Assisting Animals in Sanctuaries

The NAVS Sanctuary Fund

The NAVS Sanctuary Fund is an emergency relief program designed to assist animal sanctuaries—helping animals facing dire situations when immediate intervention is necessary.

Since it was established in 1998, the NAVS Sanctuary Fund has awarded over a million dollars assisting animal sanctuaries, shelters and rescue organizations in desperate need of financial support. 

NAVS Sanctuary Fund grants have provided much-needed assistance to rescue animals from abusive and hoarding situations; transport animals retired from biomedical research; help rebuild shelters destroyed in hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and other natural or man-made disasters; conduct wildlife rehabilitation efforts; and support innovative spay/neuter programs.  

Notably, the NAVS Sanctuary Fund proudly provided a critical grant to Chimp Haven which helped them qualify to become the National Sanctuary for retired research chimpanzees. 

Where or when the next need will to assist an animal sanctuary will occur can rarely be predicted. We only know with certainty that NAVS’ help will be needed. The NAVS Sanctuary Fund provides a direct connection–a lifeline–between compassionate individuals and reputable animal sanctuaries and shelters across the United States.  

Through the NAVS Sanctuary Fund, we are able to provide the resources immediately necessary to finance a rescue effort without having to waste the time and expense of sending out an appeal to our supporters before help can arrive.

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Sanctuary Fund Success Stories

The NAVS Sanctuary Fund allows animal sanctuaries and shelters to continue their important work on behalf of animals in need by helping defray costs from unforeseen damages or overwhelming veterinary costs. This, in turn, ensures permanent, lifetime care for animals in need–just when they need it the most. 

The NAVS Sanctuary Fund means a new home, new hope and a new chance at life. 


When Hurricane Irma was predicted to hit most of Florida, Jungle Friends Primate Sanctuary in Gainesville, Florida began the process of ensuring all its residents were “hunkering down” for the weather. Thankfully, all residents (both human and non-human) were unharmed; however, the primate habitats and roads were damaged, with several trees on site being upended in the high winds. A NAVS Sanctuary Fund grant is assisting Jungle Friends with repairs, as well as improvements that will prepare the sanctuary for storms in the future.


Rowdy Girl Sanctuary in Angleton, Texas was right in the path of Category 4 Hurricane Harvey. Home to cows, chickens, horses, dogs and turkeys, each of the 96 animals at Rowdy Girl were safe thanks to quick action from staff and volunteers who helped by providing temporary homes and transportation. As the waters subside, a NAVS Sanctuary Fund grant is helping Rowdy Girl recover and rebuild.

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When the New York Blood Center abandoned over 60 chimps they had been using for research in Liberia, a coalition of animal groups – including NAVS, through our Sanctuary Fund program – stepped in to provide for the immediate needs of these animals.

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When 31 pigs were released from a San Francisco Bay-area laboratory, two sanctuaries stepped in to make sure every pig received the medical care and emotional enrichment they needed and deserved. A NAVS Sanctuary Fund grant helped Harvest Home Animal Sanctuary in Stockton, CA, provide medical care for 16 of the pigs for several weeks until they were transferred to their new home. Hayden, the lone male of the group, will remain a permanent resident at Harvest Home.

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The rest of the Bay-area laboratory pigs, including Margie and Geraldine, found their permanent safe haven at New Life Animal Sanctuary in Lake Elsinore, CA. A NAVS Sanctuary Fund grant sponsored the structure of a barn and pasture, dubbed NAVS’ Pig Haven.

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Champ is a two-year-old Chihuahua who was thrown from a car window and hit by an oncoming car, resulting in a broken femur. A Good Samaritan brought Champ to Four Paws Coonhound Rescue, where they treated Champ’s wounds and brought him back to health, thanks to a grant from the NAVS Sanctuary Fund. Champ is currently on the mend and waiting for his forever home.

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Regi is a rhesus macaque who was subjected to invasive neuroscience experiments before finding permanent sanctuary at Mindy’s Memory Primate Sanctuary in Newcastle, OK. Despite a life spent inside laboratory cages, Regi is loving and nurturing to his enclosure mate Lucy. A NAVS Sanctuary Fund grant will help Mindy’s Memory prepare for the cold winter months.

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North Star Animal Rescue (NSAR) – the only San Francisco Bay-area organization dedicated to the welfare of companion rodents – recently took in hundreds of owner-surrendered rats. With a NAVS Sanctuary Fund grant, NSAR provided these rats with clean habitats, proper nutrition, and medical treatment. While many of these rescued rats have already been adopted from NSAR, many more await their forever home.

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Lisa was used for invasive research before retiring to her permanent sanctuary at Primarily Primates in San Antonio, TX. When it was discovered that Lisa had a complicated uterine tumor, a NAVS Sanctuary Fund grant purchased equipment that would greatly reduce the difficulty of Lisa’s emergency hysterectomy.