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July 01, 2009

New Member of Our Animal Care Family

When I took the helm at The HSUS about five years ago, I looked at the landscape of animal protection and thought that the movement’s resources were spread too thin among too many groups. I thought we needed to consolidate some of these operations, to squeeze out inefficiencies, and to redirect the savings into new capacity, in order to achieve greater effectiveness. Since that time, we’ve combined operations with The Fund for Animals, the Doris Day Animal League, and the Association of Veterinarians for Animal Rights (now the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association)—and each combination has strengthened us in innumerable ways.

Young raccoon at the SPCA Wildlife Care Center
© SPCA Wildlife Care Center
Saved by the SPCA Wildlife Care Center.

Last Saturday, we completed a combination with the SPCA Wildlife Care Center in Broward, County, Florida. It is a 4.1-acre property near Fort Lauderdale with a staff of 60, including wildlife veterinarians and veterinary technicians, who treat more than 13,000 injured, orphaned, abandoned and abused wild and domestic animals a year. They provide rescue, rehabilitation and release services for more than 250 species of wildlife, including raccoons, owls, egrets, tortoises and pelicans.

The Wildlife Care Center is now our fifth animal care facility, aligned with our wildlife centers on Cape Cod in Massachusetts and San Diego County in California, our Duchess Sanctuary in Oregon for horses, and the Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch, which cares for more than 1,000 large mammals, in east Texas.

The HSUS is the leader in public policy work, enforcement of current animal protection laws, corporate outreach, and education. But it is also the movement’s leader in hands-on care programs. In addition to our animal care facilities, our Emergency Services unit rescues thousands of animals a year, from fighting operations, puppy mills, hoarding crises, and natural disasters. Our HSVMA veterinary staff treat animals in rural areas where there are few medical services for animals and where people are impoverished. And we provide millions in grants to organizations that do hands-on care. Just yesterday, we announced a $250,000 grant to build a new shelter in St. Bernard Parish in Louisiana. Our work in Bhutan to sterilize street dogs, our humane slaughter work in developing nations, and other international programs alleviate suffering for tens of thousands of other animals. And our more than 100 wildlife sanctuaries, which are managed by our Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust, protect countless other animals from human-caused harm.

Here at The HSUS, I so value our work that strikes at the root causes of problems and that draws public attention to the wide range of threats that animals face. We have the strength to stand up to the powerful forces that profit from exploiting animals on a large scale. But we don’t forget the orphans, the homeless, and others in crisis. Simply put, there is no group that has the range of hands-on care services for animals, or helps so many animals directly. We are proud to add the Wildlife Care Center to our portfolio and hope you’ll support its work.  

P.S. Your caption suggestions are piling in for the photo of our office dog Soco. Keep them coming, and I'll post my favorites next week.

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