Metro Jacksonville visits North Florida's longest operating wildlife sanctuary: The Catty Shack Ranch
It all started about 30 years ago with our Executive Director/Curator Curt LoGiudice. Curt actually started out training police dogs and began working with exotic animals in 1982. He acquired his state license in 1984 and his federal license in 1992. In 1994 “The Florida Panther project” asked him to be their representative in Jacksonville for educational presentations about endangered panthers. His rescue mission had begun. Curt has continued to learn from veterinarians caring for his animals and attends conferences in The Exotic Animal Industry and attends meetings with the Fish and Game Commission in Florida. Curt works with the USDA and state officials when accepting animals from private owners who can longer care for their animals. Most importantly, he has earned the respect of the animals in his care and the mutual respect is obvious to anyone watching!http://www.cattyshack.org/about-us/our-history/
In 2000, the Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary was granted its nonprofit 501c3 status. A board of directors was established and has taken many steps to help ensure the best care possible for the animals in need. The board adopted a no breeding, no selling, no trading, and no buying policy to help ensure every animal that is given refuge here will not be jeopardized by irresponsible growth. Some of the cats were born here in the past, but they have stayed here and we have never sold, traded or bought any animals in the past. All of the animals taken in at the Catty Shack Ranch have a permanent home for life.
In 2004, we became licensed/accredited to be open to the public. We strongly believe in educating our children and the public about the dangers of owning these beautiful exotic animals as “House Pets”, and their plight in the wild. We give educational school tours year round and we are open on selected weekends to the public. Please visit our link “Upcoming Events” for more information.
We are fortunate to have our own Medical Facility on the property to care for our animals. We have a group of very dedicated veterinarians and dentists that are committed to giving our animals the best care available.
Last but not least, we could not be where we are today if not for all of our volunteers. The Catty Shack Ranch Wildlife Sanctuary is completely run by volunteers. We have NO paid employees, so 100% of donations goes directly to benefit the animals. We even have a thrift store that is stocked by generous donations from our supporting community. Please visit our link “Volunteer Opportunities” if you are interested in volunteering to help these beautiful animals!