GLOBAL FEDERATION OF ANIMAL SANCTUARIES

Rating: 4.67 stars   12 reviews

Issues: Animals

Location: PO Box 32294 Washington DC 20007 USA

Mission: Helping Sanctuaries Help Animals
Results: Since late in 2008, we have directly helped place more than 3,875 animals in need of permanent sanctuary. During that same time period GFAS has helped sanctuaries obtain $427,181 in funding from foundations and private donors. Some of this help was via informing sanctuaries of funding sources not previously explored and the sanctuary subsequently receiving a grant;or via GFAS giving out grants directly; or GFAS soliciting major donors on behalf of animals in need; or GFAS writing a grant on behalf of a coalition of sanctuaries. GFAS has accredited or verified 45 sanctuaries, and we expect to nearly double that number before the end of 2011. This year we put on a very successful two-day seminar entitled "Taking Your Sanctuary to the Next Level." We continue to offer free webinars on a variety of topics, including grant writing.
Target demographics: We cover all species except domestic cats and domestic dogs.
Direct beneficiaries per year: We help place more than 1000 animals each year. Some are abandoned, some are from failed roadside zoos, and others come from research laboratories, cruelty cases, and a variety of other sources. The sanctuaries we work with directly benefit from mentoring in succession planning, disaster planning, board development, volunteer management, financial planning, responsible policies, and more, including animal care.

2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 1 stars  

GFAS is trying to either shut down or increase fees so good honest accredited caregivers cannot operate in my state of Ohio. They are a part of HSUS which gives less than 1% of its 9 figure yearly donations to actually help animals. STAY AWAY!!!!! GFAS' website lists under supporters HSUS, ASPCA, Born Free and WSPA to name a few.....all of which have some affiliation to HSUS. Thank you Patty for giving me the opportunity to prove how deceitful this organization is.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Badly

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

A lot

Will you recommend this organization to others?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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As this poster well knows, GFAS is not part of HSUS, or any other organization. We are an independent 501(c)3 which thus far has received almost all of its funding from foundations, which appreciate the importance of the accrediting work GFAS does. GFAS is already in the process of helping additional facilities attain accreditation/verification in Ohio. If an organization desires to become accredited, we will help them succeed. More than 50% of the US sanctuaries we verify or accredit have received grants from us to help improve their facilities or how they conduct business. We have helped place 92 animals in need in Ohio, often obtaining the funding needed for transport. GFAS is all about helping sanctuaries help animals.

Rating: 5 stars  

The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries is a valuable resource to wild animal rescue facilities that want to achieve superior care and husbandry for captive wildlife; for law enforcement officials that want to ensure rescued or confiscated animals are placed in proper sanctuaries; and for members of the public who want assurances that a sanctuary is legitimate and well-run when deciding whether to support it.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've seen animals who were once mistreated thrive when placed in a proper environment with excellent care.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand its operations.

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Rating: 5 stars  

GFAS is a much needed organization in the sanctuary and animal welfare field as it provides a badly needed set of standards by which to judge sanctuaries and helps sanctuaries succeed. Sanctuaries in the US can be anything from a roadside zoo to a state of the art animal welfare facility and GFAS helps weed out the pseudo sanctuaries from the real deal. This is a huge service for funders and the public. In addition, the ED Patty Finch is an excellent fundraiser and administrator who has poured her heart and soul, and many hours, into growing the organization to where it is. As a volunteer, it has been a privilege to work with her and learn from her. Her caliber of leadership has been a huge asset to GFAS.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

During multiple sanctuary failures in the past two years, GFAS has stepped in and helped find placement for, in some cases, thousands of animals. Without GFAS, many of those animals would have ended up in sub standard facilities or worse.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Add more staff and capacity.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I recently had the privilege to work with GFAS during what is believed to be the largest rescue of a sanctuary in history. The rescue of the Montana Large Animal Sanctuary, where over one thousand animals were being starved to death . The Executive Director of GFAS, Patty Finch, is one of the most incredible people I have ever had the pleasure of working with. GFAS/Patty took on this Herculean task and spearheaded the entire rescue when others would not. Her knowledge and guidance were the foundation for all operations. If all operating sanctuaries in this country were required to be accredited by an organization like GFAS the animals would be in much better hands than they are now. Too many people that are at the helms of animal welfare organizations have the desire but not the where with all to be responsible for the lives they are entrusted with. Too many sanctuaries have no operating plan (they shoot from the hip) and no exit plan. Under the GFAS regulations/requirements, I believe, failure of sanctuaries would be minimal.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Saving the lives of 1000 animals

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would do nothing to change this organization. You can't improve on perfection...unless it would be to give her unlimited lines of money. It would be well used with care.

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Rating: 5 stars  

GFAS has worked to accredit sanctuaries to ensure high quality care of animals as well as sound administration and organizational management. They have also worked to place animals from bankrupt/failing facilities into secure sanctuaries.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my work as a sanctuary director.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

modify the accreditation process.

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Rating: 5 stars  

GFAS plays a key role in the accreditation of animal sanctuaries - globally. The world of animal rescue and sanctuary can be a very difficult one to navigate, especially for donors and animal placements. Knowing that an organization is accredited is peace of mind to those looking to place and animal or fund a valuable project or organization.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

We took in several parrots from a cruelty case earlier in 2011. The placement was coordinated and funded by GFAS. The birds would not have found sanctuary with us without them. We also attended a GFAS sponsored workshop designed specifically for Sanctuary Leaders. It was proven to be an invaluable experience.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

none at this time

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

What is unique about this organization?

Seems to be very well connected in the animal welfare / placement / funding field.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 5 stars  

The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries not only assists sanctuaries with improving their professionalism and sustainabilty but also assists donors and sanctuaries to address the root causes of captive animal suffering and exploitation. GFAS has broadened the role of sanctuary to include a place of healing so that animals' emotional welfare is addressed with the same attention as their physical health and needs. Through their talented and dedicated staff and board, GFAS works to ensure that every animal who finds themselves in sanctuary will live a life fulfilled, safe, and enriched.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

working together to rescue a large number of captive animals from deplorable and inhumane conditions. These rescue campaigns are enormously complicated, time-consuming and heartbreaking. They require diplomacy, tact, patience, an innate ability to work with a variety of agencies and people from all walks of life, and emotional strength and courage. GFAS staff has repeatedly shown their capabilities in these difficult arenas.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

hire more staff to take some of the burden off of the exective director's very full agenda and goals.

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Rating: 5 stars  

GFAS serves a multi-faceted and critical role in the sanctuary world. Donors who love animals are inundated with requests from many facilities that call themselves sanctuaries but are in reality “pseudo-sanctuaries” who are engaging in animal abuse, not working to solve it. Many breed, buy, sell, put animals through the stress of taking them offsite to exhibit, and have substandard animal care. It is very difficult for donors to research each of these themselves, and almost impossible to do so without visiting the facility, which frequently not practical. GFAS has set high standards that assure a donor that they are assisting a true sanctuary that provides excellent animal care and does not add to the problem by breeding or engaging in other behavior that sends the wrong message the general public. For sanctuaries, GFAS standards in effect provide a set of goals that help them improve their operations and, once achieved, a way to more efficiently and effective engage donors. In addition, GFAS holds extremely well planned and orchestrated seminars on best practices where sanctuaries learn from experts and from each other. These meetings also foster relationships among top sanctuaries that result in their calling upon each other for advice and coordination of rescue and other efforts on an ongoing basis. Last, GFAS has played a critical role in coordinating and facilitating the placing of animals in need of rescue, particularly the very difficult situations where there are a large number of animals involved. It is amazing what this young organization has been able to accomplish in the few years of its existence with a small staff that have shown incredible dedication both in terms of the long hours they have worked and in the quality of what they deliver.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

As a GFAS accredited sanctuary we experience their effectiveness in the services they deliver to nonprofits like ourselves and the way in which being GFAS accredited is an important decision factor and comfort for our donors.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I hope they can attract more funding to expand their staff and the scope of what they can achieve. They accomplish an amazing amount with limited resources, but they could save many more animals from abuse or death if they could add more staff.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Through a vigorous accreditation process, The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries(GFAS) provides sanctuaries with the critical oversight that raises the bar for animal welfare and protection. Through training and technical assistance, the highly skilled and experienced GFAS staff works to assist animal sanctuaries in their efforts for high impact organizational performance and effectiveness.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

As a result of GFAS exemplary services and performance, accreditation will become the standard and requirement for sanctuaries to obtain financial support from foundations and private donors.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand GFAS staff strength to increase program services to meet customer and funder's expectations.

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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

By becoming either verified or accredited b y GFAS, animal sanctuary/rescue organizations show that they place the safety and welfare of the animals first. By setting the standard, GFAS has inspired many organizations to change for the better - be it in physical operations or in management. Rather than judge, GFAS actually assist the organizations to raise their standard and to set the goals higher than ever before.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

becoming accredited. The process brought out many areas in which we needed to improve. By making the required changes our organization has become far better than ever before.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Hire additional personnel so GFAS can assist other animal sanctuary/rescue organizations in becoming verified.

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