April 2024

Join us in Celebrating Volunteer Appreciation Week April 21-27

We know that sanctuary work is impossible without the dedication of volunteers. Those who tenderly care for animals as they’re nursed back to health after a life of exploitation or abuse. Those who patiently help with administrative tasks. Those who put on spectacular events. Those who take every opportunity to tell people about their favorite sanctuary. And one thousand other tasks that wouldn’t be possible without them.

We encourage you to celebrate your volunteers during this week. Making volunteers feel seen and valued is so important for retention and for creating ambassadors for your sanctuary. Whether it’s something as simple as a thank you and a little vegan treat, or opportunities for career advancement, every little bit helps make your volunteers feel appreciated. Feel free to download this image and use it on your social media. Otherwise, here are some great ideas on how to show your volunteers some love.

GFAS Supports Legislation to Improve Animal Welfare

GFAS is often called upon to endorse, submit letters of support, or supply testimony on legislation that seeks to improve the welfare of animals. Below are some of the measures we have recently supported. If legislation is active in your state or region, please consider getting involved.

  • In collaboration with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and the Humane Society of the United States, a request to prevent allocation of $10 million in funds for 2025, as requested by the National Institutes of Health to expand nonhuman primate research, infrastructure, and resources aimed primarily at expanding primate breeding programs in research centers.
  • To the Indonesian Minister of Environment and Forestry to encourage Indonesia to end its international trade in long-tailed macaques, and instead to focus on the development of humane, lasting, and responsible macaque management plans.
  • Illinois – House Bill 4446 which would ban the private possession of servals, caracals, kangaroos, wallabies, and hybrids.
  • Washington – House Bill 1153 which would prohibit octopus farming within the state and is a critical step toward preserving marine ecosystems, protecting animal welfare, and maintaining the delicate balance of the aquatic environment.


Don’t Miss Our Latest Article and Podcast Episode on Compassionate Coexistence:
True Animal Sanctuary or Exploitative ‘Attraction’? Here’s What You Need To Know If You Love Animals

We do a deep dive into what makes a true sanctuary, the kinds of exploitative operations that co-opt the sanctuary term, how current regulations fail to protect animals, and just how important sanctuaries are to the animal protection movement. One of our favorite quotes?

“I think what I would really like for people to remember is that sanctuaries are a really unique, valuable space,” she said. “There is nothing like them anywhere else in the world, because sanctuaries create a model for what our relationship with animals could look like if we aren’t exploiting them, if we are respecting them, and we are valuing them the way they ought to be valued.”

We hope you’ll have a read or listen and share widely!

EXPIRING APRIL 30th – 50% Tuition Discount on the Foundations of Wildlife Chemical Capture Online Course with Dr. Mark!

Global Wildlife Resources is offering a limited time offer on their online chemical immobilization course. The same program taken and recommended by GFAS Program Directors for its commitment to ethics and high standards.

  • Online self-paced course with Dr. Mark’s interactive support
  • 16 hours of certification with Certificate of Training
  • RACE approved for Veterinarians and Veterinary Technicians CE
  • Wildlife Society approval of 16 CE hours for their Professional Development Program

Dr. Mark Johnson is a wildlife veterinarian and founder of Global Wildlife Resources (GWR). He has led and assisted with field captures and taught live and online courses for over 35 years to zoo and wildlife students and professionals.

For more information, email Dr. Mark at or check out the website: Global Wildlife Resources | Chemical Immobilization Training

May is Adopt a Horse Month!

This May, we want to help increase awareness about horse adoption. Help promote #AdoptAHorse Month by following our social media pages and sharing posts about GFAS certified rescues offering adoptions.

Also, there are many horses available for adoption by ASPCA Right Horse partners and can be found on myrighthorse.org. and ASPCARightHorse.

The Animals & Vegan Advocacy Summit, DC is next month! We’ll see you there.

GFAS’ Farmed Animal Program will be exhibiting at the AVA Summit in Washington, DC May 16-19. If you’re attending, please come by and say hello! If not, please consider publicizing the event for your supporters, as it’s a fantastic opportunity to be immersed in all things farmed animal advocacy!

To learn more visit https://www.avasummit.com/

Homes for Horses Coalition Conference

Join the Homes for Horses Coalition in Washington DCSeptember 21-23, 2024 for the conference and lobby day.

Get ready to learn alongside new friends, collaborate on innovative program ideas, and share your story. Featuring expert panels on equine care, adoption best practices, and more, this conference is a must-attend for professionals in the equine advocacy world. This year, HHC will share their equine knowledge with lawmakers on the final “lobby day” of the event, spurring change for horses on a national scale. Please save the date for a conference dedicated to supporting the equine rescue community and improving the lives of horses everywhere.

Stay tuned for registration information and discounted hotel booking options. Respond to the Facebook Event to get updates when tickets are available.

Mark Your Calendars!
2024 PAWS International Captive Wildlife Conference in L.A.

The conference themed, “Ending Wild Animals as Entertainment” will take place in Los Angeles on November 9 and 10.

Top leaders in advocacy on behalf of elephants, marine mammals, bears, big cats, and other wild animals will be on hand to lead discussions of the key issues surrounding these animals. The PAWS conference is always a highly anticipated, inspiring and informative event. We will see you there!

For more conference details, stay tuned to: www.pawsweb.org


GFAS Accredited since 2011, Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) is celebrating four decades of animal rescue and refuge in the rolling hills of San Andreas, California. Throughout that time, PAWS has been a respected leader providing sanctuary to abused, abandoned and exploited captive animals. The organization is also well-known for their public education efforts regarding captive wildlife issues. The sanctuary itself, is a 2,300-acre natural habitat refuge, home to Asian and African elephants, lions, tigers, bears, and many other exotic animals. Congratulations to the long-serving and dedicated team at PAWS and to Dr. Chris Draper, the newly announced, CEO.

PAWS will once again host their International Captive Wildlife Conference in Los Angeles later this year. Be sure to see the details highlighted in this newsletter!  www.pawsweb.org


New Certification and Renewals

Over the past month, GFAS has renewed two organizations!



Chimp Haven, Louisiana

Lions Tigers & Bears, California

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