April 2020

GFAS Coronavirus Resources

  • The coronavirus crisis has changed life as we know it, and the sustainability and survivability of many non-profits may be at risk.  For U.S. based non-profits, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which offers loans to small businesses and nonprofits, some of which are forgivable, if used according to defined parameters, may be a viable option to help bridge gaps.  With demand for these loans and grants soaring, there is talk of Congress moving to approve additional funds.  For more information or to find an eligible lender, see the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s website: https://home.treasury.gov/policy-issues/top-priorities/cares-act/assistance-for-small-businesses
  • Contact your State Association of Nonprofits, where applicable, to review any local, community funding and resources available.  The National Council of Nonprofits has coronavirus resources and a searchable listing of all State Associations on their website:  https://www.councilofnonprofits.org/nonprofits-and-coronavirus-covid-19?fbclid=IwAR3F27mNxHa5bogtz3mSiOFCZgkGrTieZQyGiAuZvyugXFLZqHlmgyiRUoA
  • Don’t forget! A new forum topic has been created in the GFAS Peer-to-Peer program, titled “Coronavirus Resources and Updates”.  If you haven’t participated in the program yet, Peer-to-Peer includes a set of discussion forums and a document library, through which sanctuaries and rescue centers can connect to share information and network.  Many sample documents, webinar recordings, and articles relating to current issues have already been posted; we invite you to register, share, and collaborate:   https://sanctuaryfederation.org/peer-to-peer/


GFAS In the News

GFAS is featured in the April edition of the Delaware Valley Eagle Alliance. You can view the article here.

GFAS Announces Partnership with Global Animal Welfare

GFAS always seeks partners with which to collaborate on our mission. We are excited to announce that we recently entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Global Animal Welfare, a new NGO formed by wildlife experts and former Animals Asia sanctuary directors Nicola Field and Annemarie Weegenaar. We look forward to working with Global Animal Welfare this year on several projects as part of our new GFAS Peer-to-Peer program, to provide guidance to sanctuaries and rescue centers seeking an in-depth evaluation of their animal welfare and care practices and goals for improvement to achieve GFAS certification.

Spotlight on Sanctuaries

As Covid-19 forces sanctuaries to close to the public, we are seeing more of our members find creative ways to keep the public engaged and connected with their life-saving work for animals.

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, nestled in the Ozark mountains of Arkansas, hosts daily Facebook Live events for their followers and folks are loving it! The videos range from 5 to 12 minutes and feature many of the lions, tigers and bears cared for by Turpentine Creek staff. Live videos allow Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge to share the stories of the individual animals, their personalities and daily care routines in real time. In the video below, viewers can watch Snowball enjoy a “cat bath” and hear Izzy greet them with enthusiastic “chuffs.” One follower commented that she has made Turpentine Creek’s daily videos part of her home school curriculum for her kids!


Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge also offers Virtual Kids Craft Days where children can follow along with one of Turpentine Creek’s team members on Zoom. The children learn how to make animal related crafts like “habitat boxes” made from shoe boxes, glue and grass while learning about the animals.

The Elephant Sanctuary

Photo courtesy of The Elephant Sanctuary

We are happy to bring you this heartwarming story from The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee.

After the closing of restaurants across Tennessee, global food distribution company, Sysco found themselves with a surplus of un-purchased restaurant-grade produce. Food pantries and shelters across the state came and took all that they could, but there was a large amount of food leftover. Sysco then called The Elephant Sanctuary and shortly thereafter delivered 28 pallets of fresh produce for the elephants! After distributing produce to each barn, The Elephant Sanctuary staff then called the city of Hohenwald to donate the remaining produce. The mayor of Hohenwald then offered the free produce (according to CDC guidelines) to local residents from the city courthouse.

Well done, TES! It’s great to see GFAS sanctuaries and rescues play an important part in their communities.

The Elephant Sanctuary is closed to the public, but accessible through the ELECAM! Check them out here: https://www.elephants.com/elecam

Indraloka Animal Sanctuary, Dalton PA

Since the establishment of Indraloka Animal Sanctuary in 2005 and obtaining GFAS Accreditation in 2016, founder Indra Lahiri, PhD and her team, have provided lifelong care and a home for over 1,000 animals in need. Over the years, Indraloka (Sanskrit name for the heaven for the Gods), has provided educational programs for thousands of children and adults. Indra is a storyteller, mentor, traveler and coach for animals and people.

Indra was also instrumental in establishing the Global Coalition of Farm Sanctuaries, a positive, supportive community of people who currently lead 155 farmed animal sanctuaries. This Coalition provides a means for coordinating animal rescues and transports as well as the sharing of ideas and resources, which is so important now when loss of revenue is anticipated

During these challenging times, Indra has been working hard to find creative ways to encourage and inspire supporters of Indraloka. Indra and her creative director, Johnny Braz, are sharing their first installment of Indraloka’s Liberation Meditation series which they hope will provide serenity and comfort to help people through these difficult times.  Future postings will include virtual field trips for kids, animal story podcasts, and more tools to help us learn from the animals.

Animals Asia

©Animals Asia

The staff at Animals Asia’s accredited Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre took matters into their own hands in March, making hand sanitizer (following World Health Organization guidelines) both for use at the sanctuary and also to distribute to local villages and health care workers to help them maintain good hand hygiene.

This was a true team effort, with everyone involved in steps including sourcing and procuring the ingredients; designing and printing labels featuring a cute cartoon bear; translating the WHO guidelines on how to make the sanitizer for use by local health-care workers; making 100 litres of the product in a day; and filling 200 pump bottles and attaching the labels. Watch the short video here to see them at work: https://youtu.be/GquxXbbPod0

Thank you Animals Asia for helping your community to stay safe!

Save a Forgotten Equine (SAFE)

Save a Forgotten Equine (SAFE) located in Redmond, Washington is on a mission to rescue, rehabilitate, and retrain horses facing neglect or abuse and provide them with the best opportunity for a permanent home and a lifetime of safety. SAFE was founded in 2005 and became GFAS Verified in 2018.

To support their efforts in protecting horses in the region, SAFE has formal agreements in place with animal control agencies in King, Pierce, and Snohomish counties.

This past December, in cooperation with local law enforcement, SAFE played an integral role in the rescue of 25 neglected horses on a 4 acre parcel near Fall City, WA.

Without adequate food or shelter by their owner – the starving horses were found to have eaten bark off trees, every bit of grass on the property and were standing in ankle deep mud and waste. However, thanks to the leadership of Bonnie Hammond, Executive Director, and her incredible team, SAFE has been working around the clock in the months since to rehabilitate and re-home many of these second chance horses.

SAFE is deeply committed to its rescued horses, and has had great success in equine rehab. Once a horse has been successfully rehabilitated, the ultimate goal is to match them to a long-term home that will benefit both horse and adopter. As such, a significant amount of time is spent by the SAFE team to evaluate each horse, discover their strengths and suitabilities, and provide professional training to help ensure a safe and productive future.

Once a horse is ready for a permanent home, SAFE undertakes a rigorous screening process aligned with GFAS’ standards to find the ideal placement and ensure the long-term well-being of all equines under their care.

SAFE also accepts owner surrendered equines, and provides assistance to horse owners struggling financially to care for their equines.

Learn More about Save a Forgotten Equine (SAFE) and the excellent work they do here: https://www.safehorses.org/


New GFAS Re-Certifications

Over the past month, we have re-certified two organizations. Congratulations to those current groups achieving re-certification!

Midwest Horse Welfare Foundation, Wisconsin
Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue, Texas

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