The Valley of the Kings is a private, non-profit, tax-exempt charity (501(c)3). We have a board of directors, with Jill E. Carnegie serving as our President and founder. Jill and her husband, Jim Tomasi, live in a modest farmhouse, with the animals they care for and love dearly.
We are 90% publicly funded, with the rest coming from our family. Our very existence depends on donations from our members, friends, and a dedicated core of volunteers.
Where is The Valley of the Kings?
We’re in a rural area in Southern Wisconsin, in the heart of dairyland. We have 10 acres of farmland and our family home, which we share with lions, tigers, leopards, cougars, bears, horses, cows, foxes, and other “misfits” who manage to find shelter with us. Each animal has shelter from the elements – many have spacious pens, while other pens are currently under construction so we can provide larger areas for the big cats.
We began caring for exotic animals over thirty years ago. We were under the misconception that breeding large felids was an appropriate endeavor. Fortunately, we found out how wrong we were before we brought any into the world. Large cats started pouring in that had nowhere else to go. We did not have an enclosure to put them in and had to turn two tigers down — then reclaim them (see The Story of Sammy & Farah). We tried placing Farah & Sammy with disastrous results. The cats we have placed in what we believed to be a safe, humane home were horribly abused. We do not find homes for the animals here. That was why we opened our sanctuary to public support. Since then, we have never had to turn away a needy animal, although things have been very very tight.
This is their home, their last stop, and their last chance. The cats and unwanted, retired, and abandoned domestic and farm animals that come here remain permanently, and when they die, we bury them here at our cemetery with respect and dignity. Our ultimate goal is for humankind to take responsibility for that which he creates out of greed and care properly for the animals that are in need of protection. Until that time, we will provide a sanctuary and education toward that goal.
Valley of the Kings Sanctuary and Retreat provides a home for abused, abandoned, retired and injured large felids, exotics, and domestic non-human animals.
We give the best available diet, housing, veterinary care and positive human interaction. Valley of the Kings educates the general public concerning the bond between human and non-human animals in the natural world.
We teach that private or commercial ownership, hunting for profit or sport and the destruction of natural habitat will mean eventual extinction for these creatures. Lastly, we believe that when we remove animals from the wild, we take their freedom and wildness, the essence of their being.