As a photographer focused on animals and wildlife, my introduction to WildCat Haven was several years ago, for a story I was doing for a national magazine. Due to the nature of my work, I've photographed at many places that call themselves sanctuaries, and I've seen it all--the good, and the horribly, abusively bad. WildCat Haven is one of the very few, TRUE sanctuaries: sanctuary defined as a place of refuge and protection. But, WildCat Haven exceeds just 'refuge and protection.' I've had the unique opportunity to be able to spend time getting to know WCH--the place, the cats, and the people--and there is no question that this place exists for no other reason than to give these cats a comfortable place to live out the rest of their lives. Wildcat Haven residents do not have to put up with hoardes of general public gawking and jeering at them. WCH residents are not overcrowded, or crammed into 10x20 stalls of stone and fencing. The cats do not pace back and forth in their enclosures. The residents at WildCat Haven live on grass (not concrete slabs), surrounded by natural forest. Their bellies are full, and they have the best daily care that any captive cat could ask for. Cheryl and Mike Tuller, and Renee (the head keeper) dedicate their lives to these animals. The place is immaculately clean (feces and dirty bedding is nonexistent and water buckets are always full), and enclosures cleaned out daily. The enclosures are larger than required by law. These cats are as happy as a captive cats can get. Owning and running a sanctuary is a selfless job--a job that is a result of the selfish human act of desiring to own and control a wild animal. There are no 'thank you's' in the life of an exotic animal sanctuary, and It takes hundreds and thousands of dollars to keep these places functional. The money raised by WCH, goes straight back into the well being of the cats--larger enclosures, vet care, food. Cheryl Tuller's dream is for each of her cats to have more space. Space takes dollars. Dollars don't grow on trees. So, if you are looking for a place to support, WildCat Haven is one of the very few true havens for captive wildcats-and if you get the unique chance to visit, it will impress you as a sanctuary, and it's residents will steal your heart. Thank you Mike, Cheryl and Renee; for doing the job you do.
For those who say anything negative about WildCat Haven, or Mike and Cheryl Tuller, take your criticisms elsewhere--they do not belong here. And please educate yourself before making false accusations.
It's public knowledge--because Mike and Cheryl have been honest from the beginning--they bought ONE bobcat kitten and that was before WCH was ever a thought. They made a mistake, admitted it, fixed the situation, giving BoBo all the love and care they knew he needed and deserved.
Then the Tuller's proceeded to educate themselves about the exotic pet crisis, mentored with another sanctuary to further educate themselves, and for the past 10 years they, as a result of starting WildCat Haven, have sacrificed their lives, worked tirelessly and spent every dime they had to end the suffering of over 60 wildcats. I have never known anyone who works harder or who is more committed to making a difference for animals in need than Mike and Cheryl Tuller.
If you view WCH (and the Tuller's) as anything other than the professional, accredited, committed, hard working sanctuary that it is -- I feel sorry for you.
We all learn from our mistakes and Wildcat Haven has been nothing but honest. It is why I give to them again and again vs. many other organizations that hide behind their past. I know where my dollars are going and am so impressed with what they do on a small budget.
I also refer others to the organization as well as animals in need of a safe haven.
As a donor I have seen first hand this wonderful facility. There are so few true sanctuaries that put the needs of the animals first. The staff works tirelessly to give the animals everything they need, from good food, warm dens, and lots of enrichment. They all have huge areas to live in, more room than any other place I've seen. The cats look healthy, happy and content. The staff was more than happy to answer all my questions and knew each and every cat's personalities and shared stories about them. Kudos to WildCat Haven and their staff. It's great to see a place that does so much for the animals.
I was lucky enough to find out about WildCat Haven, Inc about 3 years ago. I received a donation solicitation in the mail. I support a variety of animal welfare organizations locally and internationally so I assumed they purchased my name/address from one of those lists. The organization got my attention because it was helping wildlife that had been completed abused by humans and because it was local. I had never heard of the organization and it was supposedly only 75 miles from my home. I called the Oregon Humane Society in Portland, Oregon and they had nothing but praise for the organization. I was also pleased to hear that they were not "open to the public", but was quite open to allowing other non-profits to see their good work. This means they care more about the animals welfare than the opportunity to benefit from them. There aren't many "real" facilities like this in the country. Some organizations "claim" to be operating for the welfare of the animals when in fact they are really personal zoos. Because the organization was local and I could keep tabs on their progress, they earned my long time support and donations. I would encourage others to be a part of their good work.
WCH is an amazing place for wildcats that have been bought for personal enjoyment and can no longer be kept as pets. WCH takes in these amazing animals and gives them a home for life. WCH is not used as amsusment for tourists, these big cats are safe from people that dont understand what they have gone though. WCH loves and cares for all of these cats with every inch of their heart..
I can't say enough praise for WildCat Haven in Sherwood, Oregon. I am so inspired by the incredible life these cats have in their sanctuary, that I am a dedicated, long-time supporter. I have been honored to be allowed to visit a few times and come away from the experience feeling so happy for those cats. Because they are not open to the public, it's hard for them to get donations because it's not well known. However, it is most worthy of support of any kind.
WCH came into my life over a year ago when attending a fundraiser for the local feline society. Cats have always been special to me and to find a haven for the Big Cats was a wonderful surprise. I have since become more involved with WCH thru donations and will be a volunteer to assist in any way possible to benefit the sanctuary. That there exists a home for cats treated with such cruelty and pain by the people that "owned" them is a huge thing to find. The privacy for the cats is so important and I applaud them for not being tempted to "show" them for the purpose of raising funds. The cats are glowing with love and care yet respected for the wild animals they truly are. With wholehearted support of WCH I hope you will view the website and see the wonderful work they have accomplished with only donated funds. They are the only hope for many wild cats and hybrids currently being abused. Please find it in your heart to care.