August 2022

International Tiger Day Photo Contest Winner


We are so excited to announce the winner of the 2022 International Tiger Day photo contest presented by Tigers in America and GFAS!  There are more tigers in captivity in the U.S. than exist in the wild, sadly, often kept by breeders, circuses, dealers, and private individuals as pets.  Although tigers belong in the wild, this contest helps celebrate photos of tigers who are unable to be released in the protective safety of true sanctuaries.

The overall winner for 2022 is from photographer, Carol Beber, and highlights the beautiful Cita who was a former resident at GFAS Accredited Black Pine Sanctuary. Thank you to everyone who submitted photos and/or videos and please keep an eye on our social media to see the photos of all the other finalists.

2022 Carole Noon and Outstanding Sanctuary Award Nominations
Close on September 2, 2022

Don’t forget to submit your nominations for the 2022 Carole Noon Award, as well as the Outstanding Sanctuary Awards! Nominations close on September 2, 2022. You can find all the details on our website here.

Giving Day for Apes returns on October 11th!

SAVE THE DATE! On October 11th, GFAS will once again host Giving Day for Apes, a 24-hour event in which ape sanctuaries and rescue centers throughout North America, Africa and Asia will raise funds, raise awareness about their work, and compete for prizes throughout the day.

Now in its ninth year, Giving Day for Apes has set a new event record each year for fundraising, with the 2021 event raising and awarding a total of more than $960,000 through the generosity of more than 5,000 unique donors located in over 70 different countries. These donations have been especially critical as sanctuaries and rescue centers continue to meet the challenges of the COVID pandemic. This year, we want to set a new record, with a goal to raise and award more than one million dollars.

Early donations will begin on Monday, September 12th, and each donation made to a participating sanctuary (with a minimum donation of only $5) helps them to care for their apes by funding needs including veterinary care, nutritious food, safe facilities, enrichment, and – for some – rehabilitation so that apes can return to their homes in the wild. If you love chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, orangutans, and gibbons, you can help us to “make it a million.”

To learn more, visit  We’ll be adding more information, including the list of participants and the prize schedule, as we get closer to the early giving date, so be sure to check back often!


On International Tiger Day, July 29th, the Big Cat Public Safety Act passed the U.S. House of Representatives! It was the culmination of years of persistent work on the part of our accredited sanctuaries and partner organizations like International Fund for Animal Welfare, Humane Society of the United States, Animal Welfare Institute and others. Thank you to everyone who called their representatives, wrote letters and kept up the pressure to protect big cats! Now, one last push to pass the bill in the Senate…we need all PAWS on deck.

Please help us get the bill over the finish line and become federal law. Look up your U.S. Senators here: U.S. Senate: Contacting U.S. Senators and call their Washington, DC office to ask them to co-sponsor the Big Cat Public Safety Act, Senate bill 1210. It’s as simple as that!



Protect Your Piggies!

These days, it seems contagious disease is the new normal. Recently, the USDA put out warnings and resources for protecting pigs from African Swine Fever – a deadly virus affecting pigs. Sanctuaries housing them fall within the scope of “small farm/pet pigs” that the USDA covers – so, much like Avian Influenza, should a resident become infected, they employ “depopulation” tactics to stop the spread. On a positive note, this virus is NOT yet in the United States, but is spreading in Europe, Haiti, Dominican Republic and Africa. Public health measures are being taken to prevent it from spreading to other countries.

We’ve linked the USDA resources below, so that you may already consider incorporating preventative measures in your biosecurity protocols. Main vectors are probably going to be visitors (whether volunteers, staff, tour programs etc.) and fomites (like machinery, clothing/shoes); though for a few of you who work with the occasional feral pig they may be a potential vector.

It seems like a matter of time before we are faced with this and hope this can help you be prepared to protect your piggies.

If you would like further technical documents on biosecurity and prevention, don’t hesitate to contact Jess at .

The Big Cat Sanctuary Alliance Conference IS BACK! Join us there!

Register for the 2022 BCSA Conference at

Horses and Humans Research Foundation

GFAS Program Director-Equine, Daryl Tropea recently had the opportunity to meet with members of the Horses and Humans Research Foundation’s Equine Welfare Committee to share with them how GFAS equine standards are applied in widely diverse countries and cultures.

Horses and Humans Research Foundation’s mission is “Through sustained Investment in rigorous research, HHRF serves as a catalyst to advance global knowledge of horse-human interactions and their impact on the health and wellness of people and horses.”  The Scientific Advisory Council of HHRF is a group of leading researchers and experts from equine-assisted activities and related fields, who assist with strategic decision making, educational outreach, and grant application assessment.

Jo Anne Miller, Executive Director of GFAS Accredited Brook Hill Farm is a member of HHRF’s Equine Welfare Committee. This committee recently developed guidelines, from a horse’s perspective, outlining their well-being needs in Equine Assisted Services. The guidelines, while not a comprehensive list of best practices, do address the basic needs of equines in human/horse interventions and research. To learn more about this work, please visit HHRF ( and Education — HHRF (

Crown Ridge Tiger Sanctuary – Small, and Mighty in Missouri!

GFAS Verified, Crown Ridge Tiger Sanctuary located in Sainte Genevieve, Missouri believes the ideal home for wildlife is in the wild and that all animals, both in captivity and in their native habitats, deserve to be treated with respect. This small, but big-hearted organization rescues big cats that have suffered exploitation and abuse. The sanctuary’s four tigers, Gracie, Izzy, Thor and Sebastian, now enjoy a permanent home where they receive individualized and compassionate care including a healthy diet, plentiful enrichment, and excellent veterinary care. Crown Ridge Tiger Sanctuary also works to raise awareness of the big cat crisis in America through their onsite educational facility, off-site presentations, and guided tours. Crown Ridge Tiger Sanctuary is a member of the Big Cat Sanctuary Alliance (BCSA) and this year’s host for the BCSA’s 2022 Conference. For more information, please visit: Crown Ridge Tiger Sanctuary

Great News! GFAS Accredited Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue (PVDR) of Texas has their own Full Time Equine Dental Provider

There is no denying that dental health is an essential component of a complete preventative medicine program for most animals (GFAS Standard V-3). Throughout the lifetime of a horse or donkey, their teeth, unlike us humans, continuously erupt and wear down often resulting in abnormal hooks and wear patterns. This can result in many health problems for equines if not addressed on a regular basis, such as pain, maintaining body weight, difficulty eating and chewing, colic, and compromised behaviors.

Many states in the U.S. exempt dental care from the practice of veterinary medicine and Texas is one of those states. An Equine Dental Practitioner is a highly skilled position that requires hours of classroom learning, hours of supervised floating experience, and excellent horsemanship skills. Sandra Pitcox-Walters, a long time PVDR employee, recently completed all three terms at the Equine Dental School of Texas. As part of her hours of course work, she completed close to 200 dental assessments.

With an average population of 1,000 donkeys at any given time, Sandra will have much needed work to do. She will examine all new arrivals and perform any necessary dental work as part of their intake, which is so crucial for the health of the donkeys. Additionally, she will assess the dental health of the whole PVDR herd ensuring the details are documented. Another 1,500 donkeys that live on PVDR sanctuaries, will also be under Sandra’s care. This fall, Sandra will travel out west to join the PVDR Wild Donkey Capture Team in Death Valley. She plans to document the condition of the teeth of newly caught wild donkeys and compare them against domestic donkeys of similar ages.

Congratulations to Sandra Pitcox-Walters as she begins this important new journey and PVDR for supporting her dreams to help these amazing animals.

Safe Haven Rabbit Rescue, NJ

Don’t You Have to Be a Goat?

There are some diverse competitors in this year’s Goat Games (a competition among 14 GFAS-Certified Farm Sanctuaries to raise money for the cause) – Finnegan the rabbit may be small, but he’s got mighty skills!

This year, Verified Safe Haven Rabbit Rescue joined the competition, and is currently in third place on the leaderboard! As it turns out, goats and rabbits have a lot in common!

Love veggies & hay? Check!
Great at hopping and obstacle courses? Check!
Need your support to continue their rescue? Check!

But Finnegan’s video made us smile for more reasons than just his bunny antics – it showcased just how much sanctuaries of all kinds have in common- you don’t have to be a goat. This kind of networking and collaboration highlights how different sanctuary models can work together toward a common goal. It serves to strengthen the sanctuary movement and build important connections.

Today is the final day of the Goat Games- we wish all 14 teams a strong finish! Thank you to Accredited Catskill Animal Sanctuary for putting this all together for the sanctuary community. To donate and learn more visit

New Certifications and Renewals

Over the past month, GFAS has certified one new group and renewed four GFAS organizations! Congratulations to all these groups!

New Certifications

Penny Lane Foal Rescue, New Mexico


Equine Rescue League, Virginia
New England Equine Rescue-North, Massachusetts
Speak Up for Horses, Kentucky
The Elephant Sanctuary, Tennessee

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