For some people, an animal care sanctuary and an animal shelter are just the same. However, myths like this need to be corrected. Both of them do exist for a similar purpose which is to help animals, but what many people fail to realize is that a shelter also is distinctly different from an animal sanctuary.
What is the difference between an animal shelter and an animal sanctuary?
Think of an animal care sanctuary as a place of refuge for animals who have been injured, abandoned, orphaned, abused, or neglected. For these poor creatures, an animal sanctuary may be the last and only place where they can live in dignity and peace, protected from abuse, fed properly, and taken care of. A lot of animals from diverse backgrounds end up in sanctuaries. We often see animals taken in from medical research facilities, zoos, circuses, and the pet markets.
An animal shelter, on the other hand, acts more like a temporary place where lost, stray, abandoned, or surrendered animals are taken in, rehabilitated when applicable, and taken care of until the time when they are adopted or are able to be released back into the wild. An animal shelter can be for pets like dogs and cats, or for wildlife like monkeys, eagles, and wild cats.
Where do they get the funds to keep operating like they do?
Another common misconception that needs to go away is that the government provides funding for animal shelters and sanctuaries using taxpayer money, plus whatever donations these establishments receive from generous donors. While this might be true but it remains to be seen.
If the shelter or sanctuary in question is run by a government agency or municipality or has a deal with them, it’s entirely possible that the place is funded by taxpayers. However, for the most part, an animal shelter non profit organization or sanctuary does not receive any funding at all from the government. In order to keep on operating, they rely on donations which come in several forms, such as annual or monthly donations, fundraisers, crowdfunding, and grants.
What are animal charity evaluators?
Animal Charity Evaluators (ACE) is actually a 501c3 non-profit organization that aims to discover and promote the most effective ways of helping animals. Most of their work involves finding the best, most effective methods of improving animals’ lives, alleviating their suffering, and helping donors and volunteers (among others) make informed decisions about how to help animals.
They do a lot of research and provide recommendations based on their findings regarding careers in animal care, charities, volunteering, and advocacies. For those who are concerned about whether or not their animal shelter donations are being used properly, this is a good place to start.
Juliana’s Animal Sanctuary (https://julianasanimalsanctuary.org/ ) in Colombia is one of the animal sanctuaries that deserve whatever help they can get. It was founded back in 2006, has rescued and rehabilitated more than 700 animals since then, and is currently the only animal care sanctuary in the whole country.