I have retired animals here many times. I appreciate being able to stay involved with their lives and care and to help the other retirees when I can. It is a lot of hard work, but RSLA is totally dedicated to the needs of every individual primate.
I've visited RSLA as a friend of a retiree, and was very impressed at the space and level of care and love provided by the owner and volunteers. They run on donations, so I am happy to contribute when I can.
I've known Jackie for 10+ years and have seen first hand her dedication to, and love for, our research animals. The sanctuary she has developed is one of the most beautiful, animal friendly facilities I've ever seen. No detail has been left unattended to. Their species-specific behaviors have been taken into consideration, as have their own individual personalities. Jackie herself is a wealth of knowledge and is extremely well equipped to run a facility such as this. As further testament to this expertise, she has assembled a team of additional experts in laboratory animal medicine, facilty management, and construction who help support her with ideas and assistance.
The lab animal community is dedicated to providing the highest level of care to lab animals. We strive to provide social and environmental enrichment to all the animals in our care and we always minimize pain and distress during any procedures that might cause these things to occur. For those of us in this profession, it is distressful to euthanize a lab animal for which there is no need for the tissues from that animal after death. Until recently, there have been no appropriate placement options for retired lab animals, especially those that may present a danger to humans such as nonhuman primates. This has all changed with the official opening of the Retirement Sanctuary for Laboratory Animals. The reason this is so exciting to all of us is that Jackie has a proven track record of being skilled behaviorist for the duration of her scientific career. She was expert in training animals to perform complex cognitive tasks using reward instead of restriction. She was far ahead of the regulations regarding environmental enrichment and even provided a play cage for the monkeys under her care during the research years. Now her passion is directed at providing that same level of attention to lab animals eligible for retirement. For years, I have provided consulting services for various animal sanctuaries. I have visited Jackie’s sanctuary on several occasions and the find the facilities exceed those of most other sanctuaries, as does the care. Her experience and dedication is reflected in the behavior and physical condition of the animals. In addition to my personal endorsement, it should be noted that a USDA representative, during a question and answer session at a recent conference, cited this sanctuary as a recommended alternative for the care of retired nonhuman primates. This sanctuary provides the excellent retirement care for laboratory animals that they deserve for all their years of service to humankind. It is an exciting development for all of those who care about the welfare of the lab animals.
I have known and worked with Jackie Rivera-Clauder for many years. During that time I witnessed her ability to work with a variety of situations such as animals that did not want to eat or those who were unfriendly change their behavior. She has the patience, dedication and attitude it takes to make sure these animals are well maintained and happy. Ms. Rivera provides personal attention and respect to each individual animal to improve their quality of life and care. These animals are fortunate to have found a loving home with an exceptional provider. Any contributions made to this effort will be money well spent to make a difference in the life of a well deserving animal.
I work for a researcher who has recently retired animals to RSLA. We have found Jackie and her staff to be very professional, extremely knowledgeable, and especially helpful in the retirement process. In speaking with the staff one can see that they all have the same goal....helping research animals at the end of their career have a long, healthy and happy life. I cannot say enough about the facility and the people behind it. I would recommend RSLA as a world-class nonprofit organization.
This sanctuary offers personalized and special care to primates that have retired from research. The staff and volunteers show tremendous care and compassion towards their residents. Respect is a key word that is used towards not only the retirees that live there but also towards the research institutions that have made such concerted efforts to place their animals here. I have worked at a medical school where animal research is performed for almost 20 years and I was thrilled to see a place formed where the animals could live out their lives happily instead of being euthanized. I have never seen anyone as passionate about this cause than Mrs. Rivera-Clauder. She is a true inspiration!
I have known Jackie and the people instrumental is starting this amazing non-profit since the 1990's. They are some of the most genuine, kind, motivated and talented people I have ever met. They are an amazing team forming a force directed to the betterment of the life of animals needed in research after this need is completed. Giving these animals a place to retire after they serve mankind and further scientific knowledge is our duty as a civilized society. Through their hard work and dedication in establishing RSLA there is now a means to accomplish this important mission. The facility is amazing and the animal are happy. They deserve this. They paid a debt to our society and this is a way for us as a society to repay this debt. We should all thank Jackie for providing such an amazing place for these noble animals to retire.
I have known Jackie for over a decade. I cannot think of a better person to organize and see to the day-to-day operations of a retirement sanctuary for laboratory animals. Her experiences allow her to understand the animals as only very few people can appreciate. I was able to visit the sanctuary recently and I was amazed to see what she had built. Her dedication and love for her animals is remarkable.
The Retirement Sanctuary for Laboratory Animals means Life: Saving, Enrichment and Dedication. After having spent her decades long work life in a research institution working with primates, the founder of RSLA, Jackie Rivera-Clauder, now provides a life saving alternative to euthanizing cage bound laboratory animals. RSLA provides an alternative that: enriches the lives of the animals and is an effort that in every respect of its operation epitomizes care and dedication to the reason for the institution: the animals.