What TCWR Is Doing To Help

Animal Cruelty Awareness Week

April 24, 2020

In the face of the abuse and neglect thousands of exotic cats and bears experience around the country, Turpentine Creek acts as a forever home and place of refuge. Currently home to 88 animal residents, most of which have been victims of the exotic pet trade or entertainment industry, we are constantly working to increase public awareness about the plight of big cats in captivity.  

As a non-profit, TCWR is reliant completely on donations and the revenue brought in from admissions and supporters to cover the cost of operations. We are not open with the purpose of showcasing our animals. With the price of admission, one is able to come into the Refuge to learn about our mission. Exploring our Discovery Area and going on a guided tour are both educational experiences that are geared toward sharing the stories of our animal residents and their rescues. Our team also offers educational experiences for school groups and events onsite and offsite, to increase our outreach to more than just those that come visit the Refuge in person. These opportunities may look different depending on the occasion, but one thing that is always mentioned, are rescue stories.  

By telling these stories, we are able to teach our guests about the abuse and neglect that face so many exotic animals across the country. Our team does not just cover rescues, they also teach about the realities of cub-petting, white tigers, exotic cat hybrids, private ownership laws, and most importantly, how the public can help make a difference for these animals.  

With 41 USDA licensed cub-petting facilities, immeasurable interactive roadside zoos and psuedo-sanctuaries, and an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 big cats in captivity across the United States, public awareness of the abuse that accompanies these situations is imperative. It is the vision of Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge to put an end to the Exotic Pet Trade though public education. By ending the Exotic Pet Trade and ending the use of big cats in the entertainment industry, true sanctuaries like us, would no longer be necessary. That is completely fine with us, it would mean no more animals are in need of rescue.

Animal cruelty of all shapes and sizes is heartbreaking and detrimental. Turpentine Creek works alongside other Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) accredited facilities and animal welfare organizations to put an end to the suffering of exotic animals in captivity. But, most importantly, our mission would not be possible without our supporters and visitors who become advocates for the animals that cannot speak for themselves. Please lend your voice to these animals by reaching out to your Senators and Representatives to let them know you want to end private ownership and animal abuse. The Big Cat Public Safety Act would do this and is just waiting to be voted on. Visit our Advocacy Page today to help us protect them!