January 2010 Newsletter

Happy New Year!

We pray that everyone had a safe and blessed New Year. May 2010 bring great things for you and for our sanctuary.

Yogie and Friends is facing some big challenges in the New Year with the biggest challenge being the upgrades that the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is requiring of us. These are some huge challenges.

SOS! Save Our Sanctuary: Yogie and Friends needs your help to continue to provide a forever home for the great cats.

Robin-and-Yogie.jpgFor almost ten years now (May 2010 will be our tenth anniversary) Yogie and Friends, which is a USDA licensed (for big cats such as lions, tigers, and leopards) and Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) permitted (cougars and bobcats) wildlife sanctuary, has met or exceeded all requirements and guidelines. We have passed every USDA no-notice inspection with flying colors and continuously make improvements to make life better for our animals and safe for our visitors. In 2006 the laws changed toward private ownership of big cats in Louisiana and now Yogie and Friends, Louisiana’s only exotic cat sanctuary, has been lumped into the same category as private owners. We have applied to be a non-AZA permitted facility in order to remain open to the public for educational visits. The changes that the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries have imposed on us will be costly. We need your help to meet these deadlines in just one short year. LDWF is requiring us to make almost $500,000 worth of upgrades by 10 December 2010. There are several ways that the public can assist in keeping Yogie and Friends open to the public for visitors. These are: 1) monetary donations 2) materials donations, and 3) hands on skills and labor. These are just a few ways to help with the immediate needs of meeting the upgrade requirements. CougarˍBoudreaux.jpg

Yogie and Friends has not experienced any catastrophic events such as those that closed a Louisiana zoo for two weeks or things like a zoo which had the death of an individual that climbed over their so called barriers. Did you know that some zoos only have a four foot high railing between them and the animal pen and children and adults can just climb under them and put their hands through the animal cage? Our perimeter fence is 8 feet high. Did you also know that visitors have free roaming access around zoos and by the time security or a zoo worker gets to these interlopers that injury or even death may have already occurred? At Yogie and Friends there is always a sanctuary volunteer in view of all visitors at all times to prevent any attempt at endangering themselves or an animal. 

Some of the changes we are now required to have are as follows: a ten inch deep concrete footer around all the big cat pens. The reason behind this is so that they don’t dig out. Well, cats don’t typically dig. Dogs do. We have already completed this task with the help of some great Air Force volunteers from Barksdale Air Force base. We also have to raise our pen enclosures an additional four feet. Our pens are 12 feet high with a two foot overhang and this has been the USDA standard and we have met these standards for the past ten years. All cats that do climb, such as cougars, Servals, bobcats, and leopards, have always had a covered pen to prevent any escape. Den houses. These are the most costly and possibly the most labor intensive upgrade we need to make. We can make them out of cinder blocks, steel, or some other heavy item like this. The reasoning behind this is to lock the cats up during inclement weather. We need a great deal of help with these regarding design, costs, and labor.

Delilah250.jpg

If you have the skills or know people with these skills and resources to assist in meeting this requirement, then please let us know.  We realize that Yogie and Friends is not a fancy facility, that this is not where these magnificent creatures should have been in the first place (they should have never been made to live in captivity in any manner), but, the animals that we do have receive the most natural food, best veterinarian care, and are loved by those providing this care. They are here because of human selfishness and exploitation by private pet owners or the entertainment industry. Purposes that these cats have never been intended for and they need a forever home to be safe and cared for. So, please help us continue providing the cats we do have the best rest of their lives. They deserve this from us.


2010 Season: Our season opening is scheduled for 3 April 2010 (Weather Permitting).
We also want to remind folks that our hours of operation changed with the 2009 season, but we realize that there is still some old literature out in the public. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause some folks. It’s difficult to catch all the old flyers, but the Shreveport-Bossier Visitor’s Guide has the most current information and we always make sure that our telephone recording and our website have the most current information.

Special Thanks: We want to recognize some special people for their continuous support throughout the year: Cotton’s Grocery in Shreveport and Mac’s Deer Processing Plant in Stonewall for their contribution of deer during the season. Dr. Jane Eggerstedt and Donna Burrell for financing the animal’s veterinary care. Jeanne Reed who bakes for our bake sales, but more so for all the graphic work she does for our events. And Paige Bass for her wonderful work on our website. She does a great job for us.

Volunteers of the Month: Our volunteers were many during the month of December since we had so many activities. Thanks to Vicki and Brianna Volk, Andrea Labor, and Jeremy Wood for the crazy early hours to do the Natchitoches Christmas Festival. This was a great deal of work and your help was much needed. And to those who helped with the bake sale, Barnes and Noble gift wrapping, and just helping with all the events: Nina Hustus, Douglas Oepbrook, Karen Guerin, Amy Morrissey, Ginger Ramsey, Laura Tedesco, and Sharon DeCarlo. Thank you all.

Kroger Neighbor to Neighbor Program: The Neighbor to Neighbor program is back on line. Please download one of the customer letters from our website and have the cashier scan it with your Kroger Plus card the next time you shop. Yogie and Friends will receive one percent of the sales. It is a great way to help the cats. The program is only available in Texas and Louisiana, but that’s still a large area of coverage. Please share this with your fellow Kroger shoppers. Accumulation for linked cards will begin July 1, 09 – April 30, 10.

Volunteer Help Needed: We need construction and carpentry work and expertise as well as other physical labor work to help meet the new upgrade requirements.

Materials Donation: We need all kinds of construction materials such as nine gauge fence, concrete, steel, etc., to complete the required upgrades.

A few ways to help financially: An easy way you can help the cats is when you do your shopping on-line is by using iGive. If you do your shopping on-line then you can contribute by shopping through the iGive tool. Everything helps. Visit www.iGive.com and select Yogie and Friends as your cause when you shop. It’s so easy.

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.

Taz-bobcat.jpg

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.

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.

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.

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.

Please remember to spay and neuter your pets.

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

Have a safe and blessed Holiday and Happy New Year!

Jenny and the Yogie Cats!


Posted in Monthly Newsletter and tagged , ,

December 2009 Newsletter

Hello All!

The holiday season is upon us and we hope that everyone has a safe and blessed holiday. I realize this update is very late, but there have been so many things going on for the sanctuary that we delayed this in order to get the most updated info out.

SOS! Save Our Sanctuary: Yes, that is what we are asking.

As many of you know Yogie and Friends applied to be a non-AZA zoo permitted facility in order to remain open to the public. We only open for a very short season and only for five hours once a week. We do this to reduce stress on the animals, but at the same time offer an opportunity to educate the public about the plight of these magnificent animals and also as a way to raise the much needed funds for them. Well, we had our inspection to see what changes, if any, would be needed in order to get this permit. When we received our report from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries there were several changes they want us to make in order to remain open to the public. With the current cost of materials and labor we are looking at costs of around $500,000. We were told to provide a timeline of completion dates for these upgrades to LDWF by 31 October 2009. Our completion dates varied by the degree of work needing to be done with the obvious less involved to more extensive work taking longer to do. We also had to take into consideration any possible work stoppage due to inclement weather. LDWF would not accept our timeline and they are only granting us one year (10 December 2010) to complete these requirements. So, we desperately need the public’s help and support in this effort. If you can help or know others who can, then please let them know about these great animals and what we need to continue providing them this forever home.

Tax Deductions: Yogie and Friends is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and your financial contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. We hope you will contribute and do so in a big way. At the same time you will be able to claim a tax deduction at the end of the year. This is a win, win situation.

Upcoming Events:

Barnes and Noble Gift Wrapping Days: Yogie volunteers will be at Barnes and Noble on Youree Drive in Shreveport to wrap gift purchases for donations on the following dates and times:
Wednesday 16 Dec 5 – 9 P.M.
Monday 21 Dec 2 – 6 P.M. Tuesday 22 Dec 2 – 9 P.M. Thursday 24 Dec 2 – 6 P.M.

Holiday Bake Sale and Fundraiser: 19 December 2009 11 A.M. – 4 P.M. at Petco on 6596 Youree Drive in Shreveport.

Volunteers of the Month: We want to thank the following Caddo Magnet Animal House Students for raising $136 for Yogie and Friends during their homecoming picnic. How very kind and thoughtful of you guys for doing this. They are: Jonathan Slocum, Jenny Fourcade, Marissa Monk, Jesse Schmidt and Brad Seidel.
We also want to thank everyone who helped with the pancake breakfast and Natchitoches Christmas Festival. You guys rock.
We want to give a very special thank you to Andrea Labor. Andrea visited Yogie and Friends and began volunteering with us since. Her knowledge of the animals and love of the animals brings with it an enthusiasm for sharing with people that they really enjoy. She was a great asset to visitors at our vendor booth during the Natchitoches Christmas festival and this was a really hard day for us. We never hear any complaints from her about the hours, the heat, the cold, or anything. She loves what she does and is a great asset to the sanctuary. Thanks so much Andrea. You are appreciated. Thank you to our regular volunteers to help throughout the year as well with things like our bake sales, pancake breakfasts, last minute fundraisers, physical work at the sanctuary, our webmaster, and just all those who make helping our animals have a better life than that which they came from. You are appreciated and not forgotten.

Kroger Neighbor to Neighbor Program: The Neighbor to Neighbor program is back on line. Please download one of the customer letters from our website and have the cashier scan it with your Kroger Plus card the next time you shop. Yogie and Friends will receive one percent of the sales. It is a great way to help the cats. The program is only available in Texas and Louisiana, but that’s still a large area of coverage. Please share this with your fellow Kroger shoppers.

Accumulation for linked cards will begin July 1, 09 – April 30, 10. Volunteer Help Needed: We need construction and carpentry work and expertise as well as other physical labor work to help meet the new upgrade requirements.

Materials Donation: We need all kinds of construction materials such as nine gauge fence, concrete, steel, etc., to complete the required upgrades.

A few ways to help financially:
An easy way you can help the cats is when you do your shopping on-line is by using iGive. If you do your shopping on-line then you can contribute by shopping through the iGive tool. Everything helps. Visit www.iGive.com and select Yogie and Friends as your cause when you shop. It’s so easy.

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.

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. 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.

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.

Please remember to spay and neuter your pets. Be good to your animals. Be good to people! Be a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves.

Have a safe and blessed Holiday and Happy New Year!
Jenny and the Yogie Cats!


Posted in Monthly Newsletter and tagged , ,

November 2009 Newsletter

Hello Everyone!

moses062008.jpg Can you believe it is November already? October 2009 went down as the wettest October in our area since they have been keeping weather records. We’re happy that the drought is over, but now we are facing flooding and pray that the waters quickly recede to a safe and normal level.  We hope that everyone made it through the recent storms and tornados that came through our area October 29th. We are happy to report that all the Yogie volunteer staff and the Yogie animals are safe and well. The storms did bring far too much rain and as a result the already saturated property was unable to drain off and dry in time for our season finale on the 31st. Our unpaved parking area was so flooded that it would not have been safe to have visitors come to the sanctuary. We don’t want anyone getting their vehicles stuck in the mud. We plan to have some really fun off-season events since we were not able to open this Saturday, so please keep visiting our website for more information.

Finances: We are happy to report that with the help of many wonderful people out there we have been able to bring our check book up to over $5000. This is a wonderful thing because we realize these are tough economic times for everyone and animals are not high on everyone’s list of those needing help. If the animals could speak they would certainly say otherwise. This is just one bump in the financial struggle that we and other animal groups face. We still have several thousands of dollars to raise in order to complete the required facility upgrades. This is on top of our regular operating expenses. So, again, we thank you for this help and hope you will continue to support in the care of these wonderful animals. Your generosity does not go unnoticed or unappreciated. We continue to need your support and thank you so much for that which has been done. Thanks so much!

Yogie and Friends on-line store: Yogie and Friends has an assorted selection of gift items available on our website. If you are interested in purchasing items for Christmas gifts the cutoff for shipping is 17 December in order to guarantee delivery. Please visit our gift shop often.

 

Guitar raffle


Esteban Guitar Raffle: Yogie and Friends is raffling off an Esteban Vintage Legacy Signed Custom Series 33-piece. This is a great set and would make a great gift for someone. The retail value of the set is $627.68. Tickets are just $10 each and all money goes to the care of the Yogie animals. The drawing is scheduled for Saturday, December 19th at 4:00 P.M. (need not be present to win) at Petco on Youree Drive in Shreveport, Louisiana. The winner is responsible for picking up the prize and those outside the local area wishing to purchase tickets can pick up at Petco or pay for shipping to a desired location.

The guitar package includes:

  • Vintage Legacy cutaway style guitar (Cognac) – measures approx. 41″L x 16″W x 5″H
  • Nylon hard sided guitar case – measures approx. 43-1/2″L x 17″W x 5″H
  • 10-watt amplifier
  • Esteban holiday CD “Joy to the World”
  • Guitar stand
  • 9′ amplifier cord
  • Chord chart
  • Black case strap
  • Black guitar strap
  • Polishing cloth
  • Hex key
  • 6 extra strings
  • 6 extra picks
  • 10 instructional DVDs



  • Upcoming Events:

6 November – Belk Charity Day, Belk Department Store, 70th St., Shreveport, 5 – 8 P.M

14 November – Highland Jazz and Blues Festival – Columbia Park, Shreveport,   Noon – 5 P.M.

28 November – Pancake Breakfast, Applebee’s, Bert Kouns, Shreveport   8 A.M. – 10 A.M

5 Dec – Natchitoches Christmas Festival, Natchitoches, Louisiana TBD

19 Dec – Holiday Bake Sale and Fundraiser, Petco, Youree Drive, Shreveport 11 A.M. – 4 P.M.

Barnes & Noble Gift Wrapping Days – Yogie and Friends will have volunteers present to wrap gifts for donations at the Barnes & Noble book store on Youree Drive in Shreveport the following dates and times:

Dec 16th    5 P.M. – 9 P.M.   
Dec 21st    2 P.M. – 6 P.M.  
Dec 22nd   2 P.M. – 9 P.M.  
Dec 24th 2 P.M. – 6 P.M
.

On-line Shopping: Yogie and Friends is constantly adding items to the on-line shopping. Check out our newest products from the Paul Cardew collection. Cardew collectible ceramics make wonderful gifts and we now have them at a price that is more competitive than most. With the holidays coming up we wanted to have another way of helping the Yogie cats and this is it. Check out the on-line store.

Kroger Neighbor to Neighbor Program: The Neighbor to Neighbor program is back on line. Please download one of the customer letters from our website and have the cashier scan it with your Kroger Plus card the next time you shop. Yogie and Friends will receive one percent of the sales. It is a great way to help the cats. The program is only available in Texas and Louisiana, but that’s still a large area of coverage. Please share this with your fellow Kroger shoppers. Accumulation for linked cards will begin July 1, 09 – April 30, 10.

A few ways to help financially:

An easy way you can help the cats is when you do your shopping on-line is by using iGive. If you do your shopping on-line then you can contribute by shopping through the iGive tool. Everything helps. Visit www.iGive.com and select Yogie and Friends as your cause when you shop. It’s so easy.

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.

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.

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

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.

Please remember to spay and neuter your pets.

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. When the weather starts freezing make sure that the water hasn’t frozen open. Also, continue to use flea and tick preventatives.

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 , ,

October 2009 Newsletter

Samson-pumpkin.jpgHello All!

October is here and with that comes the winding down of our 2009 season. Yogie is closing for the season earlier than we have in the past. Our last day for the 2009 season will be October 31st.

With all the upcoming local festivals in the area starting this month we don’t get as many people visiting the sanctuary. Our board decided that it wasn’t as effective to be open during this time and that we should dedicate our volunteer time during the off season to do the much needed fundraising and community education. Also, it just gets so rainy and cold during this time. We do plan to have some special activities at the sanctuary during our off season and hope you will come and visit for these special events.

Critical Finances:

We are asking that our supporters dig a little deeper in their pockets. We realize with the current economic climate that donations are down for non-profits all around the country. Yogie and Friends typically gets its food for the big cats from local cattle ranchers as an in-kind donation. Two of our cattle suppliers have gotten out of the cattle business and just last week we had to begin purchasing food again. The smaller cats are easier to purchase food for because they don’t eat as much, but the lions, tigers, and other big cats are voracious eaters and we feed them a whole prey, natural diet.

Part of the problem has been the increase in utilities, fuel, and other operating costs. For example Valley Electric increased its fees and our electric more than doubled. It cost $550 for our electric and we don’t have many things needing electricity at the sanctuary. We also had to pay our liability insurance this month and that took a big chunk out of our account. Then there is the cost of the facility upgrades required by Wildlife and Fisheries. We have no choice. They have to be done and they are costly. We will continue to try for materials donations, but we have not been successful in this area as of yet.

On August 3rd I went before the Desoto Parish Police Jury and requested a grant for $250,000. The Police Jury has received more than $27 million from the Haynesville Shale sign on bonuses and since Yogie and Friends offers a unique presence in the Parish both educationally and as a tourist attraction (the only one of it’s kind in the entire state), we felt this would be an opportunity for us to be an even greater presence in the community and be able to complete the upgrades even sooner. I was told last week that they don’t usually give money to non-profits. We are still waiting to hear a decision about our request.

As of this writing our bank account is $878.74. We know that things will get better with a little help from our friends and hope you will make that little extra effort to help us through. The winter months are always difficult, but this hit us much earlier than in the past. We appreciate your help.

Facility Upgrades: We have completed one of the required upgrade projects with the help of a group of volunteers from Barksdale Air Force Base. Five members of the 608 AOC Squadron came out on September 30th and completed the concrete footers around the bottom of our big cat pens. This was a lot of work. They had to dig ten inches down, mix concrete and poor it in wheel barrels, then push that to the trench and poor the concrete into the trench. This was over 9000 pounds of concrete. They want to make Yogie and Friends a monthly volunteer project.  We thank them for their hard work and dedication.

Volunteers from Barksdale Air Force Base Volunteers from Barksdale Air Force Base Volunteers from Barksdale Air Force Base Volunteers from Barksdale Air Force Base
volunteers from barksdale air force base volunteers from barksdale air force base volunteers from barksdale air force base volunteers from barksdale air force base

 

Upcoming Events:

17 October – Fall Festival and Car Show, Barksdale Air Force Base, 10 A.M. – 4 P.M.

17 October- Belk Charity Day, Belk Department Store, 70th St., Shreveport, 5 – 8 P.M.

24 October – Fall Festival and Car Show: First Baptist Church, Ockely Dr., Shreveport  9 A.M. – 4 P.M.

31 October – Yogie and Friends Pumpkin Roll, at the sanctuary Noon – 5 P.M. (season finale)

6 November – Belk Charity Day, Belk Department Store, 70th St., Shreveport, 5 – 8 P.M

28 November – Pancake Breakfast, Applebee’s, Bert Kouns, Shreveport   8 A.M. – 10 A.M.

5 Dec – Natchitoches Christmas Festival, Natchitoches, Louisiana TBD

19 Dec – Holiday Bake Sale and Fundraiser, Petco, Youree Drive, Shreveport 11 A.M. – 4 P.M.

On-line Shopping: Yogie and Friends is constantly adding items to the on-line shopping. Check out our newest products from the Paul Cardew collection. Cardew collectible ceramics make wonderful gifts and we now have them at a price that is more competitive than most. With the holidays coming up we wanted to have another way of helping the Yogie cats and this is it. Check out the on-line store.

We want to remind everyone that the 2009 season will end on 31 October 2009. Hope to see you before then.

 

Volunteers of the Month: 2 Lt Heidi Kaufman, TSgt Martin Jackson, SSgt Brian Levo, A1C Taylor Buckley and A1C Benjamin McRae of the 608 AOC at Barksdale for finishing the concrete work.

 

Kroger Neighbor to Neighbor Program: The Neighbor to Neighbor program is back on line. Please download one of the customer letters from our website and have the cashier scan it with your Kroger Plus card the next time you shop. Yogie and Friends will receive one percent of the sales. It is a great way to help the cats. The program is only available in Texas and Louisiana, but that’s still a large area of coverage. Please share this with your fellow Kroger shoppers. Accumulation for linked cards will begin July 1, 09 – April 30, 10. NoodlesˍServal.jpg

 

Volunteer Help Needed: We can really use some carpentry help to finish the admissions/gift building. There are just a few minor things to be completed such as installing a window and doing the finish work around the doors. If you can do this then please let us know. We can also use volunteers for our upcoming events and fundraisers. Let us know if you can help.

A few ways to help financially:

An easy way you can help the cats is when you do your shopping on-line is by using iGive. If you do your shopping on-line then you can contribute by shopping through the iGive tool. Everything helps. Visit www.iGive.com and select Yogie and Friends as your cause when you shop. It’s so easy.

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. 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.

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.

We have several programs for you to help our animals: http://www.magfundraising.com/GroupPage.aspx?e=1058061, http://www.igive.com/, Cause ID 19883, http://www.networkforgood.org/, http://www.goodsearch.com/, just to name a few. They are all listed here on our website.

Please remember to spay and neuter your pets.

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!

Tiggerˍspots.jpg

 

 


Posted in Monthly Newsletter and tagged , ,

September 2009 Newsletter

CougarˍBoudreaux.jpgHello All!

September is here and hopefully some cooler weather as well. We’ve had some very hot days this summer and sure look forward to some relief.

Facility Upgrades:

Our facility upgrades are moving along. It is a big job and will take some time, but it is moving none-the-less. We had a group of airmen from the Airman Leadership School (ALS) at Barksdale Air Force Base work with us August 31st to do some of the concrete work. ALS students are required to do a four hour community service block in order to graduate this course and one group chose Yogie and Friends. This was a great group and they worked hard. They got a large portion of the concrete reinforced footing done for us. We still have two sides to complete, but they did a great job.

Upcoming Events:

Bake Sale and Fundraiser – New Location: Our next bake sale is scheduled for 12 September from 11 A.M. – 4 P.M. at Petco on 6596 Youree Drive in Shreveport.

Belk Charity Days – Yogie and Friends will have a table of Yogie merchandise at the Belk Department store on 70th street in Shreveport the following dates and times. This is a great opportunity for you to support the cats. Come see us there:

Friday 18 September 5 – 8 P.M.
Saturday 3 October 1 – 5 P.M.
Saturday 17 October 5 – 8 P.M.
Friday 6 November 5 – 8 P.M.

Delilah250.jpgWe also have tickets for their Charity Day event to be held 7 November from 6 – 10 A.M. The tickets are $5 each and Yogie and Friends keeps 100% of the ticket sales and you will get $5 off your purchase that day. You can only use one ticket at a time, but the discounts during this event are really great. Contact us if you would like a ticket. Please know this. None of the money we get from this is event will be used for anything other than the animal care and support.

We want to remind everyone that the 2009 season will end on 31 October 2009. Hope to see you before then.

Kroger Neighbor to Neighbor Program: The Neighbor to Neighbor program is back on line. Please download one of the customer letters from our website and have the cashier scan it with your Kroger Plus card the next time you shop. Yogie and Friends will receive one percent of the sales. It is a great way to help the cats. The program is only available in Texas and Louisiana, but that’s still a large area of coverage. Please share this with your fellow Kroger shoppers. Accumulation for linked cards will begin July 1, 09 – April 30, 10.

Volunteer Help Needed: We can really use some carpentry help to finish the admissions/gift building. There are just a few minor things to be completed such as installing a window and doing the finish work around the doors. If you can do this then please let us know.

 

A few ways to help financially: Taz-bobcat.jpg

An easy way you can help the cats is when you do your shopping on-line is by using iGive. If you do your shopping on-line then you can contribute by shopping through the iGive tool. Everything helps. Visit www.iGive.com and select Yogie and Friends as your cause when you shop. It’s so easy.

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.

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.

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.

We have several programs for you to help our animals: http://www.magfundraising.com/GroupPage.aspx?e=1058061/tˍblank www.igive.com Cause ID 19883, http://www.networkforgood.org/, http://www.goodsearch.com/, just to name a few. They are all listed here on our website.

Please remember to spay and neuter your pets.

TigerˍRescue.jpgAlso, 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 , ,

August 2009 Newsletter

Hello All!

We hope everyone made it through the recent storms without any damage or flooding. We certainly needed the rain, but it never seems to fail that we will get more than we bargained for. Fortunately Yogie and Friends did not have any damage.

Yogie and Friends was featured on Wonderful Day in the Ark-La-Tex. This is a half hour morning show and we were on the August first broadcast. Stan Stava and his crew did a really nice piece on the sanctuary and we just want to thank them for coming out and doing this. It’s always nice to have the opportunity to showcase the sanctuary on television like that. Boudreaux250.jpg

Facility Upgrades: Yogie and Friends had the opportunity to present a proposal to the Desoto Parish Police Jury. As a result of the Haynesville Shale bonuses the parish received several millions of dollars and we felt this was the time to ask for assistance for the sanctuary. I went to Mansfield on Monday August 4th and presented our case to the jurors. We feel that Yogie and Friends offers a unique educational opportunity and attraction for the area. If we receive the requested funds from the jury it will get us well on our way to making the upgrades that we need to do much sooner than planned.

Thank You! We want to extend a very special thank you to the folks at Dan-Inject North America. This is the company that we get our dart supplies for the animals. They have a unique product and they recently built us a pneumatic dart gun that holds a specialized dart for the animals. But, the best thing is that they donated the gun to us. So, we thank Paul and Carol Koretko for this kind donation. Upcoming Events:

Mongo-African-Serval.jpg Bake Sale and Fundraiser – New Location: Our next bake sale is scheduled for 12 September from 11 A.M. – 4 P.M. at Petco on 6596 Youree Drive in Shreveport.

We want to remind everyone that the 2009 season will end on 31 October 2009. Hope to see you before then.

Kroger Neighbor to Neighbor Program: The Neighbor to Neighbor program is back on line. Please download one of the customer letters from our website and have the cashier scan it with your Kroger Plus card the next time you shop. Yogie and Friends will receive one percent of the sales. It is a great way to help the cats. The program is only available in Texas and Louisiana, but that’s still a large area of coverage. Please share this with your fellow Kroger shoppers. Accumulation for linked cards will begin July 1, 09 – April 30, 10.

Feral Cats and Dogs: The problem with feral cats and dogs is ever growing. Last month I mentioned some statistics. We have received several requests for assistance particularly with feral cats. The problem is that they produce much faster than dogs and the city pounds are overloaded with adoptable cats and kittens. One solution is to Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR). There are some animal groups working this issue. They trap the cats and kittens, get them surgically altered to prevent anymore babies, have an ear clipped for identification they have been spay-neutered, then return them to the area they were trapped. Feral kittens are very difficult to tame. Not impossible, but not easy. There are positive aspects to having local strays in the area. They do help keep the rodent population down, but it isn’t good when you have colonies of 40 – 50 cats and kittens who are trying to survive and find food. So, please do your part. Spay and neuter your pets. You can contact the Krewe of Barkus and Meoux about their feral cat program.

Volunteer Help Needed: We can really use some carpentry help to finish the admissions/gift building. There are just a few minor things to be completed such as installing a window and doing the finish work around the doors. If you can do this then please let us know.

A few ways to help financially:

An easy way you can help the cats is when you do your shopping on-line is by using iGive. If you do your shopping on-line then you can contribute by shopping through the iGive tool. Everything helps. Visit www.iGive.com and select Yogie and Friends as your cause when you shop. It’s so easy.

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. Snagglepussˍsleeping.jpg

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.

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.

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.

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

Please remember to spay and neuter your pets.

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!

GomezMorticia400x175.jpg


Posted in Monthly Newsletter and tagged , ,

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.

 

SpeedyHose1.jpg

 

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 , ,

June 2009 News

The heat is on! Summer is just around the corner and already we have seen temperatures in the nineties. If this is any indication, then we are in for one hot summer. We hope that you will take the necessary precautions for you and your four legged friends.

grad1.jpgCongratulations Graduates! Yogie and Friends has two special graduates we want to recognize. Two of our volunteers, Andrea Labor and Amy Morrissey, both graduated from Caddo Magnet High School on May 24th. And to top it off it was Andrea’s 18th birthday as well. These two girls have been a wonderful help to Yogie and Friends by working in the admissions/gift shop building as well as guiding visitors around the sanctuary to answer questions about our animals. We are all very proud of their accomplishments and wish them well in their future endeavors. We are fortunate enough that they are both going to attend college locally. Andrea will be attending Centenary and Amy will be attending Louisiana State University in Shreveport. Bravo to both of you!SpeedyˍAfricanˍServal.jpg

Happy Ninth Anniversary! Yogie and Friends Exotic Cat Sanctuary celebrated its ninth anniversary on May 26th. Making it so many years is just another indication of a caring community and supporters wanting to see us succeed. Yogie and Friends is the brainchild of Timothy Mills. Tim, with the support and guidance of a dear friend, the late Bill Strunk, created the organization to rescue abused, neglected, and unwanted large, exotic cats. With help from some friends, but mostly his own hard work, Tim created the facility for these animals. We hope to continue helping these wonderful animals for many years to come.

Wildlife and Fisheries Inspection: As many of you know there was a change in the big cat laws in Louisiana back in 2006. Prior to this it was the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal Plant and Inspection Service (APHIS) only, that regulated the big cats. Now we are also required to be permitted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF). Before this they only regulated animals native to Louisiana such as cougars and bobcats. Yogie and Friends applied for the new permit in August 2007. Our inspection was conducted on 23 April 2009 and there are some items that we need to upgrade. Although we meet the USDA standards (and have passed every inspection by them for nine years samsonˍwaterˍ250.jpgstraight) we now have to meet the new additional state requirements, based on the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) standards, which are much different than the USDA requirements. This was not unexpected, but we chose to go with the standards that are based on animal care and not on esthetics such as paved walkways or concessions. We chose to focus on animal care and design and stay with a more natural, grassy walkway for visitors. Most of the changes have to do with some animal pen designs such as den houses and some concrete additions. Overall we did very well and we showed how vigilant we are when it comes to public safety and the care and well being of our animals. We did very well in this area. We are always making improvements, but we are going to need the public’s help in paying for these newly required upgrades. We will have this info on our website if you wish to help.

Pets and the Economy. There seems to be a very sad trend happening these days. It seems that when people are faced with hard times the first thing that goes is the family pets. The sad thing is that this isn’t always necessary for them to do. Most of the time the biggest expense involved in pet ownership is the upfront costs of immunizations and spay/neuter. After that, providing you don’t have emergency medical issues, it is usually just the annual immunizations, prevention such as heartworm, flea/tick prevention, and feeding. If it is a case of not being able to afford the cost of food there are usually animal agencies out there that can help you with some of this. It is much easier for them to help with the cost of food than it is to find another home for these animals. The no-kill and kill shelters are already filled to capacity. So, if you or someone you know needs help with this, then contact some of the local Humane Society folks to help keep you and your animal family member stay together. It will be a win-win situation.Boudreauxˍcougar.jpg

Medical Issues. This past year has been a difficult one regarding medical issues for our animals. Our vet has had to perform surgeries on our lions Batman and Robin and our cougar, Boudreaux because they needed repairs done on their paws. These animals arrived declawed and they have been suffering from the negative impact of this practice. Robin still needs more surgery, but it is something that may be too invasive at this time and we are going to look at more repairs for him.

We also went with a new vaccine protocol that is state of the art for the species involved, but of course, much more expensive. We want the best for these animals and we know we have that. We can always use your help in this area and appreciate all that you can do.

party1.jpgParties: We get several requests to do parties at Yogie and Friends. At this time we don’t do parties were we provide food or other items. But, if you would like to hold your party at the sanctuary that is not a problem. Usually we will reserve the picnic area for those wishing to have a party and they bring all the supplies with them. After that they will take a tour of the sanctuary with all the party goers. If this is something you want to do, then please give us a call for more details. We hope to be able to do all the party work in the future and will be looking at scheduling parties after we close at 5 P.M. This will give our party goers a more private opportunity.

On-line Shopping: We are working on our on-line catalog of merchandise. It’s just a matter of getting things organized and loaded to our website. At this time it will just be our t-shirts, and a few other small items. Hopefully we will be able to have more items available as the opportunity allows us. Keep watching our website for that.

Volunteer Help Needed: We can use regular volunteers to act as tour guides and someone to man the admissions/gift shop on Saturdays. We are open Noon – 5 P.M. and we realize that many people don’t want to give up their Saturdays. We would set up shifts if needed. If this is something you are interested in then please contact us. tigger062008.jpgOur volunteers fill out applications just like any other job you apply for. 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 to us.

An easy way you can help the cats is when you do your shopping on-line is by using iGive. If you do your shopping on-line then you can contribute by shopping through the iGive tool. Everything helps. Visit www.iGive.com and select Yogie and Friends as your cause when you shop. It’s so easy.

Kroger Neighbor to Neighbor Program replaces the Kroger Share Card Program. The new Kroger program is now up and running. The advantage of the new program is now you only need to use the one card, your Kroger Plus Card. The Share card is obsolete. If you download the Kroger letter from our website and bring it with you the next time you shop at Kroger’s all you need to do is give the letter, with the bar code, to the cashier along with your Kroger Plus Card. The cashier will scan the bar code and it will be part of your Kroger Plus Card. One less step. The Program is now in its renewal period. The bar code on the letter will remain the same, but you will need to re-link your cards in June. There will be a void period (May and June 2009) where no accumulation to organizations will occur. Accumulation for linked cards will begin July 1, 09 – April 30, 10.

CFCˍlogo.gifCombined 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.

Mortic7.jpg

 

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.

Volunteer of the month: We want to thank Samantha Bledstein for her hard work in raising $119 to go toward the privacy fence we need for our property. This was such a nice surprise that she wanted to help the cats in this way and we really appreciate someone so young caring so much for our cats. We also want to congratulate her on her recent Bat Mitzvah. We are as proud of her as her parents are. Samantha even designed her own invitations and used our Taz, the bobcat, as the subject of her artwork for the invitations. She did a great job. Congratulations and thank you so much!

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.

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.

Please remember to spay and neuter your pets.

YogiBallˍth.jpgAlso, 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 , ,

May 2009 News

Greetings!

tiggerˍ1ˍ250.jpgWell, we were able to open for the season on April 11th and it was a grand opening for sure. We had a lot of visitor’s that day and it was one of the better season openings we’ve seen in quite some time. Thanks to all who came and visited for supporting these great cats.

There has been so much rain and some really bad storms. We hope this isn’t a sign of a difficult weather season for us. We realize people are still dealing with damage from storms the past few years. We hope everyone is safe and well.

Wildlife and Fisheries inspected Yogie and Friends on April 23rd. We are waiting for the official report to come in, but overall things went very well. There were some minor issues identified that we were aware of and actually working on, so that was good because it shows how responsible and safety conscious we are. For years we worked on ensuring there were no trees close to the enclosures that could possibly damage the pens in the event of bad weather. We had made many upgrades throughout the year and that was another positive aspect of the work we do. One thing we are still waiting for clarification on is what they refer to as “night dens.” These would be concrete structures for the animals to be locked down in during inclement weather. We already have a structure we use, but we are waiting to see if we have to go a different direction. If we do we will need a great deal of financial help from the public. We’ll let you know as soon as we know. In the meantime the good news is we remain open to the public for educational visits.

Happy Ninth Anniversary! Yogie and Friends Exotic Cat Sanctuary will be nine years old on May 26th. Making it so many years is just another indication of a caring community and supporters wanting to see us succeed. Yogie and Friends is the brainchild of Timothy Mills. Tim, with the support and guidance of a dear friend, the late Bill Strunk, created the organization to rescue abused, neglected, and unwanted large, exotic cats. With help from some friends, but mostly his own hard work, Tim created the facility for these animals. We hope to continue helping these wonderful animals for many years to come. birthdayˍparty09.jpg

Parties: We get several requests to do parties at Yogie and Friends. At this time we don’t do parties were we provide food or other items. But, if you would like to hold your party at the sanctuary that is not a problem. Usually we will reserve the picnic area for those wishing to have a party and they bring all the supplies with them. After that they will take a tour of the sanctuary with all the party goers. If this is something you want to do, then please give us a call for more details. We hope to be able to do all the party work in the future and will be looking at scheduling parties after we close at 5 P.M. This will give our party goers a more private opportunity.

tinˍcanˍphone.jpgTelephone Problems: Right now we are experiencing problems with our phone line. AT&T told us about two months ago that the main line on the road was bad and needed to be replaced. We are still waiting for them to do so. As a result we have our phone number transferred to my cell phone. The cell phone is on between 8 A.M. to 9:00 P.M. Central Time. We apologize for any inconvenience. It is frustrating for us as well.

On-line Catalog: We are working on having an on-line catalog of merchandise very soon. It’s just a matter of getting things organized and setup to do so. At this time it will just be our t-shirts. Hopefully we will be able to have more items available as the opportunity allows us. Keep watching our website for that.

Volunteer Help Needed: We can use regular volunteers to act as tour guides and someone to man the admissions/gift shop on Saturdays. We are open Noon – 5 P.M. and we realize that many people don’t want to give up their Saturdays. We would set up shifts if needed. If this is something you are interested in then please contact us. Our volunteers fill out applications just like any other job you apply for. 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 to us. An easy way you can help the cats is when you do your shopping on-line is by using iGive. If you do your shopping on-line then you can contribute by shopping through the iGive tool. Everything helps. Visit www.iGive.com and select Yogie and Friends as your cause when you shop. It’s so easy.

KrogerNeighborthumb.jpgKroger Neighbor to Neighbor Program replaces the Kroger Share Card Program. The new Kroger program is now up and running. The advantage of the new program is now you only need to use the one card, your Kroger Plus Card. The Share card is obsolete. If you download the Kroger letter from our website and bring it with you the next time you shop at Kroger’s all you need to do is give the letter, with the bar code, to the cashier along with your Kroger Plus Card. The cashier will scan the bar code and it will be part of your Kroger Plus Card. One less step. The Program is now in its renewal period. The bar code on the letter will remain the same, but you will need to re-link your cards in June. There will be a void period (May and June 2009) where no accumulation to organizations will occur. Accumulation for linked cards will begin July 1, 09 – April 30, 10.

CFCˍlogo.gifCombined 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. piggybank.jpg

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.

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.

Volunteers of the month: We want to thank Andrea Labor Amy Morrissey for their help with manning the admissions and working as guides to our visitors. These two young ladies are a great asset to the facility. We so appreciate your dedication.

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.

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.

Natasha-Siberian-Tiger.jpgPlease remember to spay and neuter your pets. Also, do what you can to prevent flea and ticks causing serious illnesses to your animals. They deserve your care and kindness. Don’t stop using preventative just because it is cold outside. Some of these pests are still around in the winter. Please make sure you provide all your animals, inside and outside, fresh, clean water (and not covered in ice during the winter). Provide good, warm and dry shelter for those animals outside. 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 , ,

March 2009 Newsletter

Happy March!

I know the weather has been very confusing to the plants, animals, and people alike. Trees and plants are starting to bloom and this makes us think we will be having one hot summer. Hopefully it won’t be too hot.

New Visitor Hours: We changed our visitor season. Our new visitor hours are Saturdays only from noon till 5 P.M. and as always, weather permitting. Our new season is from the 1st Saturday in April to 1 November, or basically the last Saturday up to November 1st.

Our scheduled season opening is 4 April 2009 (weather permitting). Noon – 5 P.M. We are really gearing up for the new season. That means mowing, weed eating, and all the other maintenance that comes with the warm weather. We hope our visitors will find Yogie and Friends a calm and relaxing atmosphere as well as our cats do. This is why we don’t have a lot of fancy esthetics. Concrete walkways increase the air temperature about 15 degrees and we don’t want that. That is another reason we don’t open when it rains. We may not be a fancy place, but we have some happy, healthy animals.

moses2009.jpgHappy Birthday Moses! Moses the lion turned three years old on February 27th. It seems like yesterday that Tim found this little surprise in the lion pen. Thankfully we won’t be having anymore surprises like this again. We decided that vasectomies and lions just don’t work. But, we love this little guy and he is getting more and more beautiful as he grows. We would really like to get some major piece of land donated to expand the size of the animal habitats. We are not looking to bring on any more big cats at this time. We want to expand the size of the current resident’s living area to make it more of a natural design. Since our animals were in a crisis rescue situation we didn’t have the luxury of building first, then rescuing. Some places had that luxury, but we didn’t. It is usually rescue or destroy when it comes to the big cats. You can’t just foster one of these animals like a domestic dog or cat. But, since we are now in a housed situation we can get land, and with help from donations, then build a more natural habitat to move our animals to. If anyone can help with this, then please let us know.

Field Trips: Yogie and Friends conducts group tours on Tuesdays and Thursdays and our prices are the least expensive of any attraction in this area. If you or anyone you know are interested in having your school, home school group, day care, or any group of 20 or more visit with us, then please let us know. This is a guided, educational tour and just plain old fun experience.

We want to thank Animal Welfare and the Krewe of Barkous and Meoux for helping us with the spay and neutering of a family of feral cats we found at Yogie and Friends. It was a mom and her three kittens, 1 girl and 2 boys, that have all since been fixed and now are being socialized. So, thank you two groups again for the financial help with this. We often receive phone calls or e-mails from people wanting us to get involved in political fights. This is something we cannot, and will not, do. The IRS laws governing non-profit organizations are very clear. No politics! We will never do anything that will risk our animal residents. We do our political part by voting when voting comes up. So, we hope nobody ever feels like we don’t want to do anything, we just cannot. We do so in the manner that the law allows us.

Yogie and Friends 10th Anniversary Calendar is in production. This calendar will be for the 2010 calendar years and Gomezˍ250.jpgwill have amazing photos of our beautiful animals as well as species and biography information. If you are interested in helping sponsor this calendar, then please contact us. Our goal is to have the calendars available for sale by October 2009. May 2010 will be Yogie and Friends tenth anniversary. At this time it looks like the calendar may sell for $14 – $15, but we don’t have the final numbers at this time. Hey, 100% of the proceeds go to the animals and it will make a nice gift for next holiday season! We are trying to have a table at Petco on Youree Drive in Shreveport every Saturday to let people know who we are and what we are all about. Hope to see you there.I had an opportunity to speak to the kids of the We Care Club at Youree Drive Middle School in Shreveport on February 27th. This group gave a donation to Yogie and Friends as well and we thank you for that and the opportunity to speak and share about these great animals. We hope these kids have a greater appreciation and understanding of the plight of these magnificent animals. YogieBakeSale0308ˍ02.jpg

Upcoming Events: 14 March 2009 Semi-Annual Bake Sale and Fundraiser, Courtyard Coffee
We have been asked to do the sales every 4 months, and it looks like we will do so. We are fans of the little business person and love holding these events at Courtyard Coffee. This is a family owned and run business and we hope to continue this collaboration as long as possible. Keep your eyes and ears open for our seasonal bake sales now.

An easy way you can help the cats is when you do your shopping on-line is by using iGive. If you do your shopping on-line then you can contribute by shopping through the iGive tool. Everything helps. Visit www.iGive.com and select Yogie and Friends as your cause when you shop. It’s so easy.

Kroger Neighbor to Neighbor Program replaces the Kroger Share Card Program. The new Kroger program is now up and running. The advantage of the new program is now you only need to use the one card, your Kroger Plus Card. The Share card is obsolete. If you download the Kroger letter from our website and bring it with you the next time you shop at Kroger’s all you need to do is give the letter, with the bar code, to the cashier along with your Kroger Plus Card. The cashier will scan the bar code and it will be part of your Kroger Plus Card. One less step.

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.

coinsforcats.jpgCoins 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.

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.

If you are interested in volunteering with us then please contact us. Come visit us at the sanctuary and see what we are all about. This is a 100% volunteer driven organization, which means, nobody gets paid for the work they do. We love the animals and what we are doing for them. There are many different volunteer opportunities such as tour guide, admissions, lawn care, fundraising, etc. A little something for everyone. But, please know this. There is absolutely no contact with the animals. If you want to volunteer with the intent of “touching” one of these animals, then this is not the place for you. If you are doing this for the love and care of the animals, then maybe this is something for you.

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.

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. Please remember to spay and neuter your pets.

Also, do what you can to prevent flea and ticks causing serious illnesses to your animals. They deserve your care and kindness. Don’t stop using preventative just because it is cold outside. Some of these pests are still around in the winter. Please make sure you provide all your animals, inside and outside, fresh, clean water (and not covered in ice during the winter). Provide good, warm and dry shelter for those animals outside.

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 , ,