August 2021

Accepting Nominations for the
2021 Carole Noon and Outstanding Sanctuary Awards!

The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries Board of Directors and Awards Committee are excited to announce that nominations are now open for the 2021 Carole Noon and Outstanding Sanctuary Awards!

The GFAS Carole Noon Award is given annually to an individual who embodies and puts into practice the GFAS philosophy of vision, dedication, and excellence in animal care at sanctuaries.  The award was created in 2009 to honor outstanding contributions to the animal sanctuary field to memorialize Carole Noon, Ph.D., a courageous and innovative sanctuary pioneer and champion of chimpanzees.

The GFAS Award Committee, which is comprised of past award recipients and members of the GFAS Board of Directors reviews all nominations and makes a recommendation; the full GFAS Board of Directors then makes the final selection.  The award recipient is honored publicly, receives an engraved plaque, is offered an award for their affiliated organization, and is offered membership to the Award Committee.

The GFAS Award Committee and Board of Directors will also present the Outstanding Sanctuary Awards to recognize excellence in humane and responsible animal care; professionalism and ethics; organizational sustainability; public engagement; and contributions to, and leadership within, the sanctuary field.   GFAS Accredited/Verified organizations of varying missions are eligible, including sanctuaries which provide lifetime care for animals; transition and rescue centers which temporarily care for animals with a goal of placing them in adoptive homes; and rehabilitation centers which temporarily care for wildlife so that they can be returned back to their native environments.  Recipients will be honored in four categories:

  • Outstanding Equine Sanctuary of 2021
  • Outstanding Farmed Animal Sanctuary of 2021
  • Outstanding Wildlife Sanctuary of 2021
  • Outstanding International Sanctuary of 2021

The deadline for submissions is September 3, 2021.  Award recipients are honored publicly, receive an engraved plaque, are offered an honorarium for their organization, and Carole Noon Award recipients are offered membership to the GFAS Award Committee.  For full nomination requirements, evaluation criteria, and nomination forms, please see the GFAS website.

We are excited to highlight several past winners of these awards further in the newsletter!

Jess & Chester are wondering…
have you signed up for the Goat Games yet?

Dear GFAS Sanctuary Family,

We are so excited to be cohosting the Goat Games 2021 – an inaugural, first-of-its-kind event benefitting 10 GFAS Certified farmed animal sanctuaries. Each sanctuary team is going head-to-head in a friendly competition to raise money for their life-saving work. Participants join a team of their choice and pledge to do any activity they like to raise money for the animals. Much like the Olympic Games have potential to unite, we hope the Goat Games brings that same spirit to the sanctuary world! We hope that this event not only supports GFAS sanctuaries, but that it creates a collaborative space for us all to join together and cheer each other on.

All of you reading this understand the incredible dedication it takes to run a sanctuary, even more so during a pandemic! We would love to see sanctuaries across species support each other during this fun event; so if you like to walk, run, bike, read, bake, ride horses or make enrichment puzzles, we invite you to join a Goat Games team! If you want to show support for your peers in other ways, consider posting a shout-out from your sanctuary to one of the teams and tag them on social media to give them a boost!

Goat Games Co-Host Team Catskill Animal Sanctuary, joined by (in alphabetical order):

  • Team Barn Sanctuary, MI
  • Team Farmaste Animal Sanctuary, MN
  • Team Heartwood Haven, WA
  • Team Indraloka Animal Sanctuary, PA
  • Team Kindred Spirits Sanctuary, FL
  • Team Little Bear Sanctuary, FL
  • Team Pasado’s Safe Haven, WA
  • Team Piedmont Farm Animal Refuge, NC
  • Team Wildwood Farm Sanctuary & Preserve, OR

Please join us in continuing to cheer on and elevate true sanctuaries. We can’t wait to see y’all at the Games! For the animals: ready, set, GOAT!

Join the fun at


Jess Harris, GFAS Farmed Animal Program Director

P.S- You can catch me biking for the animals all week! See you on the trails!

Congratulations to all the winners of the 2021 GFAS and
Tigers in America photo contest!

The overall winner of the contest was Wildcat Sanctuary, photo courtesy of Julie Hanan.
With a change in management at a small, out-of-state zoo, came a change of direction. No longer breeding and exhibiting white tigers, the zoo reached out to Wildcat Sanctuary for a true sanctuary home for two infant white tigers. Removing white tigers from breeding is a major win, as it hastens the end to this exploitative practice.
Now, rather than bars over his head in a small zoo cage, Simon enjoys glorious sunsets with nothing between him and the stars – he lives wild at heart!
In addition to the overall winner, there were 18 runner-ups. You can view all the amazing photos from the winners here.



SAVE THE DATE: GFAS Hosts the 8th Annual
Giving Day for Apes on October 12th

Save the date! On October 12th, 2021, GFAS will again be presenting Giving Day for Apes. Each year on this global giving day, more than 30 ape sanctuaries and rescue centers in North America, Africa, and Asia raise funds and share information about their important work – and have a chance to win some exciting prizes as well. Last year’s event broke all fundraising records, with more than $850,000 raised and awarded. Can we break that record again?

This year, a total of $60,000 will be awarded in a combination of prizes including leaderboard winners, random “golden tickets”, and a new storytelling prize that will recognize one participant on each continent with the most effective use of text and images to tell the story of their work. Early giving will open on September 13th, and the big 24-hour event begins at midnight EDT on October 12th, with prizes awarded throughout the day.

We are grateful to the Arcus Foundation for its ongoing support of this event, and for the support of prize sponsors American Anti-Vivisection Society and the David Bohnett Foundation.

Learn more about the event at There are lots of ways to get involved- make a donation, create a peer-to-peer fundraiser, and spread the word. And be sure to join the action on October 12th to watch the leaderboards and help our participating sanctuaries win a prize!


Beyond Animal “Selfies”: The IUCN Best Practice Guidelines for Responsible Images of Non-Human Primates Webinar

We invite you to join us on August 25th  at 11 am EDT as we present the webinar “Beyond ‘Selfies’: The IUCN Guidelines for Responsible Images of Non-Human Primates.” Our GFAS standards speak against the use of photos or videos that may suggest that wild animals are appropriate “pets”, and these Guidelines offer valuable information on how we can be responsible messengers for primates and other wildlife.

Our speakers will include Sian Waters, the lead author of the Guidelines, as well as the directors from two GFAS sanctuaries:

  • Noelle Almrud, Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch (U.S.)
  • Dave Du Toit, Vervet Monkey Foundation (South Africa)

This webinar is open to the general public. For more information about the webinar, and to register, please visit the following link:

We hope that you will join us!


GFAS Certified Equine Organizations are Invited to
The Right Horse Summit and It is Free

The Right Horse Summit is taking place in person in Denver, CO on September 15-17! The Summit will be packed with learning opportunities on topics related to advancing equine adoption. Plus, the event is cost-free to attendees and includes plenty of networking opportunities with equine industry and equine welfare leaders and innovators. The Right Horse invites GFAS Equine Organizations to attend the open days on Thursday 9/16 and Friday 9/17, or, join the Right Horse Warm-Up Ring to attend the entire three days. We hope to see you there! Learn more and register:

Equine Welfare Data Collective Now Accepting Data for July, 2021

To expand reporting and increase utilization of data submitted to the EWDC, we are now collecting data on a month to month basis. This method will provide more inclusive, real-time results that allows for more frequent analysis and reporting.

Organizations will be able to submit data at their leisure, with the ability to submit each month retroactively for up to one year.

Also, we’re excited that the Equine Welfare Data Collective Third Report is finally here! Read it at:

This report covers all of 2019 and tracks traditional custodial data like organization intakes and outcomes, and debuts analysis of non-custodial services such as direct placement programs and safety net services.

Typically, EWDC reports are published no more than 1 year after a collection period closes; however, data collection and reports were delayed as a result of COVID 19. The next EWDC report will be published December 2021 and we hope to understand the effects of the pandemic on at-risk equines and owners in need, as well as track trends across previously reported years.

To learn more, or submit your data, visit their website or email them at

Past Recipients of the GFAS Dr. Carole Noon and
Outstanding Sanctuary Awards


2014 Dr. Carole Noon Award
Jorg Huckabee-Mayfield White Bird Appaloosa Horse Rescue

White Bird Appaloosa Horse Rescue and their founders Jorg Huckabee-Mayfield, and Tom Mayfield, were the first equine rescue organization leaders in the United States to be recognized by GFAS as recipients of the prestige Dr. Carole Noon Award for Sanctuary Excellence. This is awarded to individuals who embody the GFAS philosophy of vision, dedication, and excellence in animal care.

White Bird Appaloosa Horse Rescue serves as a primary community resource serving not only their Nottoway County location but also the state of Virginia and as far away as Montana. They rescue, rehabilitate, and find homes for all breeds of horses with a focus on the Appaloosa breed. If the situation is urgent and the organization has the resources, no horse is turned away. Although the goal is to find every animal a lasting home, they also provide permanent sanctuary for those horses difficult to place, so they may live out the remainder of their lives in safety and dignity.

A few years ago, Jorg Huckabee-Mayfield was instrumental in facilitating and coordinating several horse rescue organizations to provide the medical care and placement of a large herd of emaciated horses. Both Jorg and Tom continue to inspire the horse rescue community at large with their leadership and efforts to build bridges within the Virginia animal welfare community.

For more information, please visit White Bird Appaloosa Horse Rescue | Virginia (

2017 Dr. Carole Noon Award
Dennis Janik, Rescate Wildlife

GFAS Accredited, Rescate Wildlife has been at the forefront of animal rescue, rehabilitation and sanctuary in Costa Rica since 1995. Located in Alajuela, Rescate Wildlife saves thousands of animals every year including birds, primates and reptiles through innovative rehabilitation methods. One remarkable example is Grecia, a Chestnut-mandibled Toucan, who received a 3D printed prostheses that restored the upper part of her beak. For animals ready for release, two remote wildlife refuges provide the opportunity to “soft release” animals in a supported environment that will help to ensure their long-term survival.

It all began when Rescate Wildlife’s founder, Dennis Janik, was so moved by critical environmental issues in Costa Rica that he moved there to spearhead solutions. Over the years, Dennis and his team developed numerous animal care protocols for dozens of Costa Rican native species. These successful methods were compiled into a highly sought after manual distributed throughout Latin America. A leading advocate in the region, Janik also proposed and helped pass a Costa Rican law that bans sport hunting and the keeping of wildlife as pets in Costa Rica. Rescate Wildlife currently promotes the #stopanimalselfies campaign, an effort to raise awareness about the harm inflicted on wildlife commercially exploited through tourism.

It’s no wonder Dennis Janik was the recipient of the GFAS Carole Noon Award for outstanding leadership in 2017. Rescate Wildlife’s extraordinary efforts have been key in reversing the local extinction of many globally and locally threatened species. GFAS is proud to stand with Rescate Wildlife and their work to restore and protect Costa Rican biodiversity. To learn more, please visit

2020 GFAS Outstanding Equine Sanctuary Award
Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue, TX  

Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue were the 2020 recipients of the GFAS Outstanding Equine Sanctuary Award. As the largest equine rescue in the world, Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue can certainly be described as a passionate advocate for animals-in-need.  Although rescuing and providing care to well over 10,000 equines since the organization’s inception, many of whom have been neglected and misunderstood, is no small feat, Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue also manages to cut a wide swath in promoting the welfare of donkeys and burros, all around the world.  Under the guidance and leadership of Executive Director and Founder, Mark Meyers, Peaceful Valley has been featured internationally in television, documentaries, radio and nearly every major market newspaper, where the rescue serves as a leading voice in educating and alerting the public to the plight of these intelligent and affectionate animals.

In addition to being an ally to the animals, Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue is also an ally to their peers in the sanctuary community.  Peaceful Valley’s smart non-profit business practices and methods have served as a model to many other equine organizations and the rescue is quite generous in sharing knowledge and expertise, and acting as mentors.

Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue’s many contributions to the humane treatment of donkeys through their sanctuary efforts, educational outreach, and ability to engage the public continue to reinforce why they were so deserving of this award.  For more information, visit them at Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue – Home

Kathy Stevens, Carole Noon Award Winner 2020
Catskill Animal Sanctuary

I have heard Kathy Stevens referred to as “a force of nature”; I can’t disagree. Over the past 6+ months directing GFAS’ Farmed Animal program, she has been a standout in this work. Founding Catskill Animal Sanctuary (CAS) 20 years ago, you might think her biggest achievements are behind her, but I disagree. Kathy has guided her sanctuary to incredible success and respect, has earned GFAS Accreditation, and continues to bring a singular energy to this movement. I am almost always left smiling after emailing or speaking with her: her candor, optimism, sincerity and even her Southern roots (as a fellow Southerner!) are both refreshing and heartwarming. She leads with conviction and warmth, showing the kind of leadership that’s a hallmark of GFAS sanctuaries. That leadership has led CAS to save over 5000 lives during its tenure, a figure I believe we would all aspire to.

Even with these achievements, Kathy Stevens has her foot on the gas. While she begins to step away from her primary role as Founder and Executive Director at CAS into a more advisory role, her visionary work for farmed animals isn’t done. Through her podcast, Herd Around the Barn, speaking engagements, writing, education and events, Kathy continues to make herself heard (or herd!) for the animals. In doing so, she inspires many of us not to become downtrodden by the horrors facing farmed animals, but to keep finding ways to advocate for justice and peace for those creatures we love. When I start to question the future, Kathy comes to mind, saying “Onward”, and I put another foot forward.

Bio: Meet the Founder, Kathy Stevens A farm girl, teacher and writer

“I choose to believe in humanity’s goodness, and in our capacity to be our best selves. It’s the only way I can do this work.”

In 2001, after turning down an offer to lead a new charter high school, Kathy Stevens co-founded Catskill Animal Sanctuary, where her love of teaching, her belief that education has the power to transform, and her love of animals come together. One of the world’s leading sanctuaries for farmed animals, Catskill has saved more than 5,000 non-human individuals through direct rescue — and exponentially more through programming that encourages humans to adopt veganism. Kathy is the author of Where the Blind Horse Sings and Animal Camp, two critically and popularly acclaimed books about the work of Catskill Animal Sanctuary; she’s also a contributor to books, podcasts and articles on animal sentience, animal rights and veganism. Kathy takes her message of kindness to all beings to conferences and colleges across the U.S. and Canada and looks forward to transitioning from her Executive Director role to full-time “vision keeping,” speaking and writing in support of the Sanctuary’s urgent mission. On weekends, you’ll often find her on the grounds, either tagging along on tours or kissing pigs.

New Certifications and Renewals

Over the past month, GFAS has certified two new groups, renewed one GFAS group and transitioned two groups from Verified to Accredited Status! Congratulations to all these organizations!

New Certifications
Oscar’s Place Donkey Adoption Center and Sanctuary, California
Peace Ridge Sanctuary, Maine

Transition from Verified to Accredited
Horse Haven of Tennessee, Tennessee
So Cal Mini Horse Sanctuary, California

Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch, Texas


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