Sanctuary Support

Animals who have been used and abused in laboratories need and deserve loving care.

As a leader in the movement to release animals from labs, and provide them with the life they deserve, AAVS has been making generous grants to sanctuaries since 1983, totaling well over $2 million. Those vital funds support animals who have never before had access to fresh air and the grass beneath their feet. They enjoy healthy, natural foods, stimulating environments, and, most importantly, the social companionship of their own kind. All this occurs under the watchful eyes of experienced caregivers who are also advocates for animal well-being.

Click here to contribute to the care of animals in sanctuaries.

Meet some of the residents that AAVS helps support:


Equine Advocates, NY

sanctuary-story_peggy_200Peggy arrived at Equine Advocates pregnant. That’s not surprising, since she was a mare used in the hidden world of producing drugs in animals. Peggy spent most of her life on a ‘line,’ which means that she was kept pregnant and confined to a stall, where her urine was collected because it was full of high levels of conjugated estrogens. The urine is boiled down to isolate the estrogen product, and then sold as the hormone replacement drug, Premarin (PMU), to millions of women worldwide. The offspring of these mares—especially the males—are not useful to the farmers, and so typically they end up being killed.

Meanwhile, horses like Peggy suffer terribly on the ‘line,’ with hoof problems, infections, irritation and sores from the collecting devices, and perhaps worst of all, the mental anguish and frustration of being immobilized—an animal who can easily travel miles and miles in a day.

Today, Peggy and her daughter Melanie live happily at Equine Advocates in New York, where they spend much of their time in the “Blondes Have More Fun” pasture. There’s no doubt that this pair, along with many others at this sanctuary who were rescued from the PMU industry, enjoy their new life free to romp and run as much as they desire.



Mindy’s Memory Primate Sanctuary, OK

Brett was one of tens of thousands of crab-eating macaques used in laboratory experiments in the U.S. When the lab that owned him went out of business in 2010, he was released, along with others, to Mindy’s Memory. The records of his experiences in the lab were not made available, so we’ll never know for sure what he might have been subject to, although monkeys are commonly used to test levels of toxic doses for drugs and chemicals and killed after years of experiments.

sanctuary-story_brett_300But fortunately for Brett, he and seven other companions arrived in July at Mindy’s Memory and settled into the Oklahoma summer pretty quickly, enjoying their kiddie pools. Providing such a simple enrichment is a thoughtful way to provide hours of occupation. Brett and his companions love to splash and poke around in the water, grabbing at toys they way they would grab at crabs in the wild. They race around and chase each other, and have thrived on their new diet that feature lots of fresh fruit.
AAVS made a generous commitment in 2014 to Mindy’s, ensuring that the monkeys’ warm houses were in good repair for the winter months. Additional funds will ensure that the monkeys there receive the best care possible, with an enriching environment so that these animals released from labs are able to heal and live in peace.

Brett and his companions were initially fearful of humans, but today they are mentally and physically sure of themselves and trust their caregivers.



Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest, in Cle Elum, WA

sanctuary-story_negra_300Negra began her life in Africa (estimated 1973) and all the adults in her family were likely killed so that she and any other babies could be captured and sold. The dealer who owned her ‘leased’ Negra to a U.S. research facility in 1982. In January 1984, she gave birth to her first baby, Heidi, who was taken away immediately after birth. In 1985, Negra’s second baby, Angel, was allowed to stay with her for five days, but then was also taken away.

In 1986, Negra was (mistakenly, it turned out) suspected of having a contagious disease because of severe intestinal symptoms and removed from her companions. She spent 21 ½ months in total isolation in a tiny cage, undergoing test after test, each time being ‘knocked down,’ which means that a lab technician shot her with a dart gun full of anesthesia. Finally released from quarantine, Negra became pregnant again, and gave birth to a boy, Noah, who was taken away immediately. Then, she was used in a research project that involved injecting a serum in her leg multiple times and surgery to test the lymph nodes near the injection site.

In 1996, Negra returned to a Pennsylvania facility, not far from the offices of AAVS. In 2007, her release was finally obtained, along with the six remaining chimpanzees at the facility, and they made the trip to their new home in Washington state.

Today at Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest, Negra lives peacefully, and contentedly, healthy in mind and body. Her remarkable story of recovery has inspired so many. AAVS and her caregivers are absolutely committed to her continued comfort and joy.

View a complete list of sanctuaries that received grants from AAVS in 2017.

Support the Sanctuary Fund with a donation.