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2023 Sanctuary Grants

Good news! Some animals in labs are being given a second chance. With the help of our members, AAVS provides direct support to care for animals who were once used in science or exploited in other ways.

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

With increased costs impacting all sanctuaries this year, AAVS supplemented each grant with additional funds for veterinary care. We stand with sanctuaries! The following sanctuaries were awarded AAVS grants in 2023:

Center for Great Apes

The Center for Great Apes (CGA) was established in Florida in 1993 to offer permanent haven for orangutans and chimpanzees who have been retired from the entertainment industry and research, as well as those no longer wanted as pets. This year’s grant provides funding for veterinary care, including equipment and training, as well as support for those with special needs such as Mari, an orangutan who lost her arms as an infant but was still used in language and cognition studies at Georgia State University for nearly 20 years before coming to CGA in 2001.

Chimp Haven

Established in 1995, Chimp Haven in Louisiana serves as the National Chimpanzee Sanctuary, caring for chimps who have been retired from federally funded research and other testing facilities. After the National Institutes of Health announced in 2013 that nearly all government-owned chimpanzees would be retired, Chimp Haven has been extremely busy making accommodations for new residents. Annual grants support general operating expenses and help provide veterinary supplies for the sanctuary’s more than 300 chimpanzees, including a group of young chimpanzees who came to the sanctuary as babies and we affectionately call the TLC Chimps.

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. The sanctuary has recently welcomed several former research chimpanzees from the defunct Wildlife Waystation: three chimps in 2019 and six more in 2021. All the chimpanzees 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, two-acre outdoor ‘exploratorium.’ AAVS support helps with ongoing veterinary care and special equipment.

Oklahoma Primate Sanctuary

Originally named Mindy’s Memory Primate Sanctuary in honor of its first rescued resident, this Oklahoma facility’s mission is to provide “exceptional, compassionate, lifetime care for non-human primates.” OPS has taken in some of the neediest cases from labs and neglected pet situations, and remarkably, these primates have recovered physically, emotionally, and socially. The sanctuary residents include more than 100 monkeys, roughly half of whom were formerly used in research. AAVS provides crucial funding for staffing, food, and medical attention to ensure that these monkeys are given the best of care.

Primarily Primates

Texas-based Primarily Primates houses, protects, and rehabilitates various primate species, including dozens of chimpanzees, monkeys, and lemurs. Many of its residents were victims of the pet trade and biomedical research. AAVS provides operating support for chimpanzees who came in 1996 from the Buckshire Corporation, which supplied chimps to labs, and from the Wildlife Waystation in California. Funds are used for these animals’ veterinary care, specialized diet and nutrition management, and social companionship and behavior management with enrichment activities that meet the chimpanzees’ needs.

Project Chimps

Since its founding in 2014, Project Chimps has taken in and cared for more than 100 chimps previously used or held for biomedical research. Its leaders negotiated their release from the New Iberia Research Center (NIRC) and will provide them with lifetime care in indoor-outdoor ‘villas’ organized in large social groups. Our first grant allowed Project Chimps to purchase the customized trailer to transport the chimps from Louisiana to the north Georgia sanctuary. Generous funding from AAVS’s 2023 BUILD IT! campaign will help cover the costs of Project Chimps’ urgent expansion to accommodate nearly 100 more chimpanzees waiting to be transferred from the NIRC.

Equine Advocates

Since 1996, Equine Advocates has helped rescue thousands of horses, ponies, donkeys, and mules from slaughter, abuse, and neglect. Many of its residents are mares or foals from the Premarin industry, which exploits female horses for the production of estrogen replacement drugs. The veterinary care costs at this wonderful sanctuary are significant, due to the challenging situations the animals had to endure before they arrived, and AAVS’s grants go largely toward those expenses.

Save the Chimps

Save the Chimps was initially established in Florida in 1997 to provide sanctuary for 21 chimpanzees retired from use in the Air Force space program. Today it cares for more than 220 chimpanzees rescued from laboratories and other abusive situations, who live in large family groups on 12 unique 3-acre islands. The majority of its resident chimps were used at the notorious Coulston Foundation, a biomedical research laboratory that had a long history violating the Animal Welfare Act. This year’s grant provides general operating funds plus additional money to help with specialized veterinary care for the sanctuary’s aging residents.

Peaceable Primate Sanctuary

Opened in Indiana 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 trade. The sanctuary now accepts macaques as well, due to the demand for space and an increasing number of monkeys being released from labs. This year’s grant will go towards the sanctuary’s general operating costs and veterinary care.

Ryerss Farm for Aged Equines

Pennsylvania's rolling farmland is home to Ryerss, founded in 1888. This 'retirement community' of horses over the age of 20 has enjoyed AAVS support for many years. In addition to caring for horses in need of homes because their guardians have passed away, Ryerss has a long history of rising to the occasion to provide care for horses in crisis. This includes some who had been used in the production of snake anti-venom at a pharmaceutical company; foals from the Premarin industry; and horses who were victims of abuse and neglect and in need emergency housing.

Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary

This primate sanctuary and rehabilitation center has received grants from AAVS to provide continued support for the care of monkeys who were once used in laboratories. Located in Florida, the sanctuary is unique in specializing in care of new world monkeys, including marmosets, a small, tree dwelling primate native to South America. Because of their special needs, marmosets usually do poorly in captivity (which is one of the reasons they have no place in labs), but Jungle Friends has had success in giving them what they need to be happy and healthy. This year’s grant will help the sanctuary build more hurricane-safe housing and provide additional veterinary technician training.

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 175-acre sanctuary in south Texas is home to more than 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, roadside zoos, and the pet trade.

Primates Incorporated

Founded in 2004 in Wisconsin by a former laboratory worker, Primates, Incorporated helps meet the increasing demand for retirement space for monkeys released from labs. The sanctuary currently cares for a dozen Old World monkeys, mostly macaques, and urgently needs to expand to be able to accept more than two dozen more monkeys currently on a waiting list for care. Because it's a small sanctuary, this year's AAVS grant is designated for general operating costs, such as food, enrichment, veterinary care, and staffing.

Wildlife Rescue & Rehabilitation

Located in Texas, Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation is home to about 600 animals, including macaque monkeys who have been retired from research. In the past, AAVS funding was used to build various enrichment structures that encourage natural primate behaviors like climbing and foraging, as well as places to lounge with friends. This year’s grant will go toward ongoing enrichment programs as well as the sanctuary’s nutrition program and funds for critical medications.

Primate Rescue Center

Located in Kentucky, the 30-acre Primate Rescue Center is home to eight chimpanzees and nearly 40 monkeys from 10 different species formerly used in research, the pet trade, or rescued from other abusive situations. The center provides outdoor enclosures and species-appropriate enrichment, and works to coordinate placement of monkeys in need of permanent care. AAVS’s grant will be used to cover operational costs and specialized veterinary support for the residents, especially the young adult chimps who will need many more years of care.

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 sets accreditation standards developed by experts and onsite operations reviews in order to help sanctuaries provide the best care for animals. The organization is also 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.

North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance

NAPSA was founded in 2010 by the directors of seven of the leading North American chimpanzee sanctuaries to share information, experience, policies, and procedures in an effort to increase the success of each member sanctuary. It also serves as a central point of contact and expertise for issues relating to captive primates. For example, when the Wildlife Waystation facility closed in 2019, NAPSA stepped up to successfully coordinate the three-year campaign for placement of all of the chimpanzees, in order to ensure appropriate forever homes. AAVS’s 2023 grant will help the organization with general operating expenses related to ongoing demands for primate care.

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