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Accreditation Step-by-Step

Before you begin, please review our eligibility guidelines. If you have any questions, email us or check out our FAQ!

Step 1: Organization Overview Form

The first step (Organization Overview Form A) takes just 10-15 minutes and helps us learn more about your organization. With this information, our accreditation staff may contact you with additional instructions and follow-up questions before advancing your application. Eligible candidates will be sent instructions to remit a sliding scale application fee (learn more about our fee structure here). Should you become certified by GFAS, there is an annual fee for all GFAS certified groups (you can learn more about our annual fee structure here).Please click the box below to start the application process. Please keep in mind GFAS does not have a certification for domestic dog/cat rescues/sanctuaries. You can access instructions on registering and how to use the online system here. When using this system, please make sure to check your spam folder after you fill out forms, as your next step emails may go into spam.

Step 2: Census of Animals; Animal Care and Operations Applications; Required Documents

During step two, GFAS gathers more information, including:
  • Animal Census Form - a detailed listing of all animals which a facility is currently caring for
  • Operations and Species-Specific Application Package - information on operational practices and practices surrounding housing, enclosure and fencing, diet, veterinary care, and well-being and handling of resident animals
  • Required Documents - submission of supportive documents, written policies, and written standard operating procedures which support animal care, safety, operations, and governance, as further proof of compliance with applicable GFAS Standards

Step 3: Review Period and Site Visit

After you have submitted the full application package, GFAS staff will review all materials and may contact you with additional requests and follow up questions.

A site visit will be arranged so that we can meet you and review your organization’s facilities.

Step 4: Goal Setting

A summary of your application will be presented internally to the GFAS Accreditation Committee. If there are any compliance items which need to be completed prior to accreditation, we will notify you and work with you to meet those goals. If necessary, we will also set a list of three-year goals for your organization.

Step 5: Accreditation/Verification

Congratulations! You will receive an award letter that includes the three-year goals for your organization and an official certificate.

Your organization’s name will be published on the GFAS website, and GFAS will publish a press release announcing your approval! You will have access to the benefits of GFAS Accredited/Verified status (learn more).

Additional Information

GFAS Accreditation/Verification is valid for three years (barring any complications). Information about the three-year re-evaluation process can be found here.

The first year of your Accreditation/Verification is free, after which a sliding scale annual fee will be due on May 15 of every year.

After Accreditation/Verification, you may be asked to provide additional information, such as updates that have been made to your organization. It is expected that your organization will continue to comply with standards of care during the three-year Accredited/Verified period, as well as report any major changes, respond to requests and improve upon areas needing attention as determined by GFAS.

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