VICTORIA -- A Vancouver Island animal sanctuary says it is the first farm animal sanctuary in Canada to receive accreditation by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS), an internationally recognized accreditor.

A Home for Hooves Farm Sanctuary Foundation, located in Duncan, says the accreditation is important because it proves that the organization has met peer-reviewed farm animal care standards.

Home for Hooves notes that organizations don’t need any certification to label themselves as a “sanctuary,” so the accreditation from GFAS means donors and volunteers can be confident in its level of care for animals.

“Accreditation increases transparency and gives the public peace of mind knowing that their support is going to an upstanding and reputable organization based on a formal process that requires us to meet or exceed specific quality assurance standards,” said Michelle Singleton, president of Home for Hooves farm sanctuary in a release on Nov. 20.

“It ensures our sanctuary is meeting objective standards to foster a culture of quality and safety for the animals in our care and for the people who are part of our community,” she said.

Home for Hooves first launched in 2017 and now cares for more than 60 different abandoned farm animals, including pigs, goats, dogs, cats, chickens, ducks and turkeys. Many of the animals are older and some have special needs or behavioural issues.

The organization also arranges adoptions for the animals outside of the sanctuary.

“We are proud to announce the accreditation of A Home for Hooves Farm Sanctuary Foundation,” said Daryl Tropea, GFAS program director on Nov. 20.

“Michelle and her team ensure the highest level of humane and responsible care for every resident animal,” he said. “Their animals, some who have special needs, enjoy natural and safe habitats with bushes to hide and mud holes to wallow.”

GFAS was founded in 2007 and is a U.S.-based non-profit organization.