The HSUS works on a big scale, but like all other animal protection organizations, we help one animal at a time. Every life is precious, and every creature has a heartbeat and his or her own will to live. That’s why all of us—you, me, and everybody who is part of our movement—works so hard to come to the aid of animals in crisis and to prevent cruelty.
This year, I traveled to more than 100 cities on my tour for The Bond: Our Kinship with Animals, Our Call to Defend Them. It was wonderful to meet so many thousands of extraordinary people who imagine a better, more humane world and who are working to do something about it, and to get us there. If there was one overriding impression I gained during the book tour, it was of the growing sense of community that envelops humane work in the 21st century. We are all part of the same enterprise, whether we fight for dogs, cats, horses, farm animals, marine mammals, or whatever kind of creature.
We at The HSUS have a special responsibility, largely because so many of you invest your hard-earned dollars in us and in this work. All the time, but especially as we reflect on the end of 2011, I am mindful of the responsibility to report on our progress—not only to show that our progress is tangible and real and to inspire hopefulness, but also to be transparent and accountable to you, our investors. In the last few weeks, I wrote blogs about our Top 10 accomplishments, about our successes in the media, and even about what our adversaries in some sectors in agribusiness had to say about us.
Today, in my final blog for the year, I want to connect you to good news in some of the specific program areas in which the organization is most active. The HSUS is really the only group in the world that has invested such substantial resources and energy toward protecting horses, farm animals, companion animals, wildlife, and animals in research. Here are just a few summaries about what your generosity has enabled us to accomplish.
Your year-end support makes it possible for us to continue this important work in the new year and beyond.
Horses and other equines
An adoptable horse at Doris Day Horse Rescue and
This year, we opened the Doris Day Horse Rescue and Adoption Center at Cleveland Amory Black Beauty Ranch, which takes in neglected or abused horses and uses training and focused care to help them get ready for adoption. We’ve already seen many horses make so much progress and go on to wonderful homes. In September, The HSUS airlifted more than 100 wild donkeys in a cargo plane (thanks to a generous donor) from Hawaii's Big Island to a California sanctuary. Read more about the good news for equines this year. Even Steven Spielberg, the producer/director of the new movie War Horse, criticized horse slaughter and called for a greater measure of kindness.
It’s been a landmark year for farm animal welfare, as this issue moves squarely into the mainstream and into daily discourse in our society. Our accord with United Egg Producers aims to phase out barren battery cages for millions of egg-laying hens; the country’s largest pork producer, Smithfield Foods, recommitted to a definite timeline to phase out cramped gestation crates; and our promotional efforts, including our participation in Meatless Mondays, are reaching millions. We also saw this year the final enactment of standards we’ve been seeking in Ohio since our 2010 campaign for farm animals in the Buckeye State. The new standards include phase-outs of veal crates, gestation crates, tail-docking of dairy cows, and a moratorium on new battery cage confinement facilities.
It’s been a jam-packed year in protecting pets—from our anti-dogfighting campaigns to our puppy mill efforts to our Shelter Pet Project to the milestone of spaying or neutering 30,000 street dogs in the Asian nation of Bhutan. Take a look at how we’ve helped dogs, cats, and other companion animals.
Kathy Milani/The HSUS
We made important progress in our campaigns to protect vulnerable wildlife and fight egregious abuses. We helped crack down on shark finning on the state and federal level, brought attention to the cruelty of captive hunting, blocked efforts to kill California sea lions in the Northwest, and fought for wolves, lions, polar bears, prairie dogs, and so many other kinds of wild creatures in the United States and abroad.
Animals in research
It was a banner year for relieving the suffering of so many animals in research. Thanks to the work of The HSUS and other animal advocates, we saw the manufacturer of Botox announce it will start using a new cruelty-free testing method; the U.S. Army announced it will replace live monkeys with non-animal alternatives in future chemical warfare trainings for soldiers; and a new report from the Institute of Medicine concluded that there is no area of invasive biomedical research that requires the use of chimpanzees.
Animals in crisis
Our Animal Rescue Team saved more than 6,000 pets and other animals this year from puppy mills, animal fighting, devastating natural disasters, and neglect. A special highlight was our rescue of nearly 700 cats from a deplorable hoarding situation in Florida, one of the largest cat rescues on record. Working with volunteers from around the country, we cared for the animals for five months, found homes for 258 cats at a single adoption event, and eventually found placement for every single treatable, adoptable cat. Possum, a cat who lost his sight from neglect but now has a loving home, symbolizes the new lives of all these animals.
None of this work to help animals would be possible without you. Please give as generously as you can online before the year ends. We’ll put your dollars to work to make lasting change in the world.