Our team of responders has been hard at work in central Virginia this week, rescuing more than 100 dogs, game fowl, horses, and pigs from suspected cruelty at a site in Roseland. Since Hurricane Katrina, when we developed an enhanced emergency response capacity, it’s every week that our Animal Rescue Team is somewhere in the country helping animals in crisis.
The HSUS works to prevent cruelty through policy-making, corporate reform efforts, education, and behavior change. But, until public perceptions shift and needed policy changes take effect, there are thousands of animals who are either suffering in dire circumstances or in immediate need of medical care, and we are there to answer the call.
For the first three quarters of the year, more than 5,800 pets and other animals were saved by HSUS personnel from disasters, puppy mills, fighting, and cruelty. More than 12,000 creatures were rescued, rehabilitated, or sheltered at our wildlife care centers and sanctuaries. And more than 27,000 dogs, cats, and other animals around the world were given free veterinary treatment, spay/neuter surgeries, vaccinations, or other wellness services.
When you add up these and our other programs that provide hands-on care for all kinds of creatures, The Humane Society of the United States has cared for more than 57,000 animals in the first three quarters of 2011, and the number has exceeded 60,000 in the last few weeks. In 2010 we provided direct care for more than 100,000 animals—consistently at the top among hands-on services provided by any humane organization. Many of our staff members will continue to be busy over the holidays—tending to the permanent residents of our sanctuaries; more than 500 dogs we helped rescue from a commercial breeder in Quebec in September; and the new rescues in Virginia.
While some of the animals we aid make headlines—like a group of donkeys airlifted from Hawaii or the nearly 700 neglected cats we cared for this summer—we’re also busy behind the scenes providing vet care, food, or transportation or finding placement for thousands more. We accomplish this with the help of our dedicated supporters, our network of volunteers, and our staff with expertise that ranges from vaccinating pets to humanely transporting prairie dogs.
There’s more to come in the current quarter, since our rescue teams, animal care staff, and veterinarians don’t rest. We’re so thankful for your support that makes it possible. For all of this, we give thanks to you as we start the holiday season.
Photo: Michelle Riley/The HSUS