Monthly Archives: November 2018

Amazing Support on Giving Tuesday

Making a Difference in Health and Home at TCWR

November 28, 2018

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge put out a plea to our supporters to help us raise $35,000 on Giving Tuesday so that we could purchase a long list of veterinary supplies and habitat building equipment and our dedicated donors responded in droves. Over 300 supporters donated a total of $29,947. Donations ranged from $5 – $5,000 and every penny will go towards helping us provide the best health care and habitats possible. Although we did not meet our goal, we came very close, and some donations are still coming in through the mail and Facebook fundraisers.

We are very grateful to all our supporters who not only donated but liked, shared, and commented on posts and responded to emails sent out. Sharing our information helps to spread awareness and expands our post reach. We can only do what we do with the help of our fantastic supporters.

Your donations will allow us to purchase:

Maintenance & Habitat Building Supplies

  • Sliding Compound Miter Saw
  • Adjustable Miter Saw Stand
  • Brushless Corless Impact Wrench
  • D-Handle Impact Wrench with Anvil
  • All System Service Tablet
  • 20 Gallon Wate Air Operated Drainer Drainage Lift
  • Pneumatic Drive 10 Piece Heavy Duty Truck Set
  • 28 Piece Cordless Oscillating tool Kit
  • Multiple Mechanics tool (170 pieces)

Veterinary Supplies

  • Long-blade Laryngoscope 45cm & 55cm
  • Cuffed Endotracheal tube 11mm, 13mm, 14mm, 16mm, 18mm, 20mm, 22mm, & 24mm diameters
  • Endotracheal tube regular and large storage racks
  • Lighted Stylet 45 cm
  • 15L & 6L Large breathing bags
  • Large Animal Anesthesia Machine
  • Pulse Oximeter
  • Doppler US Flow Detector with an adult flat probe
  • Bair Hugger with ten warming blankets
  • 2 Medical Pole Syringes
  • X-Ray Lead Protective gear & storage racks
  • PanOptic iExaminer Digital Imagin Kit & Digital Macroview Otoscope
  • Veterinary Tonometer & 100 probes
  • Prescription Printer
  • Gel X-Ray Surgery Positioner
  • Large & Small resuscitation Bags
  • Centrifuges (fecal & urine/blood)
  • Cautery Kit
  • Dental X-Ray

Since we did not reach 100% of our goal, the veterinarian will have to determine which of the above-listed items are the top priority and purchase them with the allotted amount of funds. Although listed as our final goal, the Dental X-Ray is a much-needed item that is needed so that we can check on a handful of cats who are having some major dental issues.

We kicked off the day of giving with a live video update on Blackfire, who returned to his habitat. He happily chuffed at his sisters before they were reunited. They spent a little time exploring the nighthouse before venturing into their habitat to enjoy the brisk winter day.

Throughout the day we also ran a few giveaways to make GivingTuesday fun for everyone! We gave away a $10 Big Cat Bucks card, stuffed animal, 3 calendars, and 3 coloring books. We also premiered our newest Christmas video, Silver Tails, as a reward for reaching the halfway point of our Giving Tuesday goal.

Silver Tails is a parody of the classic Christmas carol Silver Bells. A team member wrote the lyrics and produced the video, the team and interns sang the song, and a local band Eureka Music Revival recorded the background music.

Thank you to everyone who donated, shared, liked, or commented to promote Giving Tuesday. It is only with the help of supporters, like you, that we can continue to provide lifetime homes and quality care for the animals that call Turpentine Creek home. Thank you! Please continued to keep Turpentine Creek in mind while planning for the Holiday Season. Winter is the time of year when our budget gets tight due to lack of visitors. Donate today and help us, help them. 


Give Health, Home, Hope, and Refuge

Join us for Giving Tuesday 2018

November 21, 2018

At TCWR, our goal is to provide lifelong Refuge for animals in need. “Refuge” can be defined as, “a condition of being safe or sheltered from pursuit, danger, or trouble.” Not only do we provide a safe environment for our animal residents free from exploitation and abuse, but we also support their overall well-being by giving them the necessary health care and spacious, naturalistic habitats. By contributing to our #GivingTuesday goal of $35,000 on November 27, you are giving our animal residents refuge and all that coincides, including life-long health and a safe, stable home environment.

Here are just a few things that your dollars can do:

  • The $7,000 portable dental x-ray generator will help animals like Roman, who suffer from frequent dental issues due to poor breeding. This machine will allow us to quickly identify current maladies and do preventative care to keep future problems at bay.
  • The $2,050 Panoptic iExaminer Digital Imaging Kit + Digital Macroview Veterinary Otoscope will provide us with the technology to have a magnified view of the back of the eyes, eardrums, nasal cavities, mouths, and throats or our animal residents while taking and saving digital images for our records. Kitty Cougar is only one of the animals who will benefit from this machine; we are carefully monitoring a disruption in her vision, which is not uncommon with her age.
  • Gel X-ray/Surgery positioners ($326 for a set of two) give us the ability to position large carnivores for certain X-rays and surgical procedures, especially when the abdomen is involved. These devices keep the animals upright, straight, and stationary and the soft gel is gentle on their skin and prevents the occlusion of vessels and pressure on nerves that harder surfaces can cause. Blackfire and his other three siblings have a history of abdominal issues from their deformed pelvis’s; the positioners will allow us to investigate and treat their problems and the problems of those like them in an efficient manner.
  • Tool sets of sockets, screwdrivers, wrenches, and pliers ($116.49), an impact wrench with a 6” anvil ($657.99), and even a service tablet ($380) will not only allow us to maintain the habitats themselves but also keep our work vehicles up and running.

Because a private donor will be contributing a $5,000 match, your donations will go even farther! To say, “thank you,” we will be doing special giveaways throughout the day as we reach our mini goals:

  • Once we reach $5,000, we will give away one $10 reloadable Big Cat Bucks gift card, which can be used to purchase anything through our on-site or online store.
  • At $10,000, three people will be given official TCWR coloring books, which are fun for children and adults, alike!
  • When we hit $15,000, we will draw the names of 3 lucky people to win a 2019 calendar!
  • At our halfway point, $17,500, we have a special treat for all! Not only will one person win an 8 x 10 photo of their favorite TCWR animal resident, but we will release our newest Christmas hit “Silver Tails” for all to enjoy! This parody is sung by talented members of the team and includes precious footage of our animal residents enjoying the snow and special enrichment!
  • As we get closer to our goal, we’ll draw the name for someone to win a plush animal of their choice at $25,000.
  • Make sure to hang with us because once we raise $30,000, one lucky winner will be wrapping up with one of our popular TCWR throws!
  • Finally, once you’ve got us to our $35,000, not only will you be rewarded with the knowledge that you have shown all of our animal residents what it’s like to be truly cared for, but one winner will take home a one-of-a-kind paw painting!

You do not have to donate to be entered to win. Simply monitor our social media pages and your inbox throughout the day for ways to enter.

If you’re interested in #GivingHealth, #GivingHome, and #GivingRefuge during Giving Tuesday, there are several ways to get involved:

  • Donate today by clicking the Paypal button below!
  • Make a donation the day-of on our website:
  • Create a Facebook fundraiser as early as you want, extending it through Giving Tuesday.
  • Mail checks Friday, November 23, to 239 Tiger Lane, Eureka Springs, AR, 72762.
  • Bring a donation to the gift shop the weekend before or the day-of, but denote that it’s for Giving Tuesday.
  • Ask your employer if they will match any donation you make.
  • Send personal emails, phone calls, text-messages, social media communications, or face-to-face requests to your loved ones to join us in #GivingHealth and #GivingHome.
  • Email your “Giving Story” to Your story can be as short or as long as you want and simply needs to say why you’re choosing to support our Giving Tuesday initiative. We will be publishing these to encourage others to give. You do not have to put how much you are donating/plan to donate, and we will not include your full name if you would prefer we didn’t.
  • Share your #Unselfies with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Your “unselfie” is a photo of you with a caption that talks about how you’re supporting TCWR for Giving Tuesday. Feel free to get creative and don your favorite TCWR gear, paint your face like your favorite animal, or hold up a TCWR plush animal! Make sure to tag us and use the hashtags #GiveHealth, #GiveHome, #GiveRefuge.
  • Encourage your kids to draw photos of their favorite TCWR animals or of a memorable trip to the Refuge and share with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Again, remember to tag us and use the hashtags #GiveHealth, #GiveHome, #GiveRefuge.
  • Share our social media updates in the days leading up to the event and on the day-of.

No amount of effort or monetary support is too small and ultimately provides our animal residents with the lives they deserve. Help us make “happy tails” come true on Giving Tuesday, November 27.

Donate For Giving Tuesday Early Today!

Giving Tuesday 2018

Only Two Weeks Away!

November 15, 2018

‘Tis the season of giving and there’s no greater opportunity to give back than on November 27, Giving Tuesday. Coined as the official “global day of giving,” we will be asking you to #GiveHealth, #GiveHome, and ultimately #GiveRefuge to our animal residents as we use this 24 hours of charity to raise $35,000 for new veterinary and habitat maintenance equipment.

All of our animal residents require some form of animal intervention because we provide a Refuge for the old, the already-sick, and those who suffer from an assortment of health issues stemming from inbreeding or cruel declawing and defanging surgeries.

New veterinary equipment will allow us to not only address immediate maladies in a timely manner, but gives us the opportunity to do more thorough preventative care. A portable x-ray generator, which makes up $7,000 of our $35,000 goal will allow us to examine the extent of dental issues and perform regular check-ups on those prone to them. A $180 Laboteca Centrifuge and tubes will allow us to more accurately examine animals to detect infection, keep animals parasite-free, and should we need to, strategically treat with proper dewormers. We’re also raising money to stock our hospital with everyday essentials, such as resuscitation bags (small-$51, large $59.00) used to provide breathes for our patients during regular surgeries or medical emergencies.

Another thing all of our animal residents have in common is their need for safe, spacious, sturdy habitats. From building to accommodate new rescues, amending current habitats to stay in compliance with various laws, or doing regular maintenance on the homes of these large carnivores, we spend our fair share of time working on habitats.

Tool sets of sockets, screwdrivers, wrenches, and pliers ($116.49), an impact wrench with a 6” anvil ($657.99), and even a service tablet ($380) will not only allow us to maintain the habitats themselves, but also keep our work vehicles up and running.

An individual has stepped forward with a $5,000 matching donation, meaning your dollars will go even farther on Giving Tuesday. There are multiple ways to give the gift of Refuge to our animal residents on November 27:

    • Make a donation the day-of on our website:
    • Create a Facebook fundraiser as early as you want, extending it through Giving Tuesday.
    • Mail checks Friday, November 23, to 239 Tiger Lane, Eureka Springs, AR, 72762.
    • Bring a donation to the gift shop the weekend before or the day-of, but denote that it’s for Giving Tuesday.
    • Ask your employer if they will match any donation you make.
    • Send personal emails, phone calls, text-messages, social media communications, or face-to-face requests to your loved ones to join us in #GivingHealth and #GivingHome.

Give For Giving Tuesday Early at

Life-Saving Surgery Update

Blackfire Recovering Comfortably

November 7, 2018

Blackfire is on the road to recovery after receiving life-saving emergency surgery at Kansas State University on Tuesday, November 6. The 2-year-old white tiger is currently staying in a recovery enclosure at our on-site veterinary hospital. He will spend two weeks there healing, receiving much-needed pain medication, and being closely observed by our staff veterinarian. After two weeks he will be evaluated to see if he is healed enough to return to his habitat and sisters.

On Friday, November 2, Turpentine Creek announced that Blackfire needed surgery due to a severe hiatal hernia. Dr. Kellyn Sweely had diagnosed Blackfire’s hernia but knew that we did not have the proper equipment or team to perform such an invasive surgery in our on-site veterinary hospital. The operation required a full team of anesthesiologists, specialized equipment, and a full veterinary team. We reached out to Dr. James Carpenter at KSU to oversee the surgery. We have worked with Dr. Carpenter and KSU in the past and know that he is the best in his field.

During the procedure, the KSU team found that Blackfire had a large hole in his diaphragm and that his stomach, spleen, colon, and intestines had pushed into his chest cavity. They believe that he had a birth defect that caused the diaphragm to be weak in a large section causing the hernia as he grew and had bowel issues related to his Metabolic Bone Disease. Luckily, we caught the hernia issue in time, and his intestines were still healthy. If his intestines or stomach had lost circulation, he would have died.

The KSU veterinary team was able to attach his stomach to his abdominal wall and close the hole in his diaphragm. As long as he rests throughout his two week recovery period, he should not have any lasting issues due to the hernia and live a long happy life here at the Refuge.

The cost for the surgery, aftercare, travel, and medication was estimated at $9,000. TCWR put a call out to our supporters on Friday to raise the money for the unexpected expense, and our donors quickly came to our aid. Within a few short hours, we had raised the needed amount to make sure Blackfire could get the care he desperately needed.

Thank you to all the supporters who liked, shared, commented, and donated to help Blackfire!

It is thanks to your support that we are able to give these animals a chance at a long, happy, healthy life with us.  We couldn’t do what we do without you!

Blackfire says “chuff chuff chuff,” which we are pretty sure means “thank you for saving my life!”

Emergency Surgery Needed

Give Blackfire A Fighting Chance

November 2, 2018

Our staff veterinarian, Dr. Kellyn Sweely, discovered on Tuesday, October 30, that Blackfire, a two-year-old white tiger, has either a hiatal hernia or a diaphragmic hernia. After consulting with multiple veterinarians and veterinary schools, who confirmed Dr. Sweely’s diagnosis, it has become apparent that he needs extensive surgery to fix the issue as soon as possible. Because of the complexity of the operation, we cannot safely perform it at our on-site veterinary hospital. During the surgery, he will need a dedicated anesthesia team to assist in his breathing, monitor his heart and blood pressure throughout the procedure, as well as multiple tools and supplies that we do not currently have readily available. Without the surgery, his intestines will strangulate and he will die.

Our animal curator, Emily McCormack and on staff Veterinarian Dr. Kellyn Sweely, will be taking Blackfire to Kansas. The surgery is scheduled for 8 am on Tuesday, November 6. Dr. Sweely will be making the 720-mile round trip with Blackfire so that she can monitor his health.

We have received an estimate for the operation, transportation, aftercare, and medication for $9,000. This is an unexpected expense that comes when we are already desperately needing to fundraise to help cover higher winter bills. We need your help today to cover the expenses and make sure that Black Fire gets the help he needs before it advances beyond repair.

For the procedure, we have reached out to Kansas State University’s (KSU) Exotic, Wildlife & Zoo Animal expert, Dr. James Carpenter, who has agreed to oversee the surgery. Dr. Carpenter has advised and assisted our team many times in the past; he is the best in his field. KSU has taken care of many of our animals in previous circumstances and we have had good results working with that team. We know Blackfire will get the help he needs at KSU.

Upon arrival at KSU Blackfire will get a CT scan to help the surgical team evaluate which type of hernia they will be dealing with, our X-Rays can show a limited view of the issue. At this point, we cannot say if the hernia is congenital or caused by something else.

Two years ago, Turpentine Creek rescued 115 animals from a cub petting facility in Colorado, including Blackfire and his two sisters who suffer from severe metabolic bone disease. With the help and dedication of our team, the trio survived this precarious time in their lives. Black Fire and his siblings have grown into rambunctious teenagers with a strong will to survive. Due to the health issues caused by the Metabolic Bone Disease, Blackfire and his siblings spend more time than most of our other animals with our veterinarian.

We will have more information about the surgery in the upcoming days and will keep our supporters up-to-date on Blackfire’s health status. Hopefully, with the surgery, he will get to live a long, happy life here at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge. We are eager to see him back on his feet and playing with his sisters in the near future.

Donate now and help us give Blackfire a fighting chance.

UPDATE: We reached our goal! Blackfire’s surgery is funded.