Thursday, August 11, 2011

URGENT: Emergency Appeal For Your Help!

Please make a charitable contribution today!

Over the last several years, In-Sync Exotics has been blessed with a continual stream of donations used to rescue, house, feed, and provide veterinarian care for our animals. 

However, this year we have been hit hard by the current financial and economic conditions, as faced by all Americans.  For the first time in In-Sync Exotics’ history, contributions towards our animals’ care significantly dipped to its lowest level ever.  This could not have happened to us at a worse time as we took in several animals that simply had no other place to go and needed to be treated for a wide range of life-threatening ailments.

Even though our financial situation is grim right now, we made a previous committed several months ago to accept three more cats that should arrive at In-Sync Exotics within the next three weeks! 

We would hate to have to turn these wonderful cats away as we gave our word months ago to accept these animals.  If we have to turn away the three big cats, chances are it will be very difficult for the current authorities to place these animals again as sanctuaries are “bursting at the seams.”  So literally, we are these cats’ last hope for a peaceful and happy life.

We need your help today!  Without your continued support, we may face a severe financial crisis that could affect our continued operations.  I hate coming to you today with this dire news, especially in light of the financial upheaval in the stock market this month.  While we know you would like to make a significant donation to In-Sync Exotics’ cats but cannot afford to do so at this time, we are hoping you can make a smaller gift of $10, $20, $50, or even $100 this month.  No donation is too small!  Can you help us out today?

We are rolling out new ways to donate to In-Sync Exotics very soon, to help us with our $18,000 veterinarian bill which we incurred just within the last six weeks.  In the interim, we come to you with our In-Sync Exotics’ cap in hand, asking you to make a gift for the animals’ care, in any amount you feel comfortable with at this time.

Thank you so much for support In-Sync Exotics – you are the life-blood of our continued operations – without you, we are incomplete.

Warm Regards,

Vicky Keahey
President, CEO
In-Sync Exotics

In-Sync Exotics is #1 Again!

Excellent news, In-Sync Exotic fans!  We are back on top of the GreatNonprofits and Guidestar's second Animal Welfare Campaign!  You may recall that any organization that receives 10 or more positive reviews during the month of August will be featured as a Top-Rated Animal Welfare Nonprofit.

We are halfway through August with  a clear lead in front of our closest competition.  However, we cannot become complacent and rest on our laurels, for you never know when another group may surge ahead.   If you have not written your review of In-Sync Exotics, now would be a great time to let your voice be heard! 

You can see where In-Sync Exotics stacks up against the competition by clicking here.  Let's keep the momentum going, keeping In-Sync Exotics at the top spot!  Thank you so much for support In-Sync Exotics!

Welcome Okemo to the Family!

Yesterday, we welcomed Okemo, a Bengal tiger approximately 17 years of age, to the In-Sync Exotics family!

We agreed several months ago to give Okemo a home after noticing this older tiger, living alone in an enclosure at the bankrupt sanctuary, The Wild Animal Orphanage (WAO), at the time we picked up the sanctuary’s last lion, Sabu.   

When we learned the WAO was having trouble placing some of its older tigers, we agreed to take in Okemo and Lance, a 25 year old tiger, at the same time.  Sadly, Lance was euthanized by the WAO last week, so that just left Okemo needing a home.

So, as Okemo settles in to his new environment, we will be giving him a physical exam to determine his health condition and address any special needs identified by his new veterinarian. 

We are thrilled Okemo joined our family and we hope you will come out and join us in welcoming him to In-Sync Exotics! 

Crazy Cat Tales!

Written By:  Colleen Butler, Board of Directors-Donor Relations

On Saturday I was cleaning Chuffin enclosures and it just so happened that neither Abrams nor Stryker was on the playground so I had to hose their area from the outside.  As I was spraying out Abrams quarters, I became increasingly annoyed with a small pile of leaves that kept eluding me for they were located in the middle of the enclosure!  And on top of that there was another pile of leaves hiding behind his blue play barrel! 

Thinking that it was impossible for Abrams to understand what I was saying to him, but trying to vent my frustration anyway, I asked him to grab the hose and spray the middle of the cage for me.  Silly I know, but he didn't seem to mind the conversation.  Of course, nothing came of it.

I continued spraying from the playground side of the cage doing my best to get those pesky leaves moving in the right direction. Needless to say, Abrams kept walking in and out of the hose spray, getting in the way of my object of pursuit; I think he not only enjoyed the water, but felt like he was part of the cat and mouse game I was playing with those leaves.  

So, I struck up another conversation with him.  This time, I asked him to move his blue play barrel so I could get those illusive leaves.  He walked right over to his barrel, inserted his head and walked off with it!  Thanks to Abrams I was able to blast out the leaves once and for all!  You know, I think Abrams actually understood me and did what I asked!  I know, I know, you think that his understanding of my desire to remove the leaves from his home was totally unbelievable and unrealistic, but hey, I like my little world!

We Slipped to #2...

You may recall in past postings, GreatNonprofits and Guidestar announced the launch of their second Animal Welfare Campaign.  Any organization that receives 10 or more positive reviews during the month of August will be featured as a Top-Rated Animal Welfare Nonprofit.  We were  #1 on the recognition list with 50 positive reviews (32 reviews were written in the month of August)!

But sadly, we have slipped to #2 by just 5 (five) reviews!  If you have not written your review of In-Sync Exotics, now would be a great time to let your voice be heard! 

You can see where In-Sync Exotics stacks up against the competition by clicking here.  Let's keep the momentum going, pushing In-Sync Exotics to the top spot once again!  Thank you so much for support In-Sync Exotics!

Do You Know Who I Am?

What a magnificant masterpiece!

Okay, time to test your knowledge of the In-Sync's cats (great and small).  First person to post the correct answers to this quiz, wins a small prize and bragging rights!  So, let's begin:

1.  Who am I?
2.  What do I love?
3.  Where is my favorite spot?

Remember to answer all three questions.  Our previous winner, Amanda, will have to sit this one out so another person has a chance to win (sorry about that Amanda)!  And to make it fair, long-time volunteers are ineligible to participate in this contest.  Good luck everyone!

Tomorrow morning I shall announce the winner!

Small hint:  The picture and answers can be found on the In-Sync Exotics website!

Friday Morning:

Folks we have a winner and she really knows her In-Sync Exotics' cats!

Congratulations to Lynne Stadler from Allen, TX for being the first person to identify Otis as the cat in the picture, and for correctly answering the three questions!  Lynne, please e-mail Cheymn with your mailing address so we can send you your prize! 

If you want to know more about our magnificent masterpiece Otis, then click here for his wonderful story. 

Thank you for your participation in this month's "Who Am I?" contest! 

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Something New Has Been Added to Our Website!

If you have visited our homepage in the last couple of days, you may have noticed a new seal titled American Sanctuary Association and wondered about its significance. 

We are pleased to announce that In-Sync Exotics was recently certified as a sanctuary that provides high quality animal care and housing by the American Sanctuary Association (ASA)!  We now a part of ASA-accredited sanctuaries, linking us to a wonderful network that allows us to share and receive information relating to sanctuary operations and the latest in animal care and housing. 

ASA accreditation is similar to the American Zoological Association, which provides accreditation to zoos; therefore, in order to become a member, In-Sync Exotics had to comply with a variety of high quality animal care standards and housing requirements.

Besides a detailed application process, in which ASA reviewed our organizational qualifications such as fundraising procedures, board oversight, permits and licenses, organizational bylaws, educational materials and veterinary references, ASA also conducted an inspection of our facility to assure that our operations and animal care programs merited ASA’s endorsement.  As a member of ASA, you can be assured we will not breed, sell or trade animals, or use them for commercial purposes.   

We are very excited to be a part of ASA and we look forward to a long and productive collaboration between In-Sync Exotics and our fellow ASA members!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Our Volunteers Are Appreciated!

We had our 11th annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner at In-Sync Exotics on Friday night (July 22nd), and as usual, we had a great time!  Vicky provided everyone with a wonderful meal (and, more importantly, TONS of desserts!), and we all enjoyed spending some time relaxing together.  We’re usually so busy while we’re at the sanctuary, that it’s a rare treat to just spend time chatting and getting to know each other better.  Of course, talking over the lions’ “singing” all evening was sometimes challenging…

Vicky presented some awards to a couple of people who have made outstanding contributions to In-Sync in the last year, and also announced all the volunteers’ years of service, and gave out magnets of the cats to everyone.  She also gave out aprons with our logo, and “Big Kitty Meat Market” printed on them, to those volunteers who spend a great deal of their time in the commissary, working on the not-terribly-exciting chore of food preparation!

The Board of Directors each got up individually and thanked those volunteers who have helped them in their roles as board members.  Vicky then recapped what was an extremely eventful year at In-Sync!  We were involved in two large rescues (6 tigers from Leona, Texas, and 20 cats from Poetry, Texas), rescued several other cats as well, had our first national television appearance (on the Discovery Channel), and successful fought state legislation that would have shut down most of the sanctuaries in Texas, including ours!

We showed all the volunteers a slide show, that showed many of the amusing aspects of volunteering at In-Sync, and four of our summer interns put on a hilarious skit, demonstrating many of their experiences at our sanctuary.

All in all, it was a very enjoyable evening, and a great opportunity to sincerely thank this amazing group of people, who gave so much of themselves to our cats!

Article written by:  Chemyn Reaney, Volunteer Coordinator

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer with Team In-Sync, please contact Chemyn Reaney to schedule an orientation date!

Not wanting to get your hands dirty?  We would love for you to join our Events Team.  Email Jodie Payson, Director of Events, for details regarding our upcoming events meeting!