(Washington, DC) – This past week 81 horses, donkeys and mules along with dozens of cats and dogs were surrendered and seized from Peaceable Farm, a rescue and breeding facility in Orange County, Virginia. Diana Wheeler, Orange County Commonwealth’s Attorney, and Sheriff Mark Amos said, “This agency had a tremendous amount of help from Equine Rescue Organizations, Veterinarians and local volunteers. We could not have removed that many animals from the property as quickly as we did without their help.”

“The regional equine community quickly stepped up for these animals many of whom are in very poor condition and will need significant rehabilitation resources. We commend those equine rescues that have taken the horses in need of placement, including GFAS certified Central Virginia Horse Rescue and Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue,” states Daryl Tropea, Director of Accreditation – Equine for the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS).

The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries is a globally recognized organization that promotes and validates excellence in rescue and sanctuary management and humane and responsible care through its international accreditation program. Certified sanctuaries, rescues and rehabilitation facilities must meet GFAS’ rigorous and peer-reviewed animal care standards that are confirmed by a comprehensive site visit. Certification with GFAS also signifies that equine rescue groups adhere to standards addressing the sustainability of the organization, finances’ security, safety and much more. Donors, law enforcement and the general public can be confident in the credibility of a facility that is certified by GFAS.

“Equine rescue and sanctuary failure can be prevented,” explained Kellie Heckman, Executive Director of GFAS. “We encourage groups to look critically at their strengths and weaknesses to improve their animal care and operations practices as part of our accreditation process. The goal is to build a healthy and sustainable organization so that animals are provided a lifetime of humane care. But if a rescue is struggling, we recommend that they reach out for help from their local rescue community or to us as soon as possible.”

There are currently over 100 equine facilities accredited by GFAS in the United States caring for approximately 5,000 horses. Equine-specific standards of care are available on their website.

About Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries

Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the sole purpose of strengthening and supporting the work of animal sanctuaries, rescues, and rehabilitation centers worldwide. The goal of GFAS in working with and assisting these animal care facilities is to ensure they are supported, honored, recognized and rewarded for meeting important criteria in providing care to the animals in residence. GFAS was founded in 2007 by animal protection leaders from a number of different organizations in response to virtually unchecked and often hidden exploitation of animals for human entertainment and financial profit. The GFAS Board of Directors guides the organization’s work in a collaborative manner. While the board includes those in top leadership at Born Free USA, The Humane Society of the United States, International Fund for Animal Welfare, and American Anti-Vivisection Society, all board members serve as individuals dedicated to animal sanctuaries. www.sanctuaryfederation.org.

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