October 2021

2021 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.  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.

Please join us in honoring your colleagues, the recipients of the 2021 GFAS Carole Noon and Outstanding Sanctuary Awards, during this special virtual award presentation ceremony.

Click here to register for the presentation.

Giving Day for Apes: Another Record Breaking Year

The 8th annual Giving Day for Apes, a 24-hour online fundraising event presented by GFAS, took place on October 12th and once again broke all previous records! A total of $962,829 was raised and awarded to 38 participating ape sanctuaries and rescue centers in Africa, Asia, and North America. Online donations were received from individuals in more than 70 different countries.

Since its inception in 2014 as “Great Ape Giving Day”, established by Arcus Foundation, this event has now raised more than $4 million. GFAS assumed the role of sole presenter in 2019, and has grown Giving Day for Apes each year as part of its mission to help sanctuaries help animals.

And each year adds something new to the event. This year, we had the biggest prize package ever – $65,500 – thanks to our event sponsors Arcus Foundation, American Anti-Vivisection Society, and new sponsor David Bohnett Foundation.

This year also saw incorporation of the recently published IUCN Best Practice Guidelines for Responsible Images of Non-Human Primates into Giving Day’s terms of participation. While GFAS, and participating sanctuaries, have always been mindful of the images used during fundraising, we saw this year’s event as an opportunity to promote the Guidelines and encourage participants to use their fundraising pages as a platform for responsible imagery, sending a clear message that apes should not be “pets” and, absent certain circumstances that are necessary for their care, should not be in direct contact with humans.

Responsible imagery became part of this year’s prize design as well. In preparation for Giving Day, GFAS in collaboration with the platform host Mightycause Foundation offers webinar trainings to participating sanctuaries, on topics that help them with fundraising strategy. A repeated theme is that of “storytelling”, and this year for the first time we gave participants an additional challenge to submit their fundraising pages to be considered for a special storytelling prize. A judging panel from Mightycause reviewed the pages, assessing the use of text and imagery, and chose one prize winner from each continent (GFAS did not participate in the judging, but we can say it would have been difficult to choose the winners among so many beautifully created fundraising pages!).

Prizes were awarded throughout the 24 hours of Giving Day for Apes, starting with a $500 kickoff prize and concluding with the final determinations of leaderboard winners. GFAS’ Program Director Jackie Bennett live-tweeted the event, giving information on special prize hours, encouraging donations, and congratulating the prize winners.

In what has been a challenging year for everyone, and certainly for these sanctuaries and rescue centers caring for apes, we say thank you to all who supported Giving Day for Apes and we congratulate all of the participants on their fundraising success.

The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries is excited to announce a new health insurance benefit for GFAS certified sanctuaries and rescues that can help keep you, your family, volunteers, and staff cost-effectively covered and healthy.

We have partnered with LIG Solutions (LIG) to be able to offer you exclusive health insurance and related coverage options including major medical, short term health plans, pharmacy solutions, vision and dental plans, critical care coverage, life, and several different supplemental health options.

These programs are exclusively offered to you, your family, volunteers, and staff. As these are individual health plans, they are tailored to your unique health and financial needs. This will allow you to find affordable coverage from major carriers regardless of where you live in the USA.

Coverage options include*

  • Major medical
  • Medicare**
  • Short-term health plans
  • Vision
  • Dental plans
  • Critical care coverage
  • Disability
  • Life
  • Additional supplemental health and wellness options

*Note: Available plans can vary by state and state healthcare regulations 

If you are a business owner looking for coverage options for your employees, there are solutions all year round through the LIG HRA group program! Call the LIG team at 216-503-2438 or visit www.LIGmembers.com/GFAS to discuss coverage options for yourself, your family, volunteers, and staff.

We thank you for being a valued certified sanctuary or rescue of the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries. If you would like additional information regarding this exclusive benefit, please call 855-517-4346 to speak with the team at LIG.

ASPCA-The Right Horse Virtual Summit Overview – September 16, 2021

Although plans for an in-person conference were stymied once again due to Covid, a virtual conference did not disappoint. Several information sessions were offered along with a grant-pitch session that gave interesting insight into the important facets of grant writing.

Keith Kleine, AAEP Director of Industry Relations, provided an overview of a valuable safety net program called the Vet Direct Safety Net program. Veterinarians who sign up for this program, can receive funding to cover the bills for horse owner clients having difficulty paying health care costs for their horses.  Besides subsidized routine vet care, this program will also cover emergency stabilization procedures and euthanasia. All of us can support this program by encouraging our veterinarians to learn more and become involved so horse owners have more support to keep their horses. For more information, please visit Vet Direct Safety Net | AAEP.

The Pinto Horse Association has offered equine welfare organizations the opportunity to register their equines as a Pinto (colored or solid) for all adopted equines giving these equines “official” papers and the opportunity to be involved in special events and competitions. The Pinto Horse Association has a “spot” for very one and can boast serving over 88,000 members and 157,000 registrations. Their website explains a frequently asked question about the Pinto. “What’s the difference between an American Paint horse and a Pinto Horse?” American Paint horses are limited to registered bloodlines of Paint, American Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred horses, whereas the Pinto can be from an array of bloodlines including the Arabian, American Saddlebred, American Miniature Horse, Tennessee Walking Horse and American Shetland Pony to name a few.” For more information, visit https://pinto.org.

The last three presentations of the day were from equine welfare organizations “pitching” their ideas for new programs to the ASPCA leadership. All presentations included their target populations, strategies, measurable outcomes, and budgets, all important facets for a grant submission.

Powerful New Films Featuring GFAS Accredited Sanctuaries

THE CONSERVATION GAME follows an investigation into the secret world of the big cat trade in the U.S. and the use of these cats for entertainment. The film features Carole and Howard Baskin of GFAS Accredited, Big Cat Rescue. Watch The Trailer – The Conservation Game

Follow The Conservation Game Facebook account for updates on screenings near you!

THE HIDDEN TIGER Now On Demand! iTunes, AppleTV, Amazon, Google Play and more

THE HIDDEN TIGER is about your neighbor’s backyard tiger and the role that the US plays in the acceleration of its extinction. Featuring GFAS Accredited Sanctuaries: Big Cat Rescue, Carolina Tiger Rescue, and The Wildcat Sanctuary.  Watch The Trailer – The Hidden Tiger


Farm Fall Event Roundup!

Fall is a time of year ripe with opportunity for farmed animal sanctuaries. Families classically look for on-farm experiences during harvest season, such as apple picking, pumpkin patches, corn mazes, and often, petting zoos. Sanctuaries offer an ethical, non-exploitative alternative to traditional farm animal petting, where animals are often kept in small enclosures, stressed, forced to interact with visitors, and are discarded as soon as they are no longer profitable. Many of our certified sanctuaries offer tours and special events this time of year as a compassionate counterpoint, where people can come meet the animals (who wish to interact), learn their stories, and understand them to be individuals with personalities and quirks just like us. The stories of how they landed in sanctuary inevitably encapsulate the horrors endemic to animal agriculture, educating visitors in a way sure to touch them and lead them to consider their part in this system.

Included in these special programs are many alternative Thanksgiving events, celebrating turkeys as unique individuals rather than using their bodies in our celebrations. By honoring the very animals our culture usually commodifies, sanctuaries display the relationship possible between us and farmed animals if we begin to consider their individuality and right to life. The shift in perspective is so striking it is sure to touch visitors.

We’ve highlighted a number of special events hosted by our certified farm sanctuaries below. Enjoy!

Thanksliving @ Indraloka 11/6/21
Tricks and Treats and Pumpkins for Pigs @ Indraloka 10/16/21

HalloWoodstock @Woodstock Farm Sanctuary 10/30

Petunia’s Pledge Workshop @ Catskill Animal Sanctuary 10/16/21 https://www.facebook.com/catskillanimalsanctuary/events

Thanksgiving of Compassion @ River’s Wish Animal Sanctuary 10/9/21

Halloween Bake Sale for the Animals @ Heartwood Haven 10/31/21

Halloween Tour & Explore @ Piedmont Farm Animal Refuge 10/30/21

Wild at Goodheart Autumn @ Goodheart Animal Sanctuaries 10/26/21

Pumpkin Palooza @ A Home for Hooves Sanctuary 10/23/21

Sanctuary Tour @ Kindred Spirits Sanctuary 10/16/21

Wildcat Ridge Sanctuary: A Beacon of Hope in the Pacific Northwest

Tucked away near the small town of Scotts Mills, Oregon, lies a peaceful and permanent home for 80 animals healing from the conditions of their past. Wildcat Ridge is dedicated to the care of captive exotic and hybrid wild cats as well as several farmed animals. Michael and Cheryl Tuller founded the sanctuary in 2001 to provide animals in need safety, love, care and freedom from abuse, neglect and exploitation. A mission, in Cheryl’s words that is a, “tough and often heartbreaking, 24-hour, 365-day-a-year commitment.”

Only a year ago, the folks at Wildcat Ridge were faced with a terrifying wildfire threat to their animals and property. The Tuller’s activated their team of caregivers, and volunteers who worked around the clock over the course of a week to evacuate 14 big cats (lions, tigers, cheetahs and cougars) and 50 smaller wild cats and hybrids, several farm animals and pets to facilities out of range of the looming fire. This herculean effort involved sedating certain animals and preparing a variety of transport vehicles, crates, cages, temporary enclosures, and supplies to be moved and set up in safe locations. The sanctuary’s small and mighty crew got the job done and every animal was transported out of harm’s way. Fortunately, the fire didn’t advance in the direction of the sanctuary and in time, the animals and humans all returned home. Strong leadership, advance disaster planning, and an at-the-ready network of volunteers and animal care facilities made the difficult job of evacuation successful.

Wildcat Ridge is the sole GFAS certified exotic cat sanctuary in the Pacific Northwest region, but has rescued animals in need from California to Florida. The sanctuary is closed to the public, with select opportunities to visit and learn about the animals exclusively through AirBnB. To learn more about this outstanding sanctuary please follow the link: Wildcat Ridge

Equamore Foundation Celebrates Thirty Years of Service

Pushing back against indifference and cruelty toward Oregon’s at-risk equines, GFAS Verified Equamore Foundation has been determined to make a difference for the last 30 years. Equamore was established by Executive Director, Linda Davis in 1991 with a mission to provide sanctuary to equines needing a safe haven for the rest of their lives. “Never again” was their motto in 2015, reflecting their commitment to provide a forever home for these often special-needs equines. They even have a special pasture for blind equines, where obstructions have been removed, the fencing is safe, and volunteers/staff have been trained to use audio cues.

Equamore Foundation founded the Oregon Hay Bank which became a model safety net program that has been adopted by organizations in several states. They have reported a 95% success rate of being able to help horse owners keep their equines because of provided assistance with hay, feed and vet care.

Although 2020 presented many challenges for Equamore, not only a pandemic but also numerous wildfires, their Board of Directors and Staff were not deterred and worked tirelessly to maintain relationships with funders and donors. Unfortunately, their onsite 30th Anniversary Celebration in September had to be cancelled due to the rising number of Covid cases in that state, but other online opportunities exist to support and congratulate this wonderful organization. Please join us in wishing Equamore Foundation, a happy 30th Anniversary of helping equines by visiting their website at https://www.equamore.org, or their Facebook page at (20+) Equamore Foundation | Facebook

New Certifications and Renewals

Over the past month, GFAS has certified two new organizations, and renewed two GFAS organizations! Congratulations to all these groups!

New Certifications
Kids Saving the Rainforest, Costa Rica
Safe Haven Rabbit Rescue, New Jersey

Little Longears Mini Donkey Rescue, Pennsylvania
ReRun Inc., New York

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