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Bears Etc. Meet The Founder

Kati L. Krouse
​Founder & Executive Director of Bears Etc.

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  their 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 opening a sanctuary, specifically for bears, and a Bears Etc. campus is now on its way to becoming a reality.