ALBION – Letrecia “Trish” Brown has been named executive director of Black Pine Animal Sanctuary, a not-for-profit devoted to providing refuge to displaced, captive-raised exotic animals for the rest of their lives with a commitment to educate people about responsible animal care and conservation.

Brown, a native of Kosciusko County and former council woman for the city of Warsaw, has extensive experience in both the not-for-profit field as well as business management. Her experience includes the Warsaw Community Development Corp.  Girls Inc. and the Animal Welfare League of Kosciusko County. She served as the president of the former Boys & Girls Club. Prior to joining the staff at Black Pine, she was the director of operations for Superior Landscape Products and Excavation.  

“We are so pleased to have Trish Brown join us as the new executive director at Black Pine Animal Sanctuary. Her years of experience with not-for-profit organizations, including the executive director of the Animal Welfare League in Kosciusko County, and her love of animals, will be such a positive asset to us as we look to the future of Black Pine Animal Sanctuary and continue the great things that we accomplished to date,” said Barb Smith, president of the board of directors.  

“I am honored to have the opportunity to lead Black Pine Animal Sanctuary. It is evident that the sanctuary is poised to really develop its vision and build on the tremendous momentum created by the board and previous executive director, Lori Gagon. I look forward to being a part of the effort to bring Black Pine to the next level, making a positive difference for even more animals and providing educational opportunities for people of all ages,” said Brown.

Professional Animal Retirement Center (PARC) Inc., known locally as Black Pine Animal Sanctuary, was established in 2000 to provide refuge to displaced, captive-raised exotic animals for the rest of their lives and to educate people about responsible animal care and conservation.

The sanctuary is home to nearly 100 displaced, captive-raised exotic animals. A variety of educational programs are offered throughout the year to enhance people's knowledge of exotic and endangered species, to encourage responsible captive care and behavior around potentially dangerous animals, and to protect public safety. Nearly 60 species of animals reside at the sanctuary.

Animal residents currently include big and small cats, canines, bears, primates, birds, reptiles and more, representing over 50 species.

The sanctuary is funded solely by program fees (serving about 19,000 people annually), a gift shop, Park Pal memberships, proceeds of various fundraising events, sponsorships, individual and business donations, in-kind gifts, employer giving programs, and other fund raising initiatives.  

Black Pine receives no taxpayer dollars. The mission is supported by many volunteers and participants in its unpaid internship program. The facility is managed by a volunteer board of directors and small number of paid staff. Veterinary services are provided by volunteers and paid staff members.