At Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest, Jody wanders through the field, snacking on wild flowers. The Chimpanzee Sanctuary Fund provides chimps with a life more aligned with their natural setting, including freedom to play, choice, and social interaction. Courtesy photo
SANTA FE ― New Mexico Community Foundation’s Chimpanzee Sanctuary Fund, a fundraising effort by Animal Protection of New Mexico (APNM) and The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), announces its first grants to help more chimpanzees from labs reach sanctuary.
Chimp Haven, located in Keithville, L.A., and Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest, in Cle Elum, Wash., will be the first of many grants awarded by the Chimpanzee Sanctuary Fund in 2016 and beyond.
“New Mexicans have helped protect chimps here and all across the country from cruel, ineffective invasive testing. Our first grants from the Chimp Fund will help New Mexico chimps currently held in Texas get out of labs and into sanctuary,” said Laura Bonar, chief program and policy officer for APNM.
In addition to awarding these grants, APNM also hosted a Chimpanzee Freedom Party March 26, to celebrate the positive changes for chimpanzees and raise additional funds to help with the costs of transporting and caring for the chimps in sanctuary.
“For decades, people bred and held hundreds of chimpanzees in laboratory settings for use in invasive research that is recognized as unethical and unnecessary for human health. We are excited to be part of this effort that will help chimpanzees in labs reach sanctuary. It’s the least we owe them,” said Kathleen Conlee, vice president of animal research issues for The HSUS.
The Chimpanzee Sanctuary Fund has granted $85,500 to Chimp Haven for the care of government owned chimpanzees who are the next in line to be retired to sanctuary. In collaboration with Texas Biomedical Research Institute, 19 government-owned chimps will move to Chimp Haven in spring of 2016.
“Chimp Haven has doubled in size in recent years and we are committed to continuing to grow to make a place for chimps retired from research. At Chimp Haven, many of them will have the opportunity to enjoy spacious, multi-acre habitats and other large enclosures, climb trees and live in large and complex social groups,” said Cathy Spraetz, president and CEO of Chimp Haven.
The Chimpanzee Sanctuary Fund has issued a $50,000 challenge grant to Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest for the expansion of their sanctuary. Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest will grow their facility to take in more chimps in 2017.
“We are thrilled to receive this challenge grant as we work to expand our sanctuary and provide hope, love, and home to more chimpanzees in need,” said Diana Goodrich, Co-Director of Chimpanzee Sanctuary Northwest, located in Washington.
The Chimpanzee Sanctuary Fund has to date raised more than $500,000 from donors, including seed money from Arcus Foundation, and is seeking to raise more funds to help the hundreds of chimps still held in labs. An expert group of advisors review grants submitted by sanctuaries up to three times a year to determine how funds will be spent.
“Chimpanzees, like all creatures, deserve peace and security. This important positive change of moving surviving chimps from labs to sanctuary is desperately needed and we’re thrilled to be a part of making this happen,” said Linda Milbourn, grants and fiscal sponsorship director for New Mexico Community Foundation.
In late 2015, the National Institutes of Health announced it would release all remaining chimpanzees in labs and research faculties to sanctuaries. The cost of caring for a chimpanzee in sanctuary averages about $15,000 a year. The Chimpanzee Sanctuary Fund provides financial support in order to help these chimps live out their lives with the peace and dignity they deserve. For more information on the Chimpanzee Sanctuary Fund, visit here.