Founder of Rescate Animal in Costa Rica Recipient of Global Award for Sanctuary Excellence

Dennis Janik of GFAS-accredited Rescate Animal is the ninth recipient of the Carole Noon Award for Sanctuary Excellence given annually by Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries.

Washington DC – The 2017 Carole Noon Award for Sanctuary Excellence recipient was announced by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS). This year Dennis Janik of GFAS-accredited Rescate Animal, an animal rescue center in Costa Rica, was singled out for his innovation and leadership in supporting the welfare of native wildlife as a caregiver, conservationist and advocate.

The Carole Noon Award for Sanctuary Excellence is given annually to a sanctuary or individual who embodies and puts into practice the GFAS philosophy of vision, dedication and excellence in animal care. It memorializes Carole Noon, founder of Save the Chimps in Fort Pierce, Florida, the world’s largest chimpanzee sanctuary.

“Dennis’ story is truly inspiring. A native of Canada, he became aware of the environmental concerns in Costa Rica and made the decision to take action,” says Kellie Heckman, GFAS executive director. “He now operates what is considered the most extensive, effective and secure animal rescue center in all of Costa Rica and is personally relied on heavily for his expertise by the local government and animal welfare NGOs.”


Heckman also applauded Costa Rican President Luis Guillermo Solís for his recent signing of the new regulations of the Wildlife Conservation Law that will ensure that all native wildlife will receive appropriate care in rescue centers such as Rescate Animal

In 1995, Dennis Janik founded Rescate Animal, a wildlife rehabilitation facility located on 84 acres of natural forest in the province of Alajuela, Costa Rica with a mission to protect and restore the country’s biodiversity through wildlife rehabilitation and endangered species breeding and reintroduction. The facility has saved the lives of tens of thousands of injured, orphaned and confiscated native birds and mammals.

“Dennis has been incredibly innovative when it comes to providing the best possible care for injured and orphaned wildlife,” remarks Jeanne Marie Pittman, GFAS Director of Accreditation – North, Central and South America. “He has created numerous rearing and soft-release strategies that have been highly successful in reversing the local extinction of many globally and locally threatened species.”

Janik shared his thoughts about the achievement, saying, “I am very honored to receive such a meaning full award. I admire GFAS for its work to establish an international standard for animal sanctuaries worldwide.”


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