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How It All Began

Amy Kerwin founded Primates Incorporated in 2004 while working with 97 rhesus monkeys for five years in a laboratory at the University of Wisconsin. She thought the least laboratories and society could do is send monkeys to enriching and spacious sanctuaries whenever possible.

She began networking with labs who sent monkeys to sanctuaries and discovered existing sanctuaries often had to turn away laboratories due to funding and space constraints. Since her work environment did not believe in sending monkeys to sanctuaries, she resigned in 2004 to focus on developing Primates Incorporated into a spacious and enriching monkey sanctuary.

Amy has been interviewing other sanctuaries and networking with sanctuary supporters for over 18 years. She is proud to say the sanctuary is a team effort of many caring  volunteers, supporters, and professional staff.

Amy believes that the least laboratories and society can do is give back to the monkeys whenever possible by sending them to enriching and spacious sanctuaries.

Overcoming Barriers

As a result of the paper she wrote in 2006 entitled, Overcoming the Barriers to the Retirement of Old and New World Monkeys from Research Facilities, Amy is contacted by 1-2 researchers annually asking for advice on how to send monkeys to sanctuaries.

She also believes that, by reporting success stories, sending monkeys from labs to sanctuaries will become a more common practice.

Our Sanctuary

Our vision to serve as a prototype for other communities to establish their own sustainable versions so that the thousands of primates who have a chance at retirement can live at a peaceful and spacious sanctuary, such as this one. We have reached capacity in our current sanctuary building and so we are now raising funds to build the second sanctuary structure (building plans pictured here) that can house up to 30 more monkeys. Currently we have raised $223,000 toward our $600,000 goal. We have already been contacted to help more monkeys from labs but we cannot create waiting lists until the building is constructed.

We anticipate building separate building structures (capacity of 100 monkeys) gradually over the next twenty years. We never want to reach our capacity, however, as we aim to place monkeys at species-appropriate monkey sanctuaries throughout the country when space is available.

Innovative Housing

Our sanctuary design includes spacious and secure indoor housing that will have all-season greenhouses and outdoor structures during the nice weather.

Since thousands of monkeys could be helped if enough sanctuaries were available, Primates Incorporated also aims to serve as an innovative prototype for caring communities to be able to construct a sanctuary in any climate so no monkey is ever turned away from a sanctuary again.

Sanctuary Environment

Located in the town of Springfield in Marquette County, Wisconsin, this beautiful plot of land will accommodate spacious and secure homes for future primates. It is 19 acres of mixed meadow and wooded areas. It is also home to a large swath of native Wisconsin flowers and plants, which we plan to help preserve the population of the federally-endangered Karner Blue Butterfly.

The PI Board and Accreditation

We are licensed by the USDA, members of the North American Primate Sanctuary Alliance (NAPSA), and accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS).

Current Financials available by request or search for Primates Incorporated at

Download pdf: Board of Directors