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The Wild Animal Sanctuary Announces Additions to Development Staff

Strategic hires will enable the non-profit to carry on with its mission undeterred by current challenges

KEENESBURG, Colo., April 4, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Wild Animal Sanctuary, the nation's oldest and largest nonprofit sanctuary exclusively dedicated to rescuing captive exotic and endangered large carnivores, announced the appointment of Christopher Howley to Vice President of Marketing and Development, and Bob Francella to the position of Senior Director of Development.

Established in 1980, The Wild Animal Sanctuary is a state and federally licensed zoological facility and a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The Wild Animal Sanctuary's mission is to rescue, rehabilitate and provide life-long homes for large exotic wild animals, and to educate the public as to the impact of the Captive Wildlife Crisis. Located 30 miles northeast of Denver, Colorado, we are sheltering more than 330 large carnivores in the largest and most reputable carnivore sanctuary in the nation.

Howley will serve to focus The Wild Animal Sanctuary's strategic direction for national and local in-market advertising and marketing programs, in addition to having oversight of the expansion of The Wild Animal Sanctuary's fundraising development department. Working in tandem with Francella, the two will be responsible for leading The Wild Animal Sanctuary through its next growth phase.

"Meeting the needs of the animals we rescue, rehabilitate and provide long-term care for is at the heart of these strategic hires," said Pat Craig, The Wild Animal Sanctuary's Director. "Chris and Bob together bring more than forty years marketing and fundraising development experience to our organization. Truth be told, these guys will be filling a gap I've been covering for a while now, allowing me to focus my efforts on the many large, pressing projects we've got underway at The Wild Animal Sanctuary."

Indeed, as The Wild Animal Sanctuary enters its thirty-forth year serving its core mission - to prevent and alleviate cruelty to animals which are abandoned or that are subject to deprivation or neglect by providing care and boarding for such animals – it's doing so with ferocious determination. By the end of 2014, The Wild Animal Sanctuary will have exhausted the land it currently holds to build large acreage habitats for the animals it rescues, leaving it in desperate need of funding for additional land purchases surrounding the current 720 acres the sanctuary now occupies.

"Always having space available for habitats is one of the key components of our success," said Craig. "With the planned rescues we have this year of 18 lions from Peru, and more than 20 lions and bears from Spain, we've got to secure additional land quickly." Craig continued, "There are many sections of land that are available around The Sanctuary, so the option to purchase more space for the animals is possible once the funding is provided." And that's what Howley and Francella are coming on-board to do, to help Craig ramp up efforts to secure the resources The Wild Animal Sanctuary needs today, as well as make provision for the future, so The Sanctuary is ready the next time the phone rings with the call of large animals in need.

With additional needs to increase capacity of The Sanctuary's specialized food preparation operations and storage coolers and freezers, as well as the need to replace several key vehicles in The Sanctuary's fleet of specially rigged rescue transports, The Sanctuary is facing many large financial challenges to meet the current needs of the animals and ensure The Sanctuary's long-term survival.

"We're at a critical point in our existence right now," said Craig. "And we're happy to be able to bring in the help we need to bolster our mission. With Chris and Bob here to help me tackle the important stuff, together we're going to keep The Sanctuary focused on its mission through this growth period and ensure it can carry on for many years to come." 

About The Wild Animal Sanctuary:

Rocky Mountain Wildlife Conservation Center, Inc., DBA The Wild Animal Sanctuary is a 720 acre refuge for large carnivores that have been confiscated from illegal or abusive situations. The Sanctuary is located 30 miles northeast of Denver, Colorado near the town of Keenesburg. The non-profit organization currently cares for more than 330 Lions, Tigers, Bears, Wolves and other large carnivores and provides lifelong care for its rescued animals.  The Sanctuary is the oldest and largest carnivore sanctuary in existence, having been in operation since 1980.  The facility is distinctive among others in that it provides large acreage natural habitats for its rescued animals to live in and roam freely. The Sanctuary is open daily to the public for educational purposes and features a "Mile Into The Wild" Walkway that visitors utilize to see the animals in natural habitats. 

Photo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20140404/DC98919

SOURCE The Wild Animal Sanctuary (Rocky Mountain Wildlife Conservation Center)

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