2012 Achievements Bring Us Closer to Ending Abuse of Pets

By on December 24, 2012 with 0 Comments By Wayne Pacelle


While the Senate passed a bill earlier this month to upgrade the federal law against dogfighting and other forms of animal fighting (to create a new federal crime to attend or bring a child to an animal fighting spectacle), the U.S. House is dithering on the legislation, even though the House bill has 228 cosponsors and more than 300 law enforcement agency endorsements. Defending companion animals and combatting abuses to pets should not be as difficult as it is, given the deep reservoir of love and affection that exists for dogs and cats. But there remain large, persistent, and seemingly intractable problems, and there are people who continue to stand in the way of progress. We are confronting those problems head-on, and here’s a roster of some of our major accomplishments for companion animals in 2012.


  • Reached milestone of more than 2,000 pet stores across the U.S. signing our HSUS Puppy Friendly Pet Stores pledge making it their official policy never to sell puppies or contribute to puppy mill abuses. 

  • An HSUS report exposed the American Kennel Club’s links to cruel puppy mills, including the fact that the purebred dog registry has opposed more than 80 dog-protection measures over the past five years.

  • Led by Ohio, the largest unregulated puppy mill state in the East, laws to protect puppy mill dogs passed in six more states — New York, Nebraska, Maryland, Kansas, Oregon and Louisiana, while an undercover HSUS investigation linked puppy mills to dozens of pet stores selling puppies in the Chicago area.

  • Our groundbreaking outreach program Pets for Life provided vital pet care and wellness and Halo Spot’s Stew donated by Freekibble.com to more than 10,000 pets in under-served communities in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago and Philadelphia. With support from PetSmart Charities, Pets for Life released a free online toolkit and a training and mentorship program in 10 new cities.

  • Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association provided spay/neuter and veterinary care to nearly 7,000 pets in under-served rural communities and Native American reservations in the U.S. and Latin America; hosted animal welfare seminars at more than a dozen U.S. veterinary schools.

  • Secured a felony conviction in the first-ever private criminal prosecution of dogfighting. Filing of legal complaint with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection resulted in shutting down the commercial sale of dog fur in New York City.

  • Humane Society International trained more than 100 people, including Costa Rican government representatives in different regions of the country and police officers, on appropriate handling of confiscated dogs and evidence collection. Drawing on their training, officials carried out the first raid of a suspected dog fighter’s home. HSI also assisted the government in the largest dogfighting raid in the history of Costa Rica that resulted in proving an international link to dogfighting rings in the United States, where some of the seized dogs had been imported from. HSI worked with the government to pass new dogfighting legislation with increased penalties.

  • Our Animal Rescue Team saves animals and fights for justice. The HSUS responded to Super Storm Sandy, rescuing and sheltering hundreds of animals in New York and New Jersey, and then reuniting more than 400 pets with their original owners, and we rescued more than 5,000 animals from puppy mills, animal fighting and neglect. We assisted in the legal proceedings to ensure Montana dog breeder Mike Chilinski’s conviction for animal abuse. Chilinski received a suspended sentence of 30 years for his abuse of 140 malamutes.

  • Through World Spay Day efforts in 377 cities worldwide, nearly 60,000 dogs and cats were spayed and neutered. Additionally, we sterilized and vaccinated more than 45,000 street dogs in Bhutan, and thousands in the Philippines. We opened our Veterinary Training Center in central India, and we are expanding street dog programs throughout Southeast Asia.

  • Through our Shelter Pet Project campaign with the Ad Council and Maddie’s Fund, we generated more than $100 million in public service ads promoting the adoption of pets from local animal shelters and rescue groups. Our Shelter Services experts visited more than 60 shelters and provided a dozen free regional trainings in 10 states. Animal Care Expo, the largest animal care training conference hosted by The HSUS, drew 1,826 participants from 40 countries — all of whom gathered to learn the latest and best methods for saving animals in their communities.
Animal Rescue and Care, Companion Animals, Humane Society International, Public Policy (Legal/Legislative)

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