The visit came on the heels of the GFAS annual meeting at the Save the Chimps Sanctuary in St. Lucie County. The GFAS, which is based in Washington, D.C., is the official sanctioning organization for animal sanctuaries nationally and globally. Randy Kinder, President of ERAF noted that, “ We are proud to be sanctioned by GFAS. It lets the public know that we adhere to strict guidelines for the care, shelter and policies.
GFAS was founded in 2007 by Adam Roberts who still serves as president. Roberts is also the Sr. Vice President of Born Free USA, a nationally recognized animal rights organization.
Roberts was eager to see the improvements that have been made at the property including a laser smoke detector system and a separate hay storage area that was built with funding from PetSmart Charities. Roberts noted, “ It is so beautiful here and it is great to see the animals living well in these natural living conditions. One of the advantages that ERAF has is that it was built as a sanctuary from the beginning and that makes a real difference”.
Ashley Addeo, barn manager, described each of the horses in her care and told the visitors a little about their background and history. Patty Finch, Executive Director of GFAS, was very impressed with the time and care that is taken with training the horses and making sure that the horses are well matched with adopters. She also noted that ERAF does a great job of focusing on the necessary veterinarian care and also introducing re-feeding diets to the horses. The rescued horses are usually ill and poorly nourished and great care must be taken to give them the proper nutrients with appropriate veterinarian oversight.
Daryl Tropea is the Equine Verification Consultant for GFAS and also a past president of ERAF from 2005- 2010. Tropea commented that, “ ERAF is a great organization and the place looks great and the horses well cared for.”
Guidelines that GFAS uses to determine if a sanctuary meets its criteria include nutrition and the quality of the feed, safety of the turnout area and shelter, protection from external elements, financial transparency of the organization, the board of directors and the knowledge and number of staff.
ERAF is currently located in Palm City on 15 acres with a 20-stall barn located at the Caring Fields Animal Sanctuary, an affiliate of the Pegasus Foundation. However, the property will be sold and ERAF must secure a new permanent sanctuary for the abused, abandoned and neglected horses.
ERAF is the only shelter in the immediate south Florida area for horses whose owners can no longer feed and care for them properly and are willing to surrender them. The non-profit organization receives no government assistance and is dependent on grants and private donations to care for the 16 animals currently being served.
For more information and to support their cause, please visit their website at www.eraf.org, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Randy Kinder at 561-358-0625.
Beverly B Jones
Beverly B Jones