Bear Valley Rescue Society of Alberta is the First Canadian Equine Rescue Verified by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries

(Sundre, AB, Canada) – The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS), the only globally recognized organization providing standards for identifying legitimate animal sanctuaries is honored to announce the award of Verified status to Bear Valley Rescue of Alberta, Canada as of September 15, 2015.

Verification means that Bear Valley Rescue meets the criteria of a true equine sanctuary and 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 that are confirmed by a site visit and they must also adhere to a demanding set of ethical and operational principles.

“GFAS has over 100 certified equine facilities throughout the United States. The addition of Bear Valley Rescue is extraordinary, as they are our first Canadian equine group that has achieved Verification,” states Kellie Heckman, GFAS Executive Director.

“Bear Valley Rescue provides an essential resource for hundreds of animals in need in the Canadian province of Alberta. There is no other registered charitable animal welfare or rescue group in this geographic area that assists as many horses and farmed animals, regardless of the individual animal’s current health, age or circumstances,” explained Daryl Tropea, GFAS Senior Deputy Director.

“Since 2003, Bear Valley Rescue has found new homes for over 600 horses and provides lifetime sanctuary for those animals difficult to place. The leadership and volunteers of this organization work closely with a number of provincial and private organizations to ensure as many animals in need as possible, have the opportunity for rehabilitation and re-homing.”

“We are honored to be included in the GFAS family, and we will strive to meet and exceed the GFAS standards every day,” said Kathy Bartley, President of Bear Valley Rescue. “Our goal has always been to do the best that is possible for the animals, and being verified by GFAS helps us to ensure we are doing just that.”

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

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, the ASPCA, and American Anti-Vivisection Society, all board members serve as individuals dedicated to animal sanctuaries. localhost.

About Bear Valley Rescue, Alberta Canada
Bear Valley Rescue (CRA charity “861219970RR0001) takes in unwanted, abused or distressed horses and, occasionally, other farm animals. We rehabilitate and re-home those animals that can be re-homed and provide sanctuary for those that cannot. We educate the public on the plight of unwanted, abused and aged animals. We work with other animal rescue organizations as well, networking to provide homes for animals in distress.

The Rescue has had many visits from school classes and 4H groups, disabled adults groups, equestrians, and other community organizations. Bear Valley has formed partnerships with several trainers in our area, a collaboration that helps to re-home the horses in our care. We have worked with the veterinarians at the University of Calgary Veterinary Medicine faculty – they bring students to the Rescue to have hands-on experience working with a wide variety of horses. We work closely with our local veterinarian, who attends Bear Valley Rescue on a regular basis.

Bear Valley Rescue has worked with a number of provincial and private organizations and animal rescue groups, including LIS (Livestock Identification Services – brand inspectors), the RCMP, and the Alberta SPCA in animal seizure and rehabilitation situations, and EARS (Earthanimal Humane Education and Rescue Society) and the City of Canmore, taking in altered feral rabbits, and the Calgary Humane Society, taking in chickens, rabbits, even a goat, that have come into their care. We have networked with AARCS (Alberta Animal Rescue Crew Society), Pound Rescue, Alberta Spay and Neuter Task Force, and MEOW Foundation in animal rescue and placement situations. For more information, visit or call 403-637-2708.

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 To become a fan of the ASPCA on Facebook, go to To follow the ASPCA on Twitter, go to

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