July 2024

Now Accepting Nominations for the Carole Noon and Outstanding Sanctuary Awards

On behalf of the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries Board of Directors and GFAS Award Committee, we are excited to announce that nominations are now open for the 2024 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 Outstanding Sanctuary Awards 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 to their native environments.

Recipients will be honored in four categories:

  • Outstanding Equine Sanctuary of 2024
  • Outstanding Farmed Animal Sanctuary of 2024
  • Outstanding Wildlife Sanctuary of 2024
  • Outstanding International Sanctuary of 2024

The deadline for submissions is September 3, 2024.

The GFAS Award Committee, which includes past Carole Noon Award recipients, reviews all nominations, and makes recommendations; the full GFAS Board of Directors then makes the final selection. The award recipients are honored publicly, receive an engraved plaque, and are presented with a gift for their affiliated organization.

For full nomination requirements, evaluation criteria, and nomination forms, please see the GFAS website. For questions, please e-mail

Coming Soon: Giving Day for Apes, October 8, 2024

At the heart of every sanctuary and rescue center, amidst the echoing calls and pant-hoots, lies a profound mission of compassion and care. This mission finds its voice annually through Giving Day for Apes, a pivotal event that not only raises crucial funds but also amplifies awareness for sanctuaries and rescue centers dedicated to our closest primate relatives.

Organized under the stewardship of the Arcus Foundation and the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS), Giving Day for Apes stands as a beacon of hope and support for sanctuaries worldwide. GFAS, known for its unwavering commitment to safeguarding animal welfare, generously presents this event as part of its broader mission to empower sanctuaries and rescue centers.

The impact of Giving Day for Apes reverberates far and wide. Through concerted fundraising efforts and a community-driven spirit, this event provides critical financial resources that enable sanctuaries to enhance living conditions, provide veterinary care, and expand educational outreach. More than just a fundraising initiative, it’s a testament to the collective power of compassion and advocacy.

At its core, Giving Day for Apes serves as a reminder of our shared responsibility to protect and respect our primate cousins. By supporting this event, donors and advocates contribute not only to the well-being of individual animals but also to the preservation of species and ecosystems. Each donation symbolizes a commitment to a future where apes thrive in secure habitats and are free from exploitation.

Giving Day for Apes is not just a day of giving; it is a testament to the resilience of sanctuaries, the generosity of donors, and the transformative power of compassion. Please join us in honoring this annual event and making a meaningful difference in the lives of apes around the globe. Together, we can ensure a brighter future where every ape receives the care, respect, and dignity they deserve.

Learn more about Giving Day for Apes at https://www.givingdayforapes.org/

For participating sanctuaries and rescue centers –

Submit your registration now through September 16, 2024, at: https://www.givingdayforapes.org/

Homes for Horses Coalition Conference

Come join us at this year’s Homes for Horses Coalition Conference in Washington D.C. on September 21-23, 2024. Our very own Executive Director, Valerie Taylor, wil be joining many other wonderful speakers.

We are looking forward to seeing you there! Be sure to say hi, we would love to chat.

As an added benefit, Homes for Horses Coalition has offered a discount to GFAS supporters. Use discount code GFAS25 for a special rate on registration.

Secure your spot now! HomesforHorses.org/register

GFAS Accredits First Big Cat Sanctuary in South Africa

We are thrilled to announce that Born Free Big Cat Sanctuary at Shamwari Private Game Reserve has earned GFAS Accreditation.  This wonderful sanctuary sits within a stunning African reserve with large herds of wildlife, and incredible ecological diversity. The operation is comprised of the Julie Ward, and Jean Byrd Centres, two education and rehabilitation centres providing a permanent home for lions and leopards in large African bush enclosures. The cats have mainly been rescued from inhumane captive situations in European circuses and zoos. Now with expert care, and freedom from exploitation, the cats can live out their lives surrounded by the beauty of their ancestral land.

Born Free’s accreditation coincides with the foundation’s 40th anniversary of rescuing wild animals from abuse and exploitation. More than 50 big cats have been given new lives in the sanctuary at Shamwari since the charity was founded in 1984. Designation as a “true sanctuary” is the result of Born Free’s dedication and demonstrates the organization’s commitment to ethical and operational principles.  GFAS is truly proud of this effort and welcomes Born Free Big Cat Sanctuary at Shamwari Game Reserve to the GFAS family!

For more information about Born Free Big Cat Sanctuary at Shamwari Private Game Reserve please visit: https://www.bornfree.org.uk and https://www.shamwari.com/

Peaceful Valley Mule Rescue

GFAS Accredited Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue (PVDR) is best known for rescuing and caring for donkeys, but did you know they rescue mules too?

Although their mission is to ‘…  provide a safe and loving environment to all donkeys that have been abused, neglected, or abandoned and wild burros under threat of destruction.,’ PVDRs’ compassion extends to mules found in similar circumstances.

These mules are brought to the main, east, or west locations for veterinary treatment, specialized care, gentling and training, then onto one of PVDR’s satellite adoption centers located nationwide to find a loving home.

Learn more about this program and more at: https://donkeyrescue.org/our-rescue/our-mules/.

Certification and Renewals

GFAS has recently certified two new organizations and renewed two organizations!

Congratulations to all of these groups!

New Certification

Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue – East, Virginia
Born Free Foundation Big Cat Sanctuary at Shamwari Private Game Reserve, South Africa


Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary, Ohio
White Bird Appaloosa Horse Rescue, Virginia

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