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Kelli418

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3 reviews

Review for Wildlife Center at Crosstimbers Ranch (wccr) , Terrell, TX, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I was brought out to the Wildlife Center at Crosstimbers Ranch by my good friend and the Lead Vet Tech -Sonia Vidal. Because of my huge love of animals, I wanted to see what it was like in an environment that rehabilitates and releases animals of all kinds back into the wild. From the moment I walked in I was hooked!

It has been an amazing learning experience. The center's founder and director, Valeri Marler, is one of the kindest souls I have ever met. When you pair that with her expert knowledge and experience in wildlife rehabilitation, and her hard work and dedication, you have an amazing person who is literally one in a million. You'd be hard pressed to find a person more qualified than her in this field.

Valeri and Sonia's tireless efforts are the strong foundation of this organization and they push through thick and thin to make sure all animals are cared for in the best possible way. I'm constantly amazed by their tenacity and love for all wildlife.

The center rehabilitates and releases approximately 4,000+ animals a year. However, a small percentage sometimes cannot be released because of their circumstances. These animals are placed with notable facilities (like the Smithsonian Zoo) or are kept at the center. The permanent residents at WCCR are very happy and healthy and get lots of love and attention.

I love this place and I firmly believe that anyone who gives the center a chance will be just as hooked as I am.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Have more money for property upgrades. WE NEED DONATIONS! :-)

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2015

Role:  Volunteer
 

Review for In-Sync Exotics, Inc., Wylie, TX, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I cannot accurately describe what a positive impact this sanctuary has had not only on numerous exotic cats (& a coatimundi) but also on its staff, volunteers, my family and me. It’s nothing short of amazing what is accomplished on a day-to-day basis to heal and nurture these magnificent animals.
I have been volunteering there for 18 months and I’m still in awe every time I go out there to clean cages, or pass out enrichment. In just the last year I’ve personally witnessed the rescue of 14 exotic cats. Of the 14 cats rescued, 10 were from horrible conditions where they were malnourished and/or had medical issues there were untreated. One of the bobcats had been shot and left to wander with a wound to her leg. Now, every single one of them is well on their road to recovery and most look like completely different cats. It’s astonishing to see the positive transformation in health and emotional well-being of each cat.
I’ve also seen how much help is needed. Time, money, goods, and services are always needed to help keep the cats comfortable. Vicky and the wonderful Board Members make sure every penny goes where it’s needed the most to keep the environment as healthy and productive as possible for the cats and Nugget. Any little bit not only helps, but is also greatly appreciated.
It makes me feel good to know that genuinely good people actually exist and are out there willing to do what it takes to make a difference. And above all, it gives me hope that maybe one day there won’t be a need for a sanctuary like this because people will quit using and abusing these beautiful animals. Until then I will continue to spend as much time helping Vicky and the wonderful team of volunteers at In-Sync Exotics.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Role:  Volunteer
 

Review for In-Sync Exotics, Inc., Wylie, TX, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

Let me just start this by saying that since I was a little girl, I’ve LOVED cats of all kinds and always wished that someday I would be able to work with them. As I got older and after I had a horrible experience working for a veterinarian, I felt that dream slip away. I never thought I’d be able to experience the joy of being around these beautiful cats and making a difference in their lives. I’ve been volunteering at In-Sync now for a year and I can’t even accurately describe how much happiness it brings to me. Vicky has set-up the most wonderful environment for those cats and their only job is to be as happy and healthy as they possibly can for the rest of their lives. Vicky and Mak pour their heart and soul into the welfare of these kitties and it’s inspiring. They are my heroes. Then, you add to that the wonderful work of all the volunteers and it’s absolutely amazing.

I found out about In-Sync after President Obama was elected. In 2009 he sent out emails to encourage people to do volunteer work. There was a link in that email to a search engine where you could search for volunteer work based on a key word. Not thinking anything would come up, I typed in "Big Cats" -and much to my surprise "In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue and Education Center" was the first result. I sat on that information for about a year because of how much time I was pouring into my job at the time.

In the summer of 2010, my brother and I made the hour drive over to the facility one weekend and were completely blown away. Not only could you see the kitties closer than any zoo, but the enclosures were extremely safe and clean. The double cage system and the fact that each animal gets access to a playground for several hours a day is amazing. And if there was any doubt, all you have to do is look at the beautiful kitties. You can SEE how happy and healthy they feel. I had no idea that Tigers chuff when they’re happy to see you until I went out to In-Sync.

Immediately my brother and I decided to volunteer. We contacted the volunteer coordinator, Chemyn, and let her know we were interested. After the interview process, we were allowed to come out and start learning how to do various tasks around the facility. It’s hard work but it’s so rewarding to see these beautiful creatures treated so wonderfully. Now, even though my brother has been busy with school I still make the hour drive out to the facility every other Sunday to work my tail off for those kitties.

It’s truly wonderful to be a part of this exceptional organization and feel like I’m actually helping and counteracting some of the stupid actions humans have done to these cats. I really feel like one of my dreams has actually come true.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

watching the amazing transformations of the animals we rescue. In the year I've been volunteering, we have rescued 21 exotic cats and brought them home to live with us. 8 Tigers. 6 Lions, 4 Cougars, 2 Bobcats, and 1 Serval. Unfortunately 3 have passed away since. However, the 18 that are still with us don't even look like the same animals. Their improvement in health and mental well-being is phenomenal!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

There's not much I would change -but the things I would all involve needing money. For example, it would be great to have an on-site veterinary hospital to use for minor health care issues. Right now, Vicky has to drive the cat to a veterinary facility, often hundreds of miles away, for x-rays or check-ups. It is so stressful on the cat.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

I'm just really eager to learn as much as I can. But I believe I will in time... I'm a little impatient. :-)

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

I have learned so much about food preparation, assisting in administering medicine, and ESPECIALLY in animal behavior.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

I feel like I'm actually important and am making a difference.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Role:  Volunteer & I have learned how to prepare meat and food for 58 exotic cats, how to clean cages, how to move cats from one cage to another, how to assist with administering medicine, and I continue to learn new tasks every time I'm there.