Making a Difference for Wildlife Rescue
We are a Big Cat Sanctuary and Wildlife Rescue. We provide a safe, secure home for rescued big cats and other vulnerable wildlife through professional licensed animal care to ensure their health and well-being for their lifetime.
A Leader in Wildlife Sanctuaries
Cat Tales is dedicated to personalizing and transforming awareness of current human/wildlife relationships, the diversity of native animals in the Pacific Northwest, and the exotic pet trade.
We provide second chance and forever homes for:
- owner relinquished and/or habituated wildlife
- older or misfit exotic animals that would be facing early euthanasia
- enforcement captured wildlife deemed non-releasable
Our staff and students are professional, safety-oriented zookeepers who dedicate long days to the health and welfare of the animals in their care while unselfishly sharing their time, knowledge, and compassion with all who enter our gates.
Zoological Park | Wildlife Education
Cat Tales Wildlife Center is also a licensed zoological park and offers important public wildlife education for the community at large as well as schools, church and senior citizen groups, childcare programs, homeschools, and those with disabilities, for the benefit of all wildlife.
Our Work: 30+ Years - 100+ Cats - and More!
For 30+ years, Cat Tales in Mead, Washington (just east of Spokane), has rescued more than 100 cats including lions, bobcats, tigers, cougars, servals, caracals, lynx, leopards, clouded leopards, jaguars, and a liger (a hybrid offspring of a male lion and a female tiger). Coyotes, foxes, wolves, and bears have also found forever homes with us.
Our sanctuary is filled with wildlife that comes to us as orphans from the wild, from people who garnered the animals illegally, or from those who came to realize that a tiger – or other wildlife – just doesn’t domesticate well.
Our collection of family members changes with the seasons
Along with the big cats, we've cared for small and large exotic pets, farm animals, parrots, reptiles, and of course, puppies, kittens, dogs, and cats. Some animals are not on exhibit to the public but provide hands-on experience for students enrolled in the academy. Most of the non-feline animals arrived as orphans, or unwanted pets, and were taken in as part of the center's rescue program.
Cat Tales Wildlife Academy: 300+ Graduates + 20 Staff
Our Wildlife Academy is licensed by the Workforce Trade and Education Board as a vocational trade school specializing in employable Zookeeper skills. Students from across the globe attend a 24- or 48-week program to learn how to manage the feeding and caring of exotic animals. More than 300 students have graduated from our Professional Zookeeper Program taking this knowledge and expertise to such far-flung places as Australia, the UK, Africa, Central America, and Canada – and of course across the USA. We educate and train some of the most talented and professional zoological staff who find successful jobs throughout the international zoological community.
We are grateful for a full cadre of 20+ staff who are either students, interns, instructors, or volunteers, all trained and committed to the center. Whether leading tours, answering calls, supporting animal care or leading outreach programs, our staff are a core part of our work. .
Our Urgent Need
The Covid Pandemic hit us hard. Like many businesses and schools, we were forced to suspend operations for a full year. This significantly impacted our revenue given we rely on guest entrance fees, gift shop receipts, and training academy tuition.
That income disappeared when our doors closed. And it’s expensive to feed 40+ carnivores! For instance, we feed an average of 3.5 tons of meat per month plus over 500 pounds of kibble and produce.
Gratefully, our doors re-opened this Spring but, as you can imagine, we don’t have many visitors in the cold weather.... yet that’s when the wildlife is the most active!
Our Zookeeper Program is ramping up as pandemic mandates are lifted, students can travel again, and a national vaccination program for covid-sensitive animals is being developed. Things are looking up, but the need is great.
Our GiveBIG Campaign: Spread the Word!
Thank you! Our GiveBIG Campaign will help with day-to-day operational costs AND also allow us to focus on much-needed habitat restoration and expansion for the tigers and the wolves, updated fencing, professional signage, and essential veterinary equipment.
More than 30 years ago in Mead, Washington (just east of Spokane), founders, Mike and Debbie Wyche opened their doors with four cats in 1991, which was literally out of their home. The tours started and ended in the house. The gift shop was half of the living room, with photos on the walls. Visitors parked on the front lawn and entered the front door to sign in.
Now, Cat Tales is a woman-owned and operated business by Debbie Wyche and her stepdaughter, Lisa Grey.