October 2020

2020 GFAS Carole Noon and Outstanding Sanctuary Awards

Nominations for the 2020 Carole Noon and Outstanding Sanctuary Awards are now closed.  Thank you to those who submitted nominations.  We were so excited to receive so many inspiring submissions honoring individuals and sanctuaries, rescues, rehabilitation, and transition centers from across the world.

Please join us in honoring the award recipients, as the GFAS Award Committee presents the 2020 GFAS Carole Noon and Outstanding Sanctuary Awards, during a special virtual award ceremony on Friday, October 23, from 3-4 pm EST.

The GFAS Carole Noon Award recognizes an individual who embodies and puts into practice the GFAS philosophy of vision, dedication, and excellence in animal care at sanctuaries. Four categories of Outstanding Sanctuary Awards recognize sanctuary, rescue, transition and rehabilitation centers for excellence in humane and responsible animal care; professionalism and ethics; organizational sustainability; public engagement; and contributions to, and leadership within, the sanctuary field.

Register for this presentation here.

2020 Giving Day for Apes: A Record-Breaking Success!

GFAS hosted the 7th annual Giving Day for Apes on October 13th, which exceeded our expectations and broke our prior fundraising record! During the 24-hour online event, thirty-seven ape sanctuaries and rescue centers in 17 countries throughout Africa, Asia and North America raised funds and joined a friendly competition for prizes.

In addition to the $58,000 in prize funds awarded, the sanctuaries raised a combined total of over $870,000, surpassing last year’s total by more than $200,000. We are extremely grateful for the support of sponsors Arcus Foundation and American Anti-Vivisection Society for making this event possible.


GFAS and PASA Webinar Collaboration

Earlier this month, GFAS and the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA) hosted their first joint webinar for PASA members and other wildlife sanctuaries on the topic of “fundraising for sanctuaries – successful storytelling online.” Panelists from four sanctuaries, including accredited Animals Asia and GRACE, shared their experiences on how they connect with supporters. We look forward to planning additional webinars with PASA!


If You Hear Hoofbeats…Think Positive!
An Interview with Colorado Horse Rescue
By Jessica Harris, MS

Have you heard the old medical adage, “If you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras”? Coined by Dr. Theodore Woodward, it refers to prioritizing commonplace explanations for things rather than rare, exotic ones. And while we at GFAS love horses and zebras equally, we took some time to chat with our friends at Colorado Horse Rescue (CHR)about their strategy for rehoming horses. Read the full interview here.


GFAS Celebrates World Farmed Animal Day October 2

At GFAS, we know all too well the extreme cruelty that farmed animals are faced with. But if anything can restore our faith in humanity, it’s our sanctuaries. You are a light in the dark. You show us all the restorative possibilities of compassion and care. And you regularly post funny goat videos- we love those too.

We know that education is the key to a more just and compassionate future for animals. Coinciding with World Vegetarian Day and World Farmed Animal Day was GFAS Accredited Catskill Animal Sanctuary’s Petunia’s Pledge, a month-long program chock-full of resources to encourage those veg or veg-curious to embrace a more compassionate lifestyle and learn more about farmed animals. It is named in honor of a special chicken named Petunia.

Petunia June was found wandering the streets of New York. Because she had the tip of her beak cut, our guess is that she liberated herself from a live market. In the time she’s been at Sanctuary, Petunia June has made us all fall in love with her. Between her outgoing personality and her absolutely adorable face, she takes our breath away.”

Petunia takes our breath away too. It’s not too late to sign up for the pledge or learn more about the issues facing farmed animals at https://casanctuary.org/


Tune-in to Meet the Chimps!

We are excited to share the wonderful news that GFAS Accredited, Chimp Haven will be featured in a new NatGeo produced series on Disney+ starting October 16th. Emmy Award-winning actress Jane Lynch narrates the six-part series that takes viewers behind the scenes at one of the largest chimpanzee sanctuaries in the world. Get introduced to chimpanzees that were once used in research and entertainment, and witness their new life in the lush surroundings of their Louisiana refuge. See what it takes to provide excellent care for these special chimps with all the highs and lows along the way. Congratulations to Chimp Haven!


Mitchell Farm Equine Retirement

Mitchell Farm Equine Retirement was founded by Dee Doolittle in 2004 and Accredited by GFAS since 2012. This is a model Sanctuary providing a safe and comfortable retirement alternative for aged and infirm equines to live out their lives. Located on 50 acres of beautiful grassy rolling hills of Connecticut, Dee and her team have provided a final home for more than 100 horses enabling other rescue organizations to concentrate on those equines that have more potential to be rehomed. Twenty five percent of their horses are over the age of 30 and they have many more equines on their waiting list.

A quote from their website states, “Of the thousands of horses entering the rescue stream, older and infirm horses are the most vulnerable. We at Mitchell Farm believe that all horses deserve dignity – even in their older less useful years. Our hope is to inspire others to provide the same care for the older horses in their lives.” For more information, please visit, https://www.mitchellfarm.org/.

GFAS Certifications and Renewals

Over the past month, we have certified three new organizations, re-certified one organization and one organization transitioned from Verified to Accredited. Congratulations to all these groups!

New Certifications

Dharmahorse Equine Sanctuary, New Mexico
Nalani Horse Rescue, Virginia
Wildwood Farm Sanctuary, Oregon

Transitioned from Verified to Accredited

RVR Horse Rescue, Florida


Equine Aid Horse and Donkey Rescue, Washington

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