Finding Sanctuary
Animal Stories from


Ellie Hurley, Finding Sanctuary
March 2017

The mission is simple: to bring attention to animal sanctuaries and the people who run them.

Finding Love.
Fnding Peace.
Finding Sanctuary.

A Word from the Founder

I was first exposed to animal sanctuaries after going vegan in 2015. A lifelong lover of animals, I soon realized that I wanted to become involved at a larger level. I used my passion for storytelling to create Finding Sanctuary, a hub for rescue stories and the organizations behind them. I've since has the opportunity to visit many incredible sanctuaries and see firsthand the work they do.

Finding Sanctuary was founded in the summer of 2016, and since that time, we've grown into a larger network of folks associated with sanctuaries at all levels. The mission was simple: to bring attention to animal sanctuaries and the people who run them. We have a two-pronged approach: telling rescue stories and profiling sanctuaries themselves. Additionally, we feature the most comprehensive list of sanctuaries in the US, the only interactive map of sanctuaries, and the biggest list of resources for sanctuaries. ​

Our Mission

Every animal has a story, and Finding Sanctuary is on a misson to bring those stories to light.

Animal sanctuaries are places where animals are brought to live with love and protection for the rest of their lives. Many animals at sanctuaries come from abusive situations, while others are elderly or sick and simply need a peaceful place to live out the remainder of their days. Finding Sanctuary is on a mission to connect animal sanctuaries with volunteers, assistance, community, and publicity. Need help? Want to get involved? Don't wait - take action today!

VOLUNTEERS - Here you'll find images of sanctuary animals, information about their stories, and resources to help you get involved with animal sanctuaries in your area.

SANCTUARIES - If you're a sanctuary owner, you'll find helpful resources and ways to get involved with the Finding Sanctuary network.

Finding Sanctuary Network

We know that running a sanctuary is a 24-7 job, so we host the Finding Sanctuary Network. The Finding Sanctuary Network is made up of sanctuaries around the country that want to be part of a larger group of like-minded people. Need advice? Need friends to commiserate with? Want to share a helpful experience? Connect with us, follow us on social media, and check out some of our featured sanctuaries.

In addition to those awesome benefits, your free membership in the Finding Sanctuary Network entitles you to the awesome items below.

About Pseudo-Sanctuaries

There are countless amazing sanctuaries around the world, but there are also some "pseudo-sanctuaries" that rely on donations from unsuspecting animal lovers and treat animals poorly. According to PETA:

"Nonprofit 501(c)(3) status is no indication of whether a facility is truly a sanctuary or not. Some substandard facilities are run by well-meaning individuals who take in more animals than they have space or funding to provide for. If animals lack adequate care because of mismanagement or unrealistic goals, additional funding is not likely to correct the situation."

Pseudo-sanctuaries are a concern for potential volunteers, because we don't want to give our support (financial or otherwise) to organizations that neglect or mistreat their animals. Some questions to ask yourself before volunteering are:

  • Does the sanctuary breed animals?
  • Does the sanctuary buy or sell animals for entertainment/commercial purposes? Keep in mind that a rescue/sanctuary that adopts animals out can absolutely be reputable - as long as they ensure the safety and proper care of their animals.
  • Does the sanctuary have all required licenses/permits?
  • Does the sanctuary have the animals' best interest in mind?

Visit us for more information: Finding Sanctuary

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