Zack was the first, the one that started Cedarhill. As the story goes, Kay saw an AD in the paper selling a cougar cub.  She was surprised by this and inquired and learned she had to get him to save his life. She didn't not have the $1000 the man was asking but he was willing to trade him for a tractor she had. Once she got his she tied to find him a home with a zoo but none would take him.  She realized if she wanted him to stay alive so she would have to care for him so she built an enclosure for him in her yard. She gave him proper vet care and food her and Zack started to trust her. He passed away in 2006. Read the full story here.


Valentino was purchased by two brothers in Minnesota with the intent of them keeping him indoors as a pet. He was declawed and raised indoors in hopes that he would act like a house cat. After growing up in the house as a cub, he was banished to a small cage in an abandoned dairy barn when he started to tear things up inside and exhibit normal male lion behaviors. For years, he was fed road kill and the occasional stray chicken that wandered into his pen. For the years he lived in the barn, his cage was never cleaned and he was deprived of the simple pleasures like sunshine and grass under his feet. When our friends at the Wildcat Sanctuary of Minnesota found out about him, they knew they had to take action. They contacted CedarHill, and we immediately brought Valentino to our sanctuary, his new forever home. He now has the freedom to see and feel all of the things he was denied for so long. He passed away May 2017 and he will be forever in our hearts...


A private zoo in central Texas wanted to downsize their tiger population and we had room and love to spare. On December 29th it all came together when 4 elderly female tigers arrived that morning at Cedarhill Animal Sanctuary. The glue that made this possible was the transport team from In-Sync Exotics Wildlife Rescue and Educational Center who traveled from Wylie to Seguin, TX to load Sheena (20) Dolly (18), Kenia (14), and Kamali (13), into their rolling cages and drive all night to Cedarhill. It was a  challenging proposition because the tigers were old and  frail and sedation could have proved dangerous to their health. Scheduling the expedition also required that staff from both In-Sync and Cedarhill devote time long reserved for family holidays to picking up the old tigers and getting everything ready for them at their new forever home. 

Sheena passed in June of 2019. She outlived the life expectancy of a tiger living in captivity which is 16 to 20 years old! Sheena was 22 years old and lived a very happy life at Cedarhill. She will forever be missed at Cedarhill. 


Sheba came to us from a sanctuary closing in Ohio. She was abused like the other big cats rescued along with her with cattle prods and fire extinguishers, so gaining Sheba’s trust was a constant struggle for us. We were happy to be able to meet all her needs and respect her need for space since humans have wronged her so much in her past. Sheba was a very active girl and spent most mornings playing with her many toys as well as the male lion, Zues, who lives next door. We were proud to give this beautiful girl a safe and peaceful home. She passed in July of 2019. She will forever be in our hearts.


​Shazadi came to us with his two younger brothers Kumar & Mr. Big from private owner in Texas. They were kept in smaller cages where they weren't able to move around much. They were given unhealthy meat and Shazadi's brothers would often get to it before him, leaving him skinnier than the two who became obese due to the lack of exercise. Shazadi came to us a very angry cat but he son learned to trust us and he is one of the sweetest cats his caretakers loved so much! In his later years he suffered from severe arthritis and hip dysplasia. Shazadi passed away due to old age in July 2018. He will be forever missed.


KD is a cougar brought to Cedarhill when she was 6 months old. A young man, who thought he could raise a cougar in his mother's house, bought KD. When that didn't work out, Cedarhill was contacted. She has been at Cedarhill since that time and grew into a beautiful cougar. She passed away in 2016 and we will forever miss her...


After being passed around as a cub, Taz finally found a home at a zoo in Massachusetts. Unfortunately the zoo closed, so he was sent to the Wild Animal Orphanage in San Antonio, Texas. It also closed due to money problems, and thats when Cedarhill was contacted. Taz has lived here since he passing in in 2016.


Kay came across him at a roadside zoo where he was poked and prodded to roar for money.  She offered to take him and the man refused until the man became ill and called Kay to take Gunther.  She was happy to give him a better life. It took Gunther some time to trust again but he eventually became a wonderful lion here at Cedarhill until his passing in 2010. RIP Gunther!


Alexis was privately owned and as kept in an enclosure in her owners yard.  When her owners could not longer care for her they reached out for us to take her. They still visited her often after and Alexis would recognize them. She had a unique coat with dreadlocked fur.


Kenia, one of the tigers who came to us from Texas in December has passed away within 4 months of living at Cedarhill. MSU Vet came out and through initial analysis, determined that she may have had possible kidney failure but tests results have not been confirmed at this point. They also informed she most likely had been experiencing kidney issues prior to coming to us and we tried to make her life as comfortable as possible until the end. We haven't had her long but we are all so happy to have known her and loved her and that her final home was Cedarhill.

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