Canada's Accredited Zoos and Aquariums - Aquariums et Zoos Accrédités du Canada represents the leading zoological parks and aquariums in Canada. CAZA/AZAC promotes the welfare of, and encourages the advancement and improvement of, zoological parks, aquariums and related animal exhibits in Canada as humane agencies of recreation, education, conservation, and science.

However, not all facilities that care for animals in Canada share the same focus or standards. CAZA/AZAC encourages people to pursue due diligence before visiting or getting involved with any non-accredited institutions. Some may be legitimate, while others may simply be diverting valuable attention and support from genuine programs and projects.

Roadside Zoos

Found throughout North America, particularly in remote locations, they are generally small for-profit facilities that don't follow any professionally established standards or requirements. The zoos are often amenities intended to attract visitors to a primary business, such as a gas station. Since these unregulated establishments tend to lack trained, experienced staff, proper funding and safety practices, animal welfare is often compromised as a result of inadequate housing, care and diet.

More information

Animal Sanctuaries

These facilities assist, rescue, and provide refuge and compassionate care for animals that have been displaced through a variety of circumstances, often because they have been abandoned, abused or neglected. Some specialize in providing accommodations for wildlife that can't be rehabilitated or healthy surplus animals from accredited zoological facilities.There are no formal requirements to operate a sanctuary, though a few associations exist with accreditation programs that have specific standards for the humane and responsible care of various species. These associations also work to support legislation that protects animals and provide education to the public about the causes and conditions of displaced animals.

More information

Wildlife Rehabilitation Centres

These facilities promote the peaceful coexistence of people and wildlife by providing education and expert advice about wildlife situations, and providing medical care to sick, injured and orphaned wild animals with the ultimate goal of releasing healthy animals back into the wild. Professional wildlife rehabilitators are regulated by provincial and federal legislation. For the most part, government agencies require some proof of proficiency or ability before issuing a licence or permit, which helps ensure quality standards of care. Wildlife rehabilitation provides unique insights into issues affecting wildlife populations, species and habitats, and contributes to wildlife conservations and protection worldwide.

More information