GFAS Statement on the Tragedy at WildCat Haven

Washington, DC – “Our hearts go out to everyone who is grieving the tragic loss of Renee Radziwon-Chapman,” states Patty Finch, Executive Director of Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS).  “She was obviously dearly loved and a person greatly admired. Her love for her family, friends, and animals could not have been greater.”

At any facility, something can go wrong. Clearly in this case, something went terribly wrong.

“Regardless of what the particular facts in this case prove to be,” states Finch, “everyone recognizes that the best policies and procedures in the world can’t eliminate human error.  GFAS always stresses redundancy in safety measures. Redundancy still doesn’t guarantee a tragedy won’t happen, but it makes it less likely.”

GFAS verified Wildcat Haven on September 12, 2012. The application for verification was completed in its entirety and the site inspection took place on May 4, 2012. GFAS verification is in effect for a three-year period, based upon the information presented at the time of the application and site visit, which includes interviews with staff.

Verification means that Wildcat Haven meets the criteria of a true sanctuary, including not breeding, selling, or buying wild cats.  It also means it 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.

View full press release here.