Volunteering at the Cat Haven is all about teaching and working with the public. It is an excellent opportunity to be involved with the conservation of wild cats. It also provides work experience and an introduction to the jobs associated with a zoological facility.
The Cat Haven relies on volunteers to assist with the educational goals of the facility as well as cover routine duties like manning the gift shop. Prospective volunteers should enjoy working with people and come prepared to learn and disseminate information with enthusiasm.
The volunteer introduction course lasts eight hours and is held over four days (usually once a week for a month). It represents an excellent introduction in to the world of wild cats, the ethics and the challenges. It also covers how to give a good tour and observe safety procedures. Classes, which are run by Project Survival, are being scheduled now. A fee of $49.00 is charged to cover the cost of training materials, a volunteer polo shirt and a discounted volunteer membership to the Cat Haven. For further details and to obtain an application form please call (559) 338-3216.
Volunteers must be at least 16 years old, be responsible and have their own health insurance.
The Educational Department travels off-site to deliver lectures and slide shows. These have been well received by a variety of clubs and associations, such as local chapters of Kiwanis Clubs, Audubon Societies and the Sheriff’s Activity League.
It is possible to request that one of the educational cats be present at these lectures, but they are never guaranteed.
There is a charge for these lectures which underwrites the cost of the presentation and provides support for the facility. The amount will vary if the lecture is outside a 60 mile radius of the facility.
For current booking information, please call (559) 338-3216.
We included this category because we like to think outside the box. If you have an idea for an educational opportunity which you do not see here, please call us to discuss it. For example, we have had students call us to discuss internships. Even if we are unable to help with your idea, we might be able to advise you on how best to achieve it.
Art, Photography, T.V. and Film
The Cat Haven occasionally receives enquiries from artists, photographers and film makers who are looking for access to exotic cats. Because of nature of these requests vary enormously we deal with them on an individual basis. We are interested in helping professionals because of the educational potential of their work, however there are a few broad principles which we ask you to take into consideration.
- All visitors are welcome to take photographs and no special permission is needed in this case.
- Artists and photographers who want to arrange private sessions call the office before arriving to make an appointment. People are not allowed to be near enclosures without supervision. Because a member of staff must accompany you, and the sessions are usually time-consuming, there is a fee to be negotiated in consideration of the work you propose.
- The cats are not trained to perform and we have few individuals which we consider hand-workable. This means that photo shoots almost always take place through cage wire for safety’s sake. Yet there is good news: we have plans to construct an exhibit specifically for film and photo shoots. We will be able to introduce certain of our cats to this exhibit thus providing more opportunities for great results.
- We are very interested in working with documentary and educational film makers. We are in the process of setting up two exciting projects: one is to capture documentary footage on-site and the second is to record the work of field researchers studying jaguars in Brazil. The latter project is to gain support for jaguar conservation. Call us at (559) 338-3216 if you have any interest in these areas.
- Television: we can consider bringing cat ambassadors for educational appearances on local and national networks. This includes two very successful appearances on the ‘Tonight Show” with Jay Leno. However, we do not provide performing cats for movies.
- Although we will do our best to assist you, within the limits of safety, under no circumstances can we guarantee the behavior of the cats or the results of your efforts. We insist that you respect our safety procedures and that all sessions end if an animal reacts adversely to your presence. The cats are well habituated to human visitors and cameras but on rare occasions they will take a dislike to certain individuals, even when separated by cage wire. At such times, to avoid stress on the cat, you will be asked to move to another enclosure.
The Cat Haven operates with a core staff assisted by volunteers. There are currently no paid positions available, a situation which is not likely to change in the immediate future.
News of any job opportunities will be posted on this page.
Please note that anyone is welcome to file a resume with us ‘just in case’. The facility is set to grow steadily and we are happy to keep applications on file.
Resumes can be sent to the Project Survival’s Cat Haven, 38257 E. King’s Canyon Road, Dunlap CA 93621. Please include a cover letter stating you particular area of interest.