2017 Grants

More and more often, animals in labs are being given a second chance. AAVS offers members the opportunity to direct special contributions to care for animals who were once used in laboratories or exploited in other ways.

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

The following sanctuaries were awarded AAVS grants in 2017:

Mindy’s Memory Primate Sanctuary

Part of the mission of this primate sanctuary is “to provide a healthy, safe, and humane environment for any primates needing care and treatment.” They have taken in some of the neediest cases from labs. Remarkably, they have recovered physically, emotionally and socially. Mindy’s Memory now cares for over 80 monkeys, many of whom were formerly used in labs. AAVS funded improvements to ensure safety and protection from cold weather, and other enhancements to daily care.

Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary

This primate sanctuary and rehabilitation center has received grants to help support and continue to rescue monkeys from labs. This sanctuary is accredited by both the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries and American Sanctuary Association, and comes highly recommended for standards of care, responsiveness to the unique needs of animals from labs, and conscientious management. AAVS is funding quality veterinary care for aging and special needs monkeys.

Primarily Primates

Primarily Primates houses, protects, and rehabilitates various primate species, focusing primarily on caring for apes and monkeys. Many are cast-offs from the pet trade and biomedical research institutions. AAVS supports the group of eight chimpanzees from Buckshire labs in Pennsylvania, whose release from the lab AAVS helped negotiate in 1996.

Center for Great Apes

Having studied and worked with orangutans since 1984, Patti Ragan set up The Center for Great Apes in 1993 to offer permanent haven for orangutans and chimpanzees who have been retired from the entertainment industry, from research, or who are no longer wanted as pets. AAVS awarded The Center a grant fot veterinary care for former lab chimpanzees and orangutans like Mari, a resident orangutan who lost her arms as an infant at Yerkes Primate Research Center in Atlanta. She has managed to adapt brilliantly and over the years has become a favorite at the Center. However, she recently developed Diabetes and needs special care, including careful monitoring of her diet, special medication, frequent tests of her blood glucose, etc.

Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest

In 2008, CSNW became home for seven chimpanzees who were relinquished by a Pennsylvania laboratory, where they were primarily used in hepatitis research and as breeders. While the chimps once spent years housed in stark cages in a windowless basement, they now enjoy attentive caregivers, spacious and enriching indoor housing, and the warmth of sunshine as they live and play as a family in the new, 2 acre, outdoor ‘exploratorium’.

Ryerss Farm for Aged Equines

Ryerss has been awarded grants in special recognition of the extra care that is required by several resident horses who were previously used in production of snake anti-venom at a pharmaceutical company; their rescue and adoption program for Premarin foals; and the valuable role Ryerss’ plays working with local cruelty investigators on abuse and neglect cases, providing care for animals in emergency situations.

Save the Chimps

Save the Chimps was initially established to provide sanctuary for 21 retired Air Force chimpanzees used in the space program. Today, Save the Chimps cares for over 250 chimpanzees rescued from laboratories, who now live in large family groups on 12 separate three-acre islands. The majority of its residents are chimps who were used in experiments at the Coulston Foundation, a biomedical research laboratory located in Alamogordo, New Mexico that had a long history violating the Animal Welfare Act. AAVS provides funds for comprehensive geriatric care, including specialized diets and housing modifications such as ramps, railings, and adaptive climbing structures.

Born Free USA Primate Sanctuary

Born Free USA’s Primate Sanctuary provides nonhuman primates with high quality care in a naturalistic setting, minimizing human interference. The 186-acre sanctuary is home to over 500 residents, many of whom were rescued from abusive or exploitative situations. After a large, east coast laboratory stopped conducting research on baboons in 2013, nine females-Pearl, Missy, Chloe, April, Friendly, Spicy, Brooke, Kennedy and Lulu-were granted freedom. They now experience fresh air, sunshine, grass, trees, large open spaces, and the opportunity to thrive in each other’s company. AAVS’s grant to Born Free will provide ongoing care for those baboons, as well as the sanctuary’s many monkey residents who were formerly used in research.

Equine Advocates Rescue & Sanctuary

AAVS’s grant to Equine Advocates is to assist in care for the 23 resident equines who were mares or foals from the Premarin industry, which exploits female horses for the production of pharmaceuticals. Since 1996, Equine Advocates has helped rescue thousands of horses, ponies, donkeys and mules from slaughter, abuse, and neglect. At the sanctuary, located in the beautiful Hudson Valley of New York, an Education Center hosts visitors of all ages, who attend seminars, workshops and symposiums on equine issues, care and natural horsemanship.

Chimp Haven

Established in 1995, Chimp Haven serves as the National Chimpanzee Sanctuary, caring for chimps who have been retired from federally funded research programs. Following the announcement by NIH in 2015 that all 100 government-owned chimpanzees would be retired, Chimp Haven has been extremely busy making accommodations for new residents. Among them are seven babies, whom AAVS has pledged to support for life through our Total Lifetime Care (TLC) for Chimps campaign. In addition, AAVS’s BUILD IT! campaign has raised much-needed funds for expansion to accommodate new residents.

Peaceable Primate Sanctuary

Newly opened in 2016, Peaceable Primate Sanctuary is the first facility in North America built to provide an enriching and stimulating permanent home for baboons retired from research, and rescued from the pet and entertainment industries. The first residents arrived at the Indiana sanctuary in May 2016, and they are now accepting macaques as well, due to the demand for space. AAVS was more than happy to assist Peaceable Primate Sanctuary with a grant for operational costs.

Project Chimps

Project Chimps was founded in 2014 to take in and care for privately-owned chimps used in biomedical research. They negotiated the release of chimpanzees from the New Iberia Research Center in Louisiana, and will provide them with appropriate lifetime care. Through sponsorship of transportation to the sanctuary, AAVS has ensured that all those chimps will arrive safely at Project Chimps in Georgia. A second grant funded an expansion of natural habitat.


This brand new sanctuary will help meet the increasing demand for retirement space for monkeys formerly in labs. New construction will accommodate 20 new residents; experienced caregivers are ready to serve.

Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries

Formed in 2007 with the guidance and aid of several globally recognized leaders in the field of animal advocacy, including AAVS, the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) serves to ‘help sanctuaries help animals.’ GFAS provides standards developed by experts and onsite operations reviews in order to help sanctuaries provide the best care for animals. GFAS is called on when sanctuaries are in crisis or transition, utilizing its network and resources to ensure that animals are safe, secure and well cared for.

American Sanctuary Association

ASA provides support to sanctuaries, creating a network of those that meet its criteria. It also facilitates placements for animals, directing interested parties to sanctuaries that might be able to intake animals, and helps negotiate funding and other conditions of transfer. In many cases, without help from ASA, some research entities simply would not even try to place animals, since they are not necessarily willing or able to research appropriate facilities on their own. ASA is all-volunteer and AAVS’s grant will help with expenses.