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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Professional Animal Retirement Center

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animals, Children & Youth, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Youth Development, Zoos & Aquariums

Mission: We exist to give rescued and retired animals a safe haven and to educate people to positively impact the conservation and preservation of exotic and endangered species and encourage responsible pet ownership.

Results: Approximately 15,000 people tour the sanctuary annually to observe and learn about more than 45 exotic and endangered former “pets” and retired performers, issues related to the exotic pet trade, and conservation of endangered species and habitats.

Target demographics: Children ages 4-17, adults, students

Direct beneficiaries per year: 5-12 animals are adopted each year

Geographic areas served: Indiana, midwest

Programs: Sanctuary tours Camps for kids ages 3-12 Field trips Web resources

Community Stories

52 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Kerry29

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been here in the past and just loved seeing the tigers. Starting 2017 I wanted to volunteer here to help the staff and the animals. They take such great care of the animals and they all seem so happy! This place is so peaceful and relaxing!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first visited Black Pine as a member of a tour group, and after hearing their mission and seeing the respect that they show the animals, I was happy to become a volunteer. As a tour guide, I feel honored to communicate the mission of Black Pine to the public! The animals are all amazing to see as well.

1 Abi J.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was an intern at Black Pine Animal Sanctuary for about 5 months, during which time I was able to witness the unparalleled level of care and dedication the staff of BPAS treat their animals with. I have volunteered for many zoos and non-profits and they are often run with a lot of waste. BPAS effectively uses every resource they receive. They have the mission and ethics of a charity and the business sense of a for-profit institution, which is oddly rare in the animal care field. I cherish my time working at BPAS and all that it taught me.

1 Lauren134

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The people at Black Pine Animal Sanctuary are among some of the most educated, dedicated, and passionate people I've ever encountered in the animal industry, and the behavior in the animals has a direct correlation with that! The enclosures are kept clean daily, and the organization within the facility is great! Top-notch organization!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Black Pine is a wonderful place with a great mission. As someone who visited and then volunteered there, it's an important place for folks who love exotic animals but may not be familiar with what it really takes to care for them. The staff here are working because they care about the lives of the animals here, enriching and improving them, and also about helping educate the public.

The animals here may have come from terrible places, may have been cared for by someone ignorant to their needs and at BP they really finally find a home.

1 belitanz

Volunteer

Rating: 5

If I were an abandoned or confiscated animal I would love to go to Black Pines. The animals are treated like family and EVERY person puts in endless amounts of their own time and passion into taking care of them. Its a wonderful place for animals and for humans alike. I can't say enough what a blessing it is to have such a wonderful Sanctuary and Educational Organization!!!

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer for 1 year now and I cannot say enough about how this facility treats and respects the animals. These animals are so lucky, after being displaced, abused, abandoned!!! We actually do animal enrichment education and make sure that the animals indoor and outdoor cages are cleaned EVERY DAY, food, diets, medical all up to par...visitors comment that they expect it to be messy and smelly (with 100 animals) from turtles to tigers and bears...but not at BPAS... the volunteers and caretakers all the way from the gift shop attendant to diet makers and maintenance, the director and all the countless volunteers.... they all do this out of love for the animals... as do I... this is one place anyone needs to see and support... THEY ARE AWESOME

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judy16

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a visitor for about 10 years, frequent for 8, and a volunteer for two years. I have observed as any visitor would, plus worked behind the scenes. Not to be overly sentimental, but I love this place. The animals are special, seen as individuals, and their welfare is of utmost importance. One has the opportunity to see many species of animals (Primates, Carnivores, large Exotic Birds, Reptiles, and Farm animals) and often close-up--if the animal chooses to be close--and under safe conditions for animals and the public. Anyone who loves and respects animals will enjoy a visit. Anyone who cares about the treatment of animals will be touched by the stories of many of these animals and their past lives, and be thankful for their current home.

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2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started visiting Black Pine AnimalSanctuary/PARC about ten years ago on occasion, and then about seven years I started visiting on a monthly basis during their open months. I did this because of my interest and affection for the animals. Each is an individual, and learning the stories of each animal reinforces that. One generally has the opportunity to see the animals more "close up" than is often possible in zoos. I started volunteering a year a half ago and my interest and affection has only increased. Added to my feelings for the animals is my high regard for those who are keepers and volunteers. The dedication of these people to the animals is a joy to watch and it only adds to my passion about BPAS. I thoroughly recommend it as a great place for anyone who is interested in animals, particularly those who believe that animals have the right to be treated respectfully, have nutritious food, and appropriate shelter. It is not a fancy facility but it is a caring facility.

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Sandy127

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteered there for 3 plus years, had to quit for personal reasons. That being said I have never seen a more committed staff volunteers and community that has helped give these animals the respect and the care that they deserve.

Gretchen20

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering here several months ago, and it has quickly become a home away from home. Black Pine is a gem here in the area, and everyone ive talked to loves it! The animals are given the best, most compassionate care possible, and allowed to live their lives how they wish within reason. Overall, brilliant place, brilliant people, and radiant animals!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered here a few years back with my college Purdue University North Central. To this day, I mention Black Pine to anyone and everyone that I can. It was a wonderful experience for me to volunteer and I got to do some things I never expected I would have done. It gave me a new outlook on certain animals as pets, as well as animals used in circus shows and the like. Even today with my middle school students- we read an article about bringing wolves back into wildlife and their near extinction in 1997. I told them all about Black Pine and how yes baby animals can be cute and fuzzy, but most people with those same cute and fuzzy babies end up dumping them or getting rid of them because they are not qualified to take care of them when they are older. Thank you Black Pine for educating me for life, even though I was only there for one day!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had a great time! Staff were very friendly, the grounds were clean and the animals looked healthy and well cared for. Awesome experience.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We need to start treating animals on this earth with some respect. Places like this are so benificial to keeping them safe and we'll taken care of. Dedicated staff and doners helping these magnificent animals.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I can't say enough good things about this place! Their passion ad care for the animals is the best of anywhere I've worked. Their fight to help change laws and speaking up for the animals is like none other. What a wonderful place to be an animal!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We visit Black Pine at least once a summer. We like the up close and family feel of the facility. The kids love to go on the tour and hear stories about the animals and how they arrived at Black Pine. The staff does a wonderful job with the animals.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization is well structured and the staff are always helpful. I am constantly impressed by their level knowledge, attention to giving the best care to their animals and educating the public. I recommend Black Pine to my family, friends and even complete strangers if the mood is right. They are valuable asset to our area and I hope they continue to spread their message far and wide.

1 Diane149

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A few friends and I visited the Black Pine Animal Sanctuary last month. It was so nice to see all of these animals being kept in comfort till their end of days. They are doing a wonderful job there. Very interesting place to visit.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Black Pine will always be one of my favorite places. They truly care about the animals they help and their cause (ending the exotic pet trade).
The enrichment and habitats they build are well thought out and the critters are as "happy" as they can be, outside of the wild.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This facility does the most wonderful work spreading information about wild animal misuse and also in providing homes for abandoned exotic animals. I love their dedication!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started as an intern in February 2014 and have stayed on as a volunteer because I love this place so much. I have an hour drive to there but I don't mind it at all. I have learned so much from the staff and animals that I will keep with me. I can honestly say I love every single animal there. They all have their own personalities which I love to share with guests. I plan to help out there as long as I am able to. I highly recommend this facility to anyone who wants an amazing learning experience whether through visitation or volunteering.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer at Black Pine Animal Sanctuary for five seasons; in all those years, I have NEVER - NOT ONCE - heard a negative comment about Black Pine from any of our visitors. Visitors leave here absolutely mesmerized by the facility, its phenomenal staff, its legion of volunteers, and its 100 exotic animals. Those who criticize this excellent organization obviously have their own agenda (usually a profit motive) because Black Pine does an excellent job of caring for animals that have been neglected, abandoned, mistreated or abused - often by private owners. Black Pine also excels in educating people about the "pros" and "cons" of keeping an exotic wild animal as a pet, or as a 'product' to be used for one's own comfort, convenience, pleasure or profit. Tigers, lions, leopards, primates, reptiles, bobcats, wolves, and even exotic birds thrive at Black Pine because of the ultimate care and attention they're given, often having come from tragic circumstances. Black Pine takes no government funds or taxpayer dollars; it is supported strictly from it admissions revenues, private donations and the sale of merchandise in its gift shop. An occasional grant or generous individual or corporate donation helps Black Pine expand, but its resources are limited and the staff does a superb job of managing its nickels, dimes and quarters. If you want to observe something truly, genuinely focused on caring for unwanted animals, I invite you to visit Black Pine before we close at the end of this month. Black Pine is open Saturdays on Sundays through October from 10 -3. There's no political agenda, no protests or 'preaching'; Black Pine is a compassionate, caring facility where neglected animals come for "the rest of their lives". Any true animal lover will recognize Black Pine for the superior work it does. Not for profit......all for the animals.

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3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Tucked away in the sleepy little town of Albion, Indiana lies one of Midwest America's best-kept secrets. The Black Pine Animal Sanctuary (BPAS) is a non-profit organization that remarkably cares for about 95 exotic animals that have been confiscated, abandoned, neglected, mistreated or abused. From South American macaws and cockatoos to reptiles, primates, llamas, bears, tigers and lions, BPAS operates on a "shoestring" budget with only one full-time paid employee and two part-time paid staffers. All the rest of the people you encounter at Black Pine are volunteers, absolutely dedicated to the care and welfare of the animals who come to BPAS "for the REST of their lives". Black Pine is a 'retirement home' where animals aren't sold or traded; they don't breed animals or exploit them for commercial purposes. Nestled among acres of tall pine trees, it's the perfect setting for all these beautiful creatures. My personal 'favorite' (if I absolutely had to pick just 'one') is "Betsy", a tiny black bear who suffered at the hands of an atrocious practice called "bear baiting". Betsy was chained to a post so her owner could charge his hunting buddies to release their dogs and teach the dogs how to 'attack'. Defenseless, and unable to escape the torment, Betsy now suffers traumatic injuries: she's blind, crippled and endures permanent trauma from years of unspeakable abuse. Black Pine has been able to provide Betsy (and five other black bears) comfortable surroundings, appropriate medical care, and a healthy diet, so that she now enjoys an excellent quality of life. The staff, Board and volunteers at Black Pine live by one simple motto: "our animals come first". I implore you to plan a 'road trip' this summer to visit Black Pine; it's an experience you that will tug at your heartstrings, and make you appreciate the value and importance of exotic animals to our planet!

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