Here at The Open Sanctuary Project, our mission is to provide responsible resources to help compassionate people worldwide give the best care possible to exploited animals. We understand that creating sanctuary for animals (especially farmed animals) can look as diverse as the individuals taking on this important work, in terms of shelter design, policies, populations, volunteer programs, Philosophy of Care, and in countless other ways.
Although we recognize and respect that some may have their own viewpoints when it comes to certain decisions, there are some specific, careful instances in resources where we may state that a practice or policy is unacceptable. We do not use this word frivolously.
For us, unacceptable means that we cannot condone (or condone through omission) a certain practice or policy. Please know that we are not attempting to pass judgement upon people or organizations who fail to meet our recommendations (nor are we a governing body for animal sanctuaries); we understand that every individual or sanctuary has their own set of unique challenges and are always working to grow and be better for the animals. We do, however, strongly advise that sanctuaries and caregivers take heed when we use this word! We reserve it for situations where, through a great deal of research and discussion with sanctuary, veterinary, or nonprofit experts, we have determined that not addressing this point would pose a serious risk to a resident, a herd, the public, or potentially to your organization as a whole. We also use it in instances where a sanctuary may be incidentally promoting the continued exploitation of a species. If your organization fails to meet this stated practice, we ask that you please do your best to prioritize improving upon the standard when feasible.
If you believe that we have used unacceptable incorrectly by our own definition in a certain resource, please get in touch with us and we’d be happy to review our usage or have a discussion as to our reasoning for that particular instance!