Assisting Animals in Sanctuaries

The NAVS Animal Sanctuary Assistance Program

Providing vital assistance to sanctuaries, shelters and rescues to rescue, rehome and care for animals who are retired from research or facing other emergency needs.

Since 1998, NAVS has provided millions of dollars to help thousands of animals at hundreds of sanctuaries across the United States.

Over the years, we have responded to natural disasters and provided urgent medical care for animals in response to emergency requests from sanctuaries and shelters. Most importantly, we have been there to help these sanctuaries receive and care for animals coming out of medical research laboratories.

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

With more and more animals now being released and removed from research labs—due in no small part to the growing number of post-research adoption laws being passed around the country—the need to rehome and care for these animals has never been greater.

Through the NAVS Animal Sanctuary Assistance Program, 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.

The NAVS Animal Sanctuary Assistance Program provides a direct connection–a lifeline–between compassionate individuals and reputable animal sanctuaries and shelters across the United States.

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Sanctuary Success Stories

The NAVS Animal Sanctuary Assistance Program allows animal sanctuaries and shelters to continue their important work on behalf of animals by helping defray the high costs associated with the transition and ongoing care of their new residents, as well as with unforeseen financial emergencies. This, in turn, ensures permanent, lifetime homes for animals in need.

The NAVS Animal Sanctuary Assistance Program means a new home, new hope and a new chance at life.


Cochise Canine Rescue in Pomerene, AZ, saves older, special needs, and other “unadoptable” dogs from being euthanized. So, when they reached out to us for assistance with a senior Chihuahua named Princess, we of course said yes. A NAVS Sanctuary Fund grant provided much-needed assistance with medical bills for Princess’ emergency eye enucleation surgery. Though she can’t see for herself how well she’s doing, our friends at CCR tell us Princess is now living like royalty.

In October 2019, NAVS provided a Sanctuary Fund grant to help build new enclosures for our friends at Primates Incorporated in Westfield, WI and its residents, most of whom are monkeys who have been “retired” from research laboratories across the country. After two long years of construction, the primates have made it into their new greenhouse enclosures! These enclosures are so important because they give the monkeys at Primates, Inc. a safe space that can be as much as 20 degrees warmer than being outside on those cold Wisconsin days. The monkeys are loving their new living quarters—and they have you to thank for them!


For many years, we have helped the Ramapo-Bergen Animal Rescue care for a litany of injured animals. When the rescue reached out to NAVS about a rescue kitten named Astrid, we immediately offered our assistance. A NAVS Sanctuary Fund grant covered some of the medical and surgical costs associated with a procedure Astrid desperately needed to live a more normal life.

Zeus and Titan

Our friends at A Pathway to Hope, an all-volunteer foster-based rescue located in New Jersey, recently took on two kittens, Zeus and Titan, who were found as strays. The kittens needed medical care, so the NAVS Sanctuary Fund “lent a paw” to help these two adorable kittens who were battling a highly contagious viral disease, known as panleukopenia. They are now both recovering nicely in a loving foster home and are waiting to find their forever homes!


In the summer of 2021, NAVS assisted Born Free USA with the rescue of Picassa, a 42-year-old baboon who was previously used in research and who had been previously residing at Wildlife Waystation, a southern California sanctuary that is in the process of winding down its operations. Thanks to your support of the NAVS Sanctuary Fund, Picassa has settled into her new home at Born Free USA. She has already begun engaging with her new surroundings and becoming friends with the other residents.

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Over the years, we have developed a tremendous partnership with our friends at Chimp Haven, including providing the initial funding that helped in its founding decades ago. Recently, after the sanctuary Wildlife Waystation was forced to close, we stepped in and provided a grant to help with transportation of the animals to their new home at Chimp Haven. (Pictured: Chimp Haven resident Valentina Rose gives a ride to a friend in need.)


Kauai SPCA reached out about a dog named Magnolia, a second chance rescue, who needed medical assistance after being struck by a car—and a NAVS Sanctuary Fund grant helped with the emergency medical care she needed. We are pleased to report that she is fully healed and has found her forever home that has given her a great backyard to play in.


When Peaceable Primates, a sanctuary that specializes in rescuing baboons from research and the pet and entertainment industry in nearby Indiana, asked for our help in building outdoor areas for 14 new macaque residents (including Marduk, pictured), we gladly stepped in. The new outdoor areas are now complete, and the new residents are enjoying their new home.


When a catastrophic power failure across the state of Texas in early 2021 threatened the animals at Primarily Primates, an emergency appeal to NAVS supporters made all the difference. You helped us send $20,000 for the emergency rescue and aid of the animals (such as Effie, pictured) whose lives were endangered by the crisis. Your generosity helped Primarily Primates purchase equipment, provisions and other tools needed to ensure the safety and care of the animals whose lives were on the line.


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.