BEARS Etc.

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​​​​Bear and Exotic Animal Rescue Sanctuary

KATIE BUCKLEY-JONES

CLINT AKIN

MIKE LAMOUREUX


Kati is an animal lover.  From taming her grandfather’s barn cats when she was little to helping to save captive exotics and wild animals as an adult, she’s been passionate about their well being her entire life. 
As a teen, she found herself working for a veterinarian and volunteering at Black Pine Animal Sanctuary, an exotic animal refuge, quickly learning of the high demand for rescuing captive exotic animals.  During Veterinary Technician school at Purdue University, Kati volunteered at Wildcat Creek Wildlife Center and interned at the Wildlife Center of Virginia.  These places helped teach her how to treat wildlife with dignity and how the needs and behaviors of wild animals are so different than that of domestic dogs and cats.
She spent many years grooming dogs, most of those as a manager and instructor. Kati prides herself on  the placing of her clients’ well being first, and educating the public.   Her employees and students are encouraged to use force-free grooming with as little stress as possible, making the experience a good one for the animals.  Kati’s life came full circle when she became Assistant Manager at Black Pine Animal Sanctuary, as her dreams of working at a sanctuary and rescuing animals in need were coming true.  She learned that the needs for animals in jeopardy were more than she could ever have imagined, especially for bears.
Kati assisted with animal rescue operations on a regular basis with Black Pine, and with Outreach for Animals, another charitable organization dedicated to teaching responsible behavior around wild animals and improving lives.  Throughout all of these experiences, she helped train many interns and volunteers, and planted seeds of awareness in them and members of the public to encourage respect for animals, and to help wild animals in need.
Fielding phone calls on a regular basis for bears, tigers, parrots, and  the occasional alligator in need has been all too common throughout Kati’s experiences.  
Always with limited staff, funding, and resources, having to say “I’m sorry, we just can’t take another animal at this time” became a frequent reply.  As such, Kati set new goals and plans for Bears, Etc. were put into motion.  She moved to the Houston area to pursue her hopes and dreams of opening a sanctuary, specifically for bears, and Bears Etc. is now on its way to becoming a reality.


CHARLES E. DYER IV

AMY HEMPEL

Clint has spent his life developing many business and personal relationships across all industries, as well as multiple ministries. He has a gift with coming up with creative strategies and providing simple solutions to complex problems. He thoroughly enjoys planning meaningful events which leave lasting impacts in the lives of those who attend. His professional life has been spent growing businesses and creating strategic partnerships while maximizing often thin resources. He is active in planning committees with multiple organizations. His greatest accomplishment is accepting Jesus Christ as his savior and he is committed to serving and following Him. He is eager to serve the board in whatever capacity he can.

Amy lives in Willis, TX with her Husband Shawn, and two children Katelyn and Adam. She has a BS in Music Education from Sam Houston State and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, with an emphasis in Human Resources, from Wayland University. She is currently highly involved with the worship ministry at West Conroe Baptist Church and a stay-at-home mom for her two children.

ALEX IVY

Katie is incredibly passionate about bears, especially bears in captive care. She has eight years of experience working in facilities accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) with four species of bears and various carnivores. Her strengths include animal behavior analysis, training, public outreach, networking, and welfare. She is excited to be a part of the development of Bears Etc. and hopes to help out wherever needed. All of the facilities Katie has worked for have been non-profit organizations, so she understands the challenges they face. She is interested in bringing zoos and sanctuaries together to create stronger bonds to help animals in need. 

MaKayla enjoys traveling, kayaking, live music and sports.  A lover of animals, she has two dogs of her own and is a foster mom for a local shelter. If she's not exploring the rivers in her kayak, you can find her at a baseball stadium or watching a soccer game!  She brings five years of grant writing and management experience.  She has written grants for a variety of funding sources.  She looks forward most to helping develop the sustainability of Bears Etc. and their non-profit reputation.

Ambrose  is an ecologist, artist, and history lover. He has been an avid outdoorsman, traveling all over the United States, camping, hiking, and pursuing nature photography. He has been working with exotic and domestic animals most of his life.  

Over the years, Grant has traveled to Israel, Germany and France serving students and spreading the gospel. He has a global mindset and hopes that he can help both locally and internationally in establishing and growing Bears Etc. As a tenured non-profit owner, he can advise the board on the do's and don'ts for establishing and maintaining a non-profit organization. He can create, and inspire ideas for short stories that can be used for kids, students and visitors to the sanctuary. He appreciates the opportunity to come along beside us and build our non-profit.


Michelle has served as Board Member for Big Brothers Big Sisters, helping them restructure their board of directors, hire a new director, organize their office, and draft a business plan. She is able to assist with business management and human resources and currently works in HR for a large corporation. She has a passion for animals and their care.



Charles E. Dyer IV, DDS, MS, PC runs a successful dental practice and is a person dedicated to the rescue of a variety of species of animals, including those in his home and others around the world. He is an active volunteer with the Peter Emily International Veterinary Dental Foundation, a group of veterinarians and veterinary dentists who travel the globe to provide free dental work for animals, improving their lives in captivity.

Alex is a lifelong animal lover with a passion for helping animals.  She has four cats and a dog, all rescued homeless pets.  Her passion is helping homeless animals in need. She feels very honored to be able to help an organization like Bears Etc.

Our staff

GRANT AKINFENWA

AMBROSE KROUSE

​Founder and Executive Director

MAKAYLA GUSHING

Kati L Krouse

 Mike has always loved animals and grew up working on his grandfather's farm. He spent summers learning about farm life and the responsibilities of caring for all types of animals.  Mike and his wife have four rescue dogs, and are in the process of bringing an apiary onto their homestead to assist in increasing the local bee population.  Mike has always had a love of bears and finds their solitary lifestyle and love of long naps truly inspirational.  Mike is honored to be working with Bears Etc. to facilitate a home for animals in need.

MICHELLE MAYERNICK

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