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A Voice for the Good: Black Pine Animal Sanctuary

3Rivers is proud to support so many of the non-profit organizations that are committed to making our community a better place to live, work, and play, and we want to help spread the word about the difference they're making in our region. We’ve teamed up with 97.3WMEE to bring you A Voice for the Good, a series in which we feature local organizations on our website in the form of an informative articles as well as on-air segments highlighting the non-profits’ missions.

This article features Black Pine Animal Sanctuary, a local non-profit on a mission to “provide a refuge to captive-raised exotic animals while educating, advocating, and building awareness about animal welfare.”

We talked with Kimberly Huth, previous Senior Keeper and Current Fund Development Coordinator, to learn more about Black Pine and the difference they’re making in our region.

How did Black Pine Animal Sanctuary come to be? What’s the history/story behind how the organization initially got started?

Black Pine Animal Sanctuary (BPAS) started in the late 1980s when a husband and wife began taking in unwanted animals. It started with dogs and cats, then more exotic animals like ostriches and camels, to then even more exotic animals like tigers and bears that people needed to re-home. The couple questioned how these animals could be in someone’s home, so they created Black Pine Animal Park. We moved to our current location in the early 2000s, where we changed our mission and became a true sanctuary, meaning, we do not buy, sell, trade, or breed any of our residents. We became accredited with The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) in 2019.

What is the official mission of Black Pine Animal Sanctuary, and how is it currently being put into play?

Our Mission: To provide a refuge to captive-raised exotic animals while educating, advocating, and building awareness about animal welfare.

We not only rescue displaced exotic animals, we also offer guided tours, summer camps, and other events to help educate the public on the exotic pet trade, the differences between accredited zoos and roadside zoos, why no contact with exotic animals gives the best quality of life to those animals, and animal welfare in general.

How do you see the mission and vision of Black Pine Animal Sanctuary evolving in the future in the Northeast Indiana community? Where do you see your organization a year from now, or even five years from now?

We would love to focus on outreach to the whole Northeast Indiana community. So many people have never heard of BPAS, and we would like to fix that! We think the community, especially animal lovers, would really appreciate what we do and the animals we care for. We would love to become just as popular as the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo in the future!

Lemur at Black Pine Sanctuary

Are there any exciting new developments, updates, or changes that have recently taken place at Black Pine Animal Sanctuary?

This year, we have rescued FIVE new residents: one serval, one savannah cat, and three primates. We are also building two new big cat habitats and multiple small cat habitats to be able to rescue more cats in the near future.

Could you share a standout story or two that really illustrates the impact Black Pine Animal Sanctuary and/or its programs has on people in our community (or the rescues themselves)?

Many of our residents have come to us very malnourished due to improper care, whether from private owners or roadside zoos. We have four tigers from Joe Exotic’s facility that had quite a few intestinal parasites and a lot of dental issues upon arrival. Now, even though they are all between six and nine-years-of-age, they are all suffering from crippling arthritis that we normally see in our geriatric cats due to the poor quality of care they received.

We also have a black bear that was from another roadside zoo that ran out of money and simply stopped buying food for the animals. Once they were shut down, he came to us and was around 150 to 200 pounds underweight. He couldn’t even hibernate the first year he was with us due to not having enough fat stored up for the winter.

These animals, and all our residents, now enjoy a peaceful life with proper nutrition, large habitats, medication for pain and other ailments, routine medical care and daily enrichment to provide them with mental stimulation that brings out their natural behaviors.

Primates at Black Pine Sanctuary

How can those interested in your services go about getting started or getting in touch?

They can visit our website at for more information! We also have a Facebook page, Instagram, and TikTok.

Are there other local non-profit organizations that Black Pine Animal Sanctuary works/partners with to enhance their programs?

We love working with other non-profits and other organizations in the community! We always appreciate their support, and we do what we can to support them, too!

Are there opportunities for community members to volunteer at Black Pine Animal Sanctuary—and if so, how can they go about learning more?

There are many ways to volunteer! We accept volunteers 365 days a year for animal care, diet preparation, tour guiding/docenting, groundskeeping, maintenance and gift shop help. Visit for more information.

In what other ways can community members support Black Pine Animal Sanctuary—be it through monetary donations, material donations, education, etc.? Do you have an itemized wish list of any kind or utilize options like AmazonSmile to raise funds?

Monetary donations are always appreciated, but we also accept produce, meat and other food donations, and toy donations. We have an Amazon Wishlist and work with Kroger so that patrons can link their Kroger card to our organization and a portion of their purchase goes back to us. You can also help us by sharing our social media posts and by word of mouth!

Bear at Black Pine Sanctuary

Where can our readers learn more about Black Pine Animal Sanctuary or about getting involved?

Readers can go to our website at or can email with any questions!

Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about Black Pine Animal Sanctuary?

Black Pine Animal Sanctuary is the only multi-species sanctuary in the Midwest (that includes 13 states)! We are accredited by a top-tier organization, which means we strive to provide our rescued animals with the best quality of care for the REST of their lives. We are only around 45 minutes from Fort Wayne and would make a fun day trip for all ages! We highly recommend coming on a guided tour to get the full experience but understand that some people prefer to go at their own pace, so we offer general visitation some days, as well. Our most popular tour is our Enrichment Tour on Sundays at 3:00 PM, where we provide an extra snack or a fun item to interact with to all our residents, guaranteeing you will be able to see the majority of our residents up close and personal! We truly appreciate your support and can’t wait to see you at the sanctuary!

Interested in featuring your non-profit on our website and on 97.3WMEE’s A Voice for the Good? Text "VOICE" to 46862! Please note that this may lead you to incur standard text messaging rates or other applicable charges consistent with your wireless carrier/mobile phone plan.

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