Photo © Karine Dinev
The Foundation operates an animal sanctuary in Central California, providing a haven for rescued animals. The staff focuses on the care of the many animals, and of habitat management and restoration.
It was the vision long ago of the founder, Ms. Sue Stiles, that these animals be loved and that their independence and free spirits honored. In that respect, the refuge is symbolic of the whole "sanctuary movement" worldwide. Millions of other animals will never enjoy a safe refuge from the turmoil and hazards of this world and their exploitation by humankind. The underlying philosophy guiding DSF’s efforts is the restoration of healthy lives for the animals in our charge, but also that of the vulnerable supporting ecosystems. The reality of finite carrying capacity at the DSF preserves has mandated a Foundation policy of maintaining a sustainable population of various animal groups, which precludes taking on additional residents.
The DSF Sanctuary team comprise managers, caregivers, and maintenance staff.
The many hundreds of acres owned by DSF provide sanctuary solely for the benefit, solace, peace and quiet of the resident species. The sanctuary is not open to the public.
The Foundation's sanctuaries are in two of the world's biological "hotspots" (Central California and New Zealand), regions of the planet where there has been historic environmental degradation the result of which is that a large number of endemic species are at risk. The Foundation focuses on both habitat restoration (along with the conservation of the countless native taxa that reside therein - forest canopy, understory, flora, fauna, insects),and animal protection. At the DSF Ecological Preserve in New Zealand, that protective impetus also encompasses every individual member of the rare species that are sheltered, monitored and given the habitat they need in order to breed and be free from threat.