Friday, August 26, 2011

An Interview with the President of In-Sync Exotics!

The life of a CEO and President of a wild exotic animal sanctuary is never boring.  Between the paperwork, staff, sanctuary operations and animal issues, there is a little time for rest, relaxation, and trips!

So, when an opportunity arose for Vicky to travel to New Jersey and Indiana, she and her husband, Eddie, took to the friendly skies to check on the former Poetry big cats that left Texas in August 2011 (for a recap of the Poetry cat rescue, take a look at these blog stories).

Earlier this week, “Cat Tales” spoke to Vicky about her adventurous travels, to find out “just how are the Poetry cats doing in their new homes?”

CT:       Vicky, tell us about your trip to New Jersey?

Vicky:   Well, Eddie and I left for the airport early Thursday morning to catch a flight, at no cost to the sanctuary, to Houston.  We were flying on stand-by, so we were at the mercy of the airline!  After being bumped from that flight, we finally caught a plane to St Louis—we were on our way to see the cats! 

We “enjoyed” a three hour lay-over in St. Louis before we caught a flight to Philly (Philadelphia).  By the time we arrived in Philly it was after 11:00pm!

Not wanting to waste any time, we rented a car and drove to Tom’s River, where we bunked for the night.  Six and a half hours later we were back on the road, making our way to Popcorn Park Zoo!  When we arrived, John Bergmann, Popcorn Park Refuge Manager, took us right to the former Poetry cats.  

CT:        So tell us, how does Porthos look?

Vicky:   Porthos looked great!  He now lives next door to a female lioness, Nyla, whom we sent to John in 2005 and who has a thing for Porthos.  She is absolutely infatuated with him, but he does not share her affections—at least not yet.  John hopes to integrate Porthos and Nyla sometime in the future.  Right now they are getting to know one another—nose to nose style!

CT:        How is Porthos adjusting to the changes?

Vicky:    Porthos loves the weather in New Jersey.  We could not have asked for a more perfect day to visit the cats.  Porthos loves rolling around in the grass, something he did not have before in Poetry—just laying back and relaxing as only as a lion can.  Porthos really took to John!  When John moves around the enclosure, Porthos is right there with him—stopping when he stops, walking when John walks—it was great to see how well Porthos adjusted to his new home!

CT:        Who else did you see at the Popcorn Park Zoo?

Vicky:    Lance & Gwiunever!  When John and I approached their enclosure, Gwiun was lying in the grass and Lance ran right over to see us.  It was so great to be greeted by these two—there was lots of cougar “talk” (didn’t know I spoke cougar, did ya?) and cage rubbing.  John must be a cougar “whisperer” or something because these two cats just love following him around.  It was amazing to watch!

CT:        Didn’t Popcorn Park Zoo also take in three female cougars?

Vicky:   They sure did!  We saw Camille, and Fiona—outside relaxing Zoie was in the cougar house, They all looked great and very content with their new home.

CT:        How’s Taj doing—wasn’t she the tiger with no tail?  

Vicky:   Yes, Taj was the one with a missing tail.  She is still adjusting to her new home, refusing to go outside because it is too scary for her right now.  Taj had to make the biggest adjustment when she moved from the horse stall to a new spacious enclosure, slowly adjusting to John, as she is really afraid of men.  After a little coaxing, Taj came over to us and greeting us with chuffs and cage rubs.

CT:        Do you think Taj remembers you?

Vicky:    I think so…I’d like to think so!

CT:       Didn’t you place some animals at Popcorn Park Zoo several years ago?

Vicky:   We placed the lioness, Nyla, back in 2005 and Bengalie, being the first tiger we placed at Popcorn Park Zoo back in 2003, and of course, Dante and Cesar (tigers), were also placed just one year before that in 2002.  It was like a big cat reunion!  I really miss those guys.

CT:       Sounds like everyone had a great time at Popcorn Park Zoo—

Vicky:   We did!  We were there during feeding, so we got to see how the cats interacted with one another during that time—it was really hard to leave them all at the end of the day!

CT:       I heard you made a new friend outside of John’s office?

Vicky:  Yeah, I guess you saw the photo of me and the goat together.  He was such a rascal!

CT:       I bet you were tired after your first day at the Popcorn Park Zoo, right?  Did you get a chance to sleep in?

Vicky:    Don’t I wish!  After three hours of sleep, Eddie and I were back on the road again, traveling to Philly to return the rental car and catch a flight to Indianapolis, Indiana.  By the time we arrived at Exotic Feline Rescue Center, located in Centerpoint, Indiana, it was around 4:30pm.  We were greeted by Joe Taft, founder and director of EFRC, and he gave us a quick tour of the sanctuary.

CT:        Did you get to see the former Poetry cats?

Vicky:   We did.  We saw Lola and Kitty eating dinner, but we could not see Lilly that well because she had dragged her food into her den.  It was late, so we decided we’d come back the next day so we could spend more time the lions.

CT:        So how was Day 2?

Vicky:   Great!  We received another tour of the facility, we visited with the girls some more, but unfortunately we had to visit D’Artainian in the clinic area. 

CT:        Is D’Artainian okay?

Vicky:    D’Artainian is still recovering from dental surgery as he had a painful abscess tooth removed that prevented him from chewing his food.  He lost a lot of weight, poor baby, but last I heard, he started eating again and hopefully he will make a full recovery.  We are keeping in touch with Joe as everyone at In-Sync is pulling for D'Artainian.

CT:        Sounds like all the former Poetry cats are doing okay in their new homes.  Do you have anything else you’d like to share with the CT reading audience?

Vicky:    Just that I want to thank John and Joe for giving me the grand tour of their facilities, allowing me to re-connect with the Poetry cats, and—well, to thank them both for giving the Poetry cats a second chance at love, life, and happiness.  It was a great trip!

Cat Tales wants to thank Vicky for giving us this update on the Poetry cats. As a flash back to the past, let's see where these same cats came from:

Thanks to everyone who made this amazing rescue possible!

Want to help In-Sync continue its mission of rescuing and caring for big cats in crisis? Please make a donation to our current Razoo project at!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Leaving a Lasting Legacy for the Animals

Chances are you have already made a charitable contribution to In-Sync Exotics in the past, but have you considered including us in your will or estate planning so you can make a lasting legacy in the lives of the animals for years to come?

What exactly does it mean to leave a legacy?

Basically, it means leaving a gift from your “estate” to a non-profit charitable organization, such as In-Sync Exotics, commonly referred to as “planned or deferred giving.”

If you own anything at all, you own an “estate.”  This includes real estate, cash, all property, investments, retirement plans, life insurance, and other appreciated assets.  Your estate may be larger than you think! 

How do I leave a gift for In-Sync Exotics?

It’s simple!  You can arrange to leave a gift to In-Sync Exotics through a will or a living trust.  You can set aside a certain dollar amount; leave a percentage of your estate or assets left over after providing for the family and paying taxes and creditors; or leave a paid-up life insurance policy, retirement account or other financial investments.

If you decide to include us in your will or estate plan, please name us as:

In-Sync Exotics, Inc., a non-profit corporation, organized and existing under the laws of Texas, and with the business address of 3430 Skyview Drive, Wylie, Texas 75098.  Our tax identification number is 31-1726497.

Do I have to include my wish to leave a gift to In-Sync Exotics?

Your bequest cannot take effect unless you state your intention in your will or living trust.  So, please remember to put your wishes in writing!

Do I have to completely revise my will to leave a bequest?

No.  You will need to ask your attorney to amend your will or trust to include us as a beneficiary and designate the amount of your bequest or leave a percentage of your estate to In-Sync Exotics. 

Can I leave a gift in memory of a person or for a specific purpose?

Yes.  A memorial gift is a terrific way to perpetuate the values and ideas you share with a loved one.

Must my bequest be unrestricted?

A bequest may be directed to a specific animal care program (restricted) such as animal feed, medicine, rescues, enclosures, enrichment, education, etc., or you can tell us to apply it to our general fund or use it for the need that we believe is most pressing at the time we receive your gift (unrestricted).  So that your gift can be most useful, we prefer that the terms of the bequest be as general as possible (unrestricted).  Please consult your attorney for assistance in this particular area of the bequest.

Do I need to tell In-Sync Exotics that I left a gift in my will or trust?

That is completely up to you.  We would like to know when you designate a gift to our organization so we can show you our appreciation and make certain we meet any conditions you might specify in the will or estate.

Getting Started in Leaving a Lasting Contribution

Planning your estate is a fantastic way to make a lasting contribution to In-Sync Exotics.  Let’s take a look at the most common ways of leaving a bequest: 
  • Leaving In-Sync Exotics a gift through your will or revocable living trust;
  • Designate In-Sync Exotics as beneficiary of your bank account, retirement and pension plan, or insurance policy; and/or;
  • Donate securities (stock), personal property, real estate, and insurance policies.
Please consult with an attorney to help you draw up a will or estate plan that will meet legal requirements and that which is most advantageous for you and your family.

Whether your bequest is $100 or 1,000,000, you can support our mission beyond your lifetime by choosing to leave a bequest for In-Sync Exotics. 

Again, if you decide to include us in your will or estate plan, please name us as:

In-Sync Exotics, Inc., a non-profit corporation, organized and existing under the laws of Texas, and with the business address of 3430 Skyview Drive, Wylie, Texas 75098.  Our tax identification number is 31-1726497.

This information is provided to you only as a reference and is not intended as legal or financial advice.  We strongly recommend you contact a qualified attorney, financial advisor, or estate planner before making a bequest to In-Sync Exotics.

We thank you in advance for your kind consideration of adding us to your will or estate planning, and we welcome any questions you may have regarding how we can fulfill your specific wishes in leaving your legacy with us!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Get In-Sync with our Big Cats’ Needs by Donating to Our Hungry Carnivore Campaign!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Cherokee Has A Special Message For You!

Greetings In-Sync Exotics Fans!

This is your Tuesday reminder to write your Greatnonprofit  review of In-Sync Exotics today! We are now in first place, but in order to hold the top position, we need your help!

If you have not written your review of In-Sync Exotics, now would be a great time to let your voice be heard! 

For a little writing motivation, I've asked Cherokee to share her story with you:

Your review is very important because it helps potential donors make informed decisions on whether or not to contribute to our programs.  Exotic wild cats, like Cherokee, rely on the kindness of others, so won’t you please help her and the other cats by writing a review today? 

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 once again! Our cats, staff, and volunteers thank you so much!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Jett Wants To Remind You to Write Your Review Today!

This is your Monday morning reminder to write your In-Sync review today! We are now tied for first place!

If you have not written your review of In-Sync Exotics, now would be a great time to let your voice be heard! 

Why does In-Sync Exotics exist? Well, we'd thought Jett could fill you in on the details...

So, don't forget to write your review today -- for Jett and all the other exotic cats that call In-Sync home.

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 once again!  Thank you so much for support of In-Sync Exotics!