is striving to form an alliance of all organizations that can
contribute a vital service to thousands of unwanted animals,
many of whom are killed unnecessarily because of a lack of communication,
cooperation and working in unification to assist these animals.
Therefore the ASA will avoid inadvertently alienating those that
can participate by allowing case by case evaluations instead
of creating unconditional statements in our policies and guidelines.
The ASA realizes that there is NO EASY way of separating the
organizations that truly exist to help animals, from those that
are using animals for personal or commercial gain. The ASA will
make an exceptional effort to impartially evaluate individual
cases to avoid unfairly denying membership to any organization.
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1. No Breeding.
2. No use of animals for any commercial activity that is exploitive
in nature. Commercial activities are defined as follows:
• Allowing free roaming public access to the animals or the
• Using sanctuary animals for exhibition
• Using sanctuary animals for entertainment.
• Buying, selling, trading or auctioning animals or their
• Any other activity inconsistent with the humane care and
welfare of sanctuary animals.
3. Sanctuaries will obtain and maintain federal non-profit tax
exempt status at all times.
4. Sanctuaries will obtain and maintain all permits and licenses
required under city, county, state, federal, and international
laws and statutes.
5. Sanctuaries will obtain and maintain individual organizational
policies that will outline and provide acceptable responsibility
for the lifetime care and welfare of animals in their custody,
or if the animal can be rehabilitated, until they are released
in the wild.
6. Sanctuaries will establish and maintain an emergency plan for
animal escapes, fire, flood or other catastrophes.
7. Sanctuaries will provide proper veterinary care for all animals
in which they are responsible.
8. Sanctuaries will establish and maintain a humane euthanasia
policy for animals who are severely injured, terminally ill or
suffering. This program will be under the supervision of a licensed
9. Accreditation and membership in ASA will be granted by the
Board of Directors after approval and acceptance of the sanctuary
accreditation application and a site visit from a member of ASA's
Board of Directors or other individual authorized by the Board.
A nonrefundable application fee of $50.00 must accompany the application
10. Upon acceptance, the application fee of $50.00 will be applied
to the first annual
membership fee of $150.00. The balance of $100.00 will be due and
payable to the American Sanctuary Association at the time of acceptance.
An annual fee of $150.00 will be required thereafter for membership.
Membership fees are nonrefundable.
11. A person with authority to act on behalf of the applicant
sanctuary will complete the sanctuary accreditation application
in full before any evaluation and acceptance will be considered.
12. All sanctuaries accepted for membership in ASA agree to work
cooperatively with other approved sanctuaries. Any problems, disagreements
or grievances will be presented to the ASA Board of Directors.
All approved sanctuaries agree not to initiate or distribute misinformation
or rumors that will cause harm to another sanctuary that is affiliated
14. Additions, deletions and changes to policies may be requested
by member sanctuaries through the Board of Directors. The Board
of Directors is authorized to add, delete or change these policies
by a majority vote.
15. All member organizations agree to help recruit other new member
1. Exception to the no breeding clause: Occasionally a sanctuary
may be involved in an approved USDI endangered species survival
program. A case by case evaluation will enable ASA to accept those
that are breeding for the right reasons and eliminate those that
are concealing their commercial purpose. In most cases a viable
plan for wild release will be required for ASA approval of the
2. Exception to no commercial
activity, allowing free roaming public access to resident animals: Some zoological facilities assist in
the rescue and placement of unwanted animals. A case by case evaluation
will allow ASA to accept those that can be a valuable asset and
eliminate those that are involved in the surplus breeding and trade
in animals. This exception shall not be construed to apply to facilities
commonly referred to as "roadside zoos," or "roadside
attractions." These facilities generally breed, sell or trade
animals, or use them commercially, and their facilities are usually
3. Exception to utilizing sanctuary animals
for exhibition clause: There are many sanctuaries that are licensed by the USDA that give
excellent guided educational presentations to schools and the general
public, emphasizing the injustices of keeping wild and exotic animals
as "pets." A case by case evaluation will allow the
ASA to accept these worthwhile organizations and eliminate those
that use animals for commercial purposes. Additional housing requirements
may be required that includes enclosure design that allows animals
to go "off exhibit" by providing unimpeded access to
a privacy area.
ASA is striving to form an alliance of all organizations that
can contribute a vital service to thousands of homeless animals,
many of whom are killed unnecessarily. We believe that more animals
can be saved by improving communication and cooperation among rescue
groups and sanctuaries. ASA realizes that there are dozens of acceptable
ways to provide high quality housing and care for animals. ASA
therefore pledges to make a considerable effort to impartially
evaluate individual cases to avoid unfairly denying membership
to any organization.