Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Wednesday Wrap-up -- Released Early Due to Great News!

Yes, that's right; we are wrapping up this holiday week early due to the Thanksgiving holiday!  Your In-Sync Exotics blogger is going to take the next few days off from writing to enjoy the holiday with friends and family.  But before we sign off for the week, here are several important notices to ponder!

Yesterday, the Chase Community Giving Program ended and we painstakingly waited all afternoon for the final results.  We checked the results page often to see when the announcement would be made and our patience paid off!  Guess what???  We came in at #72 with 1530 votes!  That means In-Sync Exotics will receive $25K from Chase Community Giving!!  Yea!!! 

Congratulations to everyone who voted for In-Sync Exotics and making a difference in the lives of our animals!  Needless to say, we are overcome with excitement and gratitude!!

Friday, November 25th, you're invited to spend "Christmas With the Cats" at In-Sync Exotics! Watch the exotic cats under the twinkling Christmas lights that will illuminate your path as you tour our facility with hot cocoa and cider to help keep you toasty warm.

The crisp weather excites the cats so you will be sure to see lots of big (and small) wild cat antics!  

Would your group like a private "Christmas With the Cats" night bone treat tour?  Then you'll want to reserve your very own VIP Group Tour (10 people maximum) today!  Click here for more information about his special event!

You just have to join us, this Saturday, November 26th, for our annual "turkey toss" as our cats will receive lots and lots of prepared turkeys!  Children 13 and under can participate in a cookie decorating contest to win a prize (based on age group).  Children can also participate in free arts and crafts!  Kids, don't forget to submit your coloring page of Emma, as the winner of this contest will be featured on this blog!  Coloring pages and more information about the event can be found here or at our visitors' center.  For more information about this event, click here!

For the next several weeks, everyone will undoubtedly be busy, busy, busy shopping for gifts and treats!  Please do not forgot our animals...they need presents too! 

We have several ways you can help support the cats (some ways are even tax-deductible for 2011), such as:

Our new on-line Gift Shop!  You just have to check out our gifts this year as they are absolutely adorable because they feature our very own cats!

Our on-site Gift Shop!  We have great travel mugs, t-shirts, magnets, etc., and soon hoodies, caps and calendars!  Hopefully the last three items mentioned will be available for purchase next week!

Our cheetah "Fast Track Habitat" on Razoo!  Our cheetahs need a cheetah specific habitat area and your donations can make this possible for them!  Please consider making a special donation to this project.  All proceeds will go directly to the cheetah home improvement project!  Your gifts towards this project are tax-deductible!!

Our wish list!  Our cats have a Santa list too and would love a visit from their secret Santa this year and donated items are tax-deductible!!  Some of the gifts the cats are asking for this are: 
v  Plastic Buckets
v  Rubbermaid Bins
v  Plastic Trash Cans (NO Wheels)
v  Large indestructible Balls (6" - 33 ")
v  Scents (Perfume, Spices, Catnip)
v  Toys made for large Dogs (NO Rubber)
v  Large PAPER Garden/Leaf Bags
v  Large Kongs
v  Boxes (NO Tape or Staple)
v  Large/Medium Rawhide Bones (plain)
v  Hanging Stall Apple
v  Little Tykes Playsets/Houses
v  Plastic Coffee Containers (clean)
v  Plastic Detergent Bottles (clean)
v  Traffic Cones/Barrels
v  Hard, Plastic squeaky Toys
v  Grocery Store Gift Cards
v  Large Pooper Scooper
v  AVON Skin So Soft (protects the cats’ delicate ears from flies!)

Shop and donate programs!  Did you know that when you shop at Albertson's, Kroger, and Tom Thumb a percentage of your sales will go to the cats! 

Don't forget to do your Internet shopping through www.igive.com or www.goodshop.com so you can help support our cats!  Just choose In-Sync Exotics Wildlife & Education Center Exotics as your charitable organization, shop at 100's of participating on-line stores, such as Travelocity, Barnes & Noble, JC Penney, Apple, iTunes and even eBay, and In-Sync Exotics will receive a percentage of your sales!

Traditional donations via Paypal or by check!  We could not operate without traditional donations to cover the costs for animal care and operational expenses.  Your donations ensure our cats receive the very best diet, medical care and loving, enriching environment. Best of all, traditional donations are tax-deductible!!
We also want to thank the volunteers of In-Sync Exotics. They come out rain or shine to care for the animals, including on Thanksgiving Day.

Operating a sanctuary is a 7-day week commitment and regardless of the day of the week the animals’ quarters must be cleaned and the animals fed and watered. Medicine still needs to be dispensed and the animals continue to require loving attention from the staff.

So, two paws up and a mighty lion roar to all the volunteers who will work this holiday, including those volunteers who feed and care for the animals on the night shift often leaving In-Sync Exotics late in the evening (and then going to their regular jobs elsewhere the next morning)!

Oh what the heck--huge roars of approval to all of our volunteers who help make In-Sync Exotics what it is today—a safe haven for exotic wild animals that simply had no other place to go!!! Our cats are truly blessed you chose to volunteer at our sanctuary—thank you!!

As we sign off for the week, the animals and staff wishes everyone a safe and fun-filled Thanksgiving Day!

Future Veterinarians Learn More About In-Sync Exotics' Wild Cats!

It's not every day we get the opportunity to meet future veterinarians in the making at In-Sync Exotics, so when 43 pre-veterinarian students from Texas A&M - College Station came out to In-Sync Exotics to assist us with various projects, we were thrilled!

Dr. Sharman Hoppes from Texas A&M recommended the students visit our facility to learn more about exotic wild animal veterinary medicine.  

After spending some time with us, the students had the opportunity to meet and learn from our veterinarian, Dr. Chuck Kerin, as he gave the students an overview of what it's like to care for exotic wild cats.  Dr. Kerin explained there are many differences in medical treatments performed on domestic versus wild animals, such as the inability to put a bandage on an angry tiger, expecting it to remain on the animal for the duration of treatment, or how about the inability to place an "Elizabethan collar" on an ailing lion! 

The students were given the opportunity to ask our veterinarian questions about veterinary research medicine; learning that there is not a lot of medical research information available on exotic big cats in comparison to their small domestic counterparts. 

Dr. Kerin emphasized the importance of having an Animal Husbandry Training Program so simple medical procedures, such as drawing blood, taking temperatures and performing skin biopsies, as well as examining the cats' bodies, could be performed without having to anesthetize the animals.  

After the medical discussions, the students were treated to a special tour.  One of our former summer interns (2011) and pre-veterinarian student, Emily Larkin, conducted part of the tour, highlighting her experiences at In-Sync Exotics! 

After spending about five hours at In-Sync Exotics, the students walked away with a better understanding and challenges of exotic wild animal medical care and the type of commitment it takes to be a veterinarian!


As a gentle reminder, if you haven't voted for us on Facebook, please do so right away because at noon today, the voting (and the opportunity to be in the running for $25k) ends!  Thank you!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Exciting News to Share With Our Readers!

Just in time for Christmas shopping, we have opened an on-line Gift Shop and you are going to love our adorable cards, ornaments, and Christmas stockings featuring the In-Sync Exotic animals themselves!

We are starting with a small line of gifts for Christmas, but will be expanding our product selection on a regular basis, so you'll want to check back with us often for exciting new gift opportunities. 

All proceeds from the sales of the gift items will benefit the animals as they will be used to purchase animal-specific diets, medicines, vitamins & minerals, and enrichment items for our cats and coatimundi. 

This just another exciting way you can help us provide a caring, safe haven to some of God's most beautiful creatures. We will always put the animals' needs above all else; without your assistance we will not be able to fulfill our mission, so shop and shop often at the In-Sync Exotics' Gift Shop!

Additional exciting news--Crimson is feeling better!  She is acting like her old self again, hissing and grabbing for treat bones as they were presented to her last night. Yea Crimson!

And now, it's time to announce the 3rd "Roar Off" competition results!

Two lions, Aramis and Kahn, vied for top honor as the "Loudest Roarer" at In-Sync Exotics last week.  Needless to say, this was a tough competition as both lions have terrific sounding roars. 

However, there was a clear winner in the competition!  So, with out further ado, we are pleased to announce the winner of the Roar Off competition, Round 3—Kahn!  Kahn secured 71.9% of the vote!

After the holidays, you will have the opportunity to vote, from our three winners of Rounds 1-3, which lion or lions should be crowned "loudest roarer" at In-Sync Exotics for 2011!

Now, for the Who Am I contest--were you able to guess who the mystery tiger was from the newspaper article?  Three people guessed correctly and sent us their responses, but one person was just slightly faster with the keyboard than the other two.  Congratulations Sarina G. for guessing the mystery tiger as... Abrams! 

Last month, we were contacted by Dave Schmitt of esigns.com offering to create signs to direct traffic to In-Sync Exotics. 

This could not have come at a better time because our street address was recently changed from Skyview Drive to Road 384--talk about confusing!  So, new directional signs were created to point weekend traffic to the sanctuary.  We also have a new sign posted near the sanctuary, to let folks know they have found their destination. 

We want to extend two paws up and a huge loud roar of approval to Dave Schmitt of esigns.com for the donation of these signs!  Thank you very much for your kind donations! We now have folks pointed in the right direction--towards the animals of In-Sync Exotics! 

And finally the results of this weekend's Tiger Trot event; we had approximately 178 individuals who attended our 3rd Annual Tiger Trot event on Saturday.  We were able to raise approximately $7,800!  We thank everyone who participated in this years' event and next week we will bring you highlights and photos of event itself, so stay tuned for more Tiger Trot information!