March 2020

Coronavirus Guidance – Creating Systems of Prevention and Recovery to Deal with Potential Threats at Animal Sanctuaries and Rescue Centers

*GFAS accredited/verified groups needing immediate assistance creating or viewing a sample business continuity plan can contact

GFAS Standards require and emphasize the importance of disaster preparedness plans and protocols for sanctuaries, rescues, and rehabilitation centers.  Disaster and contingency planning play an important role for animal facilities, in ensuring they can still operate during, and after, a major disruption, such as the current outbreak of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). For more information and guidance, read the full article here.

Founding Refuge
An Interview with Lenore Braford, founder of
Piedmont Farm Animal Refuge, Pittsboro, NC
(GFAS Accredited 2019)

By Jessica Harris, GFAS Farm Sanctuary Program Volunteer

At GFAS, we can all agree that sanctuary founders are special people. Anyone familiar with sanctuary work knows the tenacity and dedication of those willing to give their all to help save animals. It is a job that never rests.

But what does it really take to create and run such an organization? Lenore Braford, founder and shelter director of GFAS Accredited Piedmont Farm Animal Refuge (hereafter referred to as just “The Refuge”) gives us a glimpse inside her sanctuary story. Read the interview here.

Airbnb + GFAS: A new way to raise awareness and funds for GFAS certified sanctuaries

For those GFAS Accredited and Verified sanctuaries who attended the Airbnb GFAS webinar last week – thank you!  I hope you found the information presented helpful in considering how you might create your own Airbnb Social Impact Experience to bring more awareness and support for your mission and the animals in your sanctuary. If you were unable to attend the webinar live you can view it here.

If you’ve viewed the webinar and have questions or need help, please do let us know. Stephanie Hong, our Airbnb GFAS liaison is happy to provide support, for questions and assistance with creating and setting up Social Impact Experiences.  To get in touch, e-mail is

Part Two: Accreditation? The Impact and Benefits are in the Details!

This paper continues the discussion from the GFAS e-newsletter (February 2020), of the direct impacts and benefits animal welfare sanctuaries and rescues experience as a result of their commitment to become GFAS accredited or verified. While it is broadly accepted that GFAS certification provides recognition to sanctuaries and rescue organizations worldwide confirming their provision of humane and responsible care, few understand the direct impacts and benefits other than the applicants themselves. Read the article here.

GFAS launches new program – GFAS Peer to Peer!

After months of preparation, GFAS Peer to Peer has launched! This new program will give our member sanctuaries, as well as other sanctuaries and rescues around the world, an opportunity to ask questions, upload documents, and share information.  Our online Peer to Peer platform includes a series of discussion forums on areas including veterinary care, visitor programs, housing, and more. There is also an online resource library where sanctuaries can upload documents, photos, and video clips. We welcome those of you who have already registered and encourage other sanctuaries and rescues to join us. As we are just starting to fill our library, we invite all of our sanctuaries and rescues to share some of their great work! If anyone needs help with registering and using the site, please let us know. And stay tuned – we will shortly have a recorded webinar ready that guides you through the site.

We look forward to growing our program and offering more opportunities for sharing information and learning from each other’s expertise.

3 Day Enrichment Workshop – Postponed

We had mentioned in a previous newsletter, the SHAPE of Enrichment  Workshop for animal caretakers working with captive species April 16 – 18, 2020. Unfortunately due to the concern about CORVID 19 and many organizations limiting employee travel, this event is being postponed. We will keep you notified as a new date is announced.

Featured Sanctuaries


Primates Incorporated: On the Move!

Last summer GFAS was thrilled to welcome Primates Incorporated into our network as a newly Verified sanctuary. We are again proud to announce that in January of this year, the group earned Accreditation. This Westfield, Wisconsin based team set a goal of achieving Accreditation within 6 months of becoming Verified and worked closely with GFAS to ensure they would reach their target. Primates Incorporated worked diligently to further develop their care team coverage and financial plans for long-term sustainability so that more monkeys in need of sanctuary will one day be able to reside peacefully at Primates Incorporated with loving companions.

A trailblazer for monkeys, Amy Kerwin founded Primates Incorporated in 2004 after working in a laboratory for five years with rhesus monkeys at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Amy saw that there was a great need for sanctuary space as more laboratories sought options to retire their monkeys. Kerwin took matters into her own hands and set about the process of building a sanctuary with room to grow. Primates Incorporated currently cares for 5 rhesus macaques retired from research and two monkeys from the pet trade who live happily together in the same enclosure. Thank you to Primates Incorporated for your vision and dedication to monkeys used in research and the pet trade. We are proud to partner with you as you continue to grow.

Congratulations on your move from Verified to Accredited! Learn more about Primates Incorporated here:

The Rabbit Sanctuary, Inc., South Carolina

Their volunteers keep this sanctuary hoppin’! Pun aside, the founders of Rabbit Sanctuary, Inc. in Simpsonville, SC say that their volunteers are definitely key to this sanctuary being able to provide a lifetime home for more than 55 rabbits. Many of these rabbits first arrived at the Sanctuary in poor condition having suffered in prior situations from neglect, malnutrition, abuse and isolation.

With the arrival of their first rabbit in 1968, Caroline Gilbert (founder) soon learned the plight of domestic rabbits and how poorly they often faired as pets. In the 1970’s, with the guidance of Cleveland Amory and the Fund For Animals, the Rabbit Sanctuary was established. Today, on 30 acres of wooded property, rabbits live their lives with other rabbits in safe and natural environments called “rabbitats”. Each rabbitat has indoor and outdoor spaces and most of the rabbit’s food is grown in the sanctuary’s own organic garden. The rabbits are not available for adoption, but people can participate in a virtual Adopt-A-Rabbit program to help support the cost of their care. To learn more, visit

Newly Accredited or Verified Organizations

Farmaste Animal Sanctuary, Minnesota

Three Year Recertifications

Longhopes Donkey Shelter, Colorado
Redwings Horse Sanctuary, California
Safe Haven Wildlife Sanctuary, Nevada
Sixteen Hands Horse Sanctuary, Florida

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