We’ve just released our 2011 annual report online highlighting our activities and accomplishments during that year. Illustrated with a new infographic, the report shows why there’s no animal protection group in the world quite like The HSUS. Let me tell you why I make that claim:
We have an unmatched depth and breadth of programs and expertise. There is no other group in the world with campaigns devoted to companion animals, farm animals, laboratory animals, marine mammals, wildlife and habitat protection, and equine protection. So many different types of animals are at risk from so many different threats and industries, and it’s critical that there’s a group with the experts and campaigners to confront these diverse problems. In 1954, our founders created the tagline, “Every field of humane work, everywhere,” and the same vision motivates the wide-ranging activity we engage in today.
Browse our 2011 annual report online.
We are committed to the prevention of cruelty. The HSUS and our affiliates provide direct care for animals in crisis (more than 76,000 last year), but if that’s all we did, we’d be failing in our mission, because we’d be addressing only the symptoms and not the root causes of cruelty. We don’t have enough resources to rescue all of the animals in need, and we’d burn through our resources in rapid fashion if we tried. We cannot rescue our way out of the problems associated with factory farming and animal testing either; these are legal, powerful industries. Instead, it’s our job to change the mindset of these industries, convince consumers to move the marketplace, and reshape public policy to benefit animals.
We are 11 million strong. You and our other supporters multiply our impact by acting as ambassadors: driving thought, persuading others, demanding action by lawmakers, and pushing corporations to stop animal testing, improve the treatment of animals in the food chain, or drop fur coats from their racks, among other things.
We are pragmatic. We are willing to work with our traditional opponents and turn them into allies. For example, we were once bitter adversaries with the United Egg Producers trade association. But we sat down with their leaders and negotiated a landmark agreement to support federal legislation banning the barren battery cage. We’ve negotiated with other trade associations, corporations, governors, and lawmakers, using facts, science, and the strength of our brand and our constituency to urge them to be part of the solution and find a better way forward.
We are fearless. We’ll sit down with adversaries, but when they refuse to find a better way ahead, we will be relentless and strategic in carrying on the fight. Our movement has always been diverse and somewhat disconnected, and while animals need local rescue networks, they also need a group with the know-how, muscle, and courage to stand up to the biggest industries and interests causing the greatest harm. Every day, we take on animal agribusiness, the trophy hunting lobby, the exotic pet trade, the puppy mill industry, and even major governments like those of Canada (in demanding an end to the seal hunt) and the United States (in taking on government-conducted predator control, factory farming subsidies, and taxpayer-funded use of chimps and other animals in unnecessary experiments).
We bring an array of tools to the fight. We are the best in the field at policy work and lobbying. We have a large in-house litigation unit and more than 3,000 outside attorneys ready to do pro bono work. Our undercover investigators reveal what’s going on behind the curtains at factory farms, research labs, puppy mills, and other sites where cruelty occurs. We have academics, economists, biologists, doctors, and veterinarians who are all experts in the animal protection field. We have the best magazine in the sector (All Animals), the most sophisticated website (humanesociety.org), an enormous presence on Facebook and Twitter, and a capacity to reach millions through the news coverage we generate. When you pull it all together, The HSUS is the most formidable advocacy enterprise ever assembled to take on animal cruelty.
We have a global reach. Animal cruelty knows no national boundaries, so it’s vital that we have the capacity to fight problems everywhere. Our international teams sterilize street dogs and fight the fur trade in China, elephant poaching in Africa, factory farming in Brazil and India, and so many other global problems.
I lay out these attributes to let you know what makes this organization so special and so vitally needed in this country and throughout the world. But we cannot do it alone. This whole enterprise depends on your decision to be engaged and give generously. I hope you’ll deepen your commitment to The HSUS as a means of changing the world for animals.