February 22, 2023 (Pullman, WA) – The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS), the only globally recognized organization providing standards for identifying legitimate animal sanctuaries, awarded Accredited status to Blackbird Ranch Farm Sanctuary as of January 27, 2023.
Accreditation signifies that Blackbird Ranch Farm Sanctuary meets GFAS’ rigorous and peer-reviewed animal care standards which are confirmed by a comprehensive site visit. Accreditation also signifies adherence to standards addressing the sustainability of the organization, ethical principles, finances, staffing, education, outreach, security and safety and other operational aspects. The Accreditation status also provides a clear and trusted means for the public, donors, and grantors to recognize Blackbird Ranch Farm Sanctuary as an exceptional organization.
“We are thrilled to announce the Accreditation of Blackbird Ranch Farm Sanctuary” said Jessica Harris, MS, GFAS Farmed Animal Program Director. “This organization has blown me away with both their incredible heart and expertise – a powerful combination that means the sanctuary’s residents, farmed animals typically treated as mere commodities the world over, receive some of the most compassionate and high-quality care in the world. The animals not only enjoy their beautiful surroundings on the Palouse of Washington, but also the loving care of sanctuary personnel with extensive veterinary experience: the majority of their leadership are veterinary professionals. Because of this, Blackbird Ranch offers a unique veterinary internship and volunteer program modeling an approach to veterinary medicine rooted in respect for the intrinsic value of all animals. We congratulate the entire team at Blackbird Ranch on the incredible service they are providing to animals and animal kind – they truly embody true sanctuary.”
In response to Blackbird Ranch’s accreditation, founder and Executive Director Jenna Ramsey states:
“What does it mean to be a true “sanctuary”? I’ve seen this word thrown around with many different interpretations and contexts over the years. By definition, a sanctuary, is a place of refuge and safety. We like to take the definition a bit further and define it as not only a place of refuge and safety, but a soft place to land; where the animals can thrive both physically and mentally, all while assuring they get the best care, stimulation, overall happiness, and their every need is met, to the best of our ability. True sanctuaries also do not exploit their animals for profit, breeding, recognition, exhibitory, commercial trade, etc.”
She continues, “Most of our residents, at Blackbird Ranch, have come from unhealthy, dangerous, exploitative, deplorable, and heartbreaking situations, leaving them more sensitive, fragile, and vulnerable. These animals needed a true sanctuary where they could heal inside and out; where patience is a virtue, and we don’t force them to do anything they aren’t comfortable with. We move at their pace, on their time, to facilitate healing, all while assuring their safety. This is what we strive to provide for all our rescued animals at Blackbird Ranch.
It is a great honor to become one of the few accredited farmed animal sanctuaries in North America. This is a huge deal to us, and something we’ve been working towards for a long time. GFAS accreditation is only granted to organizations who have proven themselves to be “true sanctuaries”; who have put in the work to build a trustworthy, safe, secure, organization that truly puts their animals needs first. Accreditation is assurance to us that we are in fact keeping our level of animal care to the highest standards possible. Accreditation is accountability, trust building, and transparency. We have worked hard over the past 6 years to build Blackbird Ranch from the ground up, keeping these virtues top on our priority list.
We are so grateful to be recognized among a handful of other outstanding farmed animal organizations across the globe. We will continue to work diligently, day and night, to keep our standards high and to continue to provide the level of care our residents have come to know. Thank you all for your support in helping us reach this milestone as an organization.”
About Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries
Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the sole purpose of strengthening and supporting the work of animal sanctuaries, rescues, and rehabilitation centers worldwide. The goal of GFAS in working with and assisting these animal care facilities is to ensure they are supported, honored, recognized and rewarded for meeting important criteria in providing care to the animals in residence. GFAS was founded in 2007 by animal protection leaders from a number of different organizations in response to virtually unchecked and often hidden exploitation of animals for human entertainment and financial profit. The GFAS Board of Directors guides the organization’s work in a collaborative manner. While the board includes those in top leadership at The Humane Society of the United States, International Fund for Animal Welfare, and American Anti-Vivisection Society, all board members serve as individuals dedicated to animal sanctuaries. www.sanctuaryfederation.org.
About Blackbird Ranch Farm Sanctuary
Blackbird Ranch Sanctuary is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit nestled into the beautiful rolling hills of the Palouse region in Eastern Washington. They offer refuge and sanctuary to abused, neglected and exploited farm animals. Many of their rescued farm animals were at one time victims of the food industry, and with the help of kind individuals, were liberated and brought to Blackbird Ranch for lifetime sanctuary. The sanctuary is entirely volunteer run with an extraordinarily dedicated team. They are advocates and champions for animals.
To learn more visit https://blackbirdranchsanctuary.org/