Animal Rescue team receives the USDA Honor Award for Excellence
International Fund for Animal Welafre staff members, Dr. Ian Robinson and Gail A’Brunzo recently received the United States Department of Agriculture Honor Award for Excellence for the roles played in the successful resolution to the care and placement of over 300 animals, including tigers, lions, bears and chimps from the Wild Animal Orphanage in Texas. Also included in the task force award are IFAW contractors, Dawn Smith and Anand Ramanathan.
The Secretary’s Honor Awards are the most prestigious APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services) Departmental awards presented by the Secretary of Agriculture. USDA employees at all grade levels and private citizens are eligible for recognition.
When the Wild Animal Orphanage in Texas was forced to close due to financial crisis it was faced with the challenge of finding homes for the hundreds of animals that resided at the facility while at the same time continuing to fund the feeding and care for the animals over the many months it would take to place this many animals.
IFAW provided staff and resources to help move the animals to other sanctuaries and also funds to help care for the animals while they awaited placement.
Working together with the USDA, the Texas State Attorney General's Office Charitable Trust Division and the Wild Animal Orphanage, IFAW and eleven other groups were a part of this task force which found placement for the animals.
Robert M. Gibbens, DVM and Director of the USDA, APHIS Animal Care Western Region congratulated the IFAW recipients stating that the group was key in the successful resolution of the Wild Animal Orphanage situation.