GFAS News October 2019

Giving Day for Apes is on October 15th!

On October 15th, GFAS is presenting this year’s Giving Day for Apes, a day of global giving that supports ape sanctuaries and rescue centers throughout Asia, Africa, and North America. Giving Day was initiated by Arcus Foundation six years ago, and GFAS has collaborated with Arcus for the past three years as a co-presenter. During that time, the event has grown both in scope and the total amount of donations raised. Last year, more than $550,000 was raised and awarded.

This year, with the continuing support of Arcus Foundation, GFAS has stepped into the role of sole presenter. More than 30 sanctuaries and rescue centers are participating, with $50,000 to be awarded for the top placements on “leaderboards” and other prizes throughout the day. Preparation started over the summer, and GFAS worked with Mightycause Foundation (the platform provider) to present three webinars to participants on topics including fundraising strategies, storytelling ideas, and ways to use matching grants and peer-to-peer fundraisers.

GFAS is also grateful for the ongoing support of American Anti-Vivisection Society (AAVS), which will again this year be a prize sponsor. “Sanctuaries are performing miracles every day, helping our closest animal cousins start new lives after their troubled past experiences. Now it’s up to us to make sure that every one is safe and sound,” said Sue Leary, President of AAVS and a long-standing GFAS Board member.  She continued that “AAVS has committed to doing that, and on Giving Day for Apes, we are inspired by all the people who come together to channel their compassion. Together, we will ensure that sanctuaries have what they need to provide the best care possible for animals who deserve it.”

Visit to learn more about the day and see all of the participating sanctuaries and rescue centers. Donations can be made now, and the Giving Day begins at midnight EDT on October 15th. At that time, the 24-hour contest will begin to reach the top of leaderboards and win prizes! We are looking forward to a successful day for all of the participants.

Big Cat Sanctuary Alliance Conference

Kristin Leppert, Program Director for Wildlife, and Allan Kornberg, GFAS board member, presented “GFAS: Past, Present & Future” at the Big Cat Sanctuary Alliance conference in September in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. The Big Cat Sanctuary Alliance (BCSA) works to eliminate private ownership and the commercial exploitation of wild cats in the United States. Each year the BCSA brings sanctuary professionals together to share best practices, solutions and strategies. Kristin and Allan delivered information on GFAS’ history, standards, application process, benefits of membership and future plans. Attendees were also treated to a private tour by the conference sanctuary host, GFAS Accredited Black Pine Animal Sanctuary. Thank you, BCSA for your continued excellence! We look forward to partnering with new and established sanctuaries in pursuit of their animal care and sustainability goals.



HSUS Forever Foundation training program accepting applications for 2020

To help equine rescues place more horses, the Forever Foundation provides trainers and volunteers with a video-based learning program and hands-on training series to enable rescues to efficiently work with their horses and get them adopted.  Any U.S. based, 501c3 organization who rescues, rehabilitates, trains, and adopts equines is eligible to apply.  Rescues may have trainers on staff or may utilize volunteers-it’s also a great opportunity to advance newer volunteers and staff to training levels.

This program provides training basics, such as ground and riding skills, as well as topics for helping equines who have known difficulty with catching, farrier care, veterinary treatment, trailering, riding, etc.  As lessons and challenges are completed, more advanced topics are made available for your rescue organization.  Your organization earns points as everyone completes their lessons and challenges; these points are then applied as scholarship funds to hands-on clinics for your volunteers and/or trainer(s) to attend.

To apply:

Job Postings

Are you aware that GFAS has a job posting page on our website for GFAS Accredited and Verified groups? You can find the job listings here.  Not only can you post job openings, you can also post volunteer and internship opportunities.

If you are ever interested in having us post an opening, please email the information to , and we will get it listed.

New GFAS Online Application

GFAS is currently testing an online application using Survey Monkey Apply software. We are currently testing this with new equine and farm applicants. The new application will allow applicants to complete the entire application process online, including uploading all required documents.

This new system should be most helpful to our current groups as you are going through the renewal process as you will only need to update your information and new documents, rather than submitting everything again.

We will be working to add the applications for other species in the near future.

Featured Sanctuaries

Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue

CNN’s recent announcement that Mark Meyers and GFAS Accredited Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue (PVDR) in San Angelo, Texas were declared 2019 CNN Heroes, came as no surprise. There is no denying the absolute dedication and commitment of PVDR to improving the plight of donkeys and burros in the United States and abroad. As the largest donkey rescue in the country, Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue has developed a network of caretakers and pastures across the country that provide safe and healthy environments for thousands of these amazing animals. Mark and his team work closely with many other federal, state and local agencies that provide rescue services to abandoned, neglected and abused donkeys both domestic and wild.

This documentary shares with us the challenges faced by donkeys and how PVDR is truly making a difference.

Meet the Gorillas at accredited GRACE!

©Andrew Bernard/GRACE

Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education (GRACE) Center became one of GFAS’ newest accredited sanctuaries in September. Located in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), GRACE works within a challenging environment to care for 14 critically endangered Grauer’s gorillas, providing them with access to large forested habitats each day.

September was also a big month for GRACE as it launched its “Gorilla Cam,” a livestream that lets people around the world watch the gorillas in their habitats. While certain times of day are best to catch the gorillas in action, recorded highlights can be watched at any time here.  Viewers can add comments and questions to the page and even post their screen shots!

You can also read, in GRACE’s own words, about their experience with the accreditation process here.

Learn more about GRACE at

New Certifications and Renewals

New CertificationsRenewals
Black Pine Animal Sanctuary, INBat World, TX
Carolina Tiger Rescue, NCBear Valley Rescue, Alberta
Crown Ridge Tiger Sanctuary, MOBig Cat Rescue, FL
Dove Creek Equine Rescue, TXBrook Hill Retirement Center, VA
Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education Center (GRACE). Democratic Republic of CongoCarolina Equine Rescue and Assistance, NC
Idaho Horse Rescue, IDCenter for Great Apes, FL
Illinois Horse Rescue of Will County, ILChimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest, WA
Kentucky Humane Society, KYDays End Farm Horse Rescue, MD
Little Longears Mini Donkey Rescue, MDEquine Rescue League, VA
Lucky Glider Rescue and Sanctuary, TXGlen Ellen Vocational Academy, CA
New England Equine Rescue – North, Inc. (NEER-North), MALucky Orphans Horse Rescue, NY
Oklahoma Primate Sanctuary, OKMAARS (Midwest Avian Adoption and Rescue Services), MN
Olympic Peninsula Equine Network-OPEN, WAPerforming Animal Welfare Society, CA
Piedmont Farm Animal Refuge, NCSerenity Farm Equine Sanctuary, VA
Primates, Inc., WIThe Elephant Sanctuary, TN
ResQue Ranch, Inc., CAThe Wildcat Sanctuary, MN
Skagit Animals In Need, WAWildCat Ridge Sanctuary, OR
Skydog Sanctuary, CAWolf Haven International, WA
Sunshine Horses, Inc., NY
Sunshine Horses, Inc., NY
Unbridled Thoroughbred Foundation, NY