The Wild Animal Sanctuary

About Us

The Wild Animal Sanctuary is an animal welfare organization that rescues and cares for large carnivores who were abused, abandoned, illegally kept or victims of other inhumane situations. Since these animals were born and raised by humans, they often carry reminders of their past such as broken teeth and missing claws, so they can never be returned to the wild. We provide lifelong care and large-acreage habitats where they can enjoy life as close to “wild” as possible. The Wild Animal Sanctuary currently operates a 9,793-acre Refuge and cares for over 450 animals including Bears, Tigers, Lions, Wolves, Bobcats, Lynx, Foxes and others.

Signature Event

Annual Celebration Party
Spring 2019
Join us in Denver for a wild animal themed cocktail reception, dinner and auction. This fun and exciting event is a great opportunity for your company or you to network while learning more about The Wild Animal Sanctuary.

“Into the Wild” Running Festival
Saturday, June 1, 2019
This incredibly-unique running festival and expo is a one day event that includes a multitude of running events incorporating the Sanctuary’s 789 acre facility which include US Track & Field certified courses.

“Summer Safari” Dinners
Summer 2019
Intimate events held throughout the summer season where guests receive special one-on-one guided tours, fully-catered and exquisite dinners and special presentations about the Sanctuary’s incredible efforts to rescue hundreds of Lions, Tigers, Bears and other large carnivores from dangerous situations around the world.

Giving Opportunities

The Wild Animal Sanctuary is able to customize corporate partnership to meet each company’s charitable, marketing and employee engagement goals. Opportunities range from event and exhibit sponsorship; cause-marketing campaigns; funding new habitats, mission and education programs; adopting rescued animals; corporate membership; corporate functions and retreats and employee volunteer days. We look forward to working with you and developing a meaningful partnership.

Individual donors can support an array of initiatives such as funding new acres for habitats, adopting an animal, and supporting our general operating costs for caring for over 450 animals. On behalf of all the animals we serve, we truly appreciate the generous support of all our donors.

Volunteer Opportunities

The Wild Animal Sanctuary depends on the outstanding work of its passionate and dedicated volunteers. With a limited number of staff we depend on an army of volunteers to help with almost all aspects of operations ranging from greeting guests at our Welcome Center and on our walkway to helping us process meals for each animal. We offer thorough and highly-monitored training for each and every volunteer so they can achieve and perform at the same level as our professional team of animal care specialists.

There are also volunteer leadership committees that professionals can volunteer for to support the achievement of our organizational revenue and marketing goals.

Jaime Zawmon

Sales Director, Denver Business Journal


Why is this non-profit so important to you? What is your WHY for supporting them?
This non-profit is so important to me because of my love for all animals. Since I was little, I have always felt a strong connection to animals, often times more than people. I feel that The Wild Animal Sanctuary (TWAS), both founder Pat Craig and employees, share this same love and connection to all the animals that they harbor. These animals are rescued from very harsh and stressful conditions. Many of the animals are born into captivity, forced to live in small cages, and often abused and neglected.

These majestic creatures deserve to live a life that nature intended. Sadly, even when rescued they are not able to be set free due to the fact that they will not be able to adjust back into the wild. TWAS provides the animals with the best chance for survival and life unaltered. TWAS provides excellent nutrition, top notch veterinarian care, and natural surroundings for their inhabitants. This is why I pledge to support TWAS.

What is one thing you wish the Denver business community knew about this non-profit?
The sanctuary receives no federal funding. All the funds used to maintain the sanctuary, the care for the animals, the rescue of them, etc. comes from private donors. This beautiful sanctuary is right here in our own back yard, and most Coloradans are unaware of it. We need to make everyone aware of the vast efforts provided by TWAS community. It’s an incredible thing to see these animals roaming freely in large open spaces, at peace. Coloradans need to witness them communicate, play, or be spontaneous in an environment that is as close to nature as possible. We need to encourage everyone to open their hearts and wallets to help sponsor an animal, the land they will live on, and/or the care they desperately need to thrive.

What inspires you most about the work being done by your non-profit?
What inspires me the most about TWAS is that they advocate for animals who can’t do so for themselves. They promote public education on the serious crisis of captive wildlife. They provide the best possible care with their limited resources. Many times they save these animals from being euthanized. One of my favorite quotes that is truly exemplified by TWAS:
“The Greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” - Mahatma Gandhi

What are the most important initiatives that this nonprofit is focused on in the coming year?
The Wild Animal Sanctuary is the largest sanctuary in the world with over 750 acres providing habitats from 5 to 25 acres. Unfortunately, they are almost out of space for new rescued animals. Recently, they just acquired a second location that is called The Refuge. The new Refuge is a majestic 9,000 acre property of continuous land located in Southern Colorado. In the future, thousands of animals will be rescued and then be able to enjoy this new home that offers amazing natural landscapes including rock outcrops, trees, rolling hills, bluffs, and flowing water. The Refuge will offer endless room for one hundred to over three hundred acre habitats. Every animal living there will be able to feel free while enjoying a truly natural and wild habitat.

Does this non-profit have any special events or initiatives that the community can get involved in? What has your participation experience been like? Please describe.

The Wild Animal Sanctuary has several initiatives that the community can support. First, I recommend that you visit The Sanctuary and experience these majestic animals. It is an amazing experience!! One easy way you can directly make an impact is through the purchase of an acre by contributing a $777 donation.

Another great way is to participate in one of the many great events The Sanctuary offers. In June, The Sanctuary hosts a 5k and 10k walk and run that is completely on the Sanctuary grounds. All courses will weave between dozens of wild animal habitats filled with Lions, Tigers, Bears, and other rescued large carnivores!

Another outstanding event is to attend The Wild Animal Sanctuary’s Annual Celebration Party in Denver this Spring. It is a fun and exciting cocktail reception that your corporation can support and attend.

Personally I truly have enjoyed volunteering and attending The Wild Animal Sanctuary events. They produce exceptional events and are so grateful for everyone’s support. I am currently leading the volunteer leadership committee working on the 2019 Celebration Party. It has been such a rewarding and meaningful experience. I can’t wait for you all join us!

What is the biggest challenge this non-profit is facing and how can the Denver business community help?
The Wild Animal Sanctuary is looking to increase their attendance through greater awareness and recognition throughout the Front Range as well as grow their corporate partnerships. The Sanctuary has added a new first class welcome center with a café, ice cream parlor and gift shop and extended their walkway to 1 ½ miles connecting the Welcome Center, Lion House and Tiger Round House. The Denver business community can help by partnering with The Wild Animal Sanctuary to increase awareness and visitation with their employees, consumers and community. This will help further the mission and sustainability of The Sanctuary.