(Cozumel, Mexico) – The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS), the only globally recognized organization providing standards for identifying legitimate animal sanctuaries, awarded Verified status to Rancho Universo A.C. Heal a Horse Sanctuary as of September 1, 2017.

Verification means that Rancho Universo A.C. Heal a Horse Sanctuary meets the criteria of a true equine sanctuary/rescue and is providing humane and responsible care of the animals. To be awarded Verified status, an organization must meet GFAS’s rigorous and peer-reviewed animal care standards which are confirmed by a site visit and they must also adhere to a demanding set of ethical and operational principles. The verification status also provides a clear and trusted means for the public, donors and grantors to recognize Rancho Universo A.C. Heal a Horse Sanctuary as an exceptional organization.

“We are so excited to announce the first GFAS Verified organization in Mexcio,” said Kellie Heckman, GFAS Executive Director. Valerie Taylor, GFAS Director of Accreditation, agrees, “the dedication and willingness of Heal a Horse to provide assistance to horses in an area where services for their care are few, is absolutely inspiring. The work being done by Heal a Horse has made great strides to raise the standard of care for horses on Cozumel, and demonstrates the organization’s commitment to horses-in-need.”

“We feel very proud and honored to be Verified by GFAS. We’ve worked for years and the center will carry on the work even after I’m gone.,” said Liliana Hough, Executive Director of Rancho Universo A.C. Heal a Horse Sanctuary. Being approved and Verified by GFAS will give our center the opportunity to continue helping those who have no voice.”

The GFAS Equine Accreditation Program is made possible by a generous grant from The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® and the Kenneth Scott Charitable Trust.

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 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.
About Ranch Universo A.C. Heal a Horse

At Heal a Horse Cozumel Sanctuary we endeavor to improve the quality of life of those with no voice.  We are trying to dispel the myths that respect is only gained through pain and abuse, and that animals are lesser beings.  Although it is not easy to change a mentality, by giving people the opportunity to see that things can be done differently, they can choose whether or not to continue on the same path. Heal a Horse provides equine sanctuary, and equine assisted activities and therapies services.  The organization also endeavors to raise awareness and respect, offering clinics and workshops on horsemanship, shoeing, and veterinary care to local horse owners. One day at a time, one horse at a time!   For more information, e-mail or call +5219871143670.

About the ASPCA®

Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first humane organization established in the Americas and serves as the nation’s leading voice for animal welfare. One million supporters strong, the ASPCA’s mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. The ASPCA, which is headquartered in New York City, offers a wide range of programs, including a mobile clinic outreach initiative, its own humane law enforcement team, and a groundbreaking veterinary forensics team and mobile animal CSI unit. For more information, please visit www.aspca.org. To become a fan of the ASPCA on Facebook, go to http://www.facebook.com/aspca. To follow the ASPCA on Twitter, go to http://www.twitter.com/aspca.

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