GFAS Standards of Excellence

The GFAS Standards of Excellence were developed and reviewed with the input of animal services officers, non-profit professionals, sanctuary managers, animal protection advocates, and veterinarians, utilizing existing standards from outstanding sanctuaries as a starting framework and refined/expanded upon based on knowledge and expertise of contributors. Operational Standards and Animal Care Standards are now in one document for each of the species below.

Each set of standards is for a specific animal group and contains standards for:

  • Housing
  • Physical facilities and administration
  • Nutritional requirements
  • Veterinary care
  • Well-being and handling
  • General staffing
  • Safety policies, protocols and training
  • Governing authority
  • Financial records and stability
  • Education and Outreach
  • Policies: Acquisition and disposition
  • Policies: Public contact and restriction on use and handling
  • Release into the wild (where applicable)

The standards have been created for the following animal groups (click a species below to view the standards):

It is anticipated that continued peer review and feedback, often from applicants, as well as industry innovations, will result in a methodical updating of these standards. Proposed changes are typically reviewed each December. If you have any suggestions, you can complete the form here.