June 2023

Photo Contest to Celebrate International Tiger Day

Tigers in America and the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries are pleased to announce our fourth annual photo and video contest to celebrate International Tiger Day, July 29, 2023.

There are more tigers in captivity in the United States than exist in the wild, sadly, often kept by breeders, circuses, dealers, and private individuals as pets.  Although tigers and other big cats best belong in the wild, this contest helps celebrate photos of big cats who are unable to be released, in the protective safety of true sanctuaries. The contest provides a platform for visual storytellers to highlight the plight of these animals living in captivity and promote their rescue.  The contest, which aims to identify the best photo or video of a tiger or other big cat in the U.S., based on overall impact, technical photographic skill, and how well it provokes an emotional connection and portrays an individual animal’s story to the viewer, is open to all entrants.

The contest will open for submissions on June 15, 2023 and run until July 20, 2023, with winners announced on July 29, 2023.  Prizes include $1,000 for the winning submission and $100 each for five runners-up.  Winning submissions will also be posted on the Tigers in America and GFAS websites and social media.

For more information on the contest, including instructions on how to apply and an entry form, please click here.

About Tigers in America

Tigers in America is an all-volunteer rescue organization. Since their inception in 2011 they have rescued and relocated more than 300 tigers and other big cats to accredited sanctuaries in this country. Learn more at https://www.tigersinamerica.org/

New: GFAS Branded Merchandise

We are thrilled to announce the arrival of our new, GFAS branded merchandise, available now! Not only are these items and pieces of apparel fun, but purchase will also support the important work of the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries.

At GFAS, we are dedicated to promoting and supporting true animal sanctuaries, rescues, and transition centers around the world. We believe that all animals deserve a life free from cruelty and exploitation, and we work tirelessly to ensure that sanctuaries can provide that life for the animals in their care.

We hope that these items serve as a tool to promote the work of true animal sanctuaries and show support for GFAS and for the animals we all strive to protect.  Together, we are making a difference in the lives of animals-in-need.

Thanks for your continued support!

To shop the GFAS store: https://gfas.myspreadshop.com/

How Do Sanctuaries Create Change?

The primary work of animal sanctuaries and rescue centers is to provide care for the animals in their facilities, but they also do so much more to educate the public and raise awareness of the root causes that bring animals to sanctuary. Earlier this year, GFAS embarked on a study of how sanctuaries seek to create change, sending a survey to our accredited and verified organizations. Through this, we asked about the ways in which they engage with the public, what they thought made the most impact, how they describe the change they seek to make, and the challenges they face. We look forward to presenting a summary of this information later this year.

As a result of what we learned, we decided to turn our questions to the public with another survey: for those who have visited or volunteered at a wildlife sanctuary or rescue center, farmed animal sanctuary, or equine sanctuary or rescue/adoption center, or even just follow sanctuary news on social media, what impact has that made? Has it changed behaviors or attitudes toward animals in any way? To date, we have received over 150 responses from people around the world, and we want to hear from more of you.

Our survey will be open through August 15th at this link: https://forms.gle/5U8vMKXv6g9KrcDdA

Please feel free to share this link and to submit your own response! If you would like more information, contact Jackie Bennett, Program Director for Africa and Asia, at .

2023 NAPSA Workshop a Great Success

Photo courtesy of NAPSA

GFAS was on hand to welcome the return of North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance’s workshop in Atlanta, featuring the theme, “Caregiver Strong.” It has been five years since the last workshop was held and primate sanctuary professionals excitedly showed up to share the latest advances in captive primate welfare, network with one another, and support primate caregivers.

Many of the featured speakers included staff from GFAS Accredited facilities, including Dr. Mary Lee Jensvold of Fauna Foundation, who delivered a presentation based off her recently published study, “A Preliminary Assessment of Compassion Fatigue in Chimpanzee Caregivers,” found here. Dr. Valerie Kirk, of Save the Chimps, discussed how sanctuaries can develop their veterinary programs. Amy Fultz, presented a case study of a welfare assessment conducted at Chimp Haven, and Dr. Andrew Halloran of Save the Chimps, presented on behavioral baselines for welfare assessments. The conference ended with a sanctuary tour of GFAS Accredited, Project Chimps!

It was wonderful to see GFAS primate sanctuary representatives shining bright. Congratulations, Erika Fleury, of NAPSA, and all the participants of this year’s workshop. Your commitment to solidifying the primate sanctuary community ensures its long-term sustainability and success. That means a lot to us at GFAS, but most importantly, it means the world to the captive primates in your care now, and into the future. Thank you for your dedication, professionalism and continued excellence. See you next year!

Save the Date for Goat Games 2023!

Farm sanctuaries and residents are gearing up for some friendly competition in the Fourth Annual Goat Games! Set to take place August 11-14, this year’s event will be the biggest yet, and GFAS will again act as event sponsor. Which sanctuary will be this year’s G.O.A.T? We think they’re all winners. 🐐🏆


It’s Hot, and It’s Only Getting Hotter

Photo source:

It doesn’t matter what kind of animal we are caring for, they are all affected by the increasingly warmer temperatures we are seeing all around the world. While we can’t control the outside temperatures, we can help mitigate the affects temperature extremes have on the animals in our care. It’s important to consider the age and health of each animal as they may have special needs. Be sure to provide ample shade including man-made shelters and natural elements such as trees. Make available plenty of fresh, clean and cool water to drink. If an animal needs to be indoors, there must be good airflow throughout. This can be improved with the use of fans. Humidity can play a huge role is how an animal is affected by the heat. Take into account whether that animal is used to the humidity in your area, and make changes accordingly. Limit exercise and excessive activity during the heat of the day. Offer ways for them to cool down such as yummy popsicles. There are various kinds of commercially available cooling pads and blankets. Furnish pools or ponds, give them a bath, or install misters or sprinklers.

Here are a few links to supplies utilized by a few GFAS Certified organizations to help keep their animals cool:

As caregivers, it’s important to know how each species is physically affected by the heat and their coping mechanisms. Here are some common signs an animal is suffering heat stress:

  • Heavy panting
  • Glazed eyes
  • Lethargy
  • Inability to sweat
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Excessive Thirst
  • Profuse drooling
  • Uncoordinated
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness

If any of these symptoms are observed, it’s critical to intervene immediately by contacting your veterinarian.

Farm Highlight: P.E.A.C.E. Canada
A few weeks ago, GFAS proudly accredited P.E.A.C.E Farm Sanctuary in British Columbia. As a self-described microsanctuary, P.E.A.C.E. cares for 9 residents on-site. But size and scope are not the same, and the scope of P.E.A.C.E.’s impact is far from micro.
What has impressed us perhaps the most, is the organization’s uncanny talent for finding unmet needs in the sanctuary community and filling those gaps.
For example, the organization offers transport and placement services for a large network of western Canadian farm sanctuaries, alleviating the costly and time-consuming work of safely getting animals to sanctuary in the first place.
Through this work, P.E.A.C.E. has become the final stop for some harder to place residents, namely roosters and a few CL positive goats that other sanctuaries did not have capacity to accommodate. These animals have unique housing and care needs, and P.E.A.C.E. stepped up to the plate.
Through their humane education arm, P.E.A.C.E. has worked to address another source of perennial consternation for farm sanctuaries – chick hatching projects, which inevitably flood sanctuaries with intake requests after schools conclude the project and the birds have no safe place to go. As a compelling, humane replacement, P.E.A.C.E. developed an incredible virtual reality app, Chick It Out, which allows students to see chick development and behavior throughout the chicken life cycle, as if it’s right before their eyes – without any animals harmed. Sanctuaries and advocacy groups alike have hailed it as an important alternative to this outdated practice.
And last, but certainly not least, P.E.A.C.E. has made every effort to model and advocate best practices for sanctuaries and sanctuary sustainability from day one. Their accreditations, not only from GFAS, but also from Imagine Canada, are a testament to this.
Learn more about P.E.A.C.E at https://peacecanada.org/.


GFAS Accredited, Skydog Ranch Continues Providing Excellent Care for Equines

Located on 9,000 acres in Oregon, GFAS Accredited, Skydog Ranch has a lot of ground to cover. Rescuing wild mustangs and burros displaced from BLM land is a HUGE job.

Clare Staples, Founder and President of Skydog, tasks her staff with managing a herd of about 100 mustangs and 30 burros as well as the land. While keeping family groups together, herd rotation enables the land to recover from grazing. As part of a fire mitigation plan, the ranch owns a water truck kept at the ready. Crossing rough terrain to inspect a much needed water source, can be difficult especially during inclement weather. Having well cameras makes this task a little bit easier and more efficient for the staff.

Another important part of the mission of Skydog is education. Clare and her team work diligently to raise the public awareness of the plight of wild mustangs and burros in Oregon and beyond.

Having the ability to offer a native and spacious landscape to live in peace, a high standard of care, as well as a platform to be a voice for wild equines makes Skydog Ranch a rare gem.

To learn more about Skydog Ranch, click here.

Photo source: https://www.skydogranch.org/.

Midwest Avian Adoption & Rescue Services (MAARS)

Photo courtesy of MAARS

GFAS Verified, Midwest Avian Adoption & Rescue Services (MAARS), was founded in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1999 to address the large gap in services that aid captive parrots and their guardians. MAARS has the distinction of being the oldest avian organization providing sanctuary, rehabilitation, education and behavioral consultation services in the Midwest. Long-time, dedicated volunteers focus on delivering highly individualized care, tantalizing enrichment and a permanent sanctuary home to birds in need, including Amazons, Macaws, cockatoos, lovebirds, budgies and more.

Education is a key component of the MAARS outreach program and the group works to inform the veterinary community on captive parrot issues through classes and workshops held onsite. Consultation services are provided for those struggling to live with birds. Many people fail to recognize that parrots are wild animals and ill-suited to live as captives in our homes. MAARS representatives can offer an array of valuable information that may help birds and humans become more comfortable with each other over the long haul and stay together. In the event a parrot requires lifetime care in sanctuary, MAARS is there to guarantee a safe, and peaceful landing. GFAS is proud to stand with MAARS in their quest to advocate for and protect captive and wild parrots. To learn more about MAARS please visit: www.maars.org

New Certifications and Renewals

Over the past month, GFAS has certified two new organizations and renewed three GFAS organizations!

Congratulations to all these groups!

New Certifications
P.E.A.C.E. Farm Sanctuary, BC, Canada
Second Chance Thoroughbreds, New York


Animals Asia – China Bear Rescue Centre, Chengdu, China
Animals Asia – Vietnam Bear Rescue Centre, Tam Dao, Vietnam
Fauna Foundation, QC, Canada

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