Retirement Sanctuary for Laboratory Animals
An Alternative



How and where your donations are used

Since our sanctuary is run primarily by volunteers, all the money goes to the retirees. Some of our regular expenses are chow, produce, peanuts and other treats. The chow we purchase provides all the nutrients our retirees need to live a healthy life, however who wants to eat a dry biscuit for every meal? This is why we add variety to their diets with produce. Some favorites include apples, bananas, cantaloupe, and watermelon. Another way we add excitement to mealtime is by including treats every so often, such as peanuts or uncooked pasta for some extra crunch!


Our volunteers scour garage sales for toys and enrichment devices they think the monkeys will enjoy. These toys allow us to provide the primates some entertainment throughout the day. The cynos, especially, will spend hours exploring the moving parts of a new toy. Several of our residents have also taken to their stuffed animals and enjoy grooming their Tiger or Bear in the sun.


Another regular expense is lumber and hardware. We use wood boards for a variety of different things such as backer boards for enclosure roofs and wind blocks to tables and swings. Every enclosure includes a wooden table, corner platform, and walkway connected to their house that allows our primates a place to sit off the ground. Recently, we have also found a way to make wide swings that provides some of our larger retirees a chance to swing that they didn't have before. These swings, however, require chain, clips, and eye hooks in order for them to be hung up. While the cost of all this hardware may not seem like much, it definitely adds up once you start making swings and platforms for 50 monkeys!


Unfortunately, sometimes our older retirees get sick or a complication occurs. Thankfully, we have excellent veterinary care and medical support from local veterinarians as well as primate veterinarians from Houston, Austin, Bastrop and surrounding areas. Donations help cover the expense of these farm calls as well as any treatment or medication our retirees must receive.

Occasionally, when we do pay labor costs it is when we are expanding or building out a new enclosure that requires a professional. We have a great local welder that provides excellent service at a low cost. He makes sure the primates have sturdy enclosures that will stand the test of time.


Yes, it takes money to run a nonprofit business, but we are always seeking the best way to spend the dollars that people have so graciously donated.  We even talk to our donors about how they think the money should be spent.  This allows them input and also educates them as to the expenses a sanctuary can incur.  


Since our donors come from many different backgrounds, their input and ideas are critical to us here at RSLA. We are constantly looking for new ideas and ways to improve. No one does this alone! 


We are very proud of our new warming houses for our large cyno groups. As you can tell it was quite an endeavor but well worth it!