The American Sanctuary Association Founding Philosophy
Nationally, there are hundreds of animal sanctuaries and shelters, rehabilitation centers and other organizations that assist, rescue, and provide refuge and humane care for animals. Offering an alternative to euthanasia, or a lifetime of suffering, all these groups have one thing in common: They are all struggling each year to accept into their sanctuary thousands of homeless native and non- native wild animals and domestic animals with no place to go. Yet there is no effective information center organized to identify, evaluate, accredit and network these organizations into a working coalition. Organized to provide a more efficient means in which to find and identify quality facilities in which to place homeless abused or abandoned animals, facilitate the exchange of information among animal caregivers, and to create public awareness of this national tragedy, the American Sanctuary Association (ASA) was formed. Sanctuary Definition: Any place of refuge designated as a sanctuary, rehabilitation center, animal shelter or other similarly named organization, in a properly administered environment, where humane and compassionate care is provided to animals. Taxon Advisory Committee (TAC) Definition: A committee of experts responsible for advising on appropriate husbandry for specific groups of animals, the exact extent of these groups to be decided by the board of directors. Animal Definition: The word animals shall be held to mean and include any living non-human creature. Master Plan: Policies and procedures that pertain to the specialized needs of sanctuary animals that will initially be addressed and established by the ASA in the following specific areas of concern, but are not limited to: 1.)Develop and establish an International Information Center to obtain and provide sanctuary information to member organizations which would involve establishing a database that will enable all members to work together cooperatively for the benefit of animals. The initial database will establish, but not be limited to, the following a. Identify appropriate sanctuaries, rehabilitation centers, animal shelters and like organizations, and solicit their input and participation as members. b. Identify areas of expertise, if applicable, in which these organizations excel. c. Identify sanctuaries and organizations that do not wish to participate but indicate a willingness to assist in emergency animal rescue situations. d. Identify non-member organizations who do not wish to participate in any capacity, or who do not meet the ASA's standards and/or policies related to animal care and welfare. e. Identify other organizations which deal with animal care and welfare issues, but do not operate a sanctuary or shelter. 2.)Establish Taxon Advisory Committees (TAC) comprised of individual experts drawn from the membership. These TAC's will be responsible for formulating guidelines and criteria for humane and compassionate care for specific groups of sanctuary animals as well as appropriate procedures for rescue, capture, transportation and, if appropriate, subsequent rehabilitation and release of such animals. 3.)To establish a committee to review grant requests. Member organizations may apply for financial assistance through an ASA committee which will consider financial assistance in emergency rescue cases and for facility construction. 4.)Establish and administer a public educational program to bring national attention to the challenges and problems of concern to animal rescue and sanctuary organizations. 5.)Establish a consolidated national network to assist in introducing legislative restrictions on the importation of exotic animals into the United States, the objective of which is the eventual elimination of such trade. Further, this network will also initiate action to eliminate the commercial use of wild and exotic animals in the pet trade and entertainment industry.