International Exotic Animal Sanctuary, Inc. ( IEAS) was founded in Boyd, Texas in 1988 as a 501(c)(3), nonprofit tax-exempt corporation. IEAS's current mission is the care and welfare of its animal inhabitants, as well as educating the public about their needs. The inhabitants include bobcats, cougars, lions, tigers and bears among other species. As of September 2014, 40 felines 3 coatis, a lemur, a capybara and 29 bears call IEAS home, with spacious habitats, pools and houses. The employees and volunteers who care for the animals give of their time and talents to ensure the quality of life to which they are entitled.
Not only is the sanctuary home to 74 exotic animals, but it is also a place providing education and conservation. The International Exotic Animal Sanctuary started the Intern Program in 2002. The program was a success from the beginning and has attracted students from all over the United States. The American Association of Zoo Keepers, Inc. (AAZK) honored IEAS with the Certificate of Merit for Zookeeper Education (CMZE). The purpose of the award is to recognize individuals, institutions and organizations in the zoological community most actively promoting educational programs for zookeepers.
The purpose and goals of IEAS are to provide a permanent sanctuary for exotic animals that have been abused, abandoned, neglected, confiscated, or previously owned by people unwilling or unable to provide for these magnificent beings. Additionally, IEAS educates the public through school programs, tour lectures, support for conservation programs, and public appearances about the value and worth of these sensitive, intelligent and perceptive animals, so that their future, as an important part of our world, is ensured. We are committed to strengthening and promoting conservation education and other avenues to foster conservation in which we can participate. Our major goal is to give the resident animals the best quality of life we can give them in captivity through our Emotional Enrichment Program, which deals with the emotional well-being of each individual animal and its individual emotional needs. We do this to fill the need to reduce stress and agitation, give each animal the best life it can have in captivity, and by understanding what is required to achieve that goal.