Free All Captive Elephants, Inc.

Free All Captive Elephants

SATELLITE BCH, FL   |  http://freeallcaptiveelephants.org

Mission

To provide education, intervention and litigation that will lead to sanctuary of ALL elephants inhumanely held in captivity in circuses and zoos in North America.

Ruling year info

2017

President

Denise Gaug

Vice President

Robin Vitulle

Main address

1071 S. Patrick Drive Suite 372722

SATELLITE BCH, FL 32937 USA

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Formerly known as

Save Nosey Now, Inc.

EIN

82-0815762

NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (D01)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990-N.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Captive elephants in North America in circuses and zoos are deprived of all that is natural to them. Many live in completely impoverished conditions and their lives are cut short due to neglect and abuse. The closing of the infamous Ringling Brothers Circus in May of 2017 did not mark the end of cruelty perpetrated on elephants forced into captivity. Between 25-30 traveling circuses with caged, wild animals continue to travel and operate in the U.S.. Currently there are over 60 elephants (and hundreds of other animals) still being used for human entertainment. Circus animal cruelty and exploitation is rampant. Ideally elephants would never be removed from the habitat in which they are born. In a family environment much like ourselves, elephants need their herd to thrive emotionally and physically. Because elephants learn essential survival and social skills from members of their herd, captive elephants do not have the tools they need in order to be reintroduced back into the wild.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Asha The Elephant - Natural Bridge Zoo, Virginia

ASHA the elephant at the Natural Bridge Zoo, Virginia.

Asha is a 37-year-old African female elephant who was born in Zimbabwe somewhere between 1982-83. Asha lost her entire family in a horrific slaughter orchestrated by the government of Zimbabwe in 1984. She was sent to the USA by the Shultze Company to later be exploited by the Natural Bridge Zoo in Virginia at only two years old. Asha was a frightened baby destined for a life of human torture. And torure it has been. The Natural Bridge Zoo has over 100 violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA), has had it’s permit suspended twice. Yet both state and federal agencies continue to renew the zoo’s exhibitor permit year after year.

Asha spends most of her life in an uheated barn on a concrete floor and giving backbreaking rides to thousands and thousands of visitors every year. It’s time she be sent to a sanctuary accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS). GFAS is the gold standard for sanctuaries. It’s way past time for Asha to live her life free to be the elephant she never had the chance to be.

FACE is committed to working to expose the decades of public complaints to the agencies tasked with protecting Asha that have fallen on deaf ears. It is time to bring this issue to the public’s attention. FACE recently was successful in raising funds to erect a highly visible billboard near Richmond, Virginia. Over 300,000 people per week read our message about the Natural Bridge Zoo’s more than 100 violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). Our goal is to have Virginia authorities seize Asha and place her into a GFAS sanctuary.

FACE is colaborating with other animail welfare organizations in Virginia which includes the Humane Society of the United States and In Defense of Animals, to both file complaints and work towards legislative change to better protect elephants.

FACE is committed to working to expose the decades of public complaints to the agencies tasked with protecting Asha that have fallen on deaf ears. It is time to bring this issue to the public’s attention. FACE recently was successful in raising funds to erect a highly visible billboard near Richmond, Virginia. Over 300,000 people per week read our message about the Natural Bridge Zoo’s more than 100 violations of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA). Our goal is to have Virginia authorities seize Asha and place her into a Global Federation for Animal Sanctuaries, (GFAS) sanctuary.

FACE is collaborating with other animal welfare organizations in Virginia which includes the Humane Society of the United States and In Defense of Animals, to both file complaints and work towards legislative change to better protect elephants.


Read one of MANY USDA inspection reports here:
USDA Natural Bridge Zoo Report

With respect to providing adequate care and according to the USDA, Natural Bridge Zoo:

Failed to adequately clean and sanitize animal enclosures or to control infestations of insect and mammalian pests.
Failed to provide adequate space for certain animals to move and make normal postural adjustments, leading to high rates of illness, injury, and death.
Failed to ensure that animals are sheltered in a manner that protects them from the elements.
Failed to separate animals who are incompatible with each other, putting these animals at risk of severe physical injuries.
Failed to prepare animal feed in a sanitary manner and fails to provide infant animals with necessary sustenance.
Failed to provide certain animals with adequate access to potable water, causing extreme thirst.

2. TEAPSPA Legislation - The Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act partnering with ADI - Animal Defenders International. With the passage of TEAPSPA, H.R. 2863, the United States Congress aims to amend the Animal Welfare Act to restrict the use of exotic and wild animals in traveling circuses and other traveling acts across the nation. Legislation is key to making this change. FACE also was very involved with Nosey's Law in New Jersey that passed December of 2018. This was a state bill that bans all wild or exotic animals from traveling animal acts in the entire state of NJ.
3. BROKEN - THE DOCUMENTARY. This documentary will peel back the layers of government complacency and complicit acts (at both state and federal levels) which led not only to the torture that Nosey the Elephant endured but also continues today with dozens of other elephants who languish in circuses and road-side zoos all over the United States. This film will also show undercover video and first hand accounts telling the true story of abuse of elephants in circuses and zoos. BROKEN is nearing completion. Our partner in production is 12 Emmy award winner in investigative journalism, Mike Deeson, Deeson Media. We will get BROKEN distributed across the nation to draw wide attention and educate the general public on the horrific abuse of elephants and wild animals in circuses so that they understand the suffering of such magnificent animals held in captivity for human entertainment. It is knowledge that makes a difference. Many people "just don't know" what elephants actually endure and once made aware choose to stop patronizing circuses. This story must be told and BROKEN is a MUST SEE.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Broken – The Documentary…coming soon!
Filming is complete!
Inspired by the documentary, Blackfish, which proved to be a game changer for orcas in captivity, 12‐time Emmy Award winning investigative reporter, Mike Deeson, in collaboration with Free All Captive Elephants (FACE), the only 501(c)(3) nonprofit in the nation that focuses solely on rescuing captive elephants in circuses and roadside zoos, is producing this eye opening film. This documentary peels back the layers of government complacency and complicit acts (at both state and federal levels) which led not only to the torture that Nosey the Elephant endured but also continues today with dozens of other elephants who languish in circuses and road-side zoos all over the United States.

Through the personal experiences of former circus employees, the founder of the Performing Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), undercover investigators, elephant biologists/ethologists, state and federal legislators, animal law attornies, boots‐on‐the‐ground advocates, and many others, this new documentary will expose the horrific truth of the lives of performing elephants while chronicling the life of Nosey the Elephant in hopes that other elephants in her situation will be rescued.

Captured from Zimbabwe in 1984 as a baby and forced into the circus industry by the Liebel Family of Florida, Nosey was held in captivity for three decades enduring physical abuse and extreme neglect. Nosey and so many others are robbed of everything natural for a wild elephant.

During the span of 30 years, The United States Department of Agriculture issued over 200 citations to Hugo Liebel for violations of the Animal Welfare Act. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission received over 200,000 complaints from concerned citizens about Nosey’s welfare. Thirty‐three members of Congress signed a letter calling for her freedom, yet she remained a prisoner of the Great American Family Circus until her unprecedented confiscation in rural Alabama in 2017. Nosey’s story as egregious as it is, is not unique.

Nosey was subsequently transferred to the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee where she is thriving.

Many other elephants remain enslaved in the circus and roadside zoo industries.

It is time for these elephants to have their “Blackfish moment”!





BROKEN – The Documentary
The stark difference of how elephants are forced to exist and are inhumanely treated in captivity, as opposed to their natural life in the wild, is gut-wrenching. Our production of BROKEN will leave you with no doubt as to what is very wrong with elephants in captivity.

Population(s) Served
Adults

CIRCUS TRACKING is VITAL
in helping elephants suffering in circuses.
Where are Viola and Isa? Bunny and Libby?
Betty and Bo? Okha, Kosti and Megue?
LuLu, Chang and Zola? …and numerous others.
What REALLY happened to sweet Anna Louise before she secretly died?
Why was Beulah permitted to be used until her last breath?

Tracking of elephants in circuses is key in
documentation for rescue to
TRUE sanctuary…before it’s too late.
IT WAS THROUGH FACE’S CIRCUS TRACKING EFFORTS
THAT NOSEY WAS SPOTTED AND ULTIMATELY SEIZED ON
THE SIDE OF THE ROAD IN ALABAMA
Circuses with elephants such as Garden Brothers, Carden International, Shriners, Loomis Bros., and Carson and Barnes all have brutal touring schedules and cover thousands of miles. Some elephants are forced to perform three times per day only to be chained up or placed back into their cramped transport trailers for storage between shows and locations. Circus tracking is vital in documentation of the abuse occurring while on the road. Public awareness is key to ending the suffering elephants have endured for centuries. We can’t sit back and allow the abuse to go on. And we won’t.
Video of: Brian Franzen with Okha, Kosti and Megue
FACE meticulously tracks and documents these circuses through boots on the ground, social media and other means. FACE has successfully gotten many venues to cancel these events once we educate the state and local authorities and the media of the public safety risks and history of animal abuse by these exhibitors. Because of actions like these, the nation is very aware of the atrocities being committed against elephants in circuses. The future of this barbaric industry is coming to an end. FACE is committed and will continue to follow through with helping to place the elephants into Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS). GFAS is the gold standard for sanctuaries.
Circus Tracking Action
Boots on the ground involvement with travel to locations for documentation (undercover video and photos), protests, rallys, and awareness campaigns in the surrounding areas with efforts to engage the media
Social media direct action tracking elephants through Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
Reporting on elephants while on the road leads to filing formal complaints with both federal and state authorities detailing violations of the Animal Welfare Act and state and local laws
Constant action in posting news of the circus elephants in order to engage advocates thoughout the nation (and Canada) to keep eyes on these circuses as a collaborative effort. Networking with fellow advocates and other organizations to bring the changes needed
Reporting to the local authorities that action be taken to cancel the circuses coming to towns, cities and areas all over the USA
Notifying the venues where these circuses are going to educate them on the hundreds of violations and safety concerns to ultimately have them cancel the circus

Population(s) Served
Adults

FACE works continuously with legislators around the country to improve the conditions and protections for elephants on both the state and federal levels
TEAPSPA
Help Free All Captive Elephants (FACE), support TEAPSPA – With the passage of the Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act, TEAPSPA, H.R. 2863, the United States Congress aims to amend the Animal Welfare Act to restrict the use of exotic and wild animals in traveling circuses and other traveling acts across the nation. Legislation is key to making this change.

Bolivia became the first country in the world to pass a national law prohibiting the use of both wild and domestic animals in traveling circuses after the camaign to Stop Circus Suffering in Latin America was launched by Animal Defenders International (ADI). The United States is WAY BEHIND! There are currently over 40 countries around the globe that have banned wild animal circuses including: Croatia, Singapore, Austria, Israel, Costa Rica, Peru, India and Lebanon. Let Congress know it is time to pass TEAPSPA!

The Traveling Exotic Animal Public Safety Protection Act, TEAPSPA is a federal bill that is currently pending. If passed, this bill will prohibit the use of exotic and wild animals in traveling performances in the United States.

On May 21, 2019, Representatives Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) and David Schweikert (R-AZ) reintroduced the Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act, TEAPSPA, H.R. 2863, to amend the Animal Welfare Act to prohibit the use of exotic and wild animals in traveling performances. On July 15, 2019, a companion bill, S2121, was introduced in the Senate by Senator Bob Menéndez (D-NJ) and cosponsored by Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).

Contact your Senators and Representatives today in support of TEAPSPA. Phone calls are especially effective. Please follow up your action with a call. Constituent voices are very powerful and can open doors to the most surprising places.

Support TEAPSPA to help end wild animal suffering in traveling acts across the United States.

FACE and numerous animal advocacy organizations join with Animal Defenders International (ADI), who are leading the charge to get this important piece of legislation passed. YOU can help end the suffering of animals in circuses. Find out exactly what you can do.

Click HERE to Find: YOUR STATE LEGISLATOR AND TAKE ACTION

TEAPSPA bill language: Ten Reasons to Support TEAPSPA: Federal Circus Bill

https://www.facebook.com/765962847090166/posts/1071229156563532?sfns=mo
https://grijalva.house.gov/uploads/Jan%202020%20TEAPSPA%20Update.pdf

Nosey’s Law
On December 14th, 2018 FACE along with Senator Nilsa Cruz – Perez, Assemblymen Andrew Zwicker and Raj Makurji, former New Jersey Senator and champion of Nosey’s Law, Raymond J. Lesniak, and other key organizations such as the Humane Society of the United States, with New Jersey Director Brian Hackett, were victorious in getting Nosey’s Law passed. Nosey’s Law made New Jersey the first state in the nation to ban all wild and exotic animals in traveling animal acts. Several other states have followed suit and other states have bills pending. FACE Directors were there from the beginning in Trenton, New Jersey to testify in front of both the House and Senate Committees. FACE was there for every vote presented along the way. We took vital action to support Nosey’s Law through phone calls, emails, knocking on legislator’s doors and rallying constituents in New Jersey to do the same. Legislation is KEY to ending the suffering of elephants in circuses across the nation
Trenton, NJ – Rally for Nosey’s Law and Protest against the Garden Bros. Circus organized by FACE on October 14th, 2018 at the Cure Insurance Arena. Retired NJ Senator Raymond J. Lesniak leading the charge for actions taken that day. Due to Nosey’s Law enacted on December 14th, 2018, this was the final Garden Bros.Circus in NJ.

On April 4, 2019, 174 Congressional Members from both sides of the aisle, sent a letter to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), officials requesting more funding for animal welfare and calling them out on numerous issues.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

FACE (www.freeallcaptiveelephants.org) is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization committed to rescuing captive elephants in North America and getting them to sanctuaries accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS). GFAS is the gold standard for sanctuaries around the world. The work FACE does is vital in the process of getting captive elephants to the sanctuaries waiting and ready to receive them.

Our mission is to provide education, intervention, advocacy and litigation that will lead to sanctuary for ALL elephants inhumanly held in captivity in in North America. We will achieve this through our organizational programs that address the abuse that elephants in North America are forced to endure.

Our vision is to ultimately see that ALL elephants in North America currently living in inhumane conditions are released and sent to GFAS sanctuaries to live out the rest of their lives. We are also committed to expanding our work to support and facilitate the opening of more GFAS accredited sanctuaries for rescued elephants once the two GFAS sanctuaries currently operating in the U.S. near their capacity

We will achieve our goals though education, legislation and litigation:

We will educate the public, law makers and law enforcement agencies by raise awareness of the suffering of captive elephants. Through our website, social media, fundraising campaigns, speaking engagements and distribution of our film BROKEN to increase awareness of our mission and vision and bring more supporters in to increase the impact of our work and raise the funds needed to achieve our goals.

Through grassroots advocacy, FACE will continue to conduct undercover investigations to document violations of the Animal Welfare Act as well as state laws and local ordinances to lay the ground work for future litigation when appropriate.

FACE and our partners are responsible for most of the lobbying, new legislation and education that occurs in the U.S. on behalf of elephants in roadside zoos and circuses. We continue to lobby in support of needed legislative change on behalf of captive elephants. We work to influence lawmakers to support legislative changes needed to alleviate the suffering of animals in circuses and roadside zoos including the passage of the federal Traveling Exotic Animal and Public Safety Protection Act (TEAPSPA) which, when passed, will prohibit traveling circuses that use exotic animals nationwide.

Through the release of BROKEN produced by Mike Deeson, 12-Time Emmy Winning Investigative Reporter and Executive Producer, we will give elephants their “Blackfish” moment. The “Blackfish Effect” refers to the public outcry and financial struggles that SeaWorld faced after the 2013 documentary BLACKFISH, which investigated the park's treatment of orcas. As a result, SeaWorld agreed to phase out orca and dolphin shows. This greatly affected their revenue and reputation and the public became aware of the sentient nature of orcas and began to look at them not as objects for public entertainment but as living beings who have thoughts, emotions and a profound ability to form social bonds with each other.

The leadership of FACE is working to ensure long-term sustainability by continually identifying and soliciting funders with the greatest likelihood for long-term support. Our fundraising team is working to identify a comprehensive assessment of existing funding sources and their reliability will guide us in refining our financial sustainability strategy for the long-term. This strategy includes a plan to secure long-term support for our operating expenses.

• FACE President, Dee Gaug, worked tirelessly for three years (2017-2019) to have the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) strengthen and enforce their elephant ride regulations. As a direct result of these efforts, the old rules were repealed and new rules were adopted requiring increased training and protections for operators and the public, bans on the use of elephants that have caused serious injuries or deaths, and fixed fencing that is at least 44 inches high around the ride area.
• Passage of Nosey’s Law in New Jersey, December 14, 2018.
• Working with Senator David Marsden on more stringent regulations and enforcement for zoo animals in Virginia with the goal of ensuring that the Commonwealth of Virginia will, at a bare minimum, adopt the AZA (American Zoological Association) standards for zoos.
• Utilizing social media to build a strong network of supporters, many of whom are conducting their own campaigns in support of captive elephants and other animals.
• Formed partnerships with: Humane Society of the United States, Animal Defense International, In Defense of Animals, the Animal Defense Partnership.
• In collaboration with The Humane Society of the United States, The Animal Defense Partnership and others, FACE submitted a detailed letter to the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (DGIF) urging, among other things, that DGIF not renew the Natural Bridge Zoo's (NBZ) Permit to Exhibit Wild Animals in Virginia and seize the animals at the zoo including Asha the Elephant.
• Face President, Dee Gaug was asked to be on a panel at both the Free the Oregon Zoo Elephants Conference and The Performing Animal Welfare Society’s International Captive Welfare Conference.
• FACE Board of Directors Robin Vitulle, Michelle Weirich and Adrienne Possenti were presented with the Lesniak Institute 2019 Advocacy Excellence Award at their annual Fall Gala on November 19, 2019. This award recognized our: success in our work to FREE NOSEY the elephant; work on Nosey's Law in New Jersey; boots on the ground work for elephants including protests, rallies, working together with former Senator Raymond Lesniak and the Lesniak Institute to make legislative changes; social media outreach; support for TEAPSPA bill for a national law to ban wild and exotic animals in traveling animal acts across the NATION; production of our documentary BROKEN; ASHA Billboard campaign and litigation to bring awareness to ASHA the elephant suffering in a roadside zoo; giving back to the community and for the hard work of spreading awareness and education about the real suffering of captive elephants in circuses and zoos across the nation.

Financials

Free All Captive Elephants, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Free All Captive Elephants, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 5/11/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board co-chair

Denise Gaug


Board co-chair

Robin Vitulle

Denise Gaug

Free All Captive Elephants, Inc.

Robin Vitulle

Free All Captive Elephants, Inc.

Michelle Weirich

Free All Captive Elephants, Inc.

Judy Collins

Free All Captive Elephants, Inc.

Adrienne Possenti

Free All Captive Elephants, Inc,

Susan Smith

Free All Captive Elephants, Inc.

Cindy Harris

Free All Captive Elephants, Inc.

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/16/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

 

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data