Big Cat Public Safety Act Reintroduced

House of Representatives H.R. 1380

February 27, 2019

Turpentine Creek has a dream – that one day we will no longer be needed to save big cats from the exotic pet trade, abuse, abandonment, and neglect. We are very passionate about providing quality forever homes for all the animals that we rescue, but the truth of the matter is that they should never be put in that situation to begin with! The only way that this dream can come true is to pass laws throughout the country that protects big cats and that stops private ownership and the exploitation of young animals for profit in the cub-petting industry.

This week, we took another step towards achieving that dream. On February 26, 2019, the Big Cat Public Safety Act was introduced to the House of Representatives for the 116th Congressional session. The bill was introduced by Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL-5) and was co-sponsored by 53 other House Reps from across the country. The bill was referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources but has yet to be assigned to a sub-committee.

For that dream to become a reality, we need YOUR help. We need you to email your Congressional Representatives to let them know about The Big Cat Public Safety Act – H.R. 1380. You can visit our Advocacy page to send an email to your Representatives directly! It is straightforward, just enter your name and address and our system will find your representatives, we’ve even written example emails for your Reps! The emails are customized whether they are members of the House or Senate, also if they are past supporters, current co-sponsors, or uninformed about the Big Cat Public Safety Act.

As we get more information about the bill, new co-sponsors, sub-committees, and Senate information, we will be updating the advocacy page and forms. Please check back frequently for updates. It is only with your help that we can end the exotic pet trade in the USA. Please help us achieve our dreams and email your Representatives now.

Conservation At Home

Ten Ways You Can Help

February 20, 2019

To celebrate National Wildlife Day (February 22) our education team put together a list of ways you can help conserve wildlife from your own home!

Currently, dozens of species go extinct every day due to human-related activities. The United States alone has 1,300 species of plants, birds, fish, invertebrates, and mammals listed as endangered or threatened. Fortunately, you can help conserve species from your home and throughout your neighborhood.

  1. Learn more about endangered species in your area – Conservation doesn’t only occur internationality but can happen in your own backyard. Biodiversity is a vital aspect of the world. Arkansas has 32 species currently listed as endangered. U.S Fish and Wildlife Services has the full list available for you to look at. There are also lists of endangered species for your state. Knowing what the animal or plant looks like can help you know if they are in your areas and ways you can help protect them.
  2. Make your home wildlife friendly – Wildlife is everywhere! Human-animal conflicts have risen due to the increasing amount of houses being built in the wildlife habitat. Finding ways to coexist with wildlife can help lower those conflicts.
    1. Secure your garbage in cans or bins with locking lids.
    2. If you are able, feed pets indoors and lock pet doors at night to avoid unwanted guests.
    3. Use window stickers to help avoid bird collisions.
    4. Consider fencing your garden to deter animals from eating.
  3. Plant and Promote Native Species – Non-native plants are becoming more and more prevalent because they may be prettier or easier to grow but they are severely impacting native populations. Without native plants, animals are without proper food and shelter. Starting your own native garden you help promote native species and their survival. Not only are plants invasive but animals can be too. People will purchase a pet from a pet store and once they are no longer “fun” or new they will release the animal. Common examples of the animals that fall victim to this are: turtles, snakes, lizards, and birds. Invasive species are outcompeting native and may take over an entire area.
  4. Visit a national wildlife refuge, park, or other space – While habitats are being lost every day to accommodate more people, there are places that are protected to help animals not lose their homes. Protected areas keep native species in their native land without disturbing them. Volunteering at your local nature center or wildlife refuge can give you the ability to help first-hand with conservation efforts. Visit www.fws.gov/refuges/,www.nps.gov , www.aza.org, and http://www.sanctuaryfederation.org for places to visit.
  5. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – Believe it or not, the coca cola bottle and the water bottle sitting in your trash, can end up in the stomach of an ocean animal. It’s not just a couple of animals but 60% of seabirds and 100% of sea turtles have been found to have plastic in their system as they often mistake it as food. According to USA Today, “If everyone in America recycled one plastic bottle those materials could make more than 54 million t-shirts.” In the next 25 years, it has been estimated that there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish, by weight. You can help change that! By recycling, your used items can become a multitude of things. If you are unsure how to start recycling, contact your local recycling center for information on what they can accept. You can also try to use less plastic in your household.
    1. Tips for reducing plastic use:
      • purchase reusable stainless steel or glass straws
      • use reusable bags when shopping
      • use reusable bottle and mugs
      • pack your lunch in reusable containers and bags
      • opt to not use plasticware at home and when getting take out
  6. Never purchase products made from threatened or endangered species – Souvenir shopping can be a fun experience, but sometimes souvenirs are made from animal products without your knowledge. Many of the animals on the endangered species list are at risk because of poaching. Animals lose their life to become an item for people to buy. You can help lower the need for poaching by saying no to items using endangered animal parts. If you are not able to tell if the product has been sourced ethically it is best to avoid them.
    • Common items to avoid while shopping:
    • Coral
    • Tortoiseshells
    • Shells
    • Dried sea creatures
    • Art made from ivory, teeth and bones
    • Furs
  7. Do not buy exotic “pets” – Exotic animals are wild and are adapted to living in the wild without human intervention. These animals may have been taken from their natural habitat, away from others like them, and smuggled into the country. Once bought and sold as a pet they lose the fear of people and rely on them for food and shelter. The desire to own any exotic animal is often short-lived. Many times these animals are purchased as a baby but as they age they become aggressive and unmanageable and become no longer cute in the owner’s’ eyes.  Exotic animals require specialized diets and without it they will become malnourished and may develop illnesses and disease.If you are looking for a new pet, consider adopting a house cat or dog from a shelter.
  8. Protect wildlife habitat – Scientists say the best way to protect endangered species is to protect the places where they live. Without their habitat, they will have no home! Just like people, wildlife must have food, water, shelter, and space to survive. Even without one of their needs the animal has a smaller chance of survival. Unfortunately, because of the need for more space for the growing population, people are affecting the rate of habitats being lost. Human developments such as logging, oil and gas drilling, and agriculture growth have all contributed to habitat loss. Protecting habitats can come in many different forms. From preserving your own backyard to donating to conservation projects you can help out!
  9. Become an Eco-Tourist – Ecotourism is a rapidly growing industry that is not only working towards keeping the ecosystem intact but helps produce economic benefits for local communities. Becoming a conscious traveler can help save thousands of species from extinction. Which life do you think animals enjoy: being trained to do trick for the entertainment of people or roaming around their natural environment. Animals would not naturally walk on a ball (bear) or stand on their back legs (elephants). Ecotourism takes people to see animals living their every day and you get to witness them peaceful and without worry. Because people are paying the see the animal from a distance in their natural world, these animals are more likely to be protected. If you are thinking of taking a vacation soon, Green Global Travel has ways to plan to become more responsible when traveling.
  10. Education – Education is the key to promoting conservation. The great thing about education is that you do not have to be in the education field. You can educate through social media and by talking to people. By talking to others, you can raise awareness for conserving species. When talking to others about ways to help, you can send them to this page or talk about these ten ways to help right from your house!

 

For more information, visit:

“Habitat Loss.” National Wildlife Federation. https://www.nwf.org/Educational-Resources/Wildlife-Guide/Threats-to-Wildlife/Habitat-Loss

“Impact of habitat loss on species.” World Wildlife Fund. http://wwf.panda.org/our_work/wildlife/problems/habitat_loss_degradation/

“Plastics in the Ocean.” Ocean conservancy. https://oceanconservancy.org/trash-free-seas/plastics-in-the-ocean/

“Palm Oil Crisis.” Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. http://www.cmzoo.org/index.php/conservation-matters/palm-oil-crisis/

“Smart souvenir shopping.” The Wildlife Trusts. https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/actions/smart-souvenir-shopping

“Invasive plants have a much bigger impact than we imagine.” The Conservation. https://theconversation.com/invasive-plants-have-a-much-bigger-impact-than-we-imagine-82181

Post Written By Education Intern Abby Hickam 

Tigers in Backyards

Tiger Found In Abandoned Home In Texas

February 13, 2019

What do you picture when you hear the word tiger? Most of the time people will place the tiger in the overgrowth of a forest in Asia, and maybe it’s even stalking its prey waiting for the right moment to attack. There are more than 16,000 tigers in the world, but unfortunately, only 3,800 fit this picture. The rest are in captivity.

The United States does not have a federal law prohibiting ownership of these wild animals, making each state decide their law. The recent discovery of a female tiger in an abandoned house in Houston, TX shows just how severe the problem currently is. According to news reports, the tiger was found in the garage of a vacant house, cramped in a cage, secured only by a screwdriver and a nylon strap. Luckily, this survivor will spend the remainder of her life at a true sanctuary in Texas. The sanctuary is GFAS accredited (much like Turpentine Creek) and a fellow member of the Big Cat Sanctuary Alliance.

This small cage was Sadie’s home until TCWR rescued her.

Sadly, this is not an uncommon situation. Many people purchase tiger cubs with the intention of having them as pets. As they grow, the owners no longer want them because of the amount of work it requires. Once it reaches this point, the tiger may be abandoned, dropped off at roadside zoos, or go missing. Some animals that call Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge home were previous pets that the owner could no longer take care of due to life situations or they were to “wild”. Sadie, a playful tiger came to us after her owner divorced. Upon arrival, we found Sadie living in a dilapidated cage in her owner’s backyard.

Current Laws

Because of the lack of federal laws, depending on which state you reside in, your neighbor could own a tiger as a pet. The state of Texas alone has more tigers living in backyards than in the wild. The state allows ownership of dangerous, exotic animals once it has been registered by proper authorities. Four states have no laws banning dangerous felines in any capacity: North Carolina, Nevada, Wisconsin, and Alabama.

Creating the change for these big cats takes time, patience, and a lot of persistence. The Big Cat Public Safety Act is that change. This bill addresses a number of issues big cats face.

  • Require animals to be registered.
  • Restricts public interaction with animals, reducing the number of injuries and deaths caused by adult big cats. It would also stop cub petting.
  • Unregulated breeding would be stopped, helping prevent the overpopulation of captive tigers in the United States.
  • End the buying, selling, and trading of big cats putting an end to the big cat exotic animal trade and stop future private ownership.

The past four Congressional sessions included the introduced Big Cat Public Safety Act. It is going into the 5th session. Once reintroduced, we will let you know. In the meantime, you can tell others about this bill and the importance of it getting passed.

To learn more about this bill and how you can help, visit our Advocacy Pages

Post Written By Education Intern Abby Hickam 

Animals Used For Entertainment

Stopping The Abuse – Circuses, Acting, and Magic Shows

February 6, 2019

To make Thurston “safer” while being used for a magic show, his original owners filed down his canines and declawed him.

Imagine your favorite wild animal in its natural habitat. Do you picture them riding bicycles, standing on their heads, balancing on balls, or jumping through rings of fire? Exotic animals are constantly being used for entertainment purposes and have been prevalent in our culture for over 150 years. As a multi-billion dollar industry, many people who watch performances with wild animals do not know the reality of what goes on behind the scenes.

In the entertainment business animals are subjected to:

  • Confinement
  • Poor medical care
  • Mistreatment/Punishment
  • Inability to be free

The Truth Behind the Curtain

Savannah was reportedly an animal actress for the movie “Second Hand Lions” after she was no longer needed as a show lion she was ‘retired’ to a breeding facility. Luckily, she was rescued by TCWR.

Travel circuses are on the road for up to 11 months of the year. The animals spend between 75% to 99% of their time in cramped cages in the back of trailers, on boxcars, and trucks. They lack access to basic necessities such as food, water, and veterinary care. Forced to eat, sleep, urinate, and defecate in the same confined space, they can develop physical and psychological damage. If an animal is to become sick or injured, they will face a long journey back to the circus’ permanent facility to recover, and often die of their illness.

Animals are punished with extreme “discipline”. This discipline is also used for training and can be in forms of whipping, hitting, poking, and shocking with electrical prods.  The popular grin monkeys are trained to do in movies and television is actually a sign of fear.

Many times the animals are torn away from their mothers as infants and are forced into training. This puts not only physical stress on the young, but the mothers are continually bred to provide more props.

What happened when the animals are too big to be used in entertainment? Since they have been deprived of using their natural behaviors, they can never be released into their native habitat. They may be dumped at roadside zoos and other facilities where they are kept in small cages or solitary confinement, making room for younger and more agile entertainers. Sometimes the animals are sold to laboratories, canned hunting facilities, sold for parts, or even to private individuals as pets.

How can you help?

When Elvis refused to be a show cat he was turned over to TCWR.

Just say NO! Avoid watching movies or television shows that exploit the use of wild animals. If a circus is using a wild animal in their show, do not go to it. There are plenty of animal-free circuses around the world that are enjoyable to watch without harming and abusing wild animals. You can go to these websites to see which circuses are animal free!

By: Abby Hickam – Education Intern

https://www.mediapeta.com/peta/PDF/Animal_Free_Circus_Factsheet.pdf

http://www.pawsweb.org/documents/ANIMAL_FREE_CIRCUSES.pdf

The Oklahoma Six

TCWR Saves Six Tigers

January 24, 2019

Last week, seven team members from Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge made the 712-mile round trip to pick up six tigers from a closing facility in Oklahoma. The owner of the facility had lost his lease on the property after being harassed by a group of individuals. He reached out to Turpentine Creek on Monday, and by Wednesday we were on the road to rescue.

All six tigers had once been part of the cub petting pay-to-play scheme and were scheduled to be euthanized after they could no longer make a profit. The owner of the facility rescued them from that fate, but since he was losing the lease on his land, he needed to find them a new home. Their ages range from 16-months-old to 4-years-old.

All six tigers were located in two enclosures on the property; the youngest two, Floyd and Tigger, living in one habitat and the other four, Robbie, Frankie, Tommy, and Diesel, residing in the other. It was quickly evident that all of the tigers were overweight but one, Diesel, was seriously ill. Three of the tigers quickly loaded into their transport cages, but the other three (Robbie, Frankie, and Diesel) needed to be sedated.

It took nearly six hours (from 8 am until 1:45 pm) to load up the six cats; Diesel was last. He was lethargic and barely moved the entire time we were rounding up his friends. Once we had him sedated, we took blood so that we could figure out what was causing his illness as quickly as possible.

Seven hours later, the team arrived back at the Refuge. Our Veterinarian, Dr. Kellyn Sweeley, met us and immediately checked over the newest TCWR residents. She then took the blood to the vet hospital to run it and find out what was happening with Diesel.

The following morning, Floyd, Tigger, Robbie, Frankie, and Tommie were let into their new habitats, while Diesel was taken to a recovery enclosure at the vet hospital. Dr. Kellyn found that Diesel had an elevated white blood cell count and an extremely low red blood cell count. She also saw signs of a tick-borne blood pathogen. She prescribed antibiotics and steroids to help Diesel battle his illness.

Over the weekend, the team kept a very close eye on Diesel’s progress. By Monday, Diesel had begun to move around more, sitting up and chuffing softly to the animal care team. We had hope that the beautiful orange tiger was on the road to recovery. Sadly, when we sedated him to test his blood again and check on the progress, the test revealed that instead of improving, his white blood cell count had risen further and his red blood cell count had dropped to dangerous levels. After discussing options, our vet advised that it was time to end Diesel’s suffering and let him pass on.

Robbie, Tommie, and Frankie quickly begun to settle into their new life at the Refuge. They live in a newly rebuilt habitat at the end of the tour loop. The three were also put on a diet to help reduce their weight.

Tigger quickly adjusted to his new habitat, next to the Siberian Suite and Tree House, but his roommate, Floyd, is still settling in and only comes out for short periods of time before returning to his den. We are watching Floyd closely since he had previously been diagnosed with severe metabolic bone disease.

Once the weather warms up, we plan to sedate all five tigers and give them a thorough examination along with blood tests to make sure that they do not also have the blood pathogen that Diesel died from. Since big cats cannot regulate their body temperature when sedated, it is very dangerous to sedate them when the temperature is below 50 degrees. Until we can examine them, we are watching them all closely for symptoms of the blood pathogen.

Although we try very hard, the reality is that we cannot always arrive in time to save everyone. We were too late to save Diesel’s life. So many animals are not reached in time and fall victim to the heartless Exotic Pet Trade and Cub Petting industries. This is why we educate and advocate to protect big cats. Please be the voice for the voiceless. It is up to YOU to put an end to the Exotic Pet Trade, reach out to your congressmen and tell them that this has to END. Support true sanctuaries, donate to help us continue to help them. The fight isn’t over yet, continue to fight, in memory of Diesel and all the other victims of Cub Petting. Please donate today to help us care for these five new rescues as well as all the other animals that call the Refuge home.

Making Changes To Help Environment

Turpentine Creek’s “No Plastic Bag” Initiative

January 17, 2019

Turpentine Creek has taken the pledge to reduce our plastic waste. Our mission at the refuge is to rescue abandoned, abused and unwanted big cats, but we also believe it is important to be pro-active in many areas of conservation and environmentalism. In an effort to help with the overwhelming problem of plastics in the environment, we have launched a “No Plastic Bag” initiative for our gift shops.

Last year, we began to roll out the program by offering reusable TCWR totes as a choice. This year, we will no longer carry plastic bags at all. You can join TCWR in making the world a healthier place by joining our “No Plastic Bag” initiative and get your own reusable TCWR tote today! Our beautiful, reusable bags that will be available for an additional $2 donation to the refuge.

Did you know:

  • The average American family takes home almost 1500 plastic shopping bags a year
  • Only approximately 1% of plastic bags are returned for recycling
  • At least 600 different animal species have been affected by plastic pollution in the ocean
  • Plastic bags are used for an average of 12 minutes, but it takes at least 500 years for it to degrade in a landfill
  • 80% of all plastic in the ocean comes from land
  • There is currently 19 BILLION pounds of garbage in the ocean
  • By 2050 it is estimated there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish
  • If we do not take action, plastic pollution is predicted to double by 2025

Problem: The problem with plastics is that they do not biodegrade, once they are made they will never leave the planet. Recycling only downgrades materials, and cannot constantly be reused. Marine life is heavily affected by plastics, causing them to either eat plastic and not be able to pass it, or become entangled. One in three endangered leatherback turtles has been found to have died due to consuming plastic. Thousands of marine life dependent on the ocean die every day due to our trash. Plastics break down over time, absorbing into marine life and also ending up on our dinner plates.

Solution: Reduce, reuse, recycle, refuse, and rethink the amount of plastic you consume. Avoid using single-use plastics as much as possible and use re-usable items such as water bottles, food containers, shopping bags, toothbrushes, straws, coffee cups, non-synthetic clothing etc. Properly dispose of your trash, ensuring that recyclable materials do not end up in a landfill.

Individual choices DO matter, if we all make changes now, we can greatly decrease the amount of harm that our waste does to the planet. Empower others around you to make changes in their daily lives to help the environment.

“Problems cannot be solved at the same level of awareness that created them.”-Albert Einstein

Video Year In Review

2018 was Purrfect!

January 11, 2019

Last year was a wild ride! We had so much to celebrate- building our new bear habitat, updating night houses, welcoming new animal residents, and ringing in birthdays and cheering on milestones for those already in our care. We hope this video makes you smile as much as it did us. Thank you for sticking with us throughout 2018- here’s to 2019 and all it has in store!

Extending the Holiday Spirit

Enriching the Lives of Our Animals

January 10, 2019

One of our favorite times of year is after Christmas and shortly after New Year’s Day when gently used live Christmas Trees begin to arrive. Pine trees carry a strong scent that might trigger nostalgia in humans, but for big cats, it means a special form of enrichment only experienced during a short time of the year. Our big cats love this fun form of enrichment, and it helps keep the trees out of landfills, helping the environment.

Luckily, each year we have a steady supply of trees from local supporters and the Crescent Hotel. During the month of December, the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs hosts a “Crescent Christmas Forest” where nonprofits from the area decorate trees and people vote for their favorite with donations, which the nonprofit receives. At the end of the event, the trees are then donated to Turpentine Creek so that our big cats can enjoy some extra enrichment.

Throughout the week, our animals will be getting Christmas trees as part of their daily enrichment program. Some of the animals, like Daniel and Fergy (pictured above) love to rub and scent their Christmas tree enrichment, others will tear them to itty bitty pieces, and a few will ignore them in favor of their permeant enrichment (boomer balls). It is always interesting to watch the reactions of our animals to the various types of enrichment that we provide them.

Seasonal enrichment is a great way to encourage our animals to utilize their natural instincts. Scent enrichment is vital to keeping our animals lives fun and stimulating. We are very appreciative to everyone who donates Christmas trees, scent enrichment, boomer balls, and other various types of enrichment throughout the year. Donate today so that we can continue to provide quality care for the animals that call the Refuge home.

Improving Animal Care

Why We Continue to Making Strides Towards Quality Care

January 2, 2018

The TCWR animal care and veterinary program grants lifelong care to rescued survivors of the exotic animal trade, elevating their quality of life. We are always looking at ways to lower stress in our animals and improve how we care for their physical and mental well-being.

In 2016, your belief and commitment realized the first step in ending the stress and risk of anesthetizing and transporting our big cats and bears over 40 miles for veterinary care, with the construction of the Jackson Memorial Veterinary Hospital. In 2018, we took the second step, with the addition of staff Veterinarian, Dr. Kellyn Sweeley.  Having a vet on-site enables us to conduct weekly evaluations of each animal’s physical and mental health, to better plan for their long-term care and avoid emergency situations with early intervention.

In zoos people see perfect specimens; at sanctuaries, like TCWR, visitors learn about animals whose fangs have been filed, claws removed, injuries gone untreated, and who suffer from diseases and physical deformities caused by malnutrition and inbreeding. Health complications are always an issue in our rescued animals, and regular exams can make the difference between life and death for many.

Since joining the team, Dr. Sweeley has dedicated much of her time to making sure that pain management and dietary requirements of all our animals are up-to-date to ensure we properly address their changing needs as they age by using the muscle condition scoring system developed by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association Global Nutrition Committee (WSAVA). When she observes cats with new limps, she checks for ingrown claws; Roulon’s ingrown claws were diagnosed and treated when she noticed he was limping more prevalently on his front left limb.

Nala had started frequently vomiting in early October; Dr. Sweeley had been closely monitoring her as she was showing signs of moderate chronic kidney disease. Once the vomiting began, and she stopped eating, she started Nala on an intense treatment plan for suspected Stage 3 kidney disease. With her vomiting under control she is eating again and has been doing great — we’ve slowed the progression of the disease and had her feeling good again.

Blackfire’s lifesaving surgery came about because when Dr. Sweeley observed his discomfort she was able to try GI medications first, realize early on that they were not controlling his symptoms, and then made the timely decision to fully anesthetize for radiographs and blood profile. With an outside vet it would likely have taken a much longer time to get to the same conclusions; by then we could have lost this young tiger.  Instead, your generosity allowed us to take him for emergency surgery to repair the extreme hiatal hernia threatening his life, and today he is back enjoying his grassy habitat and roughhousing with his sisters.

While having Dr. Sweeley on-site is  elevating the quality of life for all our animal residents, the initial costs to stock our clinic puts an enormous strain on our resources:  Having the equipment, instruments and supplies necessary for common immunizations, prescriptions and medical procedures to treat the many conditions these animals suffer from such caused by inbreeding, malnutrition, declawing, defanging, and neglect are necessary to make the program a success.

Beyond veterinary and medical expenses our Animal Care Program also includes the maintenance and updating of their habitats, daily care, and enrichment to closely mimic the mental and physical stimulation they would experience living free.

Our 2018, Animal Care and Veterinary expenses, aside from the equipment so generously contributed by donations from Giving Tuesday 2018, stand at:

  • Habitat Expenses – $ 28,790
  • Payroll – $ 12,600
  • Rescue Expenses – $968
  • Animal Enrichment – $2,825
  • Animal Care – $15,487
  • Animal Food – $131,276
  • Medication – $16,492
  • Vet Procedures – $16,818

Total Expenses – $225,256

Together, we can continue to offer them the best quality of lifelong care here at the Refuge.  Remember, winter is our slowest time for visitors, so we need your support now more than ever! Donate today to help us keep helping them! 

Making a Difference in 2018

Counting Down Until 2019

December 27, 2018

The countdown to 2019 has begun in earnest. With only four days left of this year, we are already looking forward to the adventure that awaits us in the coming new year. Despite how eager we might be to jump into 2019, we still have a lot of work to do these last few days of 2018. We still have animals to care for, visitors to educate, and bills to pay. We hope that these last few days are filled with pleasant weather, great supporters, and plenty of happy tiger chuffs.

Now is the time to get your last minute tax-deductible donations sent. To have your donations count towards your 2018 taxes, make sure you have your checks mailed out or your digital donations submitted by December 31, 2018. All non-membership donations are 100% tax-deductible, and 100% of donations go towards the care of the animals that call Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge home. Every donation made helps the animal residents, no matter how big or small.

Some examples of how far your donation can go are:

  • $7 – Provides a week’s worth of supplements for an animal
  • $25 – Covers routine bloodwork to diagnose health problems for a single animal
  • $50 – Covers annual vaccinations for one animal
  • $110 – Is the cost of a cylinder enrichment toy
  • $130 – Is the cost of a 20″ boomer ball
  • $250 – Provides a day’s worth of special diets for all animal residents
  • $335 – Is the cost of a “Ball in a ball” boomer ball
  • $1,200 – Is the budget for a year of basic animal enrichment supplies

Although we are in need of general donations, you also have the option of putting your end of the year tax-deductible donation towards one of our programs, such as adoptions or sponsorships. If you opt-out of memberships, adoptions, and sponsorships are also 100% tax-deductible. Now is the time to purchase an adoption, as of January 1, 2019, adoption pricing will rise to $150 per animal no matter the species and will no longer include an annual membership pass. Although animals can only be sponsored by one person at any time, any number of individuals can symbolically adopt an animal. Some animals have a lot of adopters, but a few only have one. You can ring in the new year with a new symbolically adopted furry family member!

Animals with only one adopter:

  • Holli – Black Bear
  • Harley – Black Bear
  • Jasmine – Tiger
  • Sadie – Tiger
  • Ty – Tiger
  • Shakira – Liger

The Turpentine Creek Wildlife team would like to thank all our supporters for making 2018 a fantastic year. Without your support and donations, we would not be able to continue our mission, click here to donate today. We hope that the end of 2018 is wonderful and that you have a purrfect 2019.