Category: GFAS Blog

Roberto and the Growing Demand for Legitimate Sanctuaries

By Kellie Heckman   Roberto, a juvenile howler monkey, who was rescued by tourists on a beach in the province of Guanacaste, Costa Rica. “Roberto came in with burns on his hands, similar to an electrocution and this prevented him from eating normally, so he was dehydrated and weak,” said Dr. Barrantes of Rescate Animal… Read more »

You Can’t Hold a Tiger by the Tail

Guest blog by Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States Reprinted with permission. Original blog post here. A woman who stuck her arm into a tiger enclosure this past weekend at G.W. Exotic Animal Park, a notorious roadside zoo in Oklahoma run by Joe Schreibvogel, had to be airlifted… Read more »

Letting Go, Written by Sybil Erden, the Oasis Sanctuary

Letting Go; The pleasure of successful transition Sybil Erden, Founder, President – The Oasis Sanctuary – Written October 23rd, 2010 I often think I have led a charmed life. Not an easy one….but certainly one I wouldn’t trade for all the world…. Many of you may know me as the founder of The Oasis Sanctuary,… Read more »

Seizure, Rescue, Transfer, or Placement?

Some former owners of captive animals have expressed their anger when the facility which has taken their animals calls it a “rescue.” The former owners say that because they voluntarily gave up the animals it was not a “rescue,” no matter how the animals were being kept or their condition. Here is how we define… Read more »

The Truth About Sanctuaries

Legitimate Sanctuaries versus Pseudo-Sanctuaries The following begins with an excerpt from an article written by Patty Finch, Executive Director of GFAS. It appeared online at the Encyclopedia Britannica’s Advocacy for Animals: What if six months ago you made a contribution to an organization that claimed to be an animal sanctuary, and only now discovered the truth… Read more »

How I Became A Sanctuary Director

How I Became a Sanctuary Director: Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary Kari Bagnall, Founder and Executive Director, Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary, GFAS Accredited A white-faced capuchin monkey named Samantha is how all of this monkey business began. Samantha was born into the exotic pet trade on December 18, 1992. An ex-boyfriend originally purchased Samantha when she… Read more »

Sanctuary Startup Kit?

At least once a month, GFAS receives an email that basically says “I love animals and want to start a sanctuary. Can you please let me know how to start?” One thing I personally hope that GFAS does is provide people with a more realistic assessment of how much skill is really needed to run… Read more »

Have you signed your prenup yet?

No one likes to think about divorce, especially when they just got engaged! Yet, especially when the stakes are high (e.g, one person already has children, one person is much wealthier than the other), prenuptials are common. Why? Because divorce statistics, last time I checked, say you have about a 50% chance of divorce, and… Read more »


After joining GFAS, on one of my first visits to a model sanctuary, we discovered a smoldering fire in progress when we opened the door and stepped inside a building housing animals, bedded down for the night.

The GFAS Carole Noon Award for Sanctuary Excellence

We are now seeking nominations for The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries Carole Noon Award for Sanctuary Excellence. The award was created to honor outstanding contributions to the animal sanctuary field. The honor memorializes Carole Noon, Ph. D., a courageous and innovative sanctuary pioneer and champion of chimpanzees. The first award, given in 2009, was… Read more »