About American Sanctuary Association (ASA)

The ASA Headquarters performs administrative tasks only.  They do not house or take in animals.

Mission Statement

ASA recognizes that there are countless abandoned, abused and neglected animals in the world today. The ASA exists to assure the humane and compassionate care for these animals by setting standards for their care, accrediting sanctuaries that meet these standards, networking with member sanctuaries, assisting in the rescue and placement of homeless animals, supporting legislation that protects animals, educating the public, and reaching out to other segments of the rescue community.


Founding Philosophy

Nationally, there are hundreds of animal sanctuaries and rehabilitation centers 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, American Sanctuary Association (ASA) was formed.

Letter from the President

The American Sanctuary Association (ASA) is a 501 (c) (3), non-profit accrediting organization for nonprofit organizations that provide sanctuary for homeless, abandoned and abused domestic and wild animals. Similar to the American Zoological Association, which provides accreditation to zoos, ASA certifies sanctuaries that provide high quality animal care and housing.

ASA offers participating organizations the opportunity to be accredited by members of their own peer group. Accredited members are also linked to a sanctuary network that allows them to share information relating to sanctuary operations and the latest in animal care and housing. This network also assists in finding sanctuary placement for animals who need help.

This is your opportunity to join a unique group of organizations dedicated to providing lifetime humane care for animals in need, and to help create policies for all member organizations of ASA. Enclosed you will find additional materials that explains more about our mission. If you believe your animal care and handling policies meet our guidelines, we invite you to apply for accreditation now. All application information submitted to ASA, and any resulting site visit, is always kept confidential.

This is a unique period in the history of the sanctuary movement. Building on the need to differentiate between true sanctuaries that do not breed, buy, sell, trade or use animals commercially, from those that exploit animals, it is important that the public knows where you stand. Foundations and other grantors often look to us for certification that you meet these standards.

For those of us who humanely and compassionately care for animals, ASA promises to strive to be the most comprehensive accrediting organization in America. Six of our seven member board of directors are themselves sanctuary directors. Combined, they have over 140 years of sanctuary experience and house nearly 2,000 animals. Now is the time for you and your organization to join with us. We encourage you to submit your Sanctuary Accreditation Application now. If you feel that you need additional information, please contact us with your questions.

I hope to hear from you soon.

Most sincerely,


Tippi Hedren
American Sanctuary Association

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