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What’s ahead for 2023?



Ending the year with the rescue of 4 Ukraine lion cubs,
we are excited for 2023 and what it can bring!

We’re hoping you’ll join us make a difference in the lives of the cats
and those that care for them.

Here’s to making life even better for the cats – with your help.  Donate Now!

  • Continue Board of Directors recruitment and succession planning for leadership team
  • Lead by example to continue professionalizing the industry through adequate staffing levels, compensation, benefits, and strategic planning
  • Support increased operational expenses to sustain the organization and maintenance of the sanctuary and properties
  • Continue to elevate TWS Animal Care with new approaches to medical needs and animals’ psychological wellbeing
  • Design of a new Hybrid Haven with central building
  • Find new ways to bring the sanctuary to donors through a second Content Creator position and new technology
  • Invest in additional vet equipment and implement a vet tech internship by year end
  • Replace aging van is a priority for rescues and meat pick-ups
  • Purchase 2 additional UTVs for daily feeding, rounds and more
  • Invest in emergency and crisis response equipment for our safety plan and ability to deploy to help other facilities during disasters
  • Habitat enhancements for several residents as well as snow repairs from the 2022 ice storm

I know you have so many charities you can give to. I so appreciate your support of ours!

Charity Navigator 4 – star rating!

I’m incredibly proud to announce The Wildcat Sanctuary has earned a 6th consecutive 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, the nation’s largest and most-utilized evaluator of charities!

Charity Navigator’s president shared, “This is our highest possible rating and verifies that TWS exceeds industry standards and outperforms most charities in your area of work.

Only 20% of charities evaluated have received at least 4 consecutive 4-star evaluations.

This designation sets TWS apart from its peers and demonstrates to the public its trustworthiness.”

2022 Year in Review

2022 was a more challenging year than we expected.  With fuel, utilities and food costs rising, it put a strain on our supporters as well as us here at the sanctuary.  Yet together, we still accomplished so much for the cats!

We welcomed 19 new residents, but we also said a tearful goodbye to 7 beloved residents. Plus, we also rescued big cats within our Witness Protection and Tiger Amnesty programs. And we capped off the year partnering with IFAW to rescue 4 lion cubs from war-stricken Ukraine.

Site and Habitat Improvements

  • Completed and moved into our new Animal Care Center/Hospital with upgraded equipment and closed-circuit TV/security
  • Remodeled the Food & Wellness Center and added an outdoor refrigerator
  • Demolished and constructed a new habitat in Hybrid Haven to provide a more dynamic space
  • Purchased a new heated bungalow for DJ, Axel and Rachel
  • Added several zig zag shade structures to habitats, with support from Trees for Tigers
  • Enhanced several habitats and rooms with new inground skirting, pools and brighter colors painted in the cats’ indoor bedrooms
  • Designed and installed 45 food chutes to big cats’ indoor rooms for more natural feeding experiences
  • Added a winter yard in Pride Prairie to accommodate lion Kimba’s needs
  • Divided Pride Prairie habitats in preparation for new cubs’ arrival
  • Installed road at front of property to our equipment and supply yard
  • Continued repairs and maintenance of habitats
  • Added double doors and access doors to all lockouts as part of our safety protocol

Equipment Acquired

  • Purchased skid steer, dump trailer and new 10 ft. rescue trailer
  • Ensured backup systems with a new property generator as well as several portable generators


  • 6-8 interns each session learning husbandry and advocacy work
  • 32 volunteer Crew Days, averaging 8 people per crew, donated their time to the sanctuary
  • Ongoing volunteers supported cleaning, chores, mowing, gardens and much, much more.


  • Received our GFAS renewal and clean USDA inspection
  • Founder serves on the BCSA steering committee
  • Donor Services Manager serves on the BCSA events committee
  • Founder and Operations Director both presented at BCSA annual conference
  • Partnered with HSUS and successfully defended Minnesota’s Regulated Animal Bill
  • Supported the historic passage of the Big Cat and Public Safety Act!

Leadership, Staffing and Donor Relations

  • Continued to build a sustainable governance board. Welcomed 3 new board members as well as new officers.
  • Developed an Animal Wellness Manager position to work in tandem with the Animal Care Manager ensuring the psychological and physical wellbeing of our residents
  • Added Dr. Clark Campbell, DVM as the sanctuary’s full-time veterinarian to ensure we provide 7 days a week vet coverage, along with our full-time Hospital Manager, volunteer veterinarian and veterinary techs
  • Promoted two long-term caretakers to Senior Caretakers.
  • Added a Caretaker/Construction position to assist in animal care and volunteer crew days
  • Worked on developing our future Strategic Plan with a focus on long term succession
  • Hosted first ever public VIP event giving bidders the chance to experience the sanctuary

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