Can you bring the cats out to my event ?

Our cats never leave the sanctuary except for medical reasons. Please don’t ask.


Posted in Frequently Asked Questions

Why can’t you release these animals back into the ‘wild’?

These are all captive born animals, not wild born. Many arrived declawed and don’t know how to hunt. They would starve and die. What wild is left? They were imprinted by humans at birth and would not survive. We strive for a more natual environment and hope the public will help us financially to make it so.


Posted in Frequently Asked Questions

Yogie and Friends in the Shreveport Times

Shreveport Times photo

Shreveport Times

FRIERSON — Three years have passed since a state law regulating the importation and private ownership of big exotic cats went in to effect, but only recently has Yogie and Friends Exotic Cat Sanctuary undergone the inspection for the permitting process to be classified as a sanctuary not accredited by the American Zoo and Aquarium Association. The classification allows the sanctuary to stay open to the public.

Only a few improvements were recommended during the on-site visit by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. “I think we did well,” Executive Director Jenny Senier said. “The only problem is it will be costly.”

So the call is going out for financial donations. Yogie and Friends is fortunate, Senier said, to have a good team of volunteers who give of their time when projects need to be done at the Frierson location. The public also responds to the various fundraisers sponsored throughout the year.

But she’s yet to put a dollar figure on the LDWF recommendations. “I just know concrete is expensive,” Senier said of the suggestion that a ring of concrete be added at ground level around the perimeter to ensure the big cats’ fenced enclosures are secured to the ground.

Other suggestions were to extend the fencing up to 16 feet to replace the current setup that includes 12-feet vertical and 4-feet overhang and provide either concrete or cinderblock shelters for the animals to replace the calf hutches.

The latter is to protect the lions and tigers during inclement weather — a concern stemming from Louisiana’s sporadic hurricanes. Fortunately, Senier said, none of the animals have been harmed during a weather incident, nor have there been any safety issues involving the public.

“They just want extra precautions and we’re fine with that. We always go above and beyond what we need to do so I’d rather go above and beyond if that’s what they want,” Senier said.

Maria Davidson, of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Fur and Refuge Division in Baton Rouge, led the inspection team. She was on vacation this week and unavailable for comment.

Davidson told The Times in a previous interview, however, that the intent of the law enacted in 2006 is to ensure public safety and the health of the animals. She cited headline-grabbing stories where people had been maimed or injured by exotic animals because they were allowed to get too close to them.

The same law bans traveling petting zoos and circuses that offer photographs with exotic cats.

Senier strongly agrees that Yogie’s residents — six tigers, six lions, three servals and one cougar, black leopard and bobcat — should not be accessible to the public. That’s why an 8-foot perimeter fence and a walkway separate the cats from the visitors.

And the sanctuary is only open for five hours Saturday. School or special tours are available by appointment only.

The restricted access allows for the sanctuary’s volunteer team to carry out an education program. It also lessens stress on the animals, with all but one, Moses, having been rescued from abusive situations.

Moses is unique in that the 3-year-old lion was born unexpectedly at the sanctuary. His birth is how Senier and animal care director Tim Mills learned a vasectomy on one of the adult males did not take.

“He’s like a little kid,” Senier said of Moses, who could live to be 30 years old.

The animals’ health and food, and the sanctuary’s escape and emergency plans also were reviewed during the inspection. Yogie and Friends has held a U.S. Department of Agriculture license since it opened in 2000.

Once Senier has cost estimates for the upgrades in hand, she’ll submit a plan and timeline to LDWF. Some of the work, such as creating the concrete or cinderblock cat houses, could take three to five years because Senier wants to explore designs at different zoos.

The fencing will get attention first. Already, $600 has been spent to purchase new poles to tighten up areas where the exterior fence is flexible at the top.

“We’re unique. We’re the only big cat sanctuary in the state. So we will do what we have to do. Our priority is to keep the public safe and keep our cats safe,” Senier said.


Posted in Special Announcements

July 2009 News

Greetings All!

We hope everyone had a safe and happy July 4th holiday. I am late in writing this because we are working so hard at Yogie and the heat has been so bad. As I write this we are actually seeing the first rain we’ve had in weeks. It feels great and we hope we see more.

GomNat250.jpg Funds for Facility Upgrades: With the new requirements we have to meet in regards to cat den houses and other concrete work at Yogie and Friends we can really use your financial help. Any money you donate is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law and we are a 100% volunteer driven organization. Nobody receives any compensation whatsoever. It’s all about the animals for us. So, please help us with any financial assistance. There is no gift too big or small to help. We are looking at costs of $100,000 or more and really need your help. We will post the projects on our website once we get the design and costs figured in order for you to see the projects.

Kroger Neighbor to Neighbor Program: The Neighbor to Neighbor program is back on line. The bar code from the old letter will still work, but you still need to bring the letter with you to Kroger the next time you go shopping and have them scan the bar code at the register when you check out. They will then put Yogie and Friends on your Kroger Plus Card and every time you shop at Kroger and use your Plus Card Yogie and Friends will receive one percent of the sales. It might sound like a small number, but it adds up more than you can imagine. The new Kroger customer letter is on our site for you to print out and bring with you the next time you shop at Kroger. The program is only available in Texas and Louisiana, but that’s still a large area of coverage. Tell all your friends about this. Accumulation for linked cards will begin July 1, 09 – April 30, 10.

Bake Sale Change of Venue: Our ever popular Yogie and Friends bake sale and fundraiser will be moved to Petco on Youree Drive in Shreveport. Sadly, Courtyard Coffee sold its business and it is no longer conducive to us holding our bake sales there. Petco has offered their store for us to do our next bake sale, which is scheduled for Saturday, September 12th from 11 A.M. – 4 P.M. Watch for details.Bubba250.jpg

Energy Cost Increases: Well, we got an unpleasant surprise in the form of our electric bill this past month. We were told that prices were going up, but imagine our surprise to see our already high bill increase by more than $200. In the overall scheme of things you wouldn’t think that we use much electricity, but we do run filter pumps to the tiger pools and have food storage freezers for the specialized diet. Those are our big expenses for electricity. Obviously we don’t have heating and air conditioning to worry about. The only time air conditioning is an issue is in the admissions building and that is just once a week and the cost is minimal to run it. This is just one of the expenses that comes with caring for the cats.

Feral Cats and Dogs: We cannot stress enough on how important it is for people to spay and neuter their pets. Some people let their cats be indoor/outdoor pets, but they don’t always spay or neuter them. Well, there seems to be an increase, as usual around spring and summer, of feral cats. There are some feral dog colonies, but more cats. Cats breed much faster than dogs and you’ll typically see more feral cats. The problem is that one litter of four kittens can produce a minimum of 52 cats in just 14 months. That is a big problem. All of this to say, and I cannot stress it enough, please spay and neuter your pets. It’s the kindest thing to do. We are working on a rescue as I write this and will list the family of mom and her four kittens on our website for adoption, but please note. We do not do same day adoptions.

Parties: We get several requests to do parties at Yogie and Friends. If this is something you are interested in doing, then Tigger-Panther.jpg please contact us. The parties will be held after we close at 5 P.M. This will give our party goers a more private opportunity.

Volunteer Help Needed: We can use regular volunteers to act as tour guides and someone to work in the admissions/gift shop on Saturdays. We are open Noon – 5 P.M. You must be 16 or older (with reliable transportation). We ask that you are able to drive yourself to the facility so you aren’t depending on someone else to get you there.

Other ways to help us help the cats:

Yogie On-line Store: Our on-line shopping is up and running. We will be adding items as we get them. All the money you spend goes to the animals. It’s a great way to help.

Combined Federal Campaign. It is that time of year again when Federal and Military personnel can donate to Yogie and Friends through payroll deduction under the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) program. If you are interested in contributing this way our CFC number is 42427.

Coins for Cats! I recently emptied a little piggy bank I throw all my change in when I come home. It wasn’t even full, maybe half so. It added up to $106! That little bit of effort ended up being a nice chunk of change. I gave it to Yogie and Friends. This is a neat way for kids to be able to help the animals with very little effort.

 

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Cans for Cats! Kids can also help by collecting cans and taking them to the local recycling center for cash and this can also add up to a nice piece of change for the cats. It’s something kids can do to help go green and help the big cats all at once.

We have several programs for you to help our animals: www.magfundraising.com, www.igive.com, Cause ID 19883, www.networkforgood.org, www.goodsearch.com, just to name a few. They are all listed here on our website.

Check out the programs being offered at Yogie and Friends. There is the Yogie and Friends Membership Program , Sponsorship Program, and Corporate Sponsorship Program . These are programs that help us support the animals and another way that you can get involved. Program packages are available here on our website.

Go Green with our ink jet and cell phone recycling program. Details are listed on our website.

Please remember to spay and neuter your pets. BatmanˍLionˍSanctuary.jpg

Also, do what you can to prevent flea and ticks causing serious illnesses to your animals. They deserve your care and kindness. Pest control is a big issue this time of year. Mosquitoes are carriers of the heartworm disease that we see in so many animals. You can help avoid some of this by making sure you don’t have stagnant water around your property, which is a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Give heartworm preventatives to your animals. Get regular checkups for your pets. Also, please make sure you provide all your animals, inside and outside, fresh, clean water and shelter from the elements. Change their drinking water often and make sure the water hose has been running cool water before you fill their bowls.

Be good to your animals. Be good to people! Be a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves.

Jenny and the Yogie Cats!


Posted in Monthly Newsletter and tagged , ,