Area animal sanctuaries provide homes to a variety of animals, including exotics and equines. These are a few of those organizations.
Endangered Animal Rescue Sanctuary (EARS) – Founded in 2001, EARS is a not-for-profit in Citra. It provides care for malnourished, abused and abandoned big cats and other exotic and domestic animals. Current residents include lions, tigers, ligers, cougars, leopards, bears and primates. One-day membership tours are offered the first Wednesday of each month and every Saturday, with registration. Group tours also are available. The organization always welcomes donations. Find on Facebook or visit www.earsinc.net
Forest Animal Rescue – The sanctuary was founded in 1998 by Lisa and Kurt Stoner. More than 100 animals, rescued from abuse, neglect and exploitation, will live out their lives on 80 acres in the Ocala National Forest. They range from tigers and other big cats to bears, wolves, primates, fruit bats and flying foxes, tortoises and a few domestic animals. Most of the animals suffered at the hands of humans before their arrival, so they are naturally uncomfortable in the presence of new people. Twice-monthly tours have been temporarily suspended. The sanctuary relies on donations. Find on Facebook or visit www.forestanimalrescue.org
Front Range Equine Rescue – This nonprofit was incorporated in Colorado in 1997 and added a location in Ocala in 2015. Horses enter the rescue from situations of abuse or neglect. They receive rehabilitation that includes veterinary services and farrier care. Once healthy, they are assessed to determine if they can be adopted (Colorado only) or, due to special needs, retire in Ocala and Colorado. FRER also helps through a discounted gelding program, hay and vet care support, and disaster evacuation aid. Tax deductible donations help with expenses. Find on Facebook or visit www.frontrangeequinerescue.org
Horse Protection Association of Florida – The charitable organization, founded in 1990, helps horses that are victims of starvation, neglect and abandonment, and specializes in horses in critical condition. According to Executive Director Morgan Silver, “Our unique rehabilitation program is renowned by veterinarians from across the country. Horses that are suitable go into training to become riding horses. Companion horses (unrideable) and rideable horses seek out adopters for lifetime homes.” The association operates solely by donations. It leases a 149-acre farm in Shiloh for $1 per year. The farm is very wet and not suitable for horses, causing hoof and health problems. “We are seeking the donation or lease of a farm where our work can continue,” Silver notes. Volunteers are always needed. Find on Facebook or visit www.hpaf.org
Kindred Spirits Sanctuary – This nonprofit in Citra was formed in 2003 to provide sanctuary to disabled, abused, abandoned and neglected farm animals. Events such as tours, sleepovers and vegan meal gatherings have been suspended due to the pandemic. The sanctuary is accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries. Find on Facebook or visit www.kssfl.org
Ocala Wildlife Sanctuary Inc. – OWLS, as it is best known, provides humane care for all birds in distress, though owls are the main rescues. The goal is to rescue, rehabilitate and release when possible. The pandemic has caused a pause in tours and programs, and a decrease in donations. Needed items include help with a webpage, monetary donations, bleach, laundry detergent, paper towels, trash bags, gardening tools and accessories, volunteer assistance and a shed. Call (352) 895-0451 or email email@example.com