I read about Keepers of the Wild in The Smithsonian and so went on a tour of it with my wife over ten years ago. Since then we have volunteered there every couple of years. When you go for a tour you get to see a diverse collection of unwanted animals, ranging from lions to skunks, from a huge African Tortoise to a wolf pack; there are tigers, several monkeys, and even a cow, along with so many other animals. Each has a story: they were almost starved to death, they attacked their owner, they attacked multiple people, or a company just didn't want the tiger anymore. Hearing the stories can sometimes be sad; while others are quite funny or cheerful, like getting to hear of a rescue or event that led to that animal's very happy move to their new home.
Keepers of the Wild has a motto of: We love. We care. We protect. We are Keepers of the Wild. They never abuse the animals and offer a permanent place for them to live out their lives while giving one last performance--and that is to educate people about the dangers of owning such animals--and the dishonor of harming them.
I drove 23 hours from College Station, Texas, with a group of 14 students from Texas A&M University to volunteer at Keepers of the Wild. We sacrificed our "spring break" as a service project. It was an amazing experience for all of us. The owners, staff and volunteers worked their hearts out for the benefit of the animals. The facilty, habitats, and cages were cleaned to insure good health for the residents. Feeding time, twice a day, worked like a well oiled machine. The animals are know by their names, dietary needs and personalities. Each animal has a story and if it wasn't for Jonathan Kraft, they wouldn't have the opportunity to live their lives in this most humane way. If you love animals and can help, this Nonprofit organization deserves your help. Donate time, materials, supplies or MONEY! I fell in love with a hybrid wolf, Moondance. I am his sponsor and you can have your choice of an animal to sponsor. Check out the web page and learn more about Keepers of the Wild.
Trent and Laura Brandt
I started working for KOTW in March 2001 when they were located in Las Vegas. It was my childhood dream come true, literally. I have never had so many fun memories in a lifetime put together than i do working for Jonathan and Tina. Watching these two move these animals from the Las Vegas facility, which was very small but they made it work, to White Hills Az was amazing. The animal had larger cages, more room to play, it was a good home. We would get to stay the night in a trailer at the end of the property and would wake up in the morning to the sounds of the lions talking. Like I said, memories for a lifetime! Then KOTW found an amazing final home for their animals., Valentine AZ. I have unfortunately only been able to make this long drive twice. I miss the sanctuary, I think about it everyday! My dream is to one day work there full time, course i'd have to hit the Loto first so i could move hahaha! This is why its called a dream. But if you remember in the first part of my story, KOTW made my childhood dreams come true so you never know what could happen!!! Thank you Jonathan and Tina, I am grateful to you more than you'll ever know!!!!!
R E V I E W S
I have visited Keepers of the Wild several times now. The first two times was with my sons class as a field trip. It is amazing how they have grown. It is a fantastic place to visit. Jonathan Kraft is a wonderful man and sincerely dedicated to these animals. I took the guided tour with Tina. It is clear they have a great respect for these animals. The tour was great and very informative.
They get a lot of visitors making their way down Route 66. We had a couple from Australia with our group. They were shocked at some of the laws in some states that allow exotic animals as pets.
I think the most eye opening info is that have a lion and several tigers that were "photo op" animals. Some states allow you to have your pics takes with cubs. When they get too big, they are usually destroyed. Keepers have been able to offer a home to some of these animals and for that I thank them!
Keepers of the Wild has built a solid reputation throughout its 21 year history. Keepers of the Wild is an accredited charity by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and was awarded a National Charity Seal for meeting the highest standards of charity accountability and earned the highest ratings with charity watchdogs including Charity Navigator, Guidestar, Great Nonprofits, and BBB Wise Giving Alliance.
The sanctuary is fully licensed by the United States Dept. of Agriculture (U.S.D.A.), the United States Dept. of the Interior (U.S.D.I.), the Department of Wildlife, and Arizona Game & Fish.
Keepers of the Wild has received numerous commendations and awards for excellence in animal care including Nevada Wildlife Federation, the S.P.C.A., the Humane Society and Arizona Attorneys' & Sheriffs' Association.