To steal a phrase from our friend Allison, it’s getting back to boring around here. A good kind of boring. So, while there’s a lull, here’s some nice catch-up news I’ve been collecting for a few weeks. First, I’m pleased to share that we have been formally accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS). People are sometimes surprised to learn that there are very few formal regulations on sanctuaries. It varies state by state, but here in Washington there is almost nothing in the state code specific to a facility like ours. CSNW is regulated on the federal level by the Animal Welfare Act (under the USDA), but not all sanctuaries fall under these regulations either (depending both on state requirements and on activities the facility undertakes). The lack of uniform governmental regulation makes organizations like GFAS even more important, because they set standards we all agree to follow. Not only is this important in ensuring that chimpanzee sanctuaries are providing top-notch care, but it also provides an additional layer of transparency to donors and supporters looking to make sure that their support goes to true sanctuaries.
We also got news that CSNW is part of a group selected by the Secretary of Agriculture to receive the 64th annual Secretary’s Honors award (the highest honor bestowed by the Secretary) for our work to help resolve the situation at Wild Animal Orphanage (WAO) last year. WAO went bankrupt and was forced to close after many years in operation. A professional working group formed and quickly moved to place hundreds of animals, including 17 chimpanzees. Thankfully, fellow North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance (NAPSA) members Save the Chimps and Chimp Haven were able to take these chimpanzees in.
CSNW is the smallest of the NAPSA sanctuaries, so we aren’t generally in the position to be able to directly rescue chimpanzees in need. But we work hard with our colleagues in the professional sanctuary community to support and facilitate rescues whenever we can. So in one final bit of news, I’m thrilled to say that my friend CJ chimpanzee, who I met years ago in Las Vegas, has landed herself a permanent home at Chimps Inc in Bend, Oregon. Read the full story here. I had hoped to be there when she arrived, because our annual NAPSA meeting was occurring at the same time. But the fire got in the way of my plans. I will go see her just as soon as I can, and look forward to seeing my other chimpanzee friends there as well, like Emma and Jackson, who I first met in Texas in 2006.