Our History

Fauna Foundation - Our HistoryPhoto: © NJ Wight.

Our Early Days

The history of Fauns starts in 1990, when Dr. Richard Allan and Gloria Grow purchased a 100 acre farm in the Monteregie region of Quebec, about 20 minutes from Montreal. In 1997, the property became the not-for-profit Fauna Foundation, whose primary objective was to create a protected environment for native fauna and flora, neglected, abandoned or abused farmed and domestic animals, as well as animals who were used in entertainment, education and research.

Original residents at the time included sheep, goats, chickens and a few turkeys. Shortly after, a carriage horse from Montreal named Jethro was in need of rescue from being sent to slaughter. Fauna offered him a home and its tradition of rescues formally begun.

In 1997, the Fauna Foundation expanded it’s mission by establishing a chimpanzee retirement home for a group of 15 chimpanzees who were being retired from a research laboratory in New York state. Eight of these 15 chimpanzees were HIV+, making the Fauna Foundation the first sanctuary in the world to retire HIV+ infected chimpanzees. This resulted in the Fauna Foundation gaining international respect and recognition for its work in providing sanctuary for retired chimpanzees.

In 2002, the Fauna Foundation created a sister organization, the Fauna Sanctuary Inc, which is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit charity in the United States.

Fauna Today

At one point in Fauna’s history, we housed more than 250 rescued animals, most of whom were from the farming industry, abandoned pets, animals taken from horrible situations; dogs used in veterinary school training, animals from zoos and laboratories, including monkeys and chimpanzees and animals rescued from summer exhibits who, at seasons’ end, would have been killed.

Today, Fauna is home to about 80 animals, the result of attrition of an aging population. By city ordinance, Fauna is no longer allowed to take exotic animals, without the special permits required to keep them and only rescues those urgently in need of placement (provided we can acquire the necessary permits).

The residents as of 2014 include 6 Cows, 1 Donkey, 1 Horse, 1 Potbelly Pig, 7 Goats, 4 Ducks, 3 Swans, 30 Geese (numbers vary), 1 Llama, 4 Rabbits, 7 Chickens, 4 Monkeys, 12 Chimpanzees, 15 Cats and 3 Dogs.

Each one of them has a story that helps us to understand the many deplorable ways in which animals are treated, including their institutionalized use for food, entertainment, research and training. Fauna’s hope is that by helping people become more aware of the plight of these wonderful individuals, we will change the way they are seen and treated.

Fauna Foundation was awarded the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) accreditation in February 2012, a first in Canada.