Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries

GFAS Accreditation

Supporting the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries

Recognizing that a key element of any good set of standards is compliance and enforcement, The Homes for Horses Coalition is actively supporting and promoting the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS).  The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) was formed in 2007 by nationally and globally recognized leaders in the animal protection field for the sole purpose of strengthening and supporting the work of animal sanctuaries and rescue facilities in the United States and abroad.With the establishment of clear, specific guidelines on the humane care of various species including equine and the provision of an objective and realistic accreditation process for the field on an international level, GFAS brings new opportunities for global cooperation and mentoring.  GFAS aims to aid sanctuaries and rescues in striving for continuous improvement, in attracting more support from funders, and in providing the best care possible for rescued animals.The AWI/HSUS “Basic Guidelines for Operating an Equine Rescue or Retirement Facility” have been used to shape the GFAS equine standards and The Homes for Horses Coalition will work with its members to encourage and assist them in attaining GFAS accreditation.

Rescue Accreditation/Verification through the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS)
The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) was formed in 2007 by leaders in the animal protection field for the sole purpose of strengthening and supporting the work of animal sanctuaries worldwide. Through a rigorous accreditation process, GFAS identifies sanctuaries and rescue facilities that provide animals with the highest standards of care, by conducting a thorough evaluation of facilities, finances, veterinary care, staffing and much more.

GFAS accreditation helps to professionalize the equine rescue/sanctuary industry and provides credibility for donors, potential adopters and law enforcement agencies who seek reputable organizations. For rescues, the process helps establish better standards, guidelines and record-keeping, and can increase access to grants and other funding.

The following equine rescues are GFAS-accredited:


The following equine rescues are GFAS-verified:

Interested in the verification program?
You must meet the following criteria:

  • Provide humane and responsible care of equines (as confirmed by a site visit).
  • Successfully secure 501c3 non-profit status.
  • No intentional breeding of equines can occur and facilities must employ sound practices to prevent propagation.
  • No commercial trade of horses (except adoptions fees in connection with adoption criteria and contracts, and purchase of
  • animals to avoid slaughter).
  • Facilities are prohibited from making animals available for participation in research studies (unless the studies are strictly
  • observational, non-invasive and clearly in the best interest of each equine).

For accreditation, there are additional criteria to be met in these areas:

  • Governing Authority
  • Finance
  • Guidelines (regarding acquisition, handling, commercial activities and more)
  • Education and Outreach
  • Staffing
  • Physical Facilities
  • Security/Safety
  • Veterinary Medical Program
There is no charge for the initial site visit, nor are there any annual dues. Subsequent site visits for GFAS-accredited/verified facilities are required every three years, and at the three year mark, sanctuaries are asked to cover the direct average cost for a site visit.
To learn more about the application process, visit www.sanctuaryfederation.org.