October 2022

Another Big Year for Giving Day for Apes!

GFAS presented the 2022 Giving Day for Apes on October 11th, an event that raised and awarded a total of more than $938,000 to 38 participating sanctuaries! Giving Day for Apes, now an annual tradition, provides an opportunity for ape sanctuaries and rescue centers in Asia, Africa and North America to raise funds and raise awareness of their important work. Since its inception in 2014, Giving Day for Apes has grown in scope and has raised more than 5 million dollars in total.

Following a month long early giving period, Giving Day for Apes’ 24-hour online fundraising event has participating organizations engage in a friendly competition to rise to the top of leaderboards and earn prizes. Donors worldwide come together to support their chosen sanctuaries – this year, there were 4,307 donors from over 50 countries!

A total of $60,500 in prizes was awarded during this year’s event, including prizes for the most dollars raised and the most unique donors, as well as randomly awarded “golden tickets”.  We are grateful for the support of our prize sponsors Arcus Foundation, American Anti-Vivisection Society, David Bohnett Foundation, and Pan African Sanctuary Alliance for helping to make this event such a success. Thanks also go to our platform host Mightycause for providing technical support, fundraising expertise, and everything else to ensure that our event ran smoothly from beginning to end.

For more details of Giving Day for Apes and this year’s results, visit www.givingdayforapes.org. Congratulations to all of the participants on their fundraising, and we look forward to another successful Giving Day in 2023!

Hurricane Ian

Center for Great Apes

Our hearts and thoughts are with the sanctuaries and rescues in the United States who have been devasted by Hurricane Ian. GFAS Accredited and Verified facilities work extremely hard to put policies and plans in place which promote and ensure preparedness and response, but still, disasters seem inevitable. Any damage incurred is tragic, but thankfully, the determination and resolve displayed by GFAS sanctuaries and rescues will also help to rebuild and make it to the other side of this crisis.

Little Bear Sanctuary

GFAS is grateful to our longstanding partners who answered our calls for assistance, including the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and Greater Good Charities, stepping in to help our sanctuaries and rescues with much needed supplies, emergency relief funding, and connections to local resources. Many thanks are also due to our family of GFAS sanctuaries and rescues who have pitched in with offers to help and much-needed supplies, particularly those located in Florida.

If you are interested in joining or contributing to relief efforts, please get in touch with GFAS at .

If you are a GFAS sanctuary or rescue who has been impacted by this storm and still needs assistance and networking, please let us know. We are here and available to listen to your concerns and consider them in how we can best help navigate this.

Register to Attend the 2022 Carole Noon and
Outstanding Sanctuary Awards Virtual Ceremony!

Please join us on one of our favorite days of the year! Friday, October 21, 2022, at 12:00 p.m. pacific time/3:00 p.m. eastern time, we will be announcing the winners for each category of this year’s awards, and you will have the opportunity to hear from each winner! You can register to attend the virtual ceremony here. We will be recording the event if you can’t attend the on the 22nd.

We can’t wait to honor some amazing sanctuaries!

The Equine Adoption Contract: Insights

Adopting that next equine partner is becoming a more popular option for horse lovers from all levels of experience, and it is a trend GFAS continues to support. Adopting a horse from a GFAS certified organization will always include a legal document, which can make potential adopters nervous. Many are reluctant to sign a multipage contract or tackle all that legalese. Read the full article about adoption contracts here.

Congratulations Big Cat Sanctuary Alliance on a Successful Conference!

It was great to see so many new and old friends at the Big Cat Sanctuary Alliance conference in St. Louis, Missouri! The Big Cat Sanctuary Alliance continues their vital work to eliminate private ownership and the commercial exploitation of wild cats in the United States. Membership includes many of the leading big cat sanctuaries and animal protection partner organizations in the United States. The conference is an important part of the alliance’s mission in that it allows sanctuary professionals to come together and share best practices, solutions and strategies. This was the first conference since 2019, and featured a diverse roster of speakers including keynote speaker, Dr. Allison Skidmore, a wildlife criminologist focused on the poaching and trafficking of Amur tigers in the Russian Far East. Additional presentations included big cat nutrition, veterinarian case studies, emergency preparedness, and vaccine strategy and managing an outbreak of SARS-COV-2 in big cats and more. Attendees were treated to a private tour by the conference sanctuary host, GFAS Verified, Crown Ridge Tiger Sanctuary. Thank you, BCSA for another conference filled with valuable education, networking and inspiration! Keep up the great work! To learn more about the BCSA, please visit: bigcatalliance.org

ASPCA Right Horse Summit Peaked
This past September, Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries Executive Director, Valerie Taylor and Equine Program Director, Traci Hanson attended the ASPCA Right Horse Summit in Denver, CO. During this three-day Summit, they observed several informative presentations including ‘Finding the Trail Forward’, an interactive tabletop game designed to help with decision making in a rescue setting.
During the Summit, Valerie and Traci listened to interesting panel discussions that included topics ranging from open admissions to adoption processes, and that included speakers Laurie Jackson, ED of GFAS Accredited Happy Trails Farm Animal Sanctuary, and Lori Redmon, President & CEO from GFAS Accredited Kentucky Humane Society. 
Overall, the ASPCA Right Horse Summit was a great way for GFAS to hear about the needs and concerns from, and to connect with the equine community. For more information about the ASPCA Right Horse, go to: https://www.aspcarighthorse.org/.


Employment Opportunities

Are you a GFAS Certified group, a GFAS partner, or looking for a job in the animal welfare industry? If you fall into any of those categories, please make sure to keep an eye on our Job and Volunteer Listings page. This page is updated frequently, so make sure to keep checking back. If you are a GFAS Certified organization and would like to post any opportunities on this page, you can email that information to .


Technically, Amazing

Every year, the middle of October marks Vet Tech Appreciation Week. Vet techs, alternately known as veterinary nurses, are a critical component of the veterinary medical field- the foundation without which the industry would crumble. While doctors may be prescribing and doing surgeries – techs are doing…everything else. Techs are highly skilled in a number of areas, from radiology, anesthesia, emergency medicine, pharmacy, phlebotomy…the list goes on. Not to mention that their patients aren’t always, well, patient. That means their skill extends to understanding animal behavior and handling, including a large amount of physical labor.

In turn, sanctuaries cannot function without strong ties to veterinary medicine. Skilled veterinary professionals are needed to provide high quality care to residents, and it is often techs who are the first line of defense when it comes to patient care.

That is why it is exceedingly special when some technicians go one step further, using their skills and knowledge to propel them into sanctuary work – bringing with them a wealth of knowledge benefitting the animals in their care. A number of GFAS-certified sanctuaries were founded by vet techs. We stopped to talk to Kelly Lapham of Accredited Black Dawg Farm and Sanctuary in Washington about how vet tech life transformed and informed sanctuary life for her. Read the interview here.

This week, October 16-22, we ask you to show some love to the vet techs and animal caregivers you know. Just as Kelly suggests, their compensation can rarely match the physical and emotional toll they take on, as they provide a critical service to the animals we all love.

If your sanctuary could use more help with caregiving or medical care, consider reaching out to local vet tech student chapters or the HSVMA to connect with skilled professionals who may contribute to the sanctuary movement.

To learn more about the amazing work of Black Dawg Farm & Sanctuary, check this out!

Highlighting F.R.I.E.N.D.S.  Horse Rescue and Sanctuary
(Florida Research Institute for Equine Nurturing, Development and Safety)

Coggins testing! This is an annual requirement for all equines in GFAS Sanctuaries and Rescue organizations, as a component of their preventative medicine protocols (GFAS Standard V-3).  It is such a common annual procedure for horse owners and equine organizations, along with core vaccinations, that it is easy to forget what it is all about.  GFAS Accredited FRIENDS Horse Rescue and Sanctuary in southern Florida is the expert. FRIENDS provides lifetime care for equines that are asymptomatic carriers of Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) within the state of Florida. Coggins testing detects antibodies in the blood of equines that have developed against their exposure to this virus.

Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) is an infectious and potentially fatal disease found worldwide in all members of Equidae, including horses, ponies, donkeys, mules, and zebras. No vaccine or treatment exists. EIA is commonly transmitted between horses in close proximity by large biting insects such as deerflies and horseflies. The rate of transmission is unpredictable because it is dependent on several variables including the number of insects, density of horse population, amount of blood transferred between horses, and the level of virus in the blood of the infected horse.

When horses are exposed to EIA virus, they may develop acute signs of disease which is likely fatal.  If a horse survives this acute bout, they may develop a recurring clinical disease with fever, hemorrhages, weight loss and anemia. However, the majority of horses exposed to EIA virus become what is called “inapparent carriers”. They have no overt clinical abnormalities and can live long and healthy lives. They survive as reservoirs of the infection for extended periods of time with very low concentrations of EIA virus in their blood. APHIS reports that “only 1 horsefly out of 6 million is likely to pick up and transmit EIA virus from an inapparent carrier” equine.  FRIENDS only cares for horses that are inapparent carriers of EIA and works hard to dispel the myths and misconceptions that lead owners to think their only option is euthanasia.

FRIENDS also offers lifelong care for horses in need of sanctuary with limited or no options for adoption. This organization provides a wonderful sponsorship program enabling people to “adopt-on-site” one of these amazing equines developing mutually beneficial bonds. For more information about EIA and FRIENDS mission, please visit FRIENDS HORSE RESCUE AND Sanctuary Southwest Ranches Ft. Lauderdale Florida (eiahorses.org)

New Certifications and Renewals

Over the past month, GFAS has renewed one GFAS organization! Congratulations!


The Wildcat Sanctuary, Minnesota


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