What is it
A sanctuary is a place where the animals can live the rest of their life in freedom and away from any form of exploitation. In some cases (depending on the size and location of the sanctuary) they serve as a temporary refugee for some animals until a responsible family adopts them.
All the activities that are carried out in the sanctuary are for the animals and they do not pursue any benefit for the humans. The relationship between humans and non-human animals is based on respect and equality. Therefore every sanctuary seeks to provide each inhabitant a high quality of life, this at time limits the number of animals that can be taken in. This is particularly important to ensure that the minimum requirements of the inhabitants are met.
In sanctuaries, animals are not confined to cages or locked up in kennels (like it happens in shelters), they are free to roam around the land. At times the animals are separated according to their species however this is to ensure their own safety and to meet the requirements of each species.
It is important to note that animal sanctuaries are not just dedicated to rescuing and caring for animals, they also play an important role in raising awareness and educating society about animal exploitation. The moment when human animals learn to respect the rest of the animal species, exploitation will cease to exist.
Contrary to zoos, sanctuaries encourage the interaction between human animals and non-human animals by promoting respect and equality between the species. Many sanctuaries do not permit the public to visit, while others allow planned visits to the sanctuary so that visitors do not disturb the routine and peace of the inhabitants. Visitors are not charged an entry fee however they can offer donations, which will continue to fund projects and benefit the animals. Donations do not profit the people that run the sanctuaries.
In sanctuaries, like El Hogar Animal Sanctuary, veganism is promoted as a way of life. To be vegan is to respect all living beings and therefore foods consumed should be vegan (no animal products or derivatives), animals should not be used for any purpose such as experimentation, fashion or for fun.
In conclusion, the aim of the sanctuaries is to change the way humans think about non-humans and how they should be treated with respect and equality.