we all know what happens. Some were also injured and couldn't be in a zoo or returned to the wild for other reasons. When I took a tour of this place I knew that very special and loving people were involved in it. They were working hard to get donations to make bigger and better habitats, and provide more emotional and physical stimulation for these cats. They have continued this work and done great things since then, and now have even added bears! I now live in the mountains of New Mexico and have had many bears coming through my yard. Most of the people up here are afraid of the bears and see them and nuicances and dangers. I see them very differently and I know that the state of New Mexico routinely kills approx. 600 bears every year - and that is not all during bear hunting season. It makes me so happy to know that some of the orphan bears are being taken in and cared for by IEAS so that when they are all gone in the wild, thanks to the ignorance and selfishness of people - my great granchildrean will get to see bears in a happy and stimulating habitat.
We have donated to this wonderful place for many years now. It has been quite a few years since we have visited, but we are kept apprised of their accomplishments, additions, and animals through newsletters and their website. I have first-hand met some of their employees and interns and they really care about the happiness and fulfillment of life of these animals. It is apparent from the natural surroundings that they provide for these animals to live in that they really care about how they spend their lives. This sanctuary/home meets the animals' specific needs not only environmentally and nutritionally, but also physically for their exercise and well-being. We have watched the animals flourish under their care. I cannot say enough great things about how they treat these animals.
Not only have I donated to this wonderful sanctuary for exotics, I have visited the site. I found the staff entirely committed to providing wonderful and beautiful new permanent homes for their residents, some with heartbreaking histories. Not only are the animals provided with a new home, they are provided with great enrichment programs and medical care. The residents, often for the first time, are allowed to be what they are...a big cat gets to act like a big cat, a bear gets to act like a bear. They are not there to meet some need of human society. Instead, they are given sanctuary from just that.
IEFS is an awesome non-profit that is full of caring and knowledgeable individuals who want the best for all of the residents. Each animal has a specific diet crafted just for them. The residents are treated with awe as well as respect. IEFS provides Lions, Tigers and Bears (OH MY!), the best nutrition and care. Enrichment is provided as well so the animals are never bored. All you need to do is visit just once and you can see what a fabulous sanctuary they have created and how well organized it is.
I have donated financially as well as with pumpkins and I know that both gifts were equallly appreciated by the cats and the humans!
I have always been what I consider an animal lover. My definition of animal lover was changed once I experienced the love and devotion to these magnificent creatures at IEAS. Richard and his "crew" are single minded in the pursuit of comfort and quality of life for the animals here. Each of the interns are kind, helpful and quite knowledgeable about the animals and about the function of a sanctuary. You can see it in their faces how much the opportunity to be up close and personal with the animals is to them. The work is hard, but the rewards are life long and life changing. We adopted a wonderful tiger named Allie Kat. The visits are so are so warm and being able to look her in the eye and know how comfortable she is and will be is very rewarding to me. The residents of the IEAS are "job 1" and it shows.
I have a soft spot in my heart for animals, and IEAS is a wonderful place to nurture that interest. They have such a love and devotion to the animals, as evidenced by the detail and thought that's put into taking care of them. I was fortunate enough to go on a tour of the facility, where one of the staff members was able to introduce me to each animal and share something special about them that would only come from personal experience and devotion to the animals. IEAS is a wonderful place and a true sanctuary for these lost creatures!
I've been a supporter ever since TEFF (as it was called then) began. Our family has visited the sanctuary many times. I also wrote an article (Marjahn Not forgotten) on the work of the sanctuary. In later years my husband joined in my support and now we donate under, Dick & Sally Roberts. It's a blessing that IEFS is in operation and providing the physical and emotional care the exotics as well as the bears deserve.
The first time that I visited IEFS was when my daughter-in-law was an intern there. She stayed for six months. I was very impressed with the way IEFS takes care of animals who had previously been in bad situations. It gives the big cats, bears, and others a place away from abuse, neglect, and unnatural settings. They not only give them a place to stay, but the environment there is as natural as it can be. The animals have very large areas in which to roam, play, lie down. I feel like they are well taken care of and comfortable. They aren't cramped in small cages; they are no longer in someone's house or backyard, chained up; they are not expected to do tricks or perform. They can just "be". The animals are also given toys and situations in which their imaginations are stimulated and they grow mentally and emotionally as well. I admire the work they do at IEFS and try to donate whenever possible to help them in their efforts.
I have been to IEAS multiple times, and every time I go it is just that much more memorable. I love being able to see the kindness that is extended to the creatures and also, I get to watch the new animals progress through their life. This organization provides clear explanations on almost every aspect of the facility and brings the reality of how much work it put in to making the lives of these animals as comfortable as possible. IEAS is by far one of the most amazing organizations that I have ever had to the pleasure of encountering, and I recommend a visit to anyone that every gets the chance.
When I first visited IEAS, I was amazed at what they did at the sanctuary. They were extremely knowledgeable and the animals were kept in healthy living conditions. I loved being able to see the animals up close and learn about them. As a result of my love of the place, I raised money for my birthday and donated. When I went on the second tour, I saw other things that I didn't get to see before, and I was never dissapointed. I love IEAS and after visiting, I have made a decision on what I want to be when I grow up and that I want to be an intern there. IEAS has changed all those animals lives and mine as well.
I have been a donor to IEAS for many years. I have watched it grow as more animals now have a quality of life that they would't have if it were not for Richard and the care and enrichment that the sanctuary provides. The enclosures that the animals are housed in are natural and as close to what their natural environment in the wild would be as possible. They are not in typical cages like animals in zoos and other rescue places. They are fed a strict diet that closely resembles what each animal would eat in the wild. IEAS also provides an internship which educates young people and provides them with hands-on experience so they can pursue careers helping animals. I keep donating because I truly feel that IEAS provides the best care and environment for so many animals that would have been far worse off otherwise. Next to being wild, IEAS is the best place the animals could be.
I have been a long-distance donor for years, only seeing the animals in the newsletters. Finally in April 2012, I was able to visit the Sanctuary for the first time. I was struck by the fact that the tour was limited to a small number of people so that we would not disturb the animals. No loud talking, no flash cameras, no umbrellas or unwieldy items that might startle the residents. It was obvious that the welfare of the animals is the highest priority for IEFS (IEAS). And unlike some other exotic animal sanctuaries, IEFS has an educational component in their Intern program. I wish IEFS had been operating when I got my Wildlife Science degree in 1980 -- participating in their internship program would have been my dream come true!!
Too many times when we donate money to a non-profit organization, we cannot see where the money is going. Even when we see the pie-chart to indicate that only 10% (or whatever) goes to administrative costs, while the rest is for core programs, we donors cannot see the tangible results. It's different with the International Exotic Animal Sanctuary (formerly known as the International Exotic Feline Sanctuary). Touring their website, we can actually see our contributions being put to use: building new enclosures, upgrading the veterinary facilities, purchasing food, housing and training new interns. I donate to a number of non-profit groups, but I see specific, concrete results only with IEAS. One day I hope to tour the facility in person; until then, at least I can take the "virtual tour" on their website.
It is a privilege to have the opportunity to write and share this excellent organization with you. As a volunteer with more than ten (10) non-profits in Dallas, Texas, donating of my time and resources, I have gleaned experience in separating the marginal from the dynamic. IEFS is a dynamic organization, which has educated us while providing a safe haven for animals that through no fault of their own landed in someone's backyard, home or were terribly neglected. Mahatma Ghandi once said, "you judge a country by the treatment of its animals." IEFS is proof that in our country there are many excellent volunteers and dedicated individuals who believe in the care and support of our wildlife.
Have been a Donor of IEAS from its beginning. The facilities for the animals are top grade, roomy, and overseen with great care for what each resident needs. The study programs for the public are wonderful. The research and professional training for animal behaviorists, veterinary studients, and volunteers is one of the best in the world. Takes only a few minutes of seeing the webpage and the stories of these stunning creatures, and how IEAS has saved them from persecution, hardship and cruelty to know how worthy IEAS as a group to sponsor. I am so proud of the work they have done to rehabilate these animals. They are happy, healthy, active and love their homes. I hope everyone who reads this will give consideration to joining so many of us who love IEAS.
I support several big cat sanctuaries in my part of Texas. I so admire the people who sacrifice so much to take care of animals that have suffered from man's stupdity. I made my first actual visit to IEAS last month. I was beyond impressed by their professionalism and the way they put the animals needs first. The intern program was very impressive as well. The visit included a tour of the nutrition center where meals are prepared & medicines added to the food. This was information I have never gotten anywhere else I have visited.
These folks at IEAS deserve to be rated a top rated nonprofit. They all do a job that unless they step up to the plate these tigers, lions, bears and others would be euthanized. But instead they step in and take custody of these wonderful animals and give them the very best life they can have. One of my favorite animals Lexus a lion passed away this year he was found chained to a radiator in Detroit Michigan and they took him and he lived a long and wonderful life because of the people at IEAS. That is just one story out of many dozens if not hundreds. They work within budgets and do an absolutely wonderful job and if anyone deserves this they do. they take mistakes people make thinking these animals will make good pets and save the animals and give them a good wonderful life. Also when an animal goes to them it is for life they care for them until the end of their lives.
These people truely care about the animals in their care and it certainly shows. All of these beautiful creatures are very relaxed in their well kept environment. Many of the animals came from terrible living conditions yet they seem to have an amazing amount of trust for the keepers at the sanctuary. I think that speaks volumes about the compassion and attitude these wonderful people have. The sanctuary is a wonderful place to visit.
I have two adoptees at IEFS and visit often. I am continually amazied by the dedication of the staff shows toward all the animals. The internship offered by IEFS is among the best in the nation. IEFS is a 5-Star organization!! Please visit soon.
I guess you would say I first visited IEAS as a "secret shopper". The goal was to narrow my list of candidates for a donation from an inheritance. I wanted to make sure it would have a maximum impact on the recipients. It wasn't long into our tour that I realized, not only is the IEAS sanctuary a wonderful place for the rescued animals, but it is very well managed. They are quite innovative about taking advantage of every possible resource, from produce and meat from local grocers, to used yard utensils, pumpkins & Christmas trees from supporters. The intern program is exceptional, and the enthusiasm of the participants is very evident. Having worked on a number of non-profit boards, I recognize this as a very special organization. Business aside, each time we tour, I learn so much about the animals. All the cats are exciting to behold, but the bears are the entertainers. Did you know they make a helicopter sound when they're content? Where else could you hear that!