In 1997, Gloria Grow and Richard Allan launched the not-for-profit Fauna Foundation sanctuary in Quebec’s Montérégie region to create a safe haven and “a protected environment for neglected, abandoned or abused” animals. Not your average shelter, Fauna is home to about 100 animals, including horses, cows and pigs. The residents hail from farms, private homes, circuses, zoos, research labs and the wild.
Among the most physically and psychologically scarred animals are the facility’s 12 chimpanzees — most of them veterans of biomedical research. The chimps suffered through up to two decades of needles, infectious diseases and invasive surgeries; some were knocked unconscious with dart guns on a weekly basis. Now they finally have a sanctuary.
During the time she spent photographing the chimps last year, Jo-Anne McArthur came to admire their brilliance and personalities. She hopes her pictures of the work being done by the Fauna Foundation, which was also explored in Andrew Westoll’s 2011 book The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary, will inspire others to act to ensure the protection and welfare of all animals.
“We aren’t the only ones that live on the planet,” says McArthur, recalling the words of Jane Goodall, “but we act like it.”