HSUS & Shelters

How does the HSUS help local animal shelters and rescue groups?

The Humane Society of the United States, a national animal advocacy and direct care organization, complements the work of local groups by focusing on national-level issues like ending the puppy mill industry, strengthening cruelty laws and eliminating large-scale animal abuses. We also run programs and spearhead campaigns designed to ease the burden on local sheltering groups. For example, Animal Care EXPO and the HumanePro website provide in-depth educational and training opportunities, while Pets for Life keeps pets with their families and reduces the number of homeless animals. The Shelter Pet Project, a national media campaign that the HSUS runs in partnership with the Ad Council and Maddie’s Fund, encourages people to adopt from shelters and rescues. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the HSUS provided a toolkit to help shelters respond to the impact in their communities. 

Finally, although the HSUS does not run or oversee local animal shelters or rescues, we do operate rescue teams, community-based programs, wildlife sanctuaries and care centers that directly assist thousands of animals each year.

Where can I lodge a complaint about a local shelter or rescue group?

As a national animal advocacy organization, the HSUS doesn’t operate or oversee local shelters or rescue groups. We are neither a parent or chapter organization for any local shelter, nor an inspection agency. Each shelter and rescue group is an independent organization governed by its own board of directors or local officials, and each group sets its own policies and rules. If you have a complaint about a local group, bring your concern directly to the person in charge of that organization, since they are in the best position to understand the issue and make change. If that doesn’t resolve the matter, visit Concerned About Your Local Shelter? to learn how to address concerns about your local shelter or rescue in a positive, productive manner.

What is the HSUS’ position on “no kill” shelters?

The HSUS has long been committed to ending the euthanasia of healthy, adoptable animals (Setting Aside Semantics: Not Killing Pets Must Be Our Goal) and believes that it is vital for shelters, rescue groups, community cat care groups, community leaders and citizens to work together toward that goal. Through efforts like Animal Care EXPO, the HumanePro website and The Shelter Pet Project, the HSUS works ceaselessly to help shelters reduce the need for euthanasia, all while striving to identify and address the root causes of pet homelessness, through our puppy mill workPets for Life, Spayathon™ for Puerto Rico, assistance to address evictions, and other initiatives.

What is the HSUS’ position on use of the gas chamber for euthanasia in animal shelters?

The HSUS is actively working to end the use of gas chambers in shelters across the country. 

Download How the HSUS Helps Local Shelters