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Thank you!

To the amazing people who volunteer, donate, adopt, sponsor, intern, create fundraisers, and partner with us, a simple "Thank You" cannot express our sincere gratitude for all you do for CARE and our beloved animals.  We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Please view these links for information about the people who so graciously help us here at CARE:

Thank you to following organizations and people have helped make CARE what it is today:

  • Alan Ayo
  • Alana Schooling
  • Alex Brandonisio
  • Alexander DeMarzo
  • Amanda Alvarez
  • Angie Schaffer
  • Annette Wiley
  • BD
  • Andrew Rottner
  • Bridgeport Animal Hospital
  • Bridgeport Guns & Ammo
  • Brie Butler
  • Bryan Berry Jr.
  • Bugs & Ashes
  • Christopher and Kathleen Ray
  • Christopher Docampo
  • Claude and Stacey Maealiuaki
  • Cook & Mc Donald CPA
  • CS Solutions
  • Danielle Aguillard
  • Decatur Livestock
  • Denice and Rich Hazelwood
  • Derek Blakley
  • Derek Krahn
  • Destiny, Dakota, and Dustin Krahn
  • Devon Energy
  • Diane Mann
  • DRAMA Furry Fiesta
  • Ed & Celia Gebhart
  • Elaine Smith
  • Emily Willard
  • Garrett Family
  • Genieve Van De Merghel
  • Glen & Rasa Poorman
  • Globaltec Venture
  • Hans De Froy
  • Heidi Krahn
  • Home Depot – Lake Worth
  • Huong Nguyen
  • I.E.S.I
  • International Exotic Animal Sanctuary (I.E.A.S.)
  • Jamie Newman
  • Jamie Reed
  • Jason Ramier
  • JD & Lisa Thompson
  • Jean Robb
  • Jim Herreid
  • Kay Deli
  • Kim Choate
  • Laura Frazier
  • Little Lotus Hearts
  • Mann Refrigeration
  • Marilyn Lucas (you will always be in our hearts)
  • Marsha Little
  • Martha Waller
  • Mas Meats
  • Melanie Klein
  • Paul & Danielle Frey
  • Peggy Thomas
  • Policeman Mover
  • Pronto's
  • Randall Bridwell
  • Richelle and James Brogan
  • Rick and Cindy Beauregard
  • Ronny Blackwell
  • Sally Luxton
  • Scott Fairley
  • Shawn Barr
  • Sheppard AFB 80th Operational Support Squadron
  • Subway - Bridgeport and Chico
  • Sutter Investments
  • Tom & Beth Ferrier
  • Triple B Builders
  • TW Tires
  • TXI
  • Value Rite Pharmacy
  • Yellow Freight

The Center for Animal Research and Education very gratefully acknowledges the following individuals who helped give CARE life:


George Thompson

The Founding Father of CARE

CARE opened its doors in 2003 with 55 big cats and very little funding. “Terrified” is not a word we use lightly to explain how all of us felt in the early days of CARE–because as much as we loved our cats and wanted to do right by them, love does not pay the bills.

GeorgeImmediately, we needed to build enclosures for 7 of the cats. We also had nearly $10,000 in licenses and insurance fees due. These are just some of the costs of running a big cat facility. Then, like an angel, George Thompson of Addison, Texas, entered the picture, along with long-time business partner Marc Sparks (read about Marc Sparks below). When George heard of our plight, he blessed CARE with enough funding to build 7 wonderful enclosures, and even more funding for general operations. George then searched our wish list and purchased a desperately needed new tractor and gator. Without George Thompson’s giving spirit, the big cats probably would not have the wonderful home they have today. Thanks will never be enough for his generosity as we began our journey.


Marc Sparks

The Man Who Keeps CARE Alive

“There is only one possible answer why I have been so incredibly blessed in my life and that is to give back. There simply isn’t another reason as to why I have the ability to do the things I do.” (from Marc Sparks’ personal web site).

MarcAnd give he has. Marc Sparks of Addison, Texas, has repeatedly blessed the cats of CARE. He has donated to the general operating of CARE more than any other individual. Marc is also responsible for the completion of the “Sparks Veterinary and Education Center,” where we provide medical care to our cats using two critical care enclosures and quarantine areas. This Center allows CARE volunteers to properly nurse sick, injured, or rescued animals. In addition, the Center hosts big cat researchers who come to CARE to study our felines, and provides housing for our interns. Without the support of the Sparks Family, CARE could not have grown like it has. Marc-thank you for sharing your blessings with CARE!


Gerard Van de Merghel

The Heart of CARE

In 2004, Gerard came all the way from his home in California to a CARE educational retreat. This is when Gerard fell in love with our big cat family. Soon after, a beautiful little tiger named Fire came along and stole his heart. Fire was a special needs baby. Without expensive medical care she would not live. Gerard stepped forward and adopted Fire with all of her needs. With special medications, a special diet, a neurologist, an ophthalmologist, and an incredible amount of love, Fire is now a happy, healthy, full-grown tiger. Gerard continues to support CARE with generous donations that help cover our operating costs. He makes regular trips to CARE throughout the year and we love to see him. Fire especially looks forward to his visits! Gerard, thank you for giving of yourself and your resources to keep CARE going!

Lonnie and a young Roscoe years before CARE

In Loving Memory of Lonnie Jesseph

CARE mourns the loss of one of its dearest friends and champions. Upon meeting this gentleman you would get the feeling his spirit was one that should have existed 150 years ago. He would have been right at home on the open plains of the old west. He was a wanderer, yet always stayed close to the ones who came to depend on his generosity. He had an uncanny habit of showing up when people needed him the most. Lonnie arrived at the sanctuary before there was CARE. In 1991 I struggled to tend to the first 9 tigers that arrived in Bridgeport. There was much work to do and I was without help. I was up to my elbows in blood from feeding the cats. Most people would have sped away fast, but not Lonnie, he stayed and helped.

Lonnie lived at the Sanctuary during the early years. He not only built the big lion enclosure for his old friend Brutus (African Lion), but also obtained a temporary job to pay for the materials to build it. He enjoyed helping those in need. He loved the cats and they loved him back. There is so much of Lonnie in the foundation of CARE it would take volumes of books to give justice to all the gifts he gave over the years. His spirit will remain immortal in CARE and in all those who knew his kindness. We were blessed the day he came into our lives and also blessed the day he left, for he returned to CARE one last time and passed gently in his sleep in a bedroom he helped build…looking out at the sanctuary he helped create… gazing at the big cats he helped save and loved so much.