Type of Organization
The Sanctuary is home to over 300 animals of 40 different species ranging from native wildlife to exotic wildlife to domestic animals. Many of the wild residents were injured or orphaned at the hands of humans in their native habitat or have been rescued from illegal breeding operations, fur farms, irresponsible “pet” owners and the entertainment industry. The Sanctuary provides a lifelong home for these animals, free from further abuse and exploitation. In addition, 20-30 “unadoptable” dogs and cats from area shelters and humane societies, as well as feral puppies and kittens, are taken in each year for extensive rehabilitation and socialization training so that permanent homes with loving families can be found.
Besides serving as an animal care facility and shelter, the Sanctuary offers vital community outreach and education. Walking tours led by volunteers tell the life stories of resident animals and educate on the plight of their wild brethren, many species of which are threatened or endangered. Each year nearly 3,000 local students participate in Spirit of the Hills’ Outdoor Learning Center, which integrates ecology, animal welfare and conservation in a unique hands-on learning experience. Rural schoolchildren from South Dakota, Wyoming, and Nebraska (who often don’t have access to a metropolitan zoo) get to experience wild animals up close. The Sanctuary also offers at-risk youth and juvenile offenders sentenced to community service the unique experience of working with and around animals, thus promoting the development of mutual understanding and respect between all human and animal life.
In light of the recent sanctioning of mountain lion sport hunting in South Dakota, the Sanctuary is dedicated to raising awareness about human and pet safety living in mountain lion country and the vital importance these great cats play in our ecosystem.
SPCA International is proud to honor Spirit of the Hills for its dedication to protecting animals of all kinds via lifelong care and shelter, rehabilitation, and public education. We are pleased that the Shelter of the Week grant will be used to construct a nursery area for feral kittens and puppies needing extensive care and socialization.
Additional Info and Website
You can donate to this organization by sending a check to:
Spirit of the Hills Wildlife Sanctuary
500 N. Tinton Road
Spearfish, SD 57783