October 2007 Blog Home December 2007

26 posts from November 2007

November 19, 2007

Weight of Our Words

The lives of people and animals have always been bound together—in prehistory and in the time since the advent of agriculture and modern civilization. But for most of human history, the dominant worldview has been to subdue and to dominate nature, including the animals.

Language has been a powerful tool in reinforcing that perspective. And it's only been in the last 150 years—at least in the Western civilization—that a challenge to this worldview has been mounted, with the emergence of the environmental and animal protection movements in the 19th century. They sought to reshape society's relationship with animals and nature, driven in part by enlightened self-interest and also an expanding sphere of moral concern in Western thought.

Today still, though, there are so many people who attempt to turn animals and the environment into mere utilities and instruments for people. The factory farmer calls animals "units of production." Animal experimenters sometimes call animals "tools for research." And state fish and wildlife professionals call deer, bears, ducks and other wildlife "game to be harvested on a sustained yield basis." In all of these cases, this use of language conveys that animals are things or objects. It makes the mistreatment of other creatures less morally relevant and the exploitation of these creatures all the easier.

Many children do not see the natural world in such hierarchical terms. They have an intuitive common sense, and an empathy for others. They see other animals as peers, though they happen to look and act differently than we do.

It's in this spirit that I was so pleased to read a short essay in The Hartford Courant last week from Noah Williams, a second grader who disagreed with classifying an animal as a "thing" during a recent grammar lesson.

Take a look at his essay. It says so much, and if only the adults of our world would heed his simple and powerful thoughts.

Why Animals Should Not Be Called Things

By Noah S.B. Williams

Animals should not be called things because they are beings, not things.

Shame on the people who call animals things.

If I could I would give the person who first called animals things a
talking-to. I would not call animals things.

Think about this. If you loved someone, would you call them a thing? I
wish no one had ever called animals things.

Why would you call your pet a thing?

A rug or something is a thing, but not an animal. He or she is not a
thing! This is not funny, it's all true. I would not lie to you about
this. It's not a joke.

Do not lie to me, either.

November 16, 2007

Talk Back: Problem-Solving for Homeless Pets

Readers responded with a flood of feedback to last week's blog about the apparent rift in the humane movement over the no kill issue. I'll have more to say on the issue in a future blog, but I also wanted to hear from so many of you with an interest in the issue. Among the comments I received:

You voiced, in the most articulate way, the thoughts I have had about this issue. Every thing you stated makes perfect sense. I have been thinking about how there is still this air of complacency about the issue of euthanizing pets in our country. I've been feeling more and more troubled by it. I adopted a dog and two cats from my local shelter, and I am so happy I did. And this issue has been with me since then. I am glad you are taking a leadership position, and I hope to see more political action taken. I want to know what my candidates have to say about pet-related welfare issues. Our government should be doing something about unregulated puppy mills, we should be enacting mandatory spay and neuter requirements for pit bulls, we should continue to educate the public about this unacceptable, flat out unacceptable, practice of killing healthy pets due to overpopulation. Thank you for this straightforward, plain-spoken approach to this important issue. —Kathleen

Kudos on this article. It mirrors my own point of view to a T! Reverence for life MUST extend to these precious creatures. That must be the value system that governs decisions about how to deal with animals at shelters. As Dr. Albert Schweitzer said, "Until he extends his circle of compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace." —Mike Schwager

Thank you so much for making such an important point. Chinese medicine believes you work on the "branches" of the problem to get to the "root"; you don't just attack the entire tree all at once. I strive to work with other advocates to create a community where no healthy, treatable or manageable animal is euthanized because of space or resources. But, (always a but) we are not there yet. We have to continue to fight cruelty, particularly puppy mills and fighting; continue to strengthen pet parent's understanding of the importance of spay/neuter; spend time with children teaching them about humane treatment of animals; and strengthen the positive reputations of the shelters and rescue groups within our community to encourage adoption. We can do this! But Rome wasn't built in a day. Whenever I get discouraged or overwhelmed I find inspiration by spending a day with my own pets doing something "extra fun" like going for a swim or hike or letting them on the bed with me for a movie and a nap. I absorb their energy and gratitude because once, not so long ago, they were homeless, too. Keep up your efforts and I will keep up mine. Together we will keep the torch of hope alive for all! —Shannon

I live in a very rural area of Maryland. There are three groups out in this area that help animals. I specifically do the TNR of ferals and help drive animals to rescues where they will not be put down. Our shelter has a very low adoption rate. It can only hold 12 dogs at one time. Adult cats are not often adopted. One of the groups has started a fundraiser to build a million dollar no kill shelter. This is a result of our county government not being willing to do it with our abundant county funds. I wholeheartedly believe that shelters can go no kill. Facilities must be made larger and more attractive so animals can have large enclosures and a great environment while waiting to be adopted by people that can't wait to go to this beautiful shelter. Thanks. —Linda

Very well said. I've told a lot of people that we should stop breeding dogs and cats and I'm always incredulous when they state “They'll die out.” It's the most inane argument I've heard with millions of dogs and cats in shelters. We're quite a long way from dogs and cats “dying out” and it's folly to think that we can shut down ALL breeding facilities or people who foolishly breed their pets. Too few people also understand why the “no kill” policy can be detrimental and simply lead to skipping cats and dogs to “kill” shelters. Thank you for enlightening people about that little known fact. I hope more and more people will think about the consequences before they accept from breeders or breed animals themselves. True animal lovers should consider the impact of their actions. —Sara N

Continue reading "Talk Back: Problem-Solving for Homeless Pets" »

November 15, 2007

You Asked: Save the Seals

As I write this, animal advocates are gathered at the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C., for a "Rally for Seals." With their efforts in mind, today I thought it timely to answer the following question from Kathleen.

Q. I would like to know why we are not more actively pounding Canada for their abomination that is the seal hunt each year. This is gross. I cannot think of a word that truly describes how wrong this is. It's like murdering babies in their cribs. Can we really stand by and not boycott all that is Canadian? I'm making a stink wherever I can; will you?

A. Please know The Humane Society of the United States is leading the global fight to stop Canada's commercial seal hunt. To have the largest impact, as an organization we are focusing our limited resources on the seafood sector in Canada. Our boycott of Canadian seafood has been strategically designed to hit seal hunters where it hurts the most: in their pocketbooks. And it's the closest connection to an internationally traded commodity that is closely linked to sealing, since it is off-season fishermen who are killing the seals and since seal hunters rationalize the killing by saying they are helping to protect fish from the seals.

Every day, more companies and individuals are pledging not to buy Canadian seafood until the slaughter of seals ends for good. Soon, fishermen will be forced to choose between the industry that brings in 95 percent of their incomes (seafood) and the small percentage earned killing seals.

In Europe, we are shutting down the markets for seal products—removing the financial incentive for sealers. In September 2006, the European Parliament passed a resolution calling for an EU ban on the trade in harp and hooded seal products. Already, the price of seal skins has dropped dramatically from last year.

And every year, the ProtectSeals team is on the ice to document the slaughter, expose the cruelty to the world, and facilitate journalists, scientists and parliamentarians to do the same. The international outcry generated by our reports and video footage has driven the Canadian government to resort to desperate tactics in order to cover up the cruelty that takes place on the ice.

This October, five members of the ProtectSeals team went on trial on the unfounded charges that they had been slightly within the 10-meter distance from sealers required by their observation permits. At the close of the prosecution’s case we disclosed the full extent of our video evidence, which objectively shows that no offense ever took place. The prosecution immediately asked for an adjournment. The trial is scheduled to resume on May 6, 2008.

Check our action toolkit for a list of ways you can support our work to end the Canadian seal hunt.

If you have a question about The HSUS, offer a comment through the blog or email your query. I may post it in a future blog.

November 14, 2007

Spreading the News

Russell Simmons PSA against dogfighting
Watch our new PSA featuring Russell Simmons.

One of the big challenges we face at The Humane Society of the United States is a lack of awareness about what we do. We fight hard to bring awareness to the American public on a whole range of subjects—horse slaughter, pets in disasters, factory farming, animal fighting, puppy mills and pet overpopulation, and so much more—and the exposure we've gained this week on a range of issues provides a case example of how we get the word out.

Yesterday, The HSUS and BeKind, created by stalwart HSUS supporter and HSUS National Council member Frances Hayward, released a television public service announcement against dogfighting featuring hip hop mogul Russell Simmons. I saw Russell this summer at a house party Frances held for The HSUS on Long Island, and the three of us hatched the plan to do the PSA. Russell's been a long-time advocate of animal protection and he did a fabulous job in the spot. Please pitch the spot to your local TV stations—encourage them to air this important message and make sure it is seen by millions. If you find a station that is interested, let us know.

Also this week, I have a column in Newsweek about my own path toward animal protection. The autobiographical piece traces how I gained a major measure of resolve on the issue after witnessing a live pigeon shoot when I was in college. Newsweek wanted a picture with me and an animal for my column, so I asked them to join me at Poplar Spring Animal Sanctuary in Maryland, a favorite retreat where farm animals get a second chance at life. Poplar Spring founders Dave Hoerauf and Teri Cummings introduced me to more than a dozen 700-pound rescued pigs, and it was a blast. Dave fed them pumpkins to get them moving around the barn, and watching them munch whole pumpkins brought out-loud laughter from me.

HSUS ad against Wendy's
Click to see a larger version of
our ad against Wendy's.

In Sunday's New York Times, I was pictured with my cat Libby in a story about nonprofit mergers. The story included The HSUS's combinations with The Fund for Animals and the Doris Day Animal League, and how all three groups have synchronized operations and eliminated duplicative operational and support functions. Through these actions, we have saved donors $1.5 million a year and rechanneled that money into programmatic activities, such as an expanded Campaigns section and an Animal Protection Litigation section.

And on Monday of this week, The HSUS placed a full-page ad in USA Today on our campaign to pressure Wendy's to adopt better standards in terms of its egg-buying practices. Wendy's now only buys eggs from hens crammed into battery cages on factory farms. Its competitors, including Burger King, Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., are now purchasing some cage-free eggs, and that's a trend that Wendy's should no longer resist. We are asking supporters to contact Wendy's and urge the company to make a meaningful pledge to improve animal welfare in its supply chain.

And by the way, The HSUS should have a full-page ad about our work in tomorrow's New York Times, and our puppy mill investigation should be featured tomorrow morning on ABC's "Good Morning America." Watch for them both if you have a chance to pick up the Times and tune into GMA, which airs at 7 a.m.

November 13, 2007

Talk Back: California Animal Relief

Readers continue to react to the wildfires that ravaged Southern California in late October and were relieved to hear the animals and staff of the Fund for Animals Wildlife Center escaped harm. Among the comments we received:

THANK YOU so much for your help. I work at the Escondido Humane Society in Escondido, Calif. I was evacuated from my own home. Luckily I got all of my 10 animals, but I know many who did not. Like your blog said there are many animals running free, and even worse some were left trapped inside homes. The situation at my shelter and every other animal rescue in SoCal is dire. We appreciate the nationwide support TREMENDOUSLY. Love and hope, Liz

Thank you for the coverage of trouble we in the animal world are going through here in SoCal, and for the efforts of your organization! —Nikita

I was so very thankful that Cindi and Chuck and the Fund [for Animals] came out safe! I am a former volunteer from the Fund and have tried to keep up to date regarding it. I was so worried about the fires, as was everyone across the U.S. and wish I could be there to help. Thank you for all your hard work. —Elizabeth A. Prim

I just wanted to say I am so relieved to hear the animals have made it through this horrific ordeal. I live in Northern California and have wanted to get in my RV and come down to help out, but I knew I would not get through. By the way, Sampson is adorable!!! Thanks Chuck and Cindy for all you do with animals… I have such a love for all animals! —Shelly Campbell

Thanks so much for this terribly important work you're doing. I saw some video on CNN of horses that had been burned in these horrible fires, and my heart just broke. It's excruciating, knowing that these poor, defenseless creatures are suffering like this, but knowing The HSUS is on the case makes me feel less hopeless and helpless. Bless you for this work. —Mary Shafer

Continue reading "Talk Back: California Animal Relief" »

Cruel New Twist for Trapped Animals

There are some sport hunting practices that are simply beyond the pale. Bear baiting, high-tech hound hunting, pheasant stocking, contest kills and canned hunts are among the worst. These practices are at odds with the rhetoric that hunters and hunting leaders employ in defending hunting, such as hunting playing a role in controlling populations, hunters abiding by fair chase standards, and the wildlife management industry not allowing the commercial and market exploitation of wildlife populations. All of the hunting practices mentioned above violate these self-expressed norms.

© iStockphoto

But truly one of the most appalling practices is the live leghold trapping or snaring of coyotes and foxes, keeping these wild animals in cages as captives, selling them to hunting clubs, and then releasing them into penned or caged areas where they will be chased and attacked by hunting dogs. These "coyote pens" or "fox pens" provide a way to train hunting dogs and instill greater aggression in them, and are also just plain entertainment for the "hunters" who organize these spectacles. One coyote or fox may be pitted against as many as 20 hunting dogs, with the hunters periodically releasing "fresh" dogs to continue the chase. It's a fee-for-service program.

Yesterday, the law came down on individuals perpetrating this cruelty in a multi-state sting. Law enforcement personnel from Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia shut down 36 fox and coyote pens for violations of their permits, and charges will be leveled against those involved.

Fifty-five foxes, 25 coyotes and two bobcats, along with a moonshine still and 33 cardinals apparently used as bait, were seized in yesterday's probe—the culmination of a two-year undercover investigation.

This is a sick practice—an amalgam of canned hunting and animal fighting—and it must be put to an end. We've been working for the past few months in Indiana to crack down on the practice there. Indiana and other Midwestern states are major suppliers of coyotes to pen operators in the East and South.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources has proposed a rule that would require trappers to kill coyotes within 24 hours of taking them—during off-season only*. This would prevent individuals from selling Indiana coyotes into the live market for only part of the year. The Indiana DNR and the state legislature need to take action and stop this practice year-round. All states should close their borders to this commercial trade in live wildlife and this odious cruelty.

*Editor's Note: The proposed rule would apply outside of Indiana's coyote trapping season, not during the season as previously stated.

November 12, 2007

Lights, Camera, Animals

The Humane Society of the United States is headquartered in Washington, D.C., but we have offices all over the nation. We believe in work in the field as a means of spreading our message and organizing the nation. We have 35 HSUS state directors, and we are on our way to having directors in all 50 states.

Bianca Kajlich with HSUS shirt and David Spade on Rules of Engagement
Bianca Kajlich (with our new logo shirt)
and David Spade of
"Rules of Engagement."

For a number of years, we've had an office in Hollywood—and one of its functions has been to organize and produce the Genesis Awards, which honors members of the media and the entertainment industry for incorporating animal protection themes into their works.

The HSUS Hollywood Office works throughout the year to provide information and encouragement to writers, producers and other entertainment industry professionals to shine the spotlight on animals. On tonight's episode of "Rules of Engagement" (airing on CBS at 9:30 p.m. EST/PST) Bianca Kajlich debuts our new logo shirt to a prime time audience of nearly 10 million viewers. My thanks to TV writer/producer Carol Leifer ("Seinfeld," "Ellen") for casting The HSUS in this role.

You may remember that Carol was the winning bidder for notes used by Michael Vick, which were auctioned to support our animal fighting campaign. Look for more about Carol, her six rescue dogs and her support of The HSUS in the upcoming winter edition of All Animals, our quarterly magazine for HSUS supporters who have made a minimum $25 gift within the last year.

And to help spread the word, get one of our new logo tees at Humane Domain, The HSUS's official online store.

November 09, 2007

Committed to Exposing Puppy Mills

Dog rescued from Virginia puppy mill with newborn pups
© The HSUS/Kathy Milani
A dog from the Virginia puppy mill with her newborn pups.

You may have read a story on humanesociety.org or read news accounts in the last day or two about the rescue of  hundreds of dogs at a Hillsville, Va., puppy mill in southwest Virginia. The plight of more than 1,000 animals there in overcrowded cages came to light after The HSUS released the results of a five-month investigation of commercial dog breeding operations in the Commonwealth. Horton's Pups was selling dogs to pet stores, yet was not even licensed with the U.S. Department of Agriculture—a violation of federal law. 

HSUS staff from our Companion Animals, Disaster Services, and other sections deployed to Carroll County on Thursday and worked with county officials and others to take possession of the dogs—poodles, shih tzus, Yorkshire terriers, King Charles spaniels, and other small breeds.

The dogs, first  examined by vets, were moved to shelters for further care and later adoption. 

Please do read our website accounts and take a moment to review our video news report from the site. The HSUS is committed to exposing puppy mills, educating the public about not buying dogs from pet stores or through the Internet, and strengthening state and federal laws to crack down on these operators.

We will keep you apprised as we continue to work with county officials in this case. To help, you can take the pledge to stop puppy mills and spread the word.

November 08, 2007

Setting Aside Semantics: Not Killing Pets Must Be Our Goal

If you discern a difference between the words, 'no kill,' and the words, "No-Kill," you understand that I'm about to wade into a quarrel.

If, on the other hand, you don't see much difference except for capital letters and a hyphen, well good for you. You're on the right track.

You see, America views those of us in the animal protection movement as being against the needless killing of animals. America happens to be correct. Everyone sincerely committed to the cause of animal protection embraces the concept of animals living complete and quality lives—uninterrupted by torment or cruelty.

Brown and white pit bull dog in shelter
Addressing pet overpopulation is essential
to helping animals in shelters.

The organization I lead has been committed to the principle of protecting animal life since its inception more than a half-century ago, and so are our members and staff. It was The HSUS, more than any other group, that pioneered the concepts of legislation, education, and sterilization to combat the pet overpopulation problem.

We don't just say it, mind you. It's the foundation of everything we do and of every aspiration we hold.

So am I in favor of no kill? You bet I am. Have been and always will be. And, yes, so is The HSUS.

There is, of course, more to the story. Some in our movement have been advancing a different kind of "No-Kill." This "No-Kill" means operating animal shelters in which healthy and treatable dogs and cats are not euthanized for time and space considerations.

The "No-Kill" crusade, as embodied by its responsible voices, has done its share of good for our humane movement. It has asked tough questions and prompted a re-examination of the purpose of animal shelters in the United States. That's healthy and needed.

So, no kill as a philosophy is noble; no kill as an objective or aspiration is essential. Really, nothing else can be our goal.

But ... and naturally, there is a "but" here. But "No-Kill" as an outcome cannot be universally expected to occur overnight, and it cannot succeed without multi-pronged efforts by committed communities. Its conscientious backers recognize that. It's simple mathematics. If euthanasia is not occurring and intake of dogs and cats is significantly exceeding adoptions, then overcrowding and warehousing—and the attendant suffering—are the undesirable and also unacceptable outcomes. Or if shelters close their doors to animals in need, then the problem is just being pushed off to someone or someplace else, with euthanasia the likely outcome and with the fundamental dynamics essentially left unchanged.

Gray tabby cat at the Humane Society of South Mississippi
© The HSUS/Petros
A cat at the new Humane Society
of South Mississippi shelter.

On the other hand, we must not accept routine euthanasia as a social norm. We should raise expectations and set aggressive goals, but recognize that shelters can't do it without community engagement at every step. We must continue to reduce rates of relinquishment by ramping up affordable and accessible spay and neuter options and helping people resolve normal pet behavior issues. At the same time, we must show a renewed commitment to bring additional resources, a sustained sense of urgency, diligence, volunteerism and creativity to expand the number of suitable homes and adopt more animals. We can redesign shelters to be more inviting to potential adopters, make it possible for apartment dwellers to have pets, develop sophisticated and research-driven marketing campaigns, partner with other community-based institutions, and so much more.

The problem is not unsolvable. Nationwide, only about 20 percent of dogs in homes come from shelters—the rest come from other sources. It would only take a relatively small increase in the adoption rate along with a modest reduction in the birth rate to go a long way toward solving the problem of euthanizing healthy and treatable dogs in many communities.

Yet there are countervailing forces. Many puppy mills are now completely unregulated by the federal government, and they are selling animals direct to the public over the Internet. These marketers of dogs make it easier than ever for consumers to be duped into obtaining a puppy mill dog. The HSUS's recent investigations into the puppy mill industry suggest that the problem is larger even than we imagined, with perhaps as many as 10,000 puppy mills churning out dogs for the pet trade. The dogs suffer immensely, and America's shelters are left to pick up the pieces.

Two poodles rescued from Virginia puppy mill
© The HSUS/Kathy Milani
Two dogs rescued from a Virginia puppy mill this week. Their
rescue comes on the heels of an investigation by The HSUS.

And there are other types of challenges. There are too many pit bulls being bred, mistreated and discarded in this country. Many urban shelters are packed with them—with pit bulls, in some communities, accounting for as many as 70 percent of all dogs in the shelters. Many people who want to provide a loving home won't consider these animals. And many people who want a dog as a weapon or a fighting animal do want them. This dynamic does not lend itself to an easy solution, and that's why The HSUS has been advocating mandatory spaying and neutering of pit bulls in our communities*—partly because these animals are the most abused companion animals in our society and they deserve extra protections. They are the dog of choice for dogfighters, who are responsible for incalculable suffering.

[*Editor’s Note: The animal welfare field continues to make advances in its efforts to help pit bull dogs, particularly with respect to combating negative stereotypes about pit bulls and promoting adoption. Since this blog was published in 2007, The HSUS has suspended efforts on compulsory spay/neuter of pit bulls, and elected to concentrate instead on increasing the availability of free or low-cost spay/neuter services and connecting pet owners with these services.]

Our communities also face large populations of feral cats. If admitted to a shelter, feral cats face no adoption prospects—nearly 100 percent are euthanized—and other cats spring up to take the place of those removed. Recognizing these population dynamics, we side with the growing number of organizations that advocate Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) strategies, and active management of colonies. TNR, combined with ongoing management of feral cat colonies prevents reproduction, brings down the population over time, improves cats' quality of life, and reduces their impact on wildlife.

Feral cats
© iStockphoto
Trap-Neuter-Return strategies help bring down feral cat
populations over time.

Even with these major challenges, the situation is improving. In the 1970s, shelters in America euthanized 12-20 million dogs and cats when there were 67 million in people's homes. Today, we euthanize around 4 million animals while there are more than 135 million dogs and cats in people's homes. From perhaps 25 percent of dogs and cats in America euthanized every year, to about three percent—that's major progress for animals.

Let's keep moving forward until no healthy and treatable animals are euthanized. Let's focus on that, and not deplete our energy or divide our strengths with evermore strident internal debates—no kill vs. "No-Kill." These two words belong to all of us, no matter how they are punctuated. Every day we spend criticizing each other in the circular argument between rightness and reality is a day when the puppy mill operators and the dogfighters and the Internet sellers and puppy importers get something less than our full attention. If we're willing to challenge ourselves and work together, we can get to our lifesaving goal far quicker. And this we must do—lives are depending on us.

I welcome your thoughts on how to speed up progress so that no one can fathom a difference between the words, no kill and "No-Kill."

November 07, 2007

You Asked: Joining Forces for Animals

Today, I'd like to take some time to respond to a question sent in by member Sandra Siims—a question I often hear from our supporters.

Q. As a member of the Humane Society [of the United States], NWF, WWF, Doris Day, Defenders of Wildlife and other animal groups, I wish you could all band together as one big organization not only for us, the people who send you money, but for the joint membership that would bring you much more clout when lobbying for votes in congress. I just got two groups asking for money—my SPCA and ASPCA. I am not made of money; however I want to help those without voices to live at least a comfortable life. I currently have two indoor cats, one dog and feral cats that I feed, not to mention the squirrels, skunks and anything else that comes up on my property. Please consider joining forces with one main head and many sub groups, pool the money and disburse it in a manner where it would be the most effective for the cause that has priority.

A. Sandra, your question is music to my ears. I agree with you entirely and since I took over as president and CEO of The HSUS in 2004, I have been trying to do exactly as you say. In January 2005, we merged our operations with The Fund for Animals, and in October 2006, we merged with the Doris Day Animal League. All three entities still exist, but we synchronize all of our activities, and we have eliminated a number of duplicative functions for the organizations.

HSUS 2006 annual report
Read our 2006 Annual Report [PDF].

The merger with The Fund for Animals and Doris Day Animal League resulted in improved efficiency ratios (Program Expense/Total Expense) for both organizations. The Fund 's efficiency ratio improved from 78 to 89 percent, an increase of 11 percent; DDAL's efficiency ratio improved from 75 to 83 percent, and increase of 8 percent. Thus, one of positives of the mergers was to reduce the cost of fundraising and administering for both organizations by using The HSUS infrastructure—leaving more money for programs.

In addition to having more program dollars available, certain program's expenditures were redirected to eliminate duplication (where programs were duplicative with The HSUS) and to fund important new initiatives. The Fund's savings/redirection of funds (approximately $900,000) permitted the formation of the Animal Protection Litigation section and the Campaigns section at The HSUS—and these sections have ushered in a massive number of reforms for animals during the last two to three years. The DDAL savings/redirection (approximately $500,000) permitted enhanced lobbying and the formation of the Equine Protection department.

If you have a comment to share or a question about The HSUS, offer a comment through the blog or email your query. I may post it in a future blog.