Accreditation establishes high standards of credibility and recognition for global sanctuaries
October 27, 2009 (Hitchcock, TX) – Today the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS), the only globally recognized organization providing standards for identifying legitimate animal sanctuaries, announced Habitat for Horses became the first equine rescue and sanctuary accredited to its standards and, thereby, recognized by GFAS. The accreditation signifies the official implementation of clear and respected international standards for the public, donors and government agencies to recognize credible sanctuaries that adhere to the true mission of providing safe haven and humane care for abused animals.
“I am honored to recognize Habitat for Horses. We, as humane nonprofits, need organizations like Habitat for Horses to serve as role models of what sanctuaries are intended to be and help weed out masquerading sanctuaries that only exist to exploit animals for financial benefit and entertainment with no regard for their welfare,” said Adam Roberts, President of the GFAS Board of Directors and Senior Vice President of Born Free USA.
Habitat for Horses, one of the largest equine protection organizations in the U.S., earned its GFAS accreditation after being certified as adhering to the GFAS standards for sanctuary operations, administration and veterinary care. Trained GFAS verifiers made onsite visits to the sanctuary to analyze its operations, the animals’ health and the quality of the sanctuary grounds. As an accredited sanctuary, Habitat for Horses now can serve as a mentor to guide other sanctuaries through the process of GFAS accreditation and serving as a leader in the GFAS community.
“The link between humans and horses is a magical one that dates back to our ancestors. At Habitat for Horses, we believe that abusing, neglecting and discarding horses are affronts to the sanctity of life. We work to promote and secure the well being of all horses and to educate others. We are honored to be the first sanctuary to be accredited by GFAS. The accreditation will assist us in promoting our mission and ensuring other sanctuaries can operate by the same standards for humane animal care,” said Jerry Finch, Founder of Habitat for Horses.
In addition to being an accomplished and pioneering leader within the GFAS community, Habitat for Horses also works closely with law enforcement. It provides safe havens for rescued horses, conducts investigations and assists in court, and these activities enable law enforcement to pursue more equine cruelty cases. The sanctuary also saves wild horses and adopts horses to qualified, loving and responsible permanent homes. Habitat for Horses was founded in 1998 and is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization chartered by the State of Texas.
“We are especially pleased to work with Habitat for Horses. It is an exemplary sanctuary that demonstrates leadership in animal rescue through so many different actions. Its GFAS accreditation will further strengthen its credibility and reputation with the public and donors,” said Patty Finch, GFAS Executive Director (and of no relation to Jerry Finch).
About Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries
Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the sole purpose of strengthening and supporting the work of animal sanctuaries in the United States and abroad. The federation’s goal in working with and assisting sanctuaries is to ensure they are supported, honored, recognized and rewarded for meeting important criteria in providing care to the animals in residence. GFAS was founded in 2007 by animal protection leaders from a number of different organizations in response to virtually unchecked and hidden animal exploitation of animals for human entertainment and financial profit. These founding organizations sit on the GFAS Board of Directors to continue guiding the organization’s work in a collaborative manner. They include Born Free USA, The Humane Society of the United States, Captive Wild Animal Protection Coalition, World Society for the Protection of Animals, American Anti-Vivisection Society International Fund for Animal Welfare and Animal Welfare Institute.