The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS), which was established in 2007,  is the only globally recognized organization providing standards for identifying legitimate animal sanctuaries.  Recently, it awarded Accredited status to The Donkey Sanctuary of Canada (DSC). The DSC is the first equine sanctuary in Canada to receive this Accreditation.

The GFAS standards have been put into place in order to identify the principles of true sanctuaries: ones that provide excellent and humane care for their animals in a non-exploitative environment and having ethical principles in place regarding tours, commercial trade, exhibition, acquisition and disposition, and breeding.  While a sanctuary can received Verification of their operation according to those principles, Accreditation status requires that operations  meet GFAS Standards of Excellence as well.

The process of accreditation by GFAS is lengthy and detailed. Comprehensive documents are required to be submitted  in the areas of Animal Care and Housing, Staffing, Safety and Security, Governance and Finance, and Policies. Thereafter, a site visit by a GFAS representative takes place.  Attention is given to every aspect of  operations, both in the present and as planned for the future. Further, Standards of excellence have been developed by the GFAS for the care, treatment and management of particular animal groups. The DSC’s work was assessed according to those criteria established for equine care.  This Accreditation will be revisited every three years.

Currently, there are 157 groups in 15 countries that have been assessed by the GFAS.  It is an affirmation of the high quality of our work that DSC operations and structure have been found to deserve Accreditation.

Sandra Pady, Founder






  1. Congratulations Sandra. Very well deserved. I am so happy for you, staff & volunteers & let’s not forget the donkeys & other animals in care.

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