June 2020

GFAS 2019 Annual Report

2019 was a year to heighten the awareness and recognition of true sanctuaries, rescues, and rehabilitation centers worldwide.  At GFAS, we are humbled and elated to be able to carry out this work, made possible through your support and partnership.

Please read and enjoy the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries 2019 Annual Report here.

Chimpanzees In Need of a New Beginning

When Wildlife Waystation suddenly closed its doors last summer, the lives of several hundred exotic and domestic animals were left hanging in the balance. A monumental effort ensued with The California Department of Fish & Wildlife stepping in to manage daily operations, while working alongside NGO’s and the sanctuary community to relocate most of the animals to appropriate sanctuaries.

North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance (NAPSA) has worked tirelessly to place all of the Wildlife Waystation monkeys into trusted sanctuaries. The remaining 32 chimps are the last animals at the Waystation. Fortunately, several primate sanctuaries have committed to caring for these chimps for the rest of their lives, but funds are needed immediately to facilitate their move.

CHIMPANZEES IN NEED, an emergency fundraiser has now launched to fund the daily care of the chimps remaining at the Waystation and the construction of their new enclosures at Center for Great Apes, Chimp Haven, Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest and Primarily Primates.

Please join us in the effort to bring these chimps home! To learn more details about how you can help: www.primatesanctuaries.org/chimps-in-need/

Thank you!

In Defense of Animals-Respect for Fish Day

In Defense of Animals works to protect all animals through many different public awareness initiatives and by lobbying for legal change.  Currently, In Defense of Animals Farmed Animal Campaigner and GFAS partner, Shimon Shuchat, is working to raise awareness for Respect for Fish Day, to take place on August 1, 2020.

Respect for Fish Day is an annual event organized by In Defense of Animals to raise awareness about the plight of fish, making the general public and lawmakers realize that fish are deserving of the same compassion and protection granted to any other animal.  Learn how to participate in the day, or become an ally of In Defense of Animals, on their website: https://www.idausa.org/campaign/farmed-animal/fish/respect-for-fish-day/.  Shimon can also be contacted directly, for more information, at

Animal Sanctuary Caregiver Day

GFAS and NAPSA (North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance) partnered once again to celebrate our fourth annual Animal Sanctuary Caregiver Day!  Held June 12, 2020, this day recognized and highlighted the important work of animal caregivers – the caring and compassionate heroes – at animal sanctuaries, rescue centers, and wildlife rehabilitation centers worldwide.

Thank you to our GFAS sanctuaries who shared some fantastic photos of their animal caregivers in action.  If you’d like to have a look back, the photos have been placed in a special Facebook photo album here.

Governance: An Overview of Requirements for
GFAS Accredited Sanctuaries and Rescue Centers

As part of the application process, GFAS requests a number of documents from applicants in areas of animal care, safety, and operations. Read a summary of the governance documents we require for accreditation, and why they are important here.

Featured Sanctuaries

Illinois Equine Humane Center Celebrates 12 Years
Helping Horses

Gail Vacca founded GFAS Verified Illinois Equine Humane Center (IEHC) in July 2008 to care for off-the-track Thoroughbred horses. They became certified with GFAS in 2012. Gail’s passion for horses began when she was a child deeply involved in hunter/jumper showing and becoming licensed as a racehorse trainer. During her time as a trainer, people came to Gail for help with rehabilitating or rehoming horses no longer able to race. Today, IEHC rehabilitates and finds homes for Illinois’ at-risk-horses regardless of breed and serves to educate the public about responsible equine ownership so fewer horses end up in crisis. Their mission statement says it all, “Every horse has an owner. Every owner has a responsibility”.

Covid-19 has not slowed down IEHC’s reach to their supporters. Volunteers in need of a “horse-fix” are welcome to Sok’s (a horse) drive-through nose nuzzles in exchange for mints. Although it is hard to predict travel restrictions for this fall, Illinois Equine Humane Center hope to still have their Silent Auction and Farm Festival scheduled for September 5th. This successful and fun event includes auctioning of vacation packages, weekend getaway trips, halters of famous horses, and much more. The festival has live entertainment, food, and beverages – a fun event for the whole family. The details of this event will be determined in August.

To learn more about Illinois Equine Humane Center visit http://www.ilehc.org/, and enjoy this video capturing events from 2019 https://youtu.be/rP3-I3EOwEo.

GFAS Verified Safe Haven Farm Sanctuary has a new Home!

Although the move was just a half mile down the road in Poughquag, NY, Safe Haven’s 100 plus farmed animals have more pasture to graze and play and just be animals. Executive Director, Ellen Crain, and her team have been caring for horses, goats, pigs, sheep, turkeys, ducks, and chickens since 2008. The animals they care for have been subjected to neglect or abuse now will live out their lives among the hills of Hudson Valley. Each caregiver at the sanctuary has an in depth understanding of each individual animal’s needs including custom diets, behavioral norms, and social enrichment opportunities.

Advocacy and education are important commitments for this sanctuary. Campaigns include increasing public awareness of factory farming, the impact of hunting on wildlife, and the impact of the treatment of animals on the environment and human health. For more information about this wonderful GFAS Verified sanctuary please visit: https://safehavenfarmsanctuary.org/

GFAS Renewals

Over the past month, we have re-certified six organizations, and three groups transitioned from Verified to Accredited status! Congratulations to those current groups achieving re-certification!

Transition from Verified to Accredited Status

Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary, Ohio
Little Longears Mini Donkey Rescue, Maryland
Unbridled Thoroughbred Foundation, New York


Colorado Horse Rescue, Colorado
Horse and Hound Rescue Foundation, Oklahoma
Mitchell Farm Equine Retirement, Connecticut
Red Clay Ranch Equine Rescue and Sanctuary, Georgia
This Old Horse, Inc., Minnesota
White Bird Appaloosa Horse Rescue, Virginia

Scroll to Top