The Humane Society of the United States is one of the Top Ten Charities on the TisBest Philanthropy platform. Their mission of celebrating animals and confronting cruelty is one that deeply resonates with many recipients of TisBest Gift Cards. We asked Wayne Pacelle, CEO of the Humane Society of the United States to answer some questions about the good they are doing for animals everywhere!
Who does your organization help?
We are the number one animal care organization in the world and also the number one [animal] advocacy organization. HSUS was primarily founded to confront cruelty to all animals and to professionalize the entire field of animal protection. We take on factory farming, animal fighting, puppy mills, horse slaughter, seal clubbing, and so much more.
How do you help them?
We work in four core areas of focus: education and awareness, direct care and service, public policy and enforcement, and corporate policy reform.
Why was your organization founded?
We were founded in 1954 to tackle the large-scale abuses of animals that are beyond the reach of local humane groups.
What can your organization do with $30?
A $30 donation can help pay for enrichment like toys and blankets for animals rescued by The HSUS, or sterilize and vaccinate two animals in India. It can also contribute to our lobbying in Congress, our ballot measures, our lawsuits against animal abusers, and so much more.
What is the best non-stuff gift that you have personally received?
In lieu of wedding gifts, my wife and I created a fund called the Sparrow Fund, which provides emergency grants through HSUS to shelters and rescue organizations when they take in an injured animal with no safety net. Being able to share such an important event with friends and family in a way that also helps animals meant the world to me, and every time we issue a grant for a dog or cat who has been hit by a car, or an eagle suffering from lead poisoning, I’m so thankful to those who have contributed.
If someone received a TisBest Charity Gift Card, why should they consider your charity for their donation?
We help animals in crisis, but most importantly, we focus on the root causes of cruelty so that animals don’t get into a situation of distress in the first place. Take our anti-dogfighting work, as an example. Busting up a dogfight is just part of the process of eradicating the industry. We helped pass a federal law that made it a felony to bring a child to a dogfight, a crucial element because so many dogfighters start out as kids and attend dogfights, which normalizes this cruelty. We have a tip line for those who suspect dog-fighting is taking place, and work with law enforcement nationwide on bringing dogfighters to justice. Some of these cases span multiple states, such as the case we worked with the FBI on in one case, resulting in a multi-state raid of 367 dogs. But there is still work to do once the animals are rescued. A few years ago, we launched the Dogfighting Rescue Coalition, a coalition that focuses on successfully rehoming the dogs from these rescues, treating each dog as an individual. Since the launch, several hundred have found homes as a result. It’s this kind of all-encompassing approach that makes the HSUS unique and drive our successes, and donations make that work possible.
Tell us about a unique way your charity has impacted someone.
One case that stands out is Daniel’s rescue. Daniel was a little puppy, one of nearly 300 dogs rescued from a puppy mill by the HSUS Animal Rescue Team in spring of 2016. When we found him, he couldn’t use his front legs due to extreme malnutrition. He crawled towards rescuers when he saw them, it was absolutely heartbreaking. Fortunately, he was provided with top notch care that included daily leg massages as well as additional treatment, and eventually he was ready to go to the Great Plains SPCA, an Emergency Placement Partner of the HSUS, and be adopted into a wonderful home. Each animal we rescue is unique, but to think of a puppy who literally can’t walk due to malnutrition, who has lived his short life in such misery, and yet is so loving and eager to live despite suffering so much, can now live out his life in a wonderful home – that’s priceless.
What is something people might be surprised to learn about your organization or the people or mission that it serves?
Many people are surprised at the breadth of our work and our big tent approach. Earlier this year we announced we were partnering with SeaWorld, a company we’ve long had an adversarial relationship with. The CEO and I talked over several months after a mutual friend suggested we talk, and our partnership resulted not only in SeaWorld committing to no longer breeding orcas, but also increasing their rescue and advocacy efforts, changing the food sourcing for their parks (that attract more than 20 million visitors annually) to crate-free pork and cage free eggs, and offering more plant-based options. It’s a surprising partnership, but that’s exactly what we should be doing – taking companies that are part of the problem and making them part of the solution.
For more information about The Humane Society of the United States and how you can help their mission visit www.humanesociety.org.
To learn more about TisBest Philanthropy, Charity Gift Cards, and our Charity Partners visit www.TisBest.org.