Humane Society of the United States
Humane Society of the United States
The largest animal protection organization in the United States, Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) works to preserve wildlife and wilderness , save endangered species , and promote humane treatment of all animals. Formed in 1954, HSUS specializes in education, cruelty investigations and prosecutions, wildlife and nature preservation, environmental protection, federal and state legislative activities, and other actions designed to protect animal welfare and the environment .
Major projects undertaken by HSUS in recent years have included campaigns to stop the killing of whales , dolphins , elephants , bears, and wolves ; to help reduce the number of animals used in medical research and to improve the conditions under which they are used; to oppose the use of fur by the fashion industry; and to address the problem of pet overpopulation.
The group has worked extensively to ban the use of tuna caught in a way that kills dolphins, largely eliminating the sale of such products in the United States and western Europe. It has tried to stop international airlines from transporting exotic birds into the United States. Other high priority projects have included banning the international trade in elephant ivory, especially imports into the United States, and securing and maintaining a general worldwide moratorium on commercial whaling .
HSUS companion animals section works on a variety of issues affecting dogs, cats, birds, horses, and other animals commonly kept as pets, striving to promote responsible pet ownership, particularly the spaying and neutering of dogs and cats to reduce the tremendous overpopulation of these animals. HSUS works closely with local shelters and humane societies across the country, providing information, training, evaluation, and consultation.
Several national and international environmental and animal protection groups are affiliated and work closely with HSUS. Humane Society International works abroad to fulfill HSUS's mission and to institute reform and educational programs that will benefit animals. EarthKind, a global environmental protection group that emphasizes wildlife protection and humane treatment of animals, has been active in Russia, India, Thailand, Sri Lanka, the United Kingdom, Romania, and elsewhere, working to preserve forests, wetlands , wild rivers, natural ecosystems, and endangered wildlife.
The National Association for Humane and Environmental Education is the youth education division of HSUS, developing and producing periodicals and teaching materials designed to instill humane values in students and young people, including KIND (Kids in Nature's Defense) News, a newspaper for elementary school children, and KIND TEACHER,an 80-page annual full of worksheets and activities for use by teachers.
The Center for Respect of Life and the Environment works with academic institutions, scholars, religious leaders and organizations, arts groups, and others to foster an ethic of respect and compassion towards all creatures and the natural environment. Its quarterly publication, Earth Ethics, examines such issues as earth education, sustainable communities, ecological economics, and other values affecting our relationship with the natural world. The Interfaith Council for the Protection of Animals and Nature promotes conservation and education mainly within the religious community, attempting to make religious leaders, groups, and individuals more aware of our moral and spiritual obligations to preserve the planet and its myriad life forms.
HSUS has been quite active, hard-hitting, and effective in promoting its animal protection programs, such as leading the fight against the fur industry. It accomplishes its goals through education, lobbying, grassroots organizing, and other traditional, legal means of influencing public opinion and government policies.
With over 3.5 million members or "constituents" and an annual budget of over $35 million, HSUS is considered the largest and one of the most influential animal protection groups in the United States and, perhaps, the world.
[Lewis G. Regenstein ]
The Humane Society of the United States, 2100 L Street, NW, Washington, D.C. USA 20037 (202) 452-1100, <http://www.hsus.org>