There is unrelenting activity at The HSUS to help animals. And the past 24 hours have been a whirlwind, demonstrating how we advance the battle on multiple fronts. I was in New York yesterday to announce our filing of a legal action against the trustees for the Leona Helmsley $5.3 billion estate—to prevent them from defying the late hotelier's wish to reserve the bulk of her fortune for the care and protection of dogs. If The HSUS and our partners the APSCA and Maddie's Fund had not taken action, there would have been no one standing in the way of the trustees’ scheme to misdirect the funds.
Today, I just completed an education program for at-risk youth in an impoverished part of Chicago at the Liberation Christian Center, in the Englewood section of the city. I was joined by Chicago leaders of our End Dogfighting campaign, church leaders, and also convicted dogfighter Michael Vick, who is now beginning to appear at these sorts of forums across the country. While engaging with Vick has been controversial for The HSUS, it is so heartening to see these kids hear our message, and I am hopeful we’ll reach many thousands of them and build their immunity to dogfighting and other forms of animal cruelty. Our Chicago program already deploys former dogfighters as part of our ambassador group to steer kids away from going down this dead end, and it’s been tremendously successful.
Meanwhile, yesterday, we assisted with two dogfighting raids in Indiana, rescuing more than 90 dogs from the torment doled out to the animals by this despicable industry. And in Texas, we took the lead in a puppy mill bust, and rescued more than 500 dogs from their terrible circumstances. Each operation requires enormous investments on the front end, and back end, and The HSUS is now conducting literally hundreds of raids, rescues, and emergency responses every year. It’s happening on a level and with a frequency our movement has never seen before.
Every day, The HSUS is pressing the case, in legislative arenas, the courts, corporate boardrooms, the field, and all other arenas where animals and people need our help.