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Sanctuary Support

Animals who have been used and abused in laboratories need and deserve loving care, and AAVS has been contributing to that care for over 40 years. Through AAVS’s Sanctuary Fund, donors can support one of our most rewarding programs, providing grants to sanctuaries caring for animals who are no longer used in biomedical research and testing and have been released from labs. Plus, 100% of your donation will go towards helping these animals recover and heal in peace.

Animals retired to sanctuaries can now 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.

AAVS has been supporting sanctuaries caring for animals released from laboratories since 1983. Thanks to our generous supporters, AAVS has awarded over $4 million to worthy sanctuaries!

Click here to contribute to the care of animals in sanctuaries

View the sanctuaries supported in 2023:

Meet some of the residents that AAVS helps support:


Chimp Haven, LA

InkyLife for Inky started at New York’s Laboratory for Experimental Medicine and Surgery in Primates, known for its invasive research and studies on hepatitis B and HIV. After this facility closed, several chimpanzees were transferred to another notorious lab in New Mexico, but Inky and her family landed at a now-defunct wild animal facility in southern California, where they lived in enclosures with chain-link fencing and concrete floors and were increasingly under threat of wildlife fires.

Inky started a whole new life when she arrived at the Chimp Haven sanctuary in the fall of 2022. Although she didn’t have many opportunities to make choices for herself in California, at Chimp Haven Inky can do as she pleases, including exploring her spacious forested enclosure and relaxing at its waterfront, beach towel in tow and ready for a nap! Inky is a social butterfly who loves spending time with her friends and enjoys a good belly scratch, simple pleasures like sipping water from a hose, and making kissy faces to get her caregivers’ attention.

Specifically designed to meet the social, psychological, and physical needs of chimpanzees, Chimp Haven is able to provide the closest possible experience to life in the wild. Finally, Inky is getting to live the chimp life!


Primates Incorporated, WI

Mars“Companionship has brought a quality of life to Mars...that even the best caregiving practices couldn’t match,” shared a primatologist at Primates Incorporated. Mars was singly housed at a lab, which is perhaps the greatest cruelty for social animals like primates. Not only has he suffered from loneliness, but it’s been hard for him to trust and develop relationships. However, thanks to Timon’s gentle nature, the two have become friends!

Mars is a male rhesus macaque and was one of the first residents welcomed by Primates Incorporated. He is a food enthusiast who loves to forage, especially for figs and dried mango, foods he probably didn’t get while at the lab. Despite his painful past and the suffering he endured at the hands of humans, Mars’ caregivers say he has a very sweet and silly nature and will often greet them while looking upside down from between his legs.

Mars is also the dominant monkey in his small family and enjoys keeping an eye on and communicating with all of the monkey sanctuary residents, which is pretty amazing considering he did not grow up in a social group as he would have in the wild. Mars is an example of how sanctuaries can provide the proper care and living environments to help animals heal from their painful past and thrive for a promising future.


Equine Advocates, NY

AnnieAnnie is a happy Belgian Draft horse who lives at Equine Advocates, a longtime recipient of AAVS Sanctuary Grants. She was pregnant with Connor (who also lives at the sanctuary) when she and more than 40 other PMU horses were rescued from slaughter by Equine Advocates in Canada between 2003 and 2004. PMU (Pregnant Mare Urine) is used to make hormone-replacement drugs and is part of an industry that puts profits over compassion, despite the availability of alternative treatments that don’t harm horses.

Notice the number on Annie’s back? At the PMU farm, Annie had no name; she was known only by her stall number, 157, which was freeze-branded on her back. She was impregnated multiple times to ensure her urine was concentrated with estrogens and lived for months at a time confined in a small stall, attached to tubes collecting her urine. On PMU farms, most foals are considered unwanted byproducts and are often sold for slaughter, but Annie was able to raise her baby, Connor.

Now Annie spends her days doing as she pleases, sharing a pasture with other rescued PMU mares, plus Mark, a former Philadelphia carriage horse. They live in a section of the sanctuary called “Field of Dreams.” Considering the suffering she endured in her past, it’s certainly a fitting place for Annie to enjoy life in sanctuary.

View a complete list of sanctuaries that received grants from AAVS in 2023.

Support the Sanctuary Fund with a donation.

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